In a story that is both hilarious and compelling, nationally syndicated humor columnist and blogger, Tracy Beckerman, tells the tale of one woman’s loss of cool and personal rediscovery in Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs (Perigee Publishing).
Tracy starts out her tale as one cool chick. A TV producer in New York City (how cool is that?!). She has a cool haircut, cool clothes, and a cool, tiny, cockroach-infested apartment in Manhattan that she shares with her best-friend.
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But then Tracy falls in love, gets married, and does the coolest/uncoolest thing that only a woman can do: she gives birth.
Initially Tracy thinks it will be easy going back to work after her baby is born, but quickly discovers that none of the choices on Planet Mom are easy. “Having it all” means giving up something.
Tracy writes poignantly about the powerful internal tug-of-war that happens inside many working mothers–except that wackadoodle workaholic CEO at Yahoo–between meeting their own needs for achievement and success and the needs of their children for a onsite caregiver who passionately loves them.
Shortly after her baby is born, Tracy sneaks home on her lunch hour to spy on the nanny, and she discovers that the nanny just might be having the better life. She decides then and there, with the full support of her husband, to quit her job and take up being a full-time mom. As the explosion of essential baby paraphernalia overtakes their tiny NYC apartment, Tracy and her husband relocate to the suburbs of New Jersey. And that’s when the real fun begins.
Tracy’s story, told with wit and charm, takes her readers on a thought-provoking tour through suburban motherhood; a landscape fraught with annoying obsessive-compulsive hover mothers, and traffic cops who don’t understand that chauffeuring your children to school in your bathrobe is completely acceptable in this day and age.
Tracy’s husband is so understanding. He reminds me that picking a good husband is the single most important decision a woman can make. Finding one who will support you through all the phases of your life, from hot tamale to rockin’ grandma, is critical to happiness.
Though my children are grown, I found Tracy’s book relevant and cathartic, She shares profound pieces of wisdom for women of any age.
Like Tracy, I came to a place in my own life where I needed to rediscover my own lost cool. And I asked myself the same question Tracy asks. What does it mean to be a woman AND a mom? How could I nurture my essential self while still caring for those I loved the most?
Tracy wisely points out that instead of looking back to the younger selves we once were we ought to look forward to our possitiblities.
This is a message that resonates for all women no matter where you are on the path that is modern womanhood.