Saturday, May 13, 2017

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan | Review and Q&A

Confessions of a Domestic Failure: A Humorous Book About A Not So Perfect Mom by Bunmi Laditan
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Pages: 320
Received: ARC via NetGalley
Find Onine: Goodreads | Amazon | Chapters | Mira

From the creator of The Honest Toddler comes a fiction debut sure to be a must-read for moms everywhere

There are good moms and bad moms and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who's trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably.

When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the "Motherhood Better" bootcamp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she's always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

With her razor-sharp wit and knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan creates a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother. At its heart, Ashley's story reminds moms that there's no way to be perfect, but many ways to be great.

This book came out at such a great time - close to Mother's Day when many Mom's are about ready for their special day of celebration (whatever that looks like for them). I highly suggest getting a copy for your Mom friends and sisters (you know, if you have any). This book and the main character, Ashley, will have you laughing out loud one minute, nodding with agreement and crying with understanding the next. It's everything a first time Mom could want in a book to make them feel like they are not the only hot mess out there. 

Here's the deal - I love how this book takes a Mom who idolizes a perfect media empire Mom and teaches her that not everything is at it seems, not everyone has to live up to unrealistic expectations. I love that Ashley keeps trying to better herself, but in the end realizes life is messy. I love that she struggles with the everyday just like most of us do. I think this made her such an easy to relate to character for me. 

Confessions of a Domestic Failure nailed it with the hilarious situations that Ashley gets herself into, while trying to live up to the hype and expectations of the perfect Mom. I think after reading this book you'll realize, much like Ashley, that it's not necessary to be do Pinterest-perfect crafts, make homemade meals and baby food, or throw yourself to the wolves Mommy Group Goddesses for approval - just to be a good and capable mother. I think there is an unwritten pressure to be something we're not and this book gives you the okay to realize we're not all like that. It's okay to be tired, to be so in love with your baby that chores slide, and to enjoy motherhood without added expectations that we be just like everyone else.

The relationships that Ashley has with her husband, her mother in law and her own sister help make her feel authentic. Honestly, I want to be Ashley's friend. We could start our own Mommy group where we wear day old yoga pants, our babies are still in yesterdays sleepers and we eat donuts for the sugar rush (I don't drink coffee) and share horror stories about answering the door with no pants on or baby puking in the Walmart checkout line. This would be my tribe!

And since the book is called Confessions of a Domestic Failure, here are a few of my confessions.

1. Some days we don't get out of our jammies. Neither of us. If we are not going anywhere and no one is coming to visit, who is it really hurting?
2. I generally don't do the dishes until just before my husband comes home from work. I'm saving hot water by only filling the sink once!
3. There are days that I wish we had a dog, only so that it could eat the food my daughter tosses on the floor at each meal and then I wouldn't have to sweep/mop daily. I like dogs, but never really want to own one (I'm a cat person), yet I'm tempted on days that she tosses everything off her high chair.

What are your Mommy confessions? And what are you waiting for - go read this book or give a copy to a friend!

I've been following Bunmi Laditan online (mostly via Facebook) from the time I found out I was pregnant in the fall of 2015. Some of my Mom friends suggested it to me and I just fell in love with how real she kept her posts about life, being a Mom and kids. I also follow Honest Toddler via Twitter. I've read her book Toddlers Are A**holes and thought it was such a fun and cheeky look at being a Mom, so I knew I'd love her book Confessions of a Domestic Failure. And the exciting part was that I asked Bunmi to go a quick Q&A with me for my blog and she said yes! So I'm proud to bring you a quick little set of questions that she graciously agreed to answer for us!

What was the first thing you ever wrote that you were proud of?

In 4th grade, my school in Berkeley, California had an essay assignment where each student had to write a descriptive essay. I wrote about my family going to church on Easter Sunday- the pastel dresses, piling into the car, the excitement at was the first time I really visualized a piece of writing as I was putting the words down on paper. I ended up receiving the highest grade in my class. It was the first time I considered that I could be good at something. 

Can you tell us about your ideal reader for Confessions of a Domestic Failure?

While I was writing Confessions, I always pictured my first few months of motherhood. I spent a lot of time sitting on the living room floor of my apartment with my fresh baby girl not really knowing what I was doing. "Am I supposed to be joining a mom group" "Am I taking her on enough walks?" I felt lost and quite alone for awhile. I still feel like that quite often. When I wrote this book, I wanted to validate all of the moms who love their children deeply, are doing their best, but can't shake the feeling that it's all not enough. I struggle with anxiety and depression quite a bit and it's impacted how I mother greatly. This book is a love letter, a literary blankie for moms like me who parent the best they can despite the war going on between their ears. 

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to Google for research?

I write about mom life, so there's not much to research. I just pull from my own daily, messy life. Maybe one day I'll write about alien abductions and get to Google some fun stuff. :) 

Did you have a plan before you started writing this book?

I had a vision for the book, but not a blueprint for it. It started off as a series of handwritten diary entries and slowly took shape over a few years. It wasn't until I was sure I wanted to publish the book that I gave it form (conflict, resolution, etc.). I know many authors plan out their books ahead of time, and that's probably the way to go, but I usually just go with the flow. 

Who’s your favorite character that you’ve written?

Definitely Ashley in Confessions of a Domestic Failure. She's the kind of person you want to sit down and have coffee with because you know they're always going to tell it exactly like it is, no matter what. If I could invent the ideal mom friend, it'd be her. Maybe that's what I was trying to do when I wrote this book- create the friend of my dreams. :) 

You'll be excited to know that Bunmi is already starting to write the sequel! I know I'm looking forward to reading it as soon as it comes out!

About the author:
Bunmi Laditan's Instagram and Facebook info sums up her life: Writer and Cali girl in Quebec. Yet she is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Mothering and iVillage, where her satirical pieces on parenting and politics have often gone viral. She also created Honest Toddler, a character based on her youngest child. She lives with her family near Montreal. -pieced together from many sources (her Facebook, Goodreads and good old Google)

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