Rockabye, by Girl’s Gone Child

Thu, April 24, 2008

Moms & Politics

I love the chance to review books, but when the Parent Bloggers Network asked if I would review Rockabye, I jumped on it. It’s written by Rebecca Woolf who a lot of you know better as Girl’s Gone Child.

Girl’s Gone Child was one of the first blogs I ever read on a regular basis.

In some ways — OK, LOTS of ways — my life couldn’t be more different than Rebecca’s, but I connected with her writing instantly. It didn’t matter that she was a 20-something and I was a 40-something. It didn’t matter that she had been a “wild child” and I never was (though I always wanted to be!). Her stories about her motherhood and life experiences resonated with something in me — she touched a place in me that was strong yet hesitant, opinionated yet ambivalent, a mother struggling to still be myself.

All that and more comes through in her memoir, Rockabye: From Wild to Child. While Rockabye is partly a story about her journey to and through unexpected motherhood in her early 20′s, it’s also a tale about how surviving her childhood shaped her as a woman and mother.

Nobody has an easy time in middle school or high school (unless you were the perky cheerleader with the perfect body). But Rebecca digs deep into her youth in an honest and compelling way that, for better or worse, pushed me to think hard about how my own school experiences and related trauma, more in the distant past than hers, still inform my life and my motherhood today.

Rebecca’s writing is honest and raw in a way that makes you appreciate the honesty and openness she brings to her story, but also niggles the reader’s brain to go a little deeper about who we are as people and parents, and why we are that way.

As Rebecca grappled with her decision about what choice to make about her unplanned pregnancy, she had an inner conversation with herself while waiting for her first doctor’s appointment. That bold internal dialogue led to this truth:

You will never regret a decision you make with your heart.

When I read that, I started crying. Not because I was upset, because I knew she was so right. I struggle with life decisions all the time. I can’t help it, I’m a Libra. But her words reminded me that if I can focus on making my decisions, big and small, with my heart — as Rebecca does and shows us how to do in Rockabye — I’ll be OK.

I have to confess, I did get a few sneak peeks at some of the Rockabye chapters. I was lucky enough to be in Rebecca’s online writing group for a while (I was not the most active or productive member, but she welcomed me anyway).

Rockabye is a journey of powerful self-discovery as she makes her way through becoming a mother to her son Archer (who is one of the cutest little boys on the planet, BTW). So when you’re tempted to worry about whether you should look at yet another parenting magazine for motherhood advice, take a little advice from the pages of Rockabye, and look to your inner self.

Reading her book gave me another thing — the good swift kick in the pants to write more about my own mothering experiences. Sure, there are a lot of stories out there, but all our experiences are unique and more of us should write about them and, as Rebecca reminds us, to embrace them, even on those days when we think we won’t survive until our children’s bedtimes.

Rebecca, thanks for taking me on this journey. You’ll never know how much your book meant to me. And thank you Parent Bloggers Network for letting me be one of the first to read Rebecca’s book!

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4 Responses to “Rockabye, by Girl’s Gone Child”

  1. Florinda Says:

    Thanks for the in-depth review. I just started reading Rebecca’s blog, and will be on the lookout for her book. It was many years ago, but having had a similar pregnancy experience (young, single, and unplanned) I’m sure I’ll be interested in reading this.

  2. Pecos Blue Says:

    Sounds good. I will check it out.


    Wow. Just… no words. I actually have been away from my computer for a few days and my mom read your review to me over the phone while I was driving yesterday. I was floored by your review. Thank you, sister.

  4. Daisy Says:

    This sounds much better than the usual parenting book. Thanks for the review!

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