Book review: The Juggle

The-juggle1440Inspirational stories from mums juggling it all

by Steph Adams and Samantha Brett. (Penguin Random House Australia, softback $39.99)

The expensive cover of this softback coffee-table style book looked promising, covered with the head shots of some of the interviewees the authors canvassed about their life juggling career and motherhood. Childmags staff are all too familiar with ‘The Juggle’ however those interviewed seemed mostly ‘yummy mummies’ – gorgeous women, familiar with the camera and seemingly having it all. Many have careers in the arts, design, fashion and other creatives. Most strive for perfection and keep themselves healthy and active. No every day mums amongst this lot!

Scattered throughout the pages there are some great quotes from well-known influencers such as Oprah, Meryl Streep, Jessica Alba and even Agatha Christie but it took a while to find heartfelt confessions that showed there are some who actually didn’t have it all and had to work really hard to keep their dreams alive.

Amy Dawes (Founder of The Australian Birth Trauma Association) certainly found motherhood changed her in ways she couldn’t have anticipated and yet she is encouraging of others to seek help should they find themselves in a situation like hers. “For me, my trauma was the result of the (birth) injuries I sustained” she said. “For five days I was bed ridden with a catheter”.

Natalie Barr, came from country W.A and worked hard from the moment she could, following her dream to be a TV journalist even though her pregnancies ‘were awful’ with constant nausea. “I started vomiting the week I found out I was pregnant and I didn’t stop until the day after I delivered”.

The inclusion of Bianca Reinhardt was a bit of a mystery as she was born to ‘have it all’. She acknowledges this with her opening statement “I am acutely aware of how fortunate I am” and seems to have taken to a simpler life as a mother of one, after the ‘confronting personal issues’ she has had.  Her thoughts summarise what most of the mother’s felt.

“Becoming a mother absolutely changed my life.  It’s the most fulfilling role and I wouldn’t change it for the world”

The second part of the book covers tips and ideas for keeping healthy, postnatal depression and advice for new mums.

This book had a lot of promise but was not at all inclusive. Most of those seemed candid in their comments but many had happy, more privileged childhoods. None claimed to have had a miserable time doing ‘The Juggle’ and none confessed to having children who were not in the ‘normal’ range which was disappointing, as mothers with children who have special needs, are the ones who really struggle with ‘The Juggle’.

Definitely a book aimed at those who want to strive to have it all by following Influencers and who feel that these have some insight on how to balance career, family, relationships and their health- where they all seemed to agree that sleep was one of the most important things they needed.

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