Foreword Review — May / June 2008
“The truth is, gestation is a journey. The actual destination is parenthood, and that’s another trip altogether.” Author Jenna McCarthy was sure parenthood was for other women until she felt her own clichéd biological clock ticking like Big Ben. In this irreverent yet honest guide to parenting, she relates her own experiences versus what “they” say when it comes to conception, pregnancy, the baby’s gender, and delivery (“they don’t call it labor for nothing”). With the arrival of her daughter, Sophie, she continues with an uproarious account of nursing, sleep deprivation, child care, baby gear (a.k.a. “crap”), pediatricians, and different stages of infancy.
The most enlightening chapters divulge the realities of playgroups (“if my choices are Olympic Compare-a-thoning or a lifetime of solitary confinement, I’ll pad the cell myself”) and sex after birth (“I need another needy human being groping at my body like I need another rear end to wipe”). McCarthy offers further guidance with periodic “Trip Tips,” which provide more reflections and facetious exercises on such topics as naming the baby, baby registries, pumping, and “The ‘Five Second Rule’ and other disgusting parenting practices you will embrace.”
A former editor for Shape and Mademoiselle, McCarthy has contributed to Women’s Health Wisdom and Chicken Soup for the College Soul, as well as to more than forty national and international magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Fit Pregnancy, and Parenting. She also worked for two years as the co-host of Santa Barbara’s top rated morning radio show, the KTYD Early Show. The Parent Trip is her first book.
While McCarthy is candid about the effects of pregnancy and parenting on her body, mood, and relationships with her friends, family, and husband, she also reveals the enormous joy and fulfillment of motherhood and forging a new bond as a couple. She concludes by tossing out her birth control and braving the prospects of another baby. Parents-to-be and new parents who really want to know what to expect during pregnancy and infancy should throw out all those other unrealistic parenting books. The Parent Trip is the true guide to parenthood.