Just Let Me Lie Down, Kristin van Ogtrop

| 12 July , 2010 | Reply

Natalie Green, Colourful Words

Hamster wheeling: The depressing state of being when you feel like you\’re running around and around but not actually getting anyplace or accomplishing anything.

Image consultant: An individual who shapes the persona that you present to the world, whether you like that persona or not…

This book is a collection of alphabetically arranged dictionary terms, observations, lists, complaints, questions, musings and the occasional diatribe from a driven, chaotically organised, slightly zany, working mother who oozes and inspires confidence.

The author is Kristin van Ogtrop, a highly successful, New York-based magazine editor.

Leap of Faith: The action you take every single day of your working life when you blithely head to the office and leave your children in the care of someone else.

The book reads like a career mummy blog. In fact, early on (around the letter B), I found myself having a reader\’s existential crisis. Why am I reading this book? These are chunks of funny insights into one modern woman\’s life. There is no linear narrative; no flow. If I wanted to read moderate doses of funny and insightful, why wouldn\’t I simply hop online and peruse the posts of the oceans of talented mummy bloggers out there?

Once I just got over the format and got on with it, however, I was pleased I did and settled in to enjoy van Ogtrop\’s witticisms about family, workplace relations and her disasters triumphs as a mother.

Panic Room: Any place where you are held hostage by a meeting that is going on longer than necessary and is conducted by people who apparently have nothing else to do for the rest of the day.

There are no two ways about it; Kristin van Ogtrop is side-achingly funny. She is clever and self-deprecating yet doesn\’t shy away from her conviction that, whether she is a mother of three or not, her career matters. She maintains that her commitment to her job is good for her family too because she would drive them crazy if she was home more. She tries her best and knows that her best is not always good enough and that she can\’t have it all, but she wants to be her best and tries to have it all and at the end of the day, that is all that any mother that also happens to be human can do.

Fight Club: The secret society your children belong to that requires them to spontaneously pinch, punch, or otherwise provoke one another whenever you are in a hurry to get out of the house.

Reading this book, I couldn\’t help but think of the 2002 novel, I Don\’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson which uttered the never before spoken but often harboured secret thoughts about how ridiculous and undignified it is to try to ‘have it all\’. In the same line of thinking, Just Let Me Lie Down is not just a collection of relatable musings for working parents, busy mothers and career women, but has the potential to make the reader feel as if they are sharing a wine and talkin\’ life and love on the balcony with another likeminded suffragette.

Available now: Hachette RRP$35.00

Natalie

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