When I think of the term helicopter parent, a contemporary image that comes to mind is the commercial with the mom who is at her child’s side for everything. She blocks shots for him in gym class. She’s on the two seater bike with him trying to ward off competition. She’s answering questions for him at class.
I thought my latest BookSneeze read, Dena Higley’s Momaholic: Confessions of a Helicopter Parent would be like that commercial. I thought she’d share fun snippets of her life, along with anecdotes from other moms, and then suggestions/testimonies on how to break free.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, Higley shares her family’s recent journey where she, a former head writer for Days of Our Lives, ends up in the ER after an alcohol overdose to numb the pain of learning she was about to become a grandmother because her single, college age daughter announced the pregnancy. Her story is interesting and the conflict is so intense I could feel my own stomach tightening. After all, Higley admits she insisted on a fancy wedding for their daughter they couldn’t truly afford, and this was against her husband’s wishes.
Honestly, by the end of the book, my stomach didn’t let up, because to me, the conflict isn’t over even though the book is. She puts at the end a nice quiz to help the reader see if they are a helicopter parent, but I didn’t sense that was the issue in this particular family. I felt this was more about control and appearances, and not so much about helicopter parenting. I gathered more worry about her work and the stresses there than the ins and outs of her kids beyond the daughter’s pregnancy.
To me this is a memoir or a look behind the scenes of a real life soap opera from someone who worked in the business. But a Momaholic, a helicopter parent? I didn’t see it.
Every mom has felt the need to be perfect.
Momaholic is one woman’s private, dramatic, and often comical invitation to peek inside a time in her life where everything fell apart and she had to take an honest look at what she was doing right and what she’d been doing terribly wrong. With this simple discovery, her whacky family’s season of becoming unraveled found a new glue (other than her blood, sweat and tears) that would re-bond her family and unite them in a deeper and more functional way than ever before.
The real life characters:
* A MOM who is literally the head writer of a network soap opera… at work and at home * A HUSBAND who expects perfection from his kids and his wife, but who has the wisdom to know he’s being unrealistic and yet, can’t help but scratch his head in frustration as his family’s troubles seem to spiral out of his control * An autistic SON * A popular DAUGHTER who is suddenly pregnant * An ADOPTED DAUGHTER pulled from the jungles of Vietnam with no leg below the right knee and fingers fused together * An ADOPTED SON from Ethiopia, rescued from the streets at the age of 9.
This is a story showing the speed with which a “normal” family can fall apart. No one dies. No one gets kidnapped. They just have to deal with each of their own issues….and then one unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. This was a church-going family whose kids were taught abstinence until marriage. With the family running around as the tornado sirens roared warnings to take cover, mother, Miss Drama,becomes the biggest mess of all and ends up finding a whole new freedom for her soul.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
To purchase, click here.