Babies Are The Worst: A Memoir about Motherhood, PPD, & Beyond
Having a baby is supposed to be one of the most magical things that can happen to a person. Or so they say… Meagan Gordon Scheuerman was nearly a year into motherhood before she realized she had postpartum depression. Instead of thinking she was sick, she thought her vision of motherhood was a sham and a lie. She wasn’t entirely wrong. She was also in more trouble than she knew. Babies Are The Worst explores the unexpected challenges that parenthood presents, with humor, hope, and a little help from her friends. The book is divided into three sections. The first, “My PPD Journey,” chronicles Meagan’s journey into motherhood, including the depression that snuck up on her and knocked her sideways. Having never experienced mental illness until PPD, she didn’t recognize the symptoms and hid her new reality from everyone around her until she sought help. Part Two, “On Miscarriage & Fertility,” discusses being well enough to try for another child, along with the struggles that followed. Part Three, “Not Alone,” includes interviews and first-person accounts from other mothers who each experienced postpartum issues for differing reasons, none of which include clinical depression. This memoir is not just for women with PPD. This book is for every person who is left wondering, “Am I crazy for thinking this is sometimes the worst?” You’re not the only one thinking it. Let’s dive in. "Self-help meets Chick-lit - Scheuerman's story shines in her remarkably raw and real depiction of postpartum depression." - Abigail Levrini, PhD, author of "Succeeding with Adult ADHD" (APA, 2012) and "ADHD Coaching: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals" (APA, 2015)
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10
Idea: The author's personal experience facing postpartum depression and then a miscarriage makes for an urgent and relatable story, especially as (as is noted in the book's chapter about the author reading Brooke Shields' memoir) the sharing of such stories helps others to understand and work through their own experiences.
Prose: Scheuerman is a funny, feisty, insightful storyteller who excels at capturing subtle emotional states and stirring feeling through vivid scenic detail. Her raw accounts of depression in the book's first third have rare power. As the book progresses, however, Scheuerman focuses less on capturing detailed moments from her journey, and the book comes to feel more scattershot.
Originality: While this polished work is surely not the only memoir about PPD, it's distinguished by the vital voice of its author, her ability to set a scene, and to elicit honest emotional responses in readers.
Execution: The first chapters of this memoir promise a singularly affecting, funny, and urgent read. The chapters that follow don't dramatize as much or cut as deeply, and the book's power ebbs some as the pages pass. Still, even a cursory chapter (like the one about building a new house in Florida) boast the sparkle of Scheuerman's prose and wit.
Date Submitted: October 05, 2019