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Clean less – pul more

An absolutely essential mommy book.


[mothers] It's not exactly a shortage of mommy books. A well-stocked bookstore with respect for its customers should be able to offer a very small mountain of books about children in the stomach and the skinny with children, as well as a medium sized village of self-help guides on what you do before, during and after the child-in-the-stomach condition .

In addition, there is an ever-increasing number of websites with mother-and-child-friendly content, where future mothers can read about and debate everything from the latest screams in stroller design to whether cloth or paper diapers hold the best content, as well as being updated on the very latest news in the field of crib death research. The problem for Norwegian pregnant women is rarely that they are underinformed, rather the opposite.

Beautiful and laughter roaring

In the midst of the flood of information, the Big Studio girlfriends and two-child mothers Anne Lindmo and Helle Vaagland have thrown out what at first glance might look like a sudden cheerful-like-it-is-really book about becoming a mum in our urbanized, career-hunted, time-squeezed era. Lindmo and Vaagland switch to writing short, direct, thoughtful, beautiful, sometimes laugh-roaring chapters about suffocating nausea, about partying without fills, about the necessity of baby lollipops. About the inevitable inequalities, about the pervasive injustice of biology. About being an equal parenting team on the birthplace when one is safe, but terrified, in the trench and watching while the other is hit hard by a cannonball.

Both Lindmo and Vaagland write encouragingly well, here language and twists are suitable to sneak out the smile of even the most tired career-passing single mom in the morning. Other times, they come up with descriptions that can make a hard-barked three-child mum. Lindmo's birth story mostly goes that way, describing the overwhelming birth struggle as "turning the Glomma into a flood," like lifting boulders and sewing cross stitches at once. More precisely, it can hardly be written. Before she again invites for a laugh laugh a few chapters later in the speech to all the contributing hospital staff and midwives with the title: "Hand in the weather the one who has been inside me".

Clear message

What sets Lindmo and Vaagland's book apart from the rest of the mammal literature is the clear message. Not that they serve us a recipe for instant baby happiness, or explain that the meaning of life is only confirmed when you have children. The reader is left with not a single good advice on neither pregnancy nausea, breastfeeding or diaper change, nor a letter on how to restore a healthy sex life or methods to get the baby to sleep.

Still, there are few books that are as easy to recommend to a future mom as this one. First and foremost because of the honesty. Lindmo and Vaagland stand out in all their imperfect charm, in all their hangups, phobias and shortcomings, but at the same time insist on unreserved support to be who they are. To ignore the doctor's admonition about low-calorie diets and eat potato gold with a golden conscience if that's what keeps the nausea at bay. To give breastfeeding champion Gro Nylander one on the chew and let a scruffy youngster eat porridge before he is six months old. And to speak to the health system opposite and point out that patient hotels with plenty of time alone with the child do not necessarily reveal themselves as the path to happiness for a scared, hormone-confused first-time mother.

Lindmo and Vaagland have given up the hunt for their super mom, gone to cover the storm of prohibitions and admonitions, and instead realized that they are actually good enough as they are. That society's expectations of superhuman baby happiness may be somewhat exaggerated. And that they do not have to bear the responsibility for family happiness alone. Then they decided to "tell just how awful and wonderful it has been to learn all this".

Mommy Manifesto

But it's only on the very last page that Heia's mom! fully reveals his actual project: A Mum Manifesto. 14 points with alternating promises and demands, from two of the country's modern moms who refuse to be joined by old-fashioned midwives or real-life professionals. Among the points are: "We demand the right to be hard at peace." "We refuse to be stressed by the national breastfeeding pressure. It's up to anyone how long they want to keep the doll in business. "" We want to share more of the leave time with a man or partner. "" We promise to clear less and pool more. "

Just the latest there will probably go straight home with any male readers. Hopefully in the female ones as well. Then maybe the divorce statistics had gone down, and the birth rates were up.

Do we then need a mom manifesto? Do we need a call for man's most natural function? Clearly. In a time when "yummy mummy" has become a term, where time squeezes mean successful and plastic cutlery versus silverware debate rages on the mammoth web pages, we need two ladies with bones in the nose and feet on the ground, which can give us a map that matches with the terrain. It should have almost been printed with a dotted line and a small pair of scissors in the margin: Cut and hang. At all the country's health stations, medical offices, nursing homes and maternity wards. Out with Fedon Lindberg and Gro Nylander, in with Anne Lindmo and Helle Vaagland. Make posters, shout slogans, join demonstration trains. The Mom Manifesto is the best thing that has happened on the manifest front since Marx.

It is an impossible task to recommend all future mothers to stay away from all future mothers books, even though as a three-child mum I have a terrible desire. Many find great joy and comfort in engaging in changing table debates and being told what to think about full paralysis and sleep routines. If, on the other hand, you want to read a mama book that is possible to be wiser, a book that separates poop from peanut butter (to say it with Lindmo, who for an unintentional second in baby life had problems with just that), then it is only this one that regrettably.

Reviewed by Marit O. Bromark, mother of three

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