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The Hip Mama Survival Guide: Advice from the Trenches on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Cool Names, Clueless Doctors, Potty Training, and Toddler Avengers (Hip Mama)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  298 ratings  ·  35 reviews
"The Gen-X Dr. Spock" and the founder of Hip Mama: The Parenting 'Zine gives readers advice from the trenches on pregnancy, childbirth, cool names, clueless doctors, potty training, domestic mayhem, right-wing losers, the evil patriarchy, nervous breakdowns, and way more. Line drawings.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Hachette Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 483)
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Lisa
I have been spending entirely too much time checking the blogs of perfect blissed-out hippy women who become wealthy from people following along on their bliss about life, motherhood and crafts. Lisa, get a life and come back to planet earth. The Hip Mama Survival Guide rocked. This chick ROCKS!!!! Crafts are good I guess but I'm not so sure crafts are really that important if, for example, you're a single mom, a working mom, or just a mom spending your nights on the internet trying to figure ou ...more
Jackie
This book was one of the first books I bought on parenting. I got it at a feminist bookstore in Toledo, Ohio, right after I found out I was pregnant, and it was absolutely the right book for me to buy at that point in my life! It's not your traditional parenting book, for sure, but for me, it was perfect-- there's an optimism throughout the book that even if you're not settled down behind a white picket fence, you too can be a really great (and hip) mama.
Melissa
One of the funniest most spot-on books about parenting out there. when I was a young mum I couldn't abide all the judgmental books (Mommy is never OK.) nor the scare-mongering ones. And those make up at least 95% of all child-rearing books published. Ariel Gore is the exception to the parenting book pack. She is funny and straightforward but still loving in her approach to modern family life. I often give this book to first time parents. Super!
Anastasia
I have always wondered what people think when they see me with the girls. I hope they see a confident hip mama who has everything under control. But really they probably see me as I am. Barely contained frustration, frazzled mom with the dirty kids. Or maybe they think I'm the nanny?

I use to worry about it a lot more, I use to think people would think I was a bad mom. But I've learned that everyone has those moments. The kid whose been potty trained for over a year, out of nowhere has an acciden
...more
Marin
There aren't very many parenting books that make me laugh out loud, but this book is totally funny. It also served to help me feel relaxed and empowered with my status as a mother and a non-perfect human being. This is something I can always use.

Still, I don't think I fit into the intended audience for this book. It was intended as a guide for nontraditional moms or moms-to-be who feel alone in a world of traditional families. There are tons of those moms, and I'm really glad that this book was
...more
HeavyReader
Jun 09, 2008 HeavyReader rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pregnant women, parents
I gave a copy of this book to my sister when my nephew was little, and I read it too.

My favorite parts were as list of "music to divorce by" and the advice that if anyone gives a mamma a dirty look for nursing her toddler in public, she should "squirt 'em in the eye."

This book is sassy and spunky and cool. Do your breeder friends a favor and give them a copy of this book.

The following it the review that I wrote for the September/October 1998 issue of the Minnesota Social Responsibility Round Tab
...more
Michelle
Even though this book was written in the 90's and all of the resources have phone numbers--because the internet basically didn't exist then--WHAT? The writing is still dead on and not dated at all. I was pregnant and totally overwhelmed by the amount of information that was being given to me, and this book and Your Mama Wears Combat Boots were the only two parenting books that spoke to me at all about what reality actually was going to be like as a new mother. These two books were the only ones ...more
Denise
So far I've only gotten through the chapters on birth and toddler-hood. I'm pleasantly surprised so far, because I was kind of put off by the plucky-but-scary-single-poor-mom vibe in the introduction (there's a little calendar in the front that has notations like "kids throw playdoh on ceiling. receive 48-hour notice for electricity shutoff."). I had to resolve to myself that if this book made me feel like having a kid was going to be this constant battle between delivering meaning to my life an ...more
Terri
I didn't read all the sections in this book because either they didn't apply to me, or I had already experienced that aspect of pregnancy/parenting already and just didn't feel the need to read or revisit. Overall poor writing, really dated references, and the "expert moms" interview sections were neither inspiring or interesting to me. A few chapters were okay ("Finding Your Village" and "Beauty and the Gender Beast") but these days one can find entire books or online resources which are more r ...more
Ryan Mishap
What am I doing reading this? Ask me why I’ve read any number of things—because I like to learn about others and their experiences, even if I could never or will never have them. I won’t ever have kids, but this book was mostly awesome to read. Very little nonsense guide to pregnancy, coping, dealing with right-wingers, and much more. Recommended, especially for those who have or are about to have kids—or are maybe thinking about it.
Sarah Jane
Ariel Gore is a dream boat, and this book is fantastic. She chronicles her moments through being a (hip) mom and examining things such as: patriarchy, sexism, racism, gender, capitalism, etc...and its all with some form of humor. She speaks from the experience of being a single mom and being supported by her community. It's one of my favorites to give to new-mom's as a different/less traditional example of motherhood.
jess
I like Ariel Gore's fiction better than I like a lot of the hip mama stuff. I feel like this was an interesting read, but it probably won't end up on my shelf of fave books. The book is ten years old, and it reads like it. The world is a little different now, but a lot of the anecdotal sections are still valuable if you are the type to read out loud to your partner, which I am.
Anne
Ariel's voice is very straightforward, but humorous at the same time. Sometimes the anarchy/protest/screw all conservatives gets a bit much at times, but then again, you can tell that her anger stems from policies and experiences that aren't always in the best interests of families and kids. A good antidote to supermom-type attitudes.
Lee
Thank you, Chanda!

This book rocks my mama world. It is sharp, witty, full of anecdotes, and has helped balance out my post-partum crazies. I recommend it to any new mother who is feeling overwhelmed by what this all really means and who doesn't feel comfortable falling in with the mainstream mama crowd.
Madeleine
I was excited that this book was recommended by the gang at Offbeatmamma.com but I could barely make it past the first chapter, it was badly written, hard to follow, the advice was outdated and at times truly odd.

Would not recommend it to anyone wanting any kind of strong advice about pregnancy
Landismom
Wish I had read this earlier in my career as a parent. Most, but not all, of her advice is pitched to het women, and her advice for family law disputes is clearly grounded in a negative experience.

Still, it's a valuable perspective on how to raise your kids in a non-traditional environment.
Ruby
i've only screened this book, but it looks pretty good. i like her attitude, despite her blanket hatred of republicans. she claims to want to "support" rather than "advise" with her guide. that seems a a good approach. useful for pregnancy on.
Kelly
This is the first baby/parenting book I read cover to cover. It was a great introduction to what motherhood might be like, even for someone who once thought she would never want kids! I highly recommend it to anyone considering having a baby.
Ami
May 30, 2012 Ami rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Eh. Feels a bit dated already (late 90s), due to the "edgy" voice that reads a lot like a Michelle Goodman book from Seal Press. Not a lot of new takeaways, but might have been a good primer, if it was the first book I ran into with these concepts.
Shannon
Great for helping single moms feel less "othered." Yeah, whatever your story, this author has heard it or lived it and helps readers to see how to get through it, not necessarily with a smile, but perhaps with less of a frown. I loved this book!
shana
Hmm.. I've always really liked Ariel Gore, but this wasn't for me. It's just too dated. Also contains some really bad advice about bouncing checks on purpose and lying to get free meals in restaurants.
Cristina
Another gorilla rebel parenting book that I chose to read instead of blather from scientists conducting studies on herds of children. I found this much more compelling, entertaining and practical.
Kara Owens
Oct 13, 2008 Kara Owens is currently reading it
Shelves: mama-and-baby
Another one that gives a leg-up on anti-Joan Crawford / anti-"Family Values" parenting with a lot of warmth, humor, and open-mindedness for families of all shapes, color and sizes!
Leah
The Hip Mama Survival Guide : Advice from the Trenches on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Cool Names, Clueless Doctors, Potty Training and Toddler Avengers by Ariel Gore (1998)
Autumn
This is a great book for anyone not following the traditional pregnancy path, especially single mothers. Way better than what to expect (but what isn't?)
Amy
by far the best book i read when i was pregnant. F*CK what to expect when you're expecting (even though i read that, too), this is the real deal.
Elizabeth Weltin
I think I'm just not that hip. This book just wasn't for my lifestyle but I can see it being good for those with a more alternative lifestyle.
Morgan
Nov 03, 2007 Morgan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: new or expecting mommies
A hilarious look at childbirth and parenting, including how to write a bad check and following your dreams while chasing your munchkins.
Michelle
The story of the birth of Maia is simultaneously one of the most scary, hilarious, and memorable stories I've read.
LM Yellow
This just wasn't me. I was expecting a sort of chick lit style guide mama version. Anyone know of something like that?
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ARIEL GORE is the author of numerous books on parenting, the novel The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, the memoir Atlas of the Human Heart, and the writer’s guide How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead. Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness in January 2010.
More about Ariel Gore...

Other Books in the Series

Hip Mama (4 books)
  • The Essential Hip Mama: Writing from the Cutting Edge of Parenting
  • The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood
  • Whatever, Mom: Hip Mama's Guide to Raising a Teenager
How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights Atlas of the Human Heart The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers The End of Eve

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