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Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,390 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
To fifty thousand readers, Catherine Newman is the beloved author of “Bringing Up Ben & Birdy,” a weekly column on babycenter.com. Now in the delightfully candid, outlandishly funny Waiting for Birdy, Newman charts the year she anticipated the birth of her second child while also coping with the realities of raising a toddler. As she navigates life with her existential ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published (first published March 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tricia
Aug 27, 2007 Tricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new/expecting mums and pops and the people who wonder why they've lost their minds
I like a book that makes my husband laugh. This is one of those books that we kept in the bathroom for a little light reading while doing the do. My husband said one night, "That book in the bathroom is really good. It makes me wish I had to keep shitting just so I can read it." The truth is, I feel the same way. That book makes me wish I had to keep shitting.

(Not bad was the fact that I picked this book up for $1 at a remainders sale. I feel bad for the author, but at least I went back and boug
...more
Keris
Apr 05, 2016 Keris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever fallen in love with a book? So in love that you just couldn't stop reading it. Or, if you had to stop, you'd be thinking about it and rushing to get things done so you could get back to it? That was me with Catherine Newman's Waiting for Birdy last weekend. (In fact, my husband was getting annoyed that I was talking more about Catherine's son, Ben, than our own son!)

Taken from Catherine's Babycentre blog, it's the story of gorgeous 3-year-old Ben and Catherine's mixed feelings abou
...more
Lain
Jul 22, 2009 Lain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Newman is the kind of person you want living next door. Funny, irreverent, with a heart as big as the mattress on her family bed. She also is a great writer, with the ability to notice the little things and comment on them in a way that gives them the importance they deserve. Wry, witty, and self-deprecating, Newman tracks her journey to the birth of her second child in "Waiting for Birdy." Nothing -- from the tangerine-sized hemorrhoids to the "barfy flu" to her sometimes absentminded ...more
Laurie
This is my favorite of the many parenting memoirs that I've read in the last five years (since Iris was born). While Newman's story is about having a second child (Birdy), and I am not having more than one, she captures the experiences of mothering a newborn and a preschooler with perfect humor and horror. Ben is around age three in the book. I remember wondering if this was really what Iris would be like when she was three, and OH, WAS SHE EVER. This is Matthew's and my favorite part, both beca ...more
Christian
Mar 23, 2008 Christian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers, expecting mothers
Every so often a book comes along that I love so much and can't put down but watch the page numbers turn with sadness because I don't want it to end. I absolutely and truly loved every page of this book. I teared up at points because Newman captured so eloquently the extreme joy and anxiety of mothering, and at other points I was laughing so hard that I could not breath. I have been calling my best friend to read her excerpts of the book because it is hysterical -- in a reality check, oh my god, ...more
Katie
Sep 02, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've loved Catherine Newman's blog, now called the "Dalai Mama" on Wondertime, since it was "Bringing up Ben & Birdy" on ParentCenter. She is smart, funny and incredibly honest about the joys and hassles of raising young kids. I regularly find myself laughing out loud at the computer screen when reading a blog entry. This book grew out of the blog, and it's every bit as good.
Michelle Cynthia
May 22, 2016 Michelle Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read her memoirs out of order, and this one is from the time in her life when she was expecting and adjusting to her second baby. Newman, in both books, captures motherhood's mix of emotions with such eloquence--fear, joy, exhaustion, indescribable love, etc. Her anecdotes and inner thoughts are also laugh out loud funny at times. Other parts brought tears to my eyes because they were so true and emotional.

I have to share one of my favorite parts that puts in to words these overwhelming feeli
...more
John
Dec 27, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife read this while she was pregnant and she was constantly laughing, and the thing is, it is both about having a baby and raising a little kid. And now we have a little kid. So I decided to read it too.
It made me laugh too. I have a lot of the same neurotic tendencies that Catherine Newman has. It made me feel better to know that there are other people out there that guiltily google horrible diseases every time their kid sneezes. Newman says she got slightly less neurotic with the second k
...more
Molly Westerman
Waiting for Birdy is really very funny, and an easy and fast read.

My current situation overlaps quite a bit with that of the author during the period covered in the book (I'm a parenting/birth blogger currently pregnant with my second child, parenting a very verbal little boy, doing many of the same unconventional parenting things, married to someone I like a lot, etc.)--and yet I don't identify with her at all. She's just so worried. Her dark thoughts make my dark thoughts look like bunnies ski
...more
Ciara
i heard about this book because the author writes the etiquette column in "real simple". yes, i still read "real simple". & i really like the etiquette column. obviously a memoir about awaiting the birth of a second child while raising a toddler is something that is right up my alley, given my all-consuming obsession with parenting memoirs. can you believe my library didn't have this? i don't know why! it was great! i had to get it as an ebook. not that i regret it at all; i really enjoyed i ...more
Brian
Aug 18, 2013 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Elissa
Shelves: grbpp
(3.0) Started off poor, redeemed herself a bit toward the end

She overdid the analogies a bit, but some were fun. My most memorable one I liked was about having dinner party with toddlers in attendance: by the end of dinner the gnarled mass of unfinished conversations is like an armful of electrical wires you're trying to figure out how to reconnect.

Some other good "oh it's so true" moments about SIDS (we're scared to death of it and really can't do anything other than putting them to sleep on ba
...more
Sarah
Apr 12, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I thought it was very readable and had some parts that were so funny I was laughing out loud. I was surprised by just how overly concerned she was but I appreciated how she and her family grew throughout the story.
Becky
Jul 16, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most accurate perspective on being a mother to an infant that I have ever read. Very funny and sweet in moments, I could relate completely to some of what she said, especially about being neurotic. I had a few favorite parts and it made me want to slow down and try to enjoy Hadley even more. I also need to lose some of my fear and be willing to introduce her to life. It is so well written that at times it was exhausting for me to read because it didn't feel like an escape but the description ...more
Erin Rody
Nov 24, 2014 Erin Rody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laughed aloud more times than I could count. At 8 1/2 months preggo, this book was just what the doctor ordered. Loved every page.
Chelsea
Feb 17, 2015 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, baby
The author writes about her worries and joys of having two children. I like to read perspectives that don't make me feel guilty/unfit to be a mother. She admits faults in her day to day dealings with her kids but then shows us her inner voice promising herself she will be better... which I can relate to. Anyway a nice motherhood memoir or what have you that isn't so outlandish and crazy for the sake of entertainment, but not too mushy gushy either. And come on, Birdy? How adorable is that?
K
Nov 10, 2014 K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, 2014, motherhood
Loved this. W32.
Alicia
Jun 15, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect book for anyone who has ever had even the slightest interest in having and raising children. Newman's sense of humor is perfect, quick, and truly borders on genius. If you don't laugh out loud at least ten times, someone should give you your money back. This is the real thing, the way life falls and rises, and the absolute promise that children are endlessly (and unknowingly) the wisest of creatures.
Eve
Jun 10, 2012 Eve rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book!
This is a funny book about parenting. It is so real, so well-described, so outrageously spot-on! You might be jealous of her amazing perspective and ability to put it all in words, but mostly you'll just be inspired to find new, more hilarious perspective on your own life. Or maybe not. But you'll definitely laugh until you cry. A lot!
Rachael
May 28, 2012 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mom-reads
I loved this. I laughed so much, it was cathartic. I think I slept better after reading and laughing. Her style is full of unexpected adjectives, quick turns for the worst and slow upswings for the better. and so honest and sharing. I tried to get Joe to read it, but he didn't like it. Is it really for moms only? I don't know. But I'd recommend to anyone.
Aubrey
Jan 25, 2008 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed and cried and told Michael that he needed to read this book to get more insight into my psyche. :) He enjoyed it, too, and laughed a lot himself (I'm gonna guess no crying...). It's a great book for mothers or to-be-mothers, though I also relate to her personality as a woman. Wonderful, wonderful. Love how she captures the everyday.
Trina
Dec 18, 2014 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious writing. Great descriptions of preschoolers, pregnancy, OBs and newborns.
Ellen Keim
Aug 12, 2014 Ellen Keim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I especially recommend this book for anyone who has a toddler and is expecting or has just had another child. It's funny and serious and really hits the nail on the head about what it's like to be a mother with young children. I lent my copy to my daughter who has an almost three-year-old and a 6-month-old because I thought it would help her to know that other mothers have the same joys and sorrows that she does. The tone is confiding and confessional which is a nice change from motherhood books ...more
Misha
Oct 27, 2007 Misha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was sooooo good. My husband and I both said we need to buy it. It's totally worth a re-read. But my friend Tricia's review is the best--go check it out.
Kate Baer
Apr 19, 2012 Kate Baer rated it it was amazing
One of the best parenting books I've ever read. Laughed until I cried.

The exact book I want to write. Jealous.
Edith Santiago
Feb 24, 2015 Edith Santiago rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't like neurotic (her words),angst filled ranting ad nauseum, don't read this. A lot of my friend liked it. I didn't. I couldn't handle the ranting and how she kept going on and on and on. It was like singing the song that never ends but focusing on everything that could possibly go wrong as well. It was so bad for me that I couldn't finish it. I tried, I really did. I really wanted to like this as well. But once she mentioned worrying about passing out while bathing her son, I just pu ...more
Stephanie
Such a sweet and honest book. Catherine's anxiety was INTENSE at times, and that could sometimes be hard to read, but she was also hilarious about herself and at least it gets a little better with Birdy. The book was also hilarious and I giggled out loud over and over. Most of all, I loved reading a book where it was just so obvious that the mother was truly in love with her children. I know what you are thinking, "aren't all mothers in love with their children?" Well, maybe, probably.... but yo ...more
Laurie
Sep 18, 2014 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Read in one sitting...I love when books capture my attention like this and sleep just HAS to be thwarted! What a great keepsake for this particular family. I laughed aloud many times; a few times to the point of tears. Just a great little book. And just when I think my mind is made up about not having children, something like this comes along that throws me back into limbo...

p101 "A couple weeks ago, Ben was naked after one of his rare baths, grimacing at himself in the full-length mirror and ru
...more
Kelly
Jan 19, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hi-LAR-ious! I don't often laugh out loud when reading, but this book had me chuckling and giggling at every turn.[return][return]I knew this was going to be my kind of book when I got to this part on page 11:[return][return] "I once sat up late with a friend, enjoying a shot or two of Jagermeister and imagining a special line of Hallmark cards called 'Womanly Thoughts' or, maybe, 'Gynecological Moments.' These would be designed around moody little watercolors of women with their feet in stirrup ...more
Jeannen
Feb 25, 2008 Jeannen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lives
This book I bought one day recently when I really wanted to be buying hard cover travel books but wouldn’t let myself do it. I don’t know why I torture myself that way – I end up buying two paperback books that aren’t exactly what I want to read, and then I have to force myself to read them. The other book I bought the day I bought this is a collection of nature writing essays, and although they have been mildly enjoyable, I haven’t been engaged enough with the rather small book to finish readin ...more
Neligh
Jul 30, 2008 Neligh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents and pregnants
I give up trying to do this hilarious book any justice with a review. Even pulling a few quotes doesn't work. All I can say is, if you're going to be having a meal alone and you want something to read while you eat, DON'T pick this book. You'll choke. Repeatedly.

One note: like The Second Nine Months and like Operating Instructions, this memoir includes cancer. For reasons unknown, I have yet to come across a parenting memoir that doesn't, and I thought I'd mention it in case it is something you
...more
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“Sometimes I suspect that everybody sleeps with their kids, and the only difference is the level of denial you’re in.” 0 likes
“One of the hardest things about parenting is that you just never know what the outcome will be. It’s a total leap of faith. Even with decisions you feel fairly confident about (say, what to make for lunch), you just can’t be sure of the consequences they’ll have for this person you’re raising. Will you like the adult this kid—your kid—becomes?” 0 likes
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