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And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready
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And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,917 ratings  ·  608 reviews
Operating Instructions for the Millennial set: a fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up.

Meaghan O'Connell always felt totally alienated by the cutesy, sanctimonious, sentimental tone of most writing about motherhood. After getting accidentally pregnant in her twenties, she realized that the book she needed--a brutally honest, agenda-l
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,917 ratings  ·  608 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A woman had an electric razor out and was shaving my pubic hair. I debated asking her if she accepted tips and decided against it.

This was such an enjoyable reading experience. I laughed, I remembered, I nodded along with some of the author's experiences and cringed at others. I suppose this is like the evil (and totally honest) twin to What to Expect When You're Expecting.

O'Connell doesn't waste time with the bullshit. I have no idea if this book will have the same effect on those who haven't
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you’re wondering if this book can be enjoyed by people who have not given birth – why, yes, it can! I haven’t and found this to be so interesting I am now actively looking for other memoirs such as this one (though perhaps a little more uplifting this time around).

I first noticed this book after reading a popular reviewer’s review of it and immediately requested it. I am constantly looking for original reads, and because I’d never read about pregnancy and motherhood before, I had a feeling t
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I related to this book very deeply, which is maybe odd, because I don't actually have children. But I'm trying to decide if I want to, and reading this memoir allowed me to feel like I was sitting inside a close friend's mind while she experienced everything for me. (Convenient! Except the body horror.)

The writing is inviting, especially for a child of the internet like me: at turns bitingly sarcastic, deeply self-reflective, and breathtakingly vulnerable. This book is a must-read for anyone int
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, april-2018
Every once in a while there is some genuine insight here, but this was for the most part kind of shallow and annoying. I wanted something that explores the complexity of motherhood, like how you love your kids, you would die for your kids, but if you had it to do over again you might not have them? But this was more, my baby’s really cute but I feel so fat. I just didn’t like the writing and I felt like the author sounded so high maintenance. Every interaction with her partner is pretty much: sh ...more
There are a lot of things I appreciated about this book, but I also found myself feeling oddly judgmental about the author’s tone in a way that’s really unusual for me. I’ll probably be writing about this for another outlet soon, so we’ll see if I’m able to articulate it better with a little more time. Still, this is a great pregnancy/early motherhood memoir and I recommend it if the jacket description is calling to you.
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reading this book was like reading the diary of my high school friend who never grew up. It was complete navel gazing - there was no greater meaning, no truth, no deeper understanding, and most of the beginning felt incredibly false. Like she took these fleeting tiny thoughts she might have had and made them seem huge and intrusive so she could fill pages. And so it doesn’t seem like maybe I just can’t relate: I got pregnant with my fiancé before we got married too, so this should be completely ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
I try not to think about the first year I was a mother. Actually, I don't think much about the second year either. The way people talk about parenthood generally and motherhood specifically, you expect it to just happen, you expect to find this new part of yourself, you expect to be happy. None of those things really happened for me and none of them happened to Meaghan O'Connell either. Her memoir dives deepest into the disconnect between the narratives we're given about motherhood and how pregn ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I fell in love with this book since the first time I stumbled upon it. And now that I’ve read it? Well, I wished for some parts to be more detailed and for some to be less nauseating, but the overall experience was enlightening. Reading this book I felt a mixed sense of surprise and disbelief, but I’m grateful for O’Connell’s heads up. It really got me thinking. The popular belief of a mother becoming a mother immediately after giving birth, is officially debunked.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Meaghan O'Connell writes honestly about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, including all the physical challenges and how relationships change after you become a mother, no matter what your intentions and beliefs may have been. I think I would have appreciated more reflection and time passing but feel like that might have negatively impacted the feeling of immediacy in her experience.

I was interested in this for multiple reasons, but partly because I want to read more people talking about how the
Susie | Novel Visits
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
My Thoughts: Interestingly, Meaghan O’Connell’s book is subtitled “On Motherhood Before I Was Ready.” Why so interesting you might ask. Well, it’s actually for a couple reasons, one that has to do with all women and one more for O’Connell.

As a woman with now adult children, I can say for all of us that NO ONE is ever really ready for motherhood. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the more ready a woman thinks she is, probably the less ready she actually is. I think it might be a little li
Kristin Boldon
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, borrowed, memoir
I'm struggling recently with books that are about important things that I don't think are great and this is an example. The author writes about her unexpected pregnancy, tough birth, and year of postpartum challenge. It's really important to de-romanticize motherhood and babies, to talk about the anger and ugliness of it, and in some passages, she has a winning combination of honesty and dark humor. But too often, I found myself wincing, and wishing she had pushed for more self-insight. I read m ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
It should be said from the the start: this is not a happy story, but yet - it definitely is. When O'Connell finds herself accidentally pregnant, she's thrust from her group of (mostly single) friends into an unknown world. There's fear and anticipation of the future, anxiety over making the right choices. As she starts looking for answers, she finds that there aren't many straightforward resources - so she creates her own.

I've long been interested in the narratives that surround motherhood. Espe
Liza Fireman
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The real truth about motherhood. Motherhood is tough and I think most mothers are not ready for it when it happens. Meaghan O'Connell did reflect a lot of these motherhood far from perfect moments. Actually my main criticism is that I thought for half the book that her baby is going to die.

Motherhood is extremely hard. It is very hard to be in the middle and not being sure what you feel. It is hard to be right after, and get all the pain and body changes, and maybe not feel this crazy in love, b
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
The blurb makes it sound like Meaghan got pregnant when she was really young, or at some sort of really inappropriate time when motherhood was the last thing anyone would've expected her to tackle. But no, she was 29, engaged, had a career with a flexible schedule - it doesn't seem like an inopportune time, just a few years earlier than she would've planned it, but she didn't really have any less in place than most people do. It's not much of a story. Mostly she just seems immature, whiny, and a ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect to read this in one day but I couldn't put it down. Harrowing in a variety of ways from beginning to end, it made me think of all the conversations I've had with friends in the last few years, about living in Brooklyn and coming up on 30 and looking at the future.

Overall I thought it was gripping and devastating and also very funny where I didn't expect it. It scared me and horrified me, but it also made me feel better about everything within than I expected to. Not for the weak
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I passed out on the subway while reading this book. There were probably a lot of other factors involved, but I don't think that Meaghan O'Connell's description of an epidural helped.
I really enjoyed this #memoir #audiobook about millenial motherhood. I loved how she didn't shy away from complex, contradictory, and negative aspects of pregnancy, birth, and being a new mom. It's brutally honest and vulnerable but not without humour. She writes:"What if everyone worried less about giving women a bad impression of motherhood?"; this is certainly what she does. Only complaint: I wished she had dug a bit deeper into certain issues (namely, post-partum depression, her and her part ...more
Faye Harper
Jul 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
I probably should have loved this as a birth and postpartum doula but I really did not. Rather than being touched by the universal difficult experience that is motherhood, I really spent the entire book being pissed that her fiancé was a dismissive dick to her constantly, and by the end being livid at the discussion of postpartum sex that involved her fiancé guilting her and ignoring her “no” signals and then playing innocent like he didn’t know she didn’t want to have sex. Just too gross to put ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book, at the very least, turned me off getting pregnant until I forget everything I ever read about it, so there's that.

I know I'm skewed a little younger than the target audience, but I just think this is a large part of the "Getting Real About Motherhood" perspective that I just didn't connect with because there were things I genuinely didn't want to know. I don't mean the horrors of childbirth, bring it on, we all exist because of it, but there were moments when the author and her partn
So many mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I read it in about a day, but on the other hand, it was kind of a love to hate exercise.
I nearly gave up near the beginning when the author, a 29 year old New Yorker, mentioned that she and her boyfriend were using the 'pull-out method' and she'd gotten pregnant because she'd told him that she'd just finished her period so wasn't fertile. I'd expect that from a 19 year old, but 29? A 29 year old city woman (and man)? I mean, I had a Catho
As someone who doesn't plan to have kids, I did not expect to be so engrossed by this or to identify with it so thoroughly. It just hit a pitch-perfect tone for me; there's no navel-gazey, hippy mom bullshit in sight, just a particular mix of insecurity and mild cynicism that characterizes life for a lot of late 20-to-early-30-something women as the pressure builds to figure out your life and what you want re: career, marriage, kids.

God, did I recognize some uncomfortable parts of my younger sel
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a hard one for me to rate. Probably 3.5...? The first half of this book is about the pregnancy of the author, who got pregnant unintentionally while in a very committed relationship with a person she was intending to marry, but wasn't engaged to yet. They decide to have the baby.

The first half of this book, I really did not like the author. In many ways, it came across as the author deciding to have the baby solely so she could write about being pregnant. Really. Not because she wanted a
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-issues
In the first 50 pages the author sounds like a 20 something teenager. Amidst the coffee bars, dinner parties and yoga classes O’Connell has some vague ideas about marriage and having a child in the future. Then this future comes too soon.

She prepares for the birth by soaking up natural childbirth ideas, learning how to “embrace” the pain of delivery… reading about the joy (and alleged necessity) of breast-feeding, etc. Nothing in this prelude hints that she will be in labor (a very be-labored la
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Gah, I loved this book. O'Connell captures so well the fears and anxieties of would-be moms (and I assume new moms too), and the first part of the book feels like a season of Master of None. While this memoir did nothing to assuage my deep-seated fears about pregnancy, I appreciated her honest and straightforward thoughts about all the ups and downs of motherhood.
Meaghan Johns
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
”What if everyone worried less about giving women a bad impression of motherhood?”

I’m so grateful for O’Connell’s honesty.
Marily SV
Plusieurs citations vraiment TRÈS mémorables. J’ai adoré certaines parties du livre, en particulier ce qui a trait à ses attentes déçues de son accouchement, le sentiment de l’avoir raté, d’avoir offert une « piètre performance » face à la douleur, etc. Probablement parce que ça a mis des mots précis et drôles sur des sentiments que je n’avais pas osé explorer encore.

Par contre, pour le reste, j’ai été relativement frustrée. Plusieurs pages autour de l’idée qu’elle est dérangée du fait que son
Katie Benzel
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found the first part of this book infinitely relatable (except for the unplanned aspect of the pregnancy): reading all the hippie books, going to prenatal yoga, but not really sure what life would look like on the other side. Going into labor expecting a hard but glorious natural birth only to find myself begging for a giant needle in my spine and later, my abs unexpectedly cut open. (This book provided the best description of having a c-section i could imagine — i could have written it, if i ...more
Cynthia Shannon
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm the kind of person who likes to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If I know what the worst possible outcome might be then I can mentally prepare myself for that and be positively surprised if it's not as bad as I thought it would be. This book does exactly that and it's finally a book that doesn't gloss over the awful parts of early motherhood and giving birth (I was holding my breath through the whole birthing chapter. Everything that can goes wrong goes wrong for her). This book is just ...more
Funny, harrowing, honest take on parenthood before you're ready. Read before gifting to a friend, and was not disappointed.
Annie Hartnett
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Compulsively readable, honest, & raw. Finished in one sitting and am glad to have read it.
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POBL Nonfiction B...: May Book Discussion - And Now We Have Everything 1 1 Jan 03, 2019 02:50PM  
  • Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
  • Now My Heart is Full: A Memoir
  • Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear
  • A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother
  • Homing Instincts: Early Motherhood on a Midwestern Farm
  • Body Full of Stars: Female Rage and My Passage into Motherhood
  • The M Word: Conversations about Motherhood
  • Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History
  • Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother
  • Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children
  • For You, for You I am Trilling These Songs
  • Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos
  • Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere But Here
  • Would You Rather? A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out
  • The Folded Clock: A Diary
  • Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution
  • The Way We Weren't
  • Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong - and What You Really Need to Know
Meaghan O'Connell lives with her husband and young son in Portland, OR. She is a contributing writer for Longreads and New York Magazine's The Cut. From 2013-2015 she co-edited the personal finance website The Billfold, and before that worked in the tech industry, where she was an early employee at Kickstarter and Tumblr.

Her first book, And Now We Have Everything, is forthcoming from Little, Brow
“What if having a hard time adjusting to motherhood wasn’t some moral failure or a failure of imagination? What if we thought of the whole endeavor like we do work? Like how a career starts out with a lot of dues-paying, a lot of indignity, a lot of feeling unappreciated and complaining to your friends but then incrementally gets easier or more fulfilling. You get better at it. It becomes part of you. And you start to think, Well, what else would I do all day?” 5 likes
“What if, instead of worrying about scaring pregnant women, people told them the truth? What is pregnant women were treated like thinking adults? What if everyone worried less about giving women a bad impression of motherhood?” 3 likes
More quotes…