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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

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  5,716 ratings  ·  809 reviews
Selected as One of the Best Books of the Year by: National Public Radio, Esquire, Bustle, Refinery29, Thrillist, Electric Literature, Powell's, Autostraddle, BookRiot, Women.com




"Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition." -- Cheryl Strayed


A raw, funny, and fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up
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Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  5,716 ratings  ·  809 reviews


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Emily May
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Cristina Monica
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
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Adrienne
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Amy
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Johann (jobis89)
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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?"

A brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult.

Brutally honest and raw, McConnell holds nothing back. I often found myself going for longer walks than normal, just to spend more time listening to the author's frank and funny insights. One p
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Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
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.
Jessica Woodbury
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
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
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
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Claire
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Let's just say, this fundamentally wasn't for me (and in hindsight...why did I think it would be?) I guess I was looking for some kind of recognisable millennial anxiety about what it means to be an adult in the world, doing adult things, when you feel far from ready. While, to a certain extent, O'Connell captured that "looking for the real adult in the room" tone, this just didn't work for me. Although I don't begrudge O'Connell her privilege, and I don't think this memoir needed to speak for a ...more
Kristin Boldon
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
Valentina
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Susie | Novel Visits
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
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Stephanie
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Karen
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Madeleine
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
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Liza Fireman
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,
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Bailey
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
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Harper Phillips
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
Emily
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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
Racheal
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
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Lgordo
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Around 2 years ago, I had a simple, uncomplicated natural birth following a simple, uncomplicated pregnancy. It took 10 months before I stopped getting flashbacks and shaking every time something reminded me of childbirth. After almost two years, I still have not physically recovered fully although the PT says this is as good as it gets and this reduced state of health and wellness counts as "healed". And I got off easy compared to many.

There is no other routine lifecycle event that we pressure
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VeganMedusa
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
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Jess
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
mindful.librarian ☀️
Loved loved loved it.
Louise
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jenny
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-like
This read like a very long blog post. It's a quick read, which is probably for the best, because this was like sitting down for an afternoon to listen to a very privileged friend complain via monologue about her very boring insecurities.

First, when I read the description stating that "O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties," I got excited. After having a baby shortly after my 23rd birthday, I thought I might finally read a relatable book about treading the waters of motherhood as a
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Jentry
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jessica Sullivan
“Knowing what I am capable of, what I need in order to be a good parent, a good person—it occurs to me that I had to have a baby to figure all of this out [...] How I wish it had come easier, sooner. I wish these two things had happened in the other order: me learning what I needed and then becoming someone’s mother.”

A profoundly honest book about becoming a mother. About the difficulty of choosing a boy’s name when there’s a man who has ruined every single one. About having the birth you envisi
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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
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“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?” 6 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?” 6 likes
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