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Afterbirth: Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine
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Afterbirth: Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  191 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Afterbirth is about what parenting is really like: full of inappropriate impulses, unbelievable frustrations, and idiotic situations. It’s about how life for some parents changes for the worse after their kids are born. Or so it feels. It’s about how not every three year old is charming and delightful and about how sometimes when your kid is having a tantrum, you have to s ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eva Leger
This is horrible. Pure trash. This will be an on-going review even though I can already rate it one star. It's just like a car accident - I must look. And, I'm shocked. Modisett must have actually gone out of her way looking for fucked up people to write these essays. At the very, very least, if there is a semi-normal person, then they're parents are/were fucked up. Are there no normal people where this chick lives?

I took this off the two lists I had it on, 'humor' and 'parenting' because it's
Oct 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
Disappointing, the best part of this book was the prologue. This was an attempt by the author to put together a unique book but failed. There are some funny lines that parents can relate to but overall just not that funny.

I was going to give this book as a gift to new parents, but glad I read it first. Drug references and too much swearing. I am surprised Parenting magazine recommended this book, did they really read it?

There are truly so many funny stories about parenting that could have been
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of mostly humorous, but sometimes painfully heartbreaking, essays by Hollywood writer and actor types, about the joys of parenting. With that loose theme to bring all the stories together, the essays themselves actually cover an incredibly wide array of subjects - from infertility to adoption to accidental pregnancies to parenting like our parents to parenting nothing like our parents to huge mistakes to regrets to unimaginable happiness. This book will make you never want c ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
I thought with a subtitle like this it meant the stories would be fresh and interesting, humorous but thoughtful. You know, not the formulaic, "I had misgivings/misconceptions about parenthood, then I had a baby, things were different/changed, annnnd cue neat and tidy wrap up, awww." But that is exactly what the stories are like so I guess the only reason you won't find them in a parenting magazine is because of the profanity and drug references. yawn.
Marissa Morrison
Remember on "thirtyomething," when the character that Peter Horton played said he was too narcissistic to have kids? Well the actor is now a father, and he's pretty narcissistic! All the writers I sampled here seem overly self-involved. Maybe that's because they're a bunch of Hollywood writers and entertainers?

A better title for this book might be, "Afterbirth: I had a baby, but let me tell you more about ME."
Dec 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: new parents
Shelves: parenting
Not a fan. The stories are hokey at best, and more about people afraid of growing up than actual parenting. Poorly written, repetitive, uninteresting, and just...blah. Would make an okay gift for new parents with a cheesy sense of humor...maybe.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a great book. Glorifies 'bad parenting' which is old hat at this point. We get it, you're not perfect.

There are a few laugh-out-loud lines, but overall, I'd skip it.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the honesty --and the overarching narrative that parenting is worthwhile despite the craziness.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I judged this book by its cover--the dead, soulless eyes of the child on here, the happy parent tied to the train tracks--and thought, I'd like to know what's going on in that book because I think I'll like it.

Here we have some real stories, folks, about being a parent. From babies to teenagers, happy and sad and difficult. I enjoyed it. It's main message seems to be: Buckle up and have a sense of humor. Also, none of us 100% know what we're doing, but trying is most of the battle. From The Tenn
i gave this book an extra star for being so polarizing. it seems like people either love it or hate it, & most of the people who hate it can't resist calling the authors drug addicts, sluts, & borderline child abusers. i guess maybe they didn't really know what they were getting themselves into, but...seriously, these are not cutesy "my baby is the light of my life/you don't know love until you have a baby" stories. they're the warts-&-all i-can't-believe-that-just-happened stories. ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
A solid collection of funny essays about parenthood, written mostly by parents who had their families later in life, which makes this one easier to relate to for my own demographic. I enjoyed that the book also included quite a few non-traditional parents in the mix, a few dads, as well as a lot of ethnic diversity. A good book to keep in your bag or car for moments when you have about five minutes at a time to read a quick chapter/essay, and then you can put it down again, as the essays don't h ...more
Ashley FL
Aug 27, 2009 rated it liked it
It was fluff. Some of the stories were amusing, some were not. Nothing terribly thought-provoking, honestly, and that disappointed me. I think the goal was to make parents feel better about not being "perfect" because the author felt that parenting books were too rosy. But I think she missed the mark by a few years -- there are plenty of non-perfect parenting books out there now. Several, in fact, written by the authors of some of these stories.

I give it two stars for redundancy, but if you have
Heather Clemons-Porter
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
IT cracks me up the negative reviews of this book. These reviews are from the self-righteous and narrow-minded parents who think they can do no wrong, and judge you at the supermarket when your kids is throwing that tantrum. It is refreshing to find people who tell it like it ACTUALLY is sometimes as a parent, and admit to imperfection. I come fromt he sweep it under the rug everything's "fine" midwest, so it was cathartic too. To the negative reviewers, remember that perfection is in your mind, ...more
Appreciated the honesty and humor. Surprisingly insightful. I have a few of these essays dog-eared to read on my crappy mom days. Some writers were better than others, as to be expected. All generally fit the same mold (Jewish television writers in L.A. with two kids) - wish the editor would have picked a better variety, it got pretty old reading about the awkwardness of a bris every other chapter (the reason why I gave a 3 and not a 4). Although if you are looking for a mohel in the Los Angeles ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
The only good thing I can really say about this collection of essays is that they are all, blessedly, short. Written by a group of sniveling, self-absorbed, barely D-list "comic writers and performers," none of them really illuminated parenting or made me laugh out loud. Or even in my head. If you want funny stories about parenting that ring true, go read the Scarymommy blog. Or any of the other thousands of mom (or dad) blogs out there.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Honestly, after some very poorly written parenting and maternity books this was a breath of fresh air. In my opinion, closer to a 3.5 than 3 stars but alas scoring really has very little meaning. This is not your typical parenting book - in fact I don't think this is a parenting book. Its like a travel book only for parents. Funny, and yes as some folks have pointed out, at times completely inappropriate - though this is also what makes it funny and at the same time likely real.
Aug 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Love it. It's been a while since I have read the f word so many times, but it's almost refreshingly real. It's true. It's all true. I laughed myself silly before bed and had to put it down to try to relax for sleep.

Okay, had to abort half way through. The stories were well written, but it was too much of a good thing. It lost it's luster. I started reading the beginnings of each short story and then realized I wasn't having fun anymore.
Oct 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so offensive to me I only got about halfway through it. Each essay had some element or perspective that was just so counter to my beliefs (pro-cry it out, pro-circumcision, doing drugs on the counter while your baby sleeps, etc) that I couldn't find any humor in them or empathy for the people writing them. I can't even re-gift the book because everyone I know would find the essays deeply offensive, too.
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
The title of this book is rather misleading. The stories are little life tidbits that anyone who is a part of a family can relate to. Most of the authors are comedic television and movie writers, so it's funny. Most of these individuals are also Jewish or married into a Jewish family, so the jokes about a bris can become redundant. However, my favorite jokes about a bris so far are, "I'm sorry, did I cut you off?" and "I work for tips." Funny stuff.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to cara by: Jenny Garone
Shelves: twenty10
not every story was top notch - there were some that just made me sad.

but there were others, and far more, that were AWESOME. laugh OUT LOUD awesome. i can be very anxious and freak out over the parentng of my child. i find it helpful not to take things so seriously all the time. this book provides a conduit to that. what great comic relief to parenting stress... good stuff!
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: If you like circumcision jokes, boy howdy is this the book for you!
Shelves: pans, parenting, 2010-read
It's supposed to be humorous, edgy parenting stories, but I wasn't entertained. Most of the book contained boring essays by semi-celebrities. None were too shocking or edgy; book seems to be about 20 years too late in the "parents don't have to be perfect" department. The only one I remotely enjoyed was "Going to Neptune".
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
These stories of real-life parenting kept me laughing while i was awake, at 2 am, nursing my newborn daughter. Here's my favorite paragraph of the book:

"It's pronounced pumpkin, honey, not fuckin. Please don't tell Mrs. Clemens you saw her fuckin in the window of her front room last night."

Enough said.
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, parents to be
This book is about parenting in the raw. This book is meant to be read AFTER you become a parent but actually should be required reading for BEFORE you have children.
Started: 11/12/09
Finished: 11/22/09
Erin Price
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Eh. I picked this up off the recent returns shelf at the library and it took me two renewals to get through it. Most of the stories weren't that interesting, or thought they were more shocking than they were.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
I like the attitude and the candor that dots this collection of essays, but, c'mon - page after page of white 40-something Angeleno comedians making tired cracks about minivans and Baby Bjorns? I'm over it.
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of the stories - a nice variety of viewpoints and perspectives. And one of the last ones about a mom realizing how all-of-a-sudden her little boy was all grown up totally hit home and made me cry. I've been hugging my little one a little squeezier lately!
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
"Stories you won't read in a Parenting Magazine." That's for sure. I'm really enjoying the short stories. Makes it an easy read, but warning - some of the stories may be tooo liberal/left/open for some readers. Good read for all my expecting or soon to be expecting mothers!
Jun 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoirs
I was really disappointed in this book. Especially after being recommended in People magazine!! It was not at all what I expected and the stories really weren't that great. In fact, I didn't even finish it. I would bypass this one if you are considering it for a read. You won't miss anything!
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
There was one story in here that has stayed with me and was amazing--about a woman whose family adopted a baby girl from China who suffered from reactive attachment disorder. The rest of the book was diverting but forgettable.
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Mansfield Public ...: Afterbirth Review by Jacky Novena-Ramirez 1 1 Aug 09, 2013 08:24AM  
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