I WAS A BETTER MOTHER BEFORE I HAD KIDS by Lori Borgman

I WAS A BETTER MOTHER BEFORE I HAD KIDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As touted by the publisher, another candidate to fill the hole left by the late Erma Bombeck. It’s unfortunate that every writer who tries to find a few laughs in the sturm und drang of raising children needs to be compared to Bombeck or Dave Barry. True, Borgman is no Erma Bombeck, but why should she have to be? She is a nationally syndicated columnist (more than 350 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service clients) whose subjects are kids, family, husband, and keeping it all together. This is a collection of her columns, organized loosely into chapters such as “I Cook, Therefore I Am,” about feeding a family of five; “Household Hazards,” about the challenges of running a household for same; and “Are We Having Fun Yet?,” about traveling with same. The columns are sometimes amusing, occasionally moving or insightful. A few fall flat. Amusing : “A Field of Greens,” about coaching her husband to cook using sports metaphors, or “Joy Ride,” about coping with a choking baby and two school-age terrorists in the backseat of a minivan 30 seconds before the light changes. Moving: “The Long Good-bye,” about her mother-in-law suffering from Alzheimer’s. Insightful: “Cool, Calm, and Crazy,” about the responsibility of being a parent. Very flat: “Misdemeanor Recipes,” about who should really get the credit for hand-me- down recipes. A section called “The Heart of Things” waxes maudlin on old-fashioned virtues, like duty, responsibility and saying no to your children. Borgman is witty and has a playful imagination. On the other hand, why spend 21 bucks on this uneven collection’subscribe to one of the newspapers that carries her column, and you’ll get the day’s news as well.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-671-02722-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999