Books for Bad Ass Ladies: A Review

If you’re a mom, you probably only have time to read when you’re locked in the bathroom or in the middle of the night when all the other humans FINALLY leave you alone. And if you’re a working mom like me, you sometimes need a little extra reassurance that being a woman with a career is okay too. These two books helped push me through a tough stretch of work and helped me refocus on what I want out of a job. So if you’ve got a few minutes alone (I got the stomach flu, that helped), check these out.

#GIRLBOSS
Sophia Amoruso


Before I read this book, I wasn’t familiar with the story of Nasty Gal and the amazing path of its CEO. A big takeaway for me from Sophia Amoruso is that sometimes unconventional education is the best education. I have the stereotypical B.A., liberal arts education that you’d expect from someone who has a blog for fun. She doesn’t and she’s killing it. When she didn’t have money and didn’t know how to do something, she just Googled it and watched free videos on YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-school. I come from a family that deeply values education. But I do think there’s something to be said for teaching yourself something on your own. When I was like, “I think I should start a blog,” I had no idea how to do that. I bought a book, read some articles online and when things started to get technical, watched some YouTube videos. Figuring shit out by yourself is what you do if you’re a true #GIRLBOSS and I’m definitely on board with that.
I also dig Amoruso’s ideas on functioning in the workplace. In my current role, I’m often asked to do things that are not quite on par with what I believe my position entails. Amoruso describes scenarios where she’s out packing inventory, working in the warehouse. She’s the CEO. This was kind of a kick in the ass for me, reminding me that nobody likes the co-worker who won’t lend a hand. Last month, I was thoroughly disgusted when I was asked to warm up the tea of an upper level manager, thinking (not saying) something along the lines of, “I’m not a personal assistant.” But the reality of this is sometimes you’ve got to suck it up for your end goal of being a #GIRLBOSS and I need to do more of that.
I devoured this book in a week. Put it on your list, working mom. We need more #GIRLBOSSES.

Better Than New
Nicole Curtis


If we talk about these books in terms of their similarities, Better Than New and #GIRLBOSS are both about women paving their own way. But where #GIRLBOSS represents what I’m capable of achieving in the future, Better Than New is a glimpse back at what I’ve left behind and kind of want to forget. Curtis had a string of bad jobs, terrible boyfriends, cross-country moves and tough parenting decisions that hopefully do not represent where I’m headed. What Curtis does is definitely bad ass, and she looks like a babe doing it (Rehab Addict is the only Andy-approved HGTV show, wonder why…) but she still seems like she’s not super together. Maybe there’s something redeeming in that. Sometimes it’s good to know that celebrities are real people and we’re all kind of in the same boat when it comes to being a hot mess. I mean I can totally relate to the terrible jobs (minus the Hooters experience). And I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a single parent, let alone one who is on TV. From Better Than New though, the takeaway for me was that women can venture into uncharted territory, like rehabbing houses, and come out alive. It might not be pretty, but Curtis did it, and so can you, reader of the mommy blog.

 

Just Call Me JoJo

For our anniversary in December, Andy gave me The Magnolia Story  by Chip and Joanna Gaines and Mark Dagostino. Somehow I’ve given up Fixer Upper and HGTV for a cable-free life (the ultimate sacrifice, I know) so he felt it was safe to indulge my inner JoJo. He was wrong. Not only have I been on a decluttering kick for a week straight, I’ve also concluded that my life has the potential to be a mirror image of Joanna Gaines’. Just to clarify,  I haven’t brought home any rusted fences to hang on the wall and I have yet to suggest shiplap for MJ’s nursery. Instead I’ve found inspiration in Joanna’s journey as a mom. There is a point in her story where (spoiler alert) she decides to close up her shop and focus on being a mom. Our family has recently been tossing the idea of me staying home with our girls. I’m super freaked out about it from a monetary standpoint and also from a social perspective. But Joanna just dropped everything, right at the peak of her success, and raised her babies. And look how things turned out for her! I mean, I realize that if I take a hiatus from the working world for a while, HGTV is not going to come calling (I’d have to wash my hair on a more consistent basis and we all know that’s not happening). But her faith in the fact that all would work out in the end amazes me. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, I often lie awake at night, overcome with mom thoughts. I wish I could just make a decision, feel confident in it and trust that all will be fine. I’m not sure I have the cojones to take it to the Joanna Gaines level, but I’m going to give it a shot. And until then, maybe I’ll refurbish a piece of furniture or install some subway tile, that should tide me over for now.