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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s on-the-job training. At least that’s what I was told, in spite of all the useful (and useless) books I was bequeathed on motherhood. There isn’t a case study to lead you through every possible scenario that children present. They’re all unique, creatively so, and they’ll twist you into a knot at every turn so you have to be creative in order to survive – at least until the next hurdle thrown across your path. Jennifer Tiras knows all about the perils of motherhood and she shares some of her experiences in her book Sweetie … Squeeze Your Cheeks! Now, there has to be a story behind the title, otherwise readers might get the wrong idea. And, the story, a “wrong cheek” incident, will have you chuckling profusely as will many of the other cases the author shares. The bottom line is you can only plan ahead for so much as life, and youngsters will find a way to thwart even the best-organized planner. But plan anyway, as plans, even those that go astray, are well-intentioned and might be useful in the long run.
Jennifer Tiras’s book, Sweetie … Squeeze Your Cheeks! You Don’t Know How to Be a Mom (And That’s OK, Neither Did I), is a straightforward, practical guide, but not really a guidebook, to lead all mothers through the muddy trenches of motherhood. The author’s playful style of writing will have readers weeping and laughing, sometimes all at once, as she shares her stories, having documented the many stages of her children’s growing-up years. She includes tips to help you manage your daily dose of lively youngsters but also makes it clear that even the best set of plans is never enough. This is a book of stories to inspire and help young mothers realize that they’re not alone. There is no definitive guidebook to lead mothers through every possible melodrama, but there is always a mother or at least a mother figure. I enjoyed reading this book, even though I’m well past the era of early motherhood. It’s an engaging, entertaining, and educational read.