Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From My Six-Month-Old: Awakening to Unconditional Self-Love in Motherhood by Kuwana Haulsey, is part memoir, part self-help book, part inspirational journey. It’s a story about a mother. A mother who is going through the trials of all new mothers and sharing them in a way we can all learn something from.
Kuwana Haulsey writes beautifully about the process of becoming a new mother, getting to know your baby, losing yourself, and then finding yourself again. This is, to my knowledge, a universal experience of new mothers.
New motherhood is something new and exhilarating and overwhelming. Beautiful and crushing. Kuwana Haulsey delves into this new stage of life with lovely insights into the process of becoming a mom.
It’s not the same for every mom, but I think the inevitable transformation after having a first baby often involves similar stages, such as Losing Self in Precious Baby, Losing Self in Deprivation (sleep, time, self-care), Losing Self in What? The? Hell? (i.e. how do I get dressed each day?, how do I stay an individual person when there is constantly a sweet yet oh-so-needy little person hanging from me?, how the heck does this carseat work?), then Finding Self in Purpose, Finding Self in Balance, Finding Self in Managing to Shower Every Day. And so on.
Kuwana Haulsey describes this process in a much more eloquent and in-depth way in her new book. She describes the Every-Mom process of losing-and-then-finding-self by documenting lessons she learned from her son. Each of the 15 chapters in her book consists of a lesson the author learned about herself and life from observing her newborn son through the first several months of his life. Lessons like:
“If You Are Irritated by Every Rub, How Will You Ever Be Polished?”: Choosing Harmony Over Resentment,
When It All Falls Apart: The Art of Joyous Failure, and
Love Is Like Musk – It Attracts Attention
Some of the observations she makes are just so “how-did-I-never-think-of-it-that-way?” wonderful. She writes with a beautiful mix of simplicity and complexity that leaves you pondering the lessons that our children have to teach us.
And that is the real point of this book. Over and over, Kuwana points out how her newborn son’s perspective on the world is an opportunity to learn to embrace life more fully, find the beauty in the hard moments, become open to change, and learn to love oneself for real.
A few of my favorite lines:
“A newborn baby is a living, breathing, screaming, pooping meditation.”
“This is how we evolve: by rubbing the sticks of truth and meaning together until something inside sparks.”
“In the adult world, thinking ahead makes us rational and responsible. You’re congratulated when you relinquish the art of being lost in the moment.”
This is a wonderfully written book. Although there are some parts where the dialogue gets a bit stilted, and I found myself feeling kind of jarred by it, the majority of the writing and the message of the book more than make up for these awkward passages.
The book provides many reminders of ways in which changing your perspective can change your heart. In the case of this book, the perspective taken is that of an infant. The journey is in realizing that so much of our world can be simplified and embraced by looking at it through the eyes of someone who hasn’t yet been burdened by the expectations and judgements of adulthood.
As a mom, I try to remember to look at things through my kids’ eyes and experience levels. I often fail in these attempts, but I do try. This book provided me with even more ways to do this and ways to think about bettering myself and appreciating myself more in the process. As the author says,
To embrace fear and anger and misgivings right along with my child allowed me to embrace myself too. Placing tender, nonjudgemental attention on the situation and staying in the moment . . . allowed something fresh and relevant to spring forth, what the old folks use to call mother’s intuition.
This is a recommended read for other moms or moms-to-be. It’s a highly enjoyable and even inspirational read.
Now, the best part of this post is that I get to tell you that I am able to give away one of these books to one of you. If you want a chance to win the book, simply leave a comment on this post and make sure you include a way to contact you. I will close the giveaway on Sunday night (12/8) at 9pm Central time. Good luck!
** I was given a free copy of this book (plus a copy to give to a reader) in exchange for my honest review**