Review: Women are Scary by Melanie Dale + Giveaway

I’ve never been “one of the guys.” I’ve always found women and girlfriends easier to relate with. So when I became a mom, it seemed natural to find a group of women who had also made the decision to stay at home with their young kids. Fortunately, I had resources – my aunt was highly involved in a MOPS group in her hometown and I knew that would be a good place to start looking. It paid off – I have met amazing women who have taught me so much about motherhood.

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Melanie Dale writes about the challenges of making mom friends, or as she calls them, “momlationships” in her book, Women are Scary. Full of humor and honesty, Dale walks the reader through her years as a new mom, navigating the world of playdates and comparisons. Part memoir, part how-to, Dale gives practical advice and tips for forming relationships beyond a casual activities-based encounter.

While the idea of relationship “bases” felt a bit forced, I appreciated the idea of taking the risk to be vulnerable and go deeper with other women in this same phase of life. It is so easy to have a great conversation once a week and not ever form lasting bonds. Dale stresses the importance of having other mom friends – women who can share advice, who understand messy houses and cranky toddlers, and who know how to have constantly interrupted conversations.

This book made me reflect about my own levels of vulnerability, especially with women I have met since becoming a mother. Most of my closest friends are ones who I knew before marriage and kids. They are still vital people in my life and I tend to rely on them for my deep conversations and kid-free interactions. However, I know there are moms who I can connect with on those levels, too. It just takes a bit more intention and coordination to make “mom dates” happen.

My favorite parts were the pieces of practical advice. Dale suggests coming together as moms to gather clothing or supply donations for a local shelter, to pack Christmas boxes for kids who may not receive presents, and other service ideas that take playdates to a more meaningful level.

There are times when I felt that Dale relied a bit too heavily on slapstick humor to carry the book. I had trouble believing someone is actually that clumsy and socially awkward. While I liked that she was honest with her awkward sides, the references started to feel more like a funny mask and less like vulnerability.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and feel that it gives good, solid advice to moms who feel lonely or who are having trouble connecting with other women in the same life phase.

What advice would you give to new moms looking for friendships?

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Women are Scary. To enter, leave a comment about one of your most successful “momlationships.” I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, March 27, 2015. (United States addresses only.)

I review for BookLook Bloggers
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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5 thoughts on “Review: Women are Scary by Melanie Dale + Giveaway

  1. Great review, Annie. I just heard about Melanie Dale’s book when I read her recent post on Ann Voskamp’s site. It sounds interesting!

    I have a dear friend. Our journeys mirror each other on many levels. She’s a few years ahead of me in mommy experiences. She lives in another state, and we talk almost every week about motherhood, marriage and life. Mommy-life is much richer with her as a part of it.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I think it’s so important to have friends who are a bit ahead in the journey. It helps me put things in perspective! (And is a good reminder to keep a lookout for those who are a bit behind me…)

  2. My most successful momlationship has got to be with my high school friends. There are 9 of us, but 7 us are moms now. We have a dedicated mom email chain where we can ask each other questions- the latest new mom recently asked what to put on her registry, but we’ve done breastfeeding, bottle transitions, sleep questions, crib to bed, baby food, the list goes on and on! We relied on each other when life was hard as teens, had good times in college, saw each other meet the loves of our lives, and are relying on each other in this new journey of motherhood! I’m in good company with these fabulous ladies!

    1. That is so amazing that you’ve kept in such close contact with high school friends. What special relationships! There is something about going through so many life phases together – so little explaining is needed. What a gift!

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