I received an Advance Readers’ Copy of this book. It is set for release April 2019.
Cat and Nat (famous on the internet) are tell-it-like-it-is moms who don’t shy away from stories about poop, yelling at your kids, and all the nitty-gritty of birthing (and everything that comes afterward)
I fall quite firmly in their target audience. As a mom to two kids, ages four and sixteen months, I am firmly in what some refer to as “the trenches”. There’s cereal on my floor and I showered this morning with an audience. I wasn’t familiar with the work of these ladies previously; I don’t follow them on social media and I’ve never watched their Youtube videos so I came to the book fresh. I appreciated their honesty and willingness to talk about subjects that are often shied away from when we discuss motherhood. I especially appreciated their honesty when it comes to social media. Their desire to pull back the curtain on those curated Instagram images and talk about how none of that is a real portrayal of anybody’s life.
The book is an easy read, consisting of short chapters and some conversations between Cat and Nat. It’s entertaining in parts but kind of shallow over all. While I can see why it might appeal to many moms, I didn’t feel like Cat and Nat really spoke to me. Partly because I think I have a pretty different parenting style, partly because I take a different view of my marriage and my husband than they do. And partly because I don’t actually enjoy discussions of bodily functions.
One of the repeating themes of the book is how lonely motherhood can be. And if you are a mom (especially a first-time mom) without a community of other moms around you, this is definitely true. In such a case, Cat and Nat’s girlfriend approach is very appealing.
I’m fortunate because that never applied to me. By the time Pearl was born, I had many friends who had become moms. I had a sister-in-law who’d been rocking motherhood for a decade. A friend who lived nearby had her fourth baby just weeks after I had my first. A good friend who is never afraid to answer personal questions was having her third. I had a fantastic support network both near and far of moms who were able to answer my weird questions, go on walks with our babies, and who I felt comfortable being honest with. It’s allowed me to approach motherhood with a good deal of confidence. I still have great, in real life, mom friends. As such, the idea of an internet community of moms doesn’t have a huge appeal for me and the straightforward talk of this book doesn’t feel a gap in my mom life.
If, however, you are the first of your friends to have a baby or if you’re far away from your support network, this might be a great reminder that you’re not alone.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths by Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer”
Hmm I’ve heard vaguely of these women, but like you, I can’t see any huge appeal in the online mom life. I’d much rather read a book blog than a mommy blog 🙂
I have to admit…I do read some mommy blogs. But I rarely comment and I don’t think of it as my community. I like seeing how other moms do stuff and occasionally getting ideas for activities etc. But I definitely follow a lot more book blogs!
oh yes me too-there’s always good activity ideas, but I certainly don’t subscribe to them the way I do book blogs 🙂
I often wonder what my “baby years” would have been like if I’d been online at the time. I had my first about 18 years ago. There was internet (I think?), but I wasn’t on it. At times, I did feel alone, especially since we had moved to a town that was completely new to us. But it also forced me to go to playgroups and meet other mothers face-to-face. I imagine there are pros and cons to it just like everything else!
There are pros and cons, for sure. I’m lucky to have a lot of support in real life and many friends with kids of similar ages. So I’ve never really looked online for that connection. But I can easily understand why many moms appreciate being able to have that online community.