Book Review: Maternity Leave by Julie Halpern



Title: Maternity Leave

Author: Julie Halpern

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Pages: 276

Synopsis: Julie Halpern’s Maternity Leave tells the profane, profound and just plain funny story of a professional woman who thinks she’s ready for a baby but her maternity leave proves otherwise.

Thirty six year old Annie Schwartz-Jensen is a middle school teacher on maternity leave-a time she imagined as uninterrupted, blissful bonding with her baby. Instead she is dealing with her body leaking from every possible orifice, a baby who won’t sleep, a husband who still wants to have sex with her (is he nuts??), single friends who are clueless, and a mother who picked now to take a vacation. The only people who REALLY understand Annie are the wonderful people she spends sleepless nights with on QVC: Keep those velveteen table runners and non-jiggle stretch pants coming!

As Annie navigates life with her new baby, she realizes that not all Mommies are created equal. But she is determined to find her way, love her baby, her husband, herself—even if she has to wear nipple protectors for the rest of her child-bearing life.

My thoughts…3/5 stars

I don’t want to be completely rude but THANK GODDDDDDDD

I didn’t buy this book from my thrift shop for $14.99 because while it was laugh-out-loud hilarious, it’s definitely not worth the hefty price tag.

Maternity Leave is written like a mix between Chelsea Handler’s candid take on life and “Let’s pretend this never happened” by Jenny Lawson. It feels real and half the time, I thought it was non-fiction. A non-fiction book tends not to have a plot filled with conflict and resolution so when readers pick up this book, expect this.

I was disappointed by the book because to me it sounded like Annie was going through postpartum depression and Julie Halpern hardly acknowledged it herself. At times when Annie was struggling to cope with being a mother for the first time, she needed support. I wished Julie wrote more about a healthier support system rather than keep slashing the maternity life. Yes, it’s difficult because babies are demanding and awful creatures at times but couldn’t Julie focus on the more happier side of things?

Expecting mothers and mothers will relate to this book but don’t expect it to give you a pep in your step in the near future. I say skip if you’re feeling the baby blues.


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