Diary Of A Mad Mom-To-Be
by Laura Wolf, contemporary (2003)
Delta, $10.95, ISBN 0-385-33677-2

A sequel to Diary Of A Mad Bride, Diary Of A Mad Mom-To-Be (or Diary Of A Mad Mother in the UK) reintroduces Amy Thomas, now Amy Thomas Stewart. She managed to marry her boyfriend Stephen without killing anybody by the end of Mad Bride. Now, two years later, the marriage is still going A-OK, although Stephen's computer whiz business is in financial difficulties, the magazine Amy writes for has folded, and everyone keeps asking them when they are having kids. How annoying. Her sister Nicole is still sleeping with Pablo the cable guy, but when she's not with him, she's crashing in the living room of Amy and Stephen's apartment. Amy gets a job as a Senior Accounts Manager at a third-rate PR agency for LA's Most Desperate. It is not a good time to be struck by with the urge to have a baby.

The fun starts when Amy is pregnant. Armed with what she believes to be the Bible for Moms-To-Be, Baby Here, Baby Now, and a list of sixty three items in her to-do-list, she's going to brave yoga classes, Husbands That Don't Understand, Mothers That Annoy, Girlfriends That Only Pretend To Symphatize, the horrors of shopping for baby products, the ordeal of choosing the right baby name and guarding them from zealous other mommies-to-be who may steal them, and of course, having to try to hide her pregnancy from her boss in fear of getting the sack. If she gets sacked, what about the kid's medical insurance and college bills? Stephen breaks down, eats a tub of ice cream, and wails that he doesn't want to spend the next eighteen years changing diapers. In face of the intimidating matters of college funds, guardianship, et cetera, they have only one solution for now: "We will NEVER die."

This book follows the same structure as Mad Bride. It's told in first person from the adorably neurotic Amy through her diary entries. Unfortunately, plotwise, it also follows the same pattern as Mad Bride, so this is one book that suffers from being somewhat too predictable. Also, the author gets onto her soapbox towards the late quarter of her book and starts using Amy to preach.

Still, there's one reason to read this book, and that's in its detailing the joys and pains and tortures of carrying a brat for ten months. I suggest that you guys reading this right now to go read this book and understand finally why your girlfriends or wives get mad at you at various stages of their pregnancy. Laura Wolf has plenty of amusing scenes here that have me chuckling, sometimes even laughing out loud (Amy's "Why would anyone want to be bulimic?" as she spends the whole night throwing up). The flatulence problems, the dog nose thing, the heartburn, the craving for strange food - yup, they're all here, detailed in irreverant and humorous ways. The people around Amy - her single friends, her married friends, her relatives - behave in ways that are just too familiar as well.

Laura Wolf is a little bit more conservative than your average chick-lit author will pretend to be, in that she never shies from being openly pro-family and pro-marriage. But if you're not one of those "hip, single, trendy, and determined to be cynical" chick-lit audience that the editors and authors love to imagine the readers of these books to be, you may get a good chuckle out of the Amy's often too real experiences while carrying her first child. It's funny and it looks at the lighter side of being a mom-to-be, and it does it very well too.

Rating: 88

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