"Baby Laughs: the Naked Truth about the First Year of Mommyhood" by Jenny McCarthy

Funny book at times. Probably I would have enjoyed her "Belly Laughs" more.

It took until the end of the book for her to admit that she, too, handed off her baby to the system, even though she really wanted to be a stay at home mom. Her excuse was she couldn't afford it.

Reading between the lines, you can understand how she wouldn't be able to afford the kind of lifestyle she had been living. She and her husband live in Hollywood, have multiple pets, order takeout a lot, and she works for MTV. The kind of culture of that lifestyle revolves around a continual flow of money. I have very little doubt that if she and her husband were to change their lifestyle, she could easily stay home and still live comfortably. It's pretty lame that she used that as an excuse. The real reason is because she wanted to work more than she wanted to stay at home.

Again, it's not my place to be the judge of what other women choose. Like Ms. Pleshette Murphy (7 stages of Motherhood), she says she wanted to be a stay at home mom. Well, excuse me for noticing, but you probably could if you were willing to make enough sacrifices. Blaming anybody but yourself and possibly your spouse for making this decision is not right. Women far poorer than you can afford to stay home and mother their own children.

Obviously, I do have a strong opinion about this: I think it's best for women to stay home and mother their own children instead of handing them off to near total strangers. This lady had qualms about a Chinese nanny. But she brings in total strangers who are between acting gigs, American teens. Um....well I guess if you don't have the structure of church, it would be a lot harder to find trustworthy people to babysit your kids.

Also, the book is way lax about premarital sex and sexuality in general. Not good.

And her chapter on breastfeeding was about how she didn't breastfeed. Huh.

The book is mostly about the first few weeks after being home with your baby, which she does a good job remembering specific tiny details that are totally true. Like how it's hard to go to the bathroom at first, or stroller envy, etc. It's got a few bits about teething a bit later, but other than that, there was very little about being a mom to a non-newborn. So the title of the book is totally wrong.

McCarthy swears too much, and her language is too informal. All in all, I would not recommend this book. A few parts did make me laugh.


I read about Jenny McCarthy on wikipedia. Didn't impress me much. She started down the road to fame by being a playboy model, for starters. She got a divorce when the book was published. She's living with Jim Carrey. She still works for playboy. Sounds like her life is really miserable, and there's little wonder that I don't relate to her very much.


  1. I enjoyed your review of these books. Caitlin Flanagan did a review of the mommy war books a while back in the Atlantic Monthly. She took authors to task for being rather hypocritical. By that she meant they required poor women to take care of their own children while the hired help had to find someone else to take care of their own children. It was an interesting article. I think you might enjoy reading The Help by Stockett. It is about maids in the south during the 1960's. It deals with some of the same issues. I enjoyed it.

    I liked staying at home so much more than I did going out into the dog eat dog workplace. It has been a great blessing not to have to pay for child care, clothing, meals away from home and transportation to and from. I congratulate you on your determination.

  2. I always kind of liked her, she was on an MTV show I used to watch as a young girl....but the hysteria she creates over vaccination and autism kind of upset me....because when I was pregnant with Briggy and I saw her on CNN going on about this...it really freaked me out. It took a lot of talking to the doctor and researching studies that helped me realize she's a little off her rocker. Although, her information on a gluten free diet for her son with autism is interesting. He's doing lots better. I just hope thats not an issue I'll have to encounter.


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