Jessica Rowe. Love Wisdom, Motherhood
Having a baby is one of those watershed moments in life where one door closes and another opens. It is a chance to rub your eyes and really see what is in front of you, to celebrate all that you are and all that you can be. To feel real love and to understand your place in the grand scheme of things but while experiencing motherhood allows us to develop an applied wisdom it doesn’t mean that motherhood makes us wise and that is what I got out of this book.
Jessica Rowe is a well-known figure here in Australia, a regular news reader and TV celebrity who has been broadcast into our living rooms for well over a decade and as such she has been able to secure interviews with 11 other high-achieving and well-known mothers including Darcey Bussell, Quentin Bryce, Maggie Tabberer and Gail Kelly. The short interview style stories and anecdotes that follow make for light and pleasant reading as we hear about careers put on hold, flights and meetings organised around nannies, tugged heart-strings, competing priorities and shattered confidence. Interesting as these stories were (and yes, it is nice to know that everyone has the same problems) I felt that the self-knowledge earned on this most pivotal of journeys was not really explored in enough depth and that, I feel is a shame. I assume that this is due to the fact that the book was created out of a series of one-off conversations with famous women rather than it being constructed over a longer and more organic time frame.
The book is just right for those of us struggling through the early days of motherhood when we just want to know that we are not alone, it is also good for women to be made aware of other successful women who have walked in their shoes and made it through the other side (Gail Kelly CEO of Westpac bank had triplets plus a 3-year-old and emigrated while maintaining her career in finance). Finally it is good for women to know that even people like Jessica Rowe who ticks all of the TV success boxes get Post Natal Depression. So if you tick any of those boxes, go and get it.
Motherhood is just one vehicle to help us on our journey towards self-wisdom. It is not the only vehicle and is possibly not even the best given the lack of time and energy one has after scooping up endless lego bricks, supervising hours of colouring-in homework and preparing thousands of bland tomato-sauce meals. It is just important to remember that while life presents us with many vehicles, they all lead to one destination and that is self-knowledge. Enjoying the ride is very important but the ride is not the point. If this book helps you to feel like you’re still on track then it’s all good.