Tiny Blue Lines the blog for quite some time now, and although our stories are different, I've always felt an emotional connection to Chaunie. She will say the things that weigh heavy on my heart about the less than perfect days, the chaos and anger that arise in my utter exhaustion, the internal battles that threaten to beat me - and then reminds me that it's going to be okay. And more importantly, she reminds me that I'm not alone.
I have been very lucky to meet many women in this blogging journey who inspire me. Women who I look up to; whose proverbial shoes I hope to grow into as I continue on my career path as a writer. Chaunie inspires while also being an incredibly real comrade in this parenting and blogging journey - and for that reason I consider myself very lucky to have met her.
But enough about my stalkerish feelings towards Chaunie, let's talk about her new book.
I'm going to level with you, even though I was excited to read this book, I wasn't sure it would resonate with me. Tiny Blue Lines is a guide of sorts for the pregnant twenty-something experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Chaunie draws from personal experience from her out-of-wedlock, not even out of college surprise pregnancy to encourage young women in the same position. A position I have never been in.
Our paths to motherhood were quite different. Lucas was planned (like preemptive prenatal routine, bought What To Expect Before You're Expecting planned) and we had our ducks in a row so to speak. While Avery was a surprise, a second unexpected pregnancy doesn't have the same life up-heaving quality as what Chaunie went through as a young, scared first-time mother.
But I'll tell you what, this book made me laugh and cry - a feat I'm not sure any book has done before (and even soliciting either laughter or crying from me in a book is not easily done). The writing was real and emotional. It penetrated through the small differences of our experiences and cut to the core of what we all feel as first time mothers. A little scared and unsure and selfish and looking for someone to tell us it's going to be okay.
Beyond being emotionally resonant, the book provides a practical and informative guide for navigating the often uncertain road of young motherhood. From breaking the news to your parents, to going back to school (not to mention giving you an in-depth guide for making your campus more parent friendly), to reclaiming your identity after motherhood - Chaunie covers so much that the traditional pregnancy books ignore completely.
This is the type of introspective pregnancy guide that I wish every young mother could have to encourage her. It doesn't sugarcoat anything, but it does give hope and inspiration in abundance through the stories of real young mothers who have been in those familiar shoes, who have felt the insecurity and doubt and fear - young mothers who came out the other side stronger and better and more amazing than they had ever dreamed of being before.
Tiny Blue Lines gently takes the hand of the newly pregnant twenty-something and tells her, "This can, this will, be the best thing that ever happens to you."
And it's so, so true.
*Stay tuned for a giveaway of Tiny Blue Lines on the blog tomorrow!