Raising a family and being a mom and wife is not a perfect life. Motherhood is challenging and can be a lot of hard work. Yet, even in the most difficult and messiest of situations, Carrie Jo Howe has managed to find humor.
Over the years, Howe, a Glen Ellyn resident for 20 years, has taken note of the funny situations she’s encountered from dating to raising her family. Now, those stories have been compiled into a book. An after-hours book-signing will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Bookstore to celebrate the publication of her book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies: A Story of Dating, Mating and Procreating.
The compilation of essays is meant to be funny and not mean, Howe said, adding the stories are based on “the plight we women face on a daily basis.”
The book begins with Howe’s first date with Tom, the man who would become her husband. And, it ends with her children still in elementary school. Through the book, she interjects humor as she explores the trials and tribulations of raising a family.
“I feel women are very alone raising kids and we need to have some joy,” Howe said. “We need to take a step back and see that it is really funny.”
The idea came from the Christmas letters she sent to family and friends, she said. Her take on the letters is: “Things are not perfect and I just wanted to let you know.”
“Family and friends said 'it’s funny, you should keep writing,'” she said.
The stories for the book formed when she looked back at some of those Christmas letters and notes she had been keeping over the years, she said.
Her husband Tom helped her rewrite and rework the story, but her three boys were not interested in the least, she said. As the only female in a male-dominant family, she found some of the frustrations perfect to share in the book.
“There was a lot of feeling sorry for myself being the only female in the house,” she said.
She is relating her experience, but said most women—and some men—relate to the short stories. The chapters begin with serious quotes juxtaposing the chapters, which are not so serious, she said.
Howe found a hybrid publisher to help publish and promote the book, which can be purchased for $10.99 at The Bookstore, along with online retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Howe wrote about what she knows and found the entire experience to be worthwhile.
She has also been grateful for the community support she has received for the book, Howe said.
What does she hope readers will take away from the book?
“There are so many serious things in life," she said. "Don’t be so hard on yourself, cut yourself some slack.”