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9781668010136

The Motherload Episodes from the Brink of Motherhood

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781668010136

  • ISBN10:

    1668010135

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2025-01-14
  • Publisher: S&S/Simon Element
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Summary

An intimately honest memoir about motherhood that dares to ask, what happens when “what to expect when you’re expecting” turns out to be months of rage, anguish, brain fog, and a total surrender of sex, career, and identity.

“The kid was objectively a tiny worm, even worse, a worm with my nose.” Welcome to Sarah Hoover’s unflinching take on motherhood and its expectations in which the beatific narrative women have been fed—one of immediate connection to your child followed by a joyful path of maternal discovery—turns out to be not quite true. In The Motherload, Hoover provides a candid, funny, and sobering look at the journey women undertake as expectant mothers and wives from the early days of pregnancy through labor and beyond.

Like most of us, Sarah Hoover grew up imagining a certain life for herself—career, love, marriage, children—and when Hoover moved from Indiana to New York City to study art history, the life she’d imagined began falling into place. She got her degree, landed a job in a gallery, made friends, and went on some exceptionally bad dates. She also met interesting artists, one of whom became her future husband (a whirlwind romance, theirs, exciting even with its imperfections). But when Hoover got pregnant, the life she imagined began to unravel.

She felt like an imposter in her own body. She grew distant from her friends and husband. She suffered from anxiety, fear, guilt, and shame. She also experienced trauma at the hands of one of her doctors—a stark trigger. And eventually, when her son was born, there was no… joy. Instead, she felt “disoriented, lonely, and like none of my clothes fit.” Why was she seeing and hearing things that weren’t there? Why was she so angry and miserable when she had everything she thought she wanted? Why was the life she’d built falling apart?

It took her months to discover that she was suffering from severe postpartum depression. And it took even longer to trace all the threads that came to inform her experience.

At its core, The Motherload is about learning to forgive yourself for not being what you’ve been told you must be and for not loving the way you’ve been told you should. It’s about the uniquely female experience of constantly grappling with expectation versus reality, no matter your circumstance, and a rejection of the cultural idea of the mother as a perfect being. It is a moving, exciting, roller coaster ride, and a propulsive addition to the canon of women’s literature.

Author Biography

Sarah Hoover holds a master’s degree in cultural theory from Columbia and a BA in art history from NYU. Her writing has been featured in ArtNet, Mother Tongue, The Strategist, and Vogue. The Motherload is her first book.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

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