Moomah the Magazine
Girl Crush: Meg Mason

Girl Crush: Meg Mason

- By Rachel Filler

I am not a mother, nor am I close to becoming one any time soon. I know, I know “you don't understand motherhood until you have a child of your own", but growing up with younger brothers and cousins, and now teaching very young children, I honestly feel like I am more prepared than most. That is to say I did feel that way, until I recently went on a family vacation.

One of the only times that I am ever able to sit, concentrate and read an entire book is on vacation (yes, even without children). While enjoying my own book, I couldn't help but feel like I was missing out when I could hear how much fun my cousin was having reading her book. Every time she got the chance to grab some down time (in between chasing after her two very active young sons), I would spot her giggling and smiling and completely consumed. I didn't know what exactly this book was about, but I wanted in on the fun. I hovered around, waiting for her to finally reach the last page and put the thing down so I could grab it from her hands. She explained briefly that it was about a young mother facing all that comes with having children and I knew I had to find out what exactly could be so funny about that.

Though I haven't scratched the surface of the territory that is Motherhood, I still could not put this book down. Maybe I was laughing in fear of all the unknown issues my future would hold as a mom, or maybe I was just laughing at the expense of the author. Either way, I could not stop laughing to myself... in public. I also could not help but want to have a long conversation with author Meg Mason and share her hilarity with our Moomah readers. After all, doesn't everyone want to be reassured that they are not alone in their experiences?

Meg Mason is a New Zealand-born, Australia-based writer. She began her career as a journalist at The Times in London, having moved there with her husband and all the best intentions to further her career. That was, however, until she took on a different challenge - becoming a mom. Her first book, a memoir about motherhood, Say It Again in A Nice Voice, was published in 2012.

"I felt like the ground had fallen out from under me when my first baby was born. Like a lot of women, I turned to literature and found books about how to do up diapers and mash swede, but I never found the one I was really looking for. The book that told me it was all going to be okay. The one that says it is normal to suddenly feel like the loneliest woman on earth and to cry three times before breakfast, spending a large part of the day wondering what has happened to your life. I was 25 when my daughter was born and I think I was 32 when I felt for the first time, I'm doing it right! The moment passed by mid-morning for sure, but the book is everthing I learned by trial and so much error in those 7 years. It was supposed to be so dark and broody and all Sylvia Plath - to match my prevailing mood in the baby years - but I missed and it turned out to be funny.

"My publisher calls it a memoir, but really it is just 200 pages of over-share. It's definitely not a how-to book (except for maybe 'how-to super-glue your hand to your stroller' - yep, I did that). But it is the book I wish I'd had back then and the book I hope makes some women feel that 'if she can do it - with no cash, no nursery, no mommy-friends, no mom nearby and while in a foreign country - I'm going to be just fine."

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Mothers. Those women with purses the size of meat trays that hold an entire deck of school portrait photos and a chequebook, make a casserole without a recipe, make the tightest bed you’ll ever sleep in and only swear under extreme duress. How, how, would I go from me to that?

At 24, Meg Mason was newly married to a man ‘essentially indistinguishable from a young Matt Damon’ after landing her dream job, writing for The Times in London. What could possibly go wrong? A holiday in Greece, an accidental shortage of birth control, and eight months later she was sobbing on the side of a road over trading her career for something she knew zip about.

On October 8, 2003, she invented motherhood by Having A Baby. On October 9, she discovered a bunch of women had done that already. But still they couldn’t tell her how to do it.

Thanks to a helpful neighbour she knew that convincing a newborn to take a bottle by letting it lick a Dorito first to ‘get more thirsty’ didn’t always work, but not what to do when your child won’t sleep for roughly two years in London or in Sydney, or how to remove your hand from a stroller – after you’ve superglued it to the handle.

Hair-raising, terrifying and hilariously funny, along the way she discovers that being a mother, however disaster-prone, just might be the only thing that she is truly irreplaceable at.

MORE ABOUT MEG...

What do you like most about yourself?

I like being able to make my friends laugh so hard that stuff comes out of them; tears, pee, snorting sounds, whatever they’re drinking at the time. Those moments are the best in any day.

IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU LIKE YOUR MOTHER?

We both alternate bursts of extreme productivity with periods of utter sloth. I wrote my book in a three-month frenzy, but right now I feel like reading a whole Vanity Fair would be too much. My mother is exactly the same. Also, I discover since turning 35, we apparently share a face. I can hardly tell us apart in photos anymore.

TELL US YOUR DIRTY LITTLE SECRET.

Even though I am neat and organized at home, the interior of my car is like an episode of Hoarders: Automotive edition. If you walked by and saw the coffee cups and kids’ stuff and odd shoes all just rolling around in there you would absolutely think the vehicle belonged to someone not coping with life... who maybe lived in there. Every weekend my husband cleans it out for me and I should be grateful, but I think that just makes him my enabler.

DO YOU HAVE A HABIT THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO GIVE UP?

I work from home and as any freelancer will tell you, it’s very hard not to get up from your desk every 30 minutes (Ok, 5) and just stare at yourself in the mirror until your face is one giant wrinkle and you’re so depressed you need to eat something. I would like to stop doing that. 

WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES?

What isn’t my pet peeves would be a shorter list. But off the top of my head, queue-jumpers, iPhone usage at dinner parties, people who put their mats crooked in my Pilates class and throw off the whole row behind and ‘just sayin’’ at the end of any tweet or text. Oh and, unexpected walnuts in cake. Ugh. 

WHAT’S SOMETHING VERY SMALL IN YOUR LIFE THAT GIVES YOU BIG PLEASURE?

When my barista hands me my first takeaway coffee of the day … the warmth, the weight in my hand, the fact that it was made for me by someone else and I don’t have to clean up. Also, my barista is Italian and calls me Bella so sometimes I go in there just for the self-esteem hit.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF DAY?

I love the getting ready for school part of the morning, all the madness and looking for hairbrushes, because no matter how crazy it gets, it will always be followed by the return to a quiet house. There may be dishes and unmade beds, but the silence … oh the silence.

WHO IS YOUR GIRL CRUSH?

I am weak with adoration for writer Anne Lamott. Her writing hauls me up and out every time. If I ever actually met her, there would be a scene, very weepy, very messy and embarrassing.

WHAT ARE YOU TOTALLY IMPRESSED BY?

Mothers of really little children. Now that my daughters are older, when I see a woman in a café or store with a bunch of tiny babies and the stroller, the bag, the palpable fatigue, and she’s keeping it together and looking mostly clean and sane, I just want to clap for her and be like, ‘go lady!’
 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE SAY IT AGAIN IN A NICE VOICE >>

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