If you could be anything you wanted to be, what would you choose to be? A princess, an explorer, a teacher, a doctor? How about a circus clown, a movie star, or a famous singer? Maybe even the president! The pages of I Want to Be a Mommy are filled with a little girl's imagination as she bounds and bounces from one idea to another of what she wants to be when she grows up and contemplates what would make her the happiest.
Lovingly illustrated in Judy Cooley's trademark style, I Want to Be a Mommy is a story that will help every little girl know that she can be and do many things when she grows up, but there is one special way she can do them all.
This book is a great way to teach your daughter to fear and to run away from difficulty and anything that remotely seems like a risk.
"I want to be an explorer when I grow up [...] but what if I get hurt? Hmm, I want to be more than an explorer."
"I want to be a clown when I grow up [...] but I'm scared of riding on an elephant. Hmm, I want to be more than a clown."
And my least favorite page: "I want to be a doctor when I grow up [...] but then I'll need to learn big words like 'stethoscope.' Hmm, I want to be more than a doctor." Way to set the bar high for your little girl!
Rather than a mother being "more than" all those other careers, what is really being taught here is to be "less than."
The book also has an overly optimistic view of motherhood ("mommies can do everything!"), which sets many girls up for failure later on (what if they're infertile or don't want children but feel pressured to?). It also puts additional pressure on mothers to BE EVERYTHING, which is harmful in its own right. And what about the enormous challenges of motherhood? The risk of dying in childbirth or years of dark postpartum depression? No mention of those downsides. Because your daughter might want to run away from that, too.
This book ends up being a sad example of the low expectations that Mormon culture has for its women when it comes to contributing to the world in ways other than reproducing and caring for a family. Being a mother is a great option and an important one (I'm a mother myself), but this book is not the right way to teach that.
"I want to be a cowgirl when I grow up. I'll be brave as I ride on my horse and rope the stars . . . but my rope can't reach the stars. Hmm, I want to be more than a cowgirl." So, so sad. Don't teach your daughter to be fearful of life and its challenges. Don't get this book.
We love this book in our family. The pictures are so beautiful and detailed. They bring to life each path the girl may take in her journey on earth. As I read it to my daughter for the first time, I remember feeling the same way as I did when I was young. I didn't know for sure what career path I wanted to choose although I told those who asked me many options. Yet, I felt very deeply that I wanted to be a mother. This book brought those memories back. Although I did go on and graduate college in my own career of choice, this book reminds my daughter to cherish motherhood no matter where her career path may lead.
As a new stay-at-home mother of a baby girl, I really wanted to love this book. I think the over all message is an essential one, that motherhood is the best and most important job one could have. And the illustrations are gorgeous! But I'm afraid the story may send young girls the wrong message: that pursuing talents or dreams that require hard work are not worthwhile.
For example, the narrator wants to be a doctor but doesn't want to have to learn "big words, like stethoscope," so she goes looking for something else she can be. I couldn't picture myself reading this page to my daughter and giving her the impression that mothers are off the hook when it comes to learning big words! I also didn't like that the main character wants to be a singer, but fears she will lose her voice. Is this teaching children to make decisions based on fears and what-ifs?
I understand that this story may be trying to capture the way a child might think---flitting from ambition to ambition and dropping various interests based on really superficial reasons. But children are so impressionable, I worry about unintended lessons being taught here.
Of course, the ending tries to show how the main character can use all her talents and skills as a mother, which is also a fantastic point to drive home, and it partially remedies my concerns with the story. I'm just not sure the conclusion speaks louder than all the pages preceding it.
Love, love, love this book! I'll read it to my grandaughters and hopefully they'll read it to their daughters and grandaughters. A read-aloud book for all seasons. Customer, Utah
The message is great! Being a mother is MORE than any other ambition. It is after all Gods plan and purpose. The what "if's" aren't fears but a smooth transition to the next dream. I think it says you can be a mom and be brilliant! I think it teaches -You Can Be Anything You set your mind to and be a Mom! A dream this next generation has lost sight of... Thanks Judy