So Glad They Told Me: 

Women Get Real About Motherhood

A unique collection of 60 essays by some of today's most talented female writers
  • Published by The HerStories Project Press. 
  • In the increasingly competitive culture of modern motherhood, parenting advice can often be judgmental, unrealistic, or smug. Or sometimes, there isn’t anyone there to offer advice or support. Mothers may be feel isolated and lack a support network to provide honest advice, and others may face a barrage of unwarranted, unhelpful tips or warnings.
  • Empowering and compassionate. This collection of essays will empower and unite parents with real, honest advice from women who have been there. These writers share the advice or support they received—or wish they had—on everything from pregnancy to surviving the first year to parenting teens to empty nest syndrome.
Ann Imig Founder, Listen to Your Mother

"The personal essays in SO GLAD THEY TOLD ME offer hope, humor, and truth about parenting at all phases—from pregnancy, infancy, toddlerhood, all the way up through empty nest parenting, including topics such as special needs diagnoses, pregnancy loss, surviving colic, parenting a transgender child, and balancing work and family. I'm so glad they told me, and you will be too." -- from the book's Foreword

Amy Joyce Editor, The Washington Post's On Parenting

"SO GLAD THEY TOLD ME is a must-read for any mother, new or not-so new. With beautiful, funny, smart essays, this is a treasure full of voice, guidance, and best of all, quiet support for all of us. Because despite all of the love that goes into it, what mother hasn’t felt alone in the midst of the wonders of this role? The more voices of support for one another, the better."

Jill Smokler Founder and President, Scary Mommy

"Sadly, 'they' didn't tell me much about motherhood and I was left to flounder around on my own. I'm quite sure if I'd had this book, my early years as a mom would have been far more pleasant and far less filled with angst!"

Carla Naumberg, PhD author of READY, SET, BREATHE

"The one reality that can ease the struggle of child-rearing is knowing that you are not alone. The authors of SO GLAD THEY TOLD ME share their stories with honesty, bravery, and a sweetness that left me feeling as though I was having coffee with a dear friend who truly understands that sometimes we just need to know that, as author Mandy Hitchcock reminds us, 'this path is not uncharted.'"

About the Editors: Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock

Stephanie and Jessica are the co-editors of So Glad They Told Me. They also edited Mothering Through the Darkness (She Writes Press, 2015) and two other popular anthologies, The HerStories Project and Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year finalist My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. Stephanie and Jessica are the founders of The HerStories Project, a writing and publishing community for women.

The Book's Contributors

Click here to learn about the book's 60 contributors

 Ann Cinzar, "Adult Accompaniment"

“Women often talk of how they lose themselves in motherhood. How their sense of self gets lost, blended into the homemade baby food, or swallowed up by the diaper genie. Sometimes I more shocked by how I haven't changed. ”

Sharon Holbrook, "To Do: Declutter Mom's Head"

“We are swimming in small choices, and for someone like me who can’t even declutter the house without a full-scale analysis of every paper and item, we can get buried in overwhelm." 

Ashley Roth, "Motherhood, Writerhood"

"'You want to be an active mother, and you hope you can write and create again. These thoughts stay internal; you don't want others to think you're a bad mother, only focused on your ambitions."

Kate Coppens, "Careful on the Stairs"

"I wish I could tell my mom that I get it now: I understand. But she knew. She knew that having a child would help me see just how much she loved me.”

Robin Finn, "The Breast of Me"

"It isn’t that no one told me how fast it would go by. Plenty of mothers did. And I’m glad they did. But I wish they’d made me understand: my baby wasn’t the only one growing older in a flash..”

Andrea Jarrell, "The Way Is Through and Not Around"

"Yet I’ve learned again and again that I can't go over, under, or around, and I can't turn back. Going through it is where the living is.."


It’s no secret that motherhood has become a competitive sport in our culture. Parenting advice is often given from a vantage point of smugness, superiority, and perhaps even a touch of schadenfreude, that condition in which we derive satisfaction from another’s misfortune. In this climate of motherhood perfection, it’s tempting for moms to want to pretend they have it all together: their kids are always perfectly groomed when it’s time to meet the bus, their babies slept through the night from Day One, nursed until exactly twelve months, and were potty trained just weeks later. Their precocious offspring are all in the gifted and talented program, practice martial arts, play the violin, speak several languages, and volunteer for a sustainable living committee. These moms have never questioned their discipline strategies, raised their voices, or felt like they had no idea what in the hell they were doing as parents.

But we all know the truth, don’t we?

In January 2015, I read a blog post that really pushed my buttons. The author wrote about how much happier she was now that she was a mother, how smoothly her transition had gone, and how wrong all those people who “warned” her about motherhood were, the ones with the horror stories and scare tactics.

I am all for women speaking their personal truths—especially about motherhood—and I applauded this writer for embracing a positive attitude about her new role and expanded family. But her glowing account didn’t leave much room for any other aspects of motherhood. Particularly the parts that aren’t so fantastic.

Like sleep deprivation or nursing problems. Like marital tension or a lack of interest in sex. Or postpartum depression, maternal ambivalence, body issues, or identity crises. Sharing only the rosy parts of motherhood does a great disservice to mothers—and families in general—everywhere. While it’s wonderful to celebrate the joy of motherhood, it is irresponsible to gloss over the hardships, whether they are fleeting, clichéd struggles like grocery store tantrums, diaper blowouts, or pregnancy mood swings, or more serious issues like grief and loss, special needs diagnoses, divorce, or single parenting.

Sharing our truths—all of them—makes mothers stronger.....

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