Navigating the Shock of Parenthood: Warty Truths and Modern Practicalities from a mom with Twins by Kathleen Cawley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Kathleen Cawley takes readers through the experience of parenthood as hundreds of parents share their insights, from finding a community as a parent to cleaning up after your kid and more, and also touches upon the historical sources of the most anxiety-inducing parenting imperatives people face to this day in the book “Navigating the Shock of Parenthood: Warty Truths and Modern Practicalities from a mom with Twins”.


The Synopsis

Navigating the Shock of Parenthood, pulls together insights from hundreds of experienced parents. It organizes expert advice, and reveals the social and historical sources of some of today’s most anxiety provoking parenting imperatives. It also helps with a range of nitty gritty parenting challenges. Such as, projectile pooping (Real!). Dolphin training for toddlers. (Useful!) Or, how do I find community? What do I do when I find myself channeling the parent I never wanted to emulate?

A little insight and perspective will help you steer a course through the strange new waters of parenthood. With these tools you’ll learn to guide your family boat in a direction of your choosing rather than being swept along by outside forces. Navigating the Shock of Parenthood will help you laugh, build your village, raise your kids with joy, make decisions with insight, and work for the world you want your children to inherit.

If you’re struggling with new parenthood, you will find endless books on breastfeeding or potty training. However, there is almost nothing on the emotional and psychological challenges we face when we transition from adulthood to parenthood. Why are the joys of parenthood so heavily mixed with fear and angst? Where did “concerted cultivation,” come from and do you really need to buy into it? What is “the race to nowhere,” and how is it driving parents and children to anxiety. What has happened to modern American kindergarten, and is it a good thing?

Frankly, most parenting books also leave out many of the really difficult day to day challenges that parents struggle with. How do you to talk with young children about death? How do you manage problem relatives when kids and partners are in the picture? How do you parent a child who seems so different from yourself? How do you negotiate new life roles with your partner when society is pushing you heavily toward old stereotypes.

The challenges of today’s parenthood are real, and the first years are often so hard. We all need some help. Navigating the Shock of Parenthood is loaded with warmth, help, and support for this epic new adventure in your life.

The Review

This was a captivating and engaging read. The author did an incredible job of finding the perfect balance between educational reading material and personal memoir-style storytelling. The honesty and inviting nature of these experiences and stories and how they impact parenting as a whole were thoughtfully presented, and the overwhelming feeling of understanding that went with the guidance these stories brought to life was great to read. 

The sheer volume of information the book brings to light was incredible to behold. The author expertly divides these lessons and experiences into various areas of expertise, from the growing pains that go along with becoming a parent to the historical influences on what is expected of parents in this day and age, and advanced parenting tips that explore some of the common issues that parents will face in the earliest years of their child’s life. The way author hones in on things like how fatherhood has changed in recent years and the importance of having others in your life to become a support system while also acknowledging the importance of finding your own feet as a parent and establishing your own idea of what family looks like to you made this book so valuable to dive into.

The Verdict

Informative, thoughtful, and enlightening, author Kathleen Cawley’s “Navigating the Shock of Parenthood: Warty Truths and Modern Practicalities from a mom with Twins” is a must-read nonfiction read on parenting. The author expertly tackles the misconceptions and experiences that many parents have undergone, and the relatability and honesty with which the author writes will have parents and readers alike glad they picked up this book. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Kathleen Cawley is a physician assistant who practiced pediatric and adult medicine for 18 years. She is the mother of 12-year-old boy-girl twins, and the author of Navigating the Shock of Parenthood: Warty Truths and Modern Practicalities – from a mom with twins. She also writes parenting articles for the Auburn Journal and regularly posts on Medium.

Kathleen married late in life, and having children was a struggle. After surviving five years of fertility treatment, her husband’s battle with aggressive prostate cancer, a post miscarriage stroke, a high-risk twin pregnancy at age 45, and an emergency C-section that veered into dangerous territory, Kathleen and her husband found themselves rather exhausted by new parenthood!

Soon, however, Kathleen began researching the social and cultural changes of the last 200 years with a new perspective. She realized these changes have radically altered the lives of children, and the goals of childhood.

In addition, over her many years of caring for patients, Kathleen was given a glimpse into the painful and difficult parts of people’s private lives. They shared with her their joys and sorrows whether personal, professional, or financial. With these shared intimacies in her heart, Kathleen found herself unable to see families, parents, and parenting without recognizing the reality of the powerful forces buffeting a family’s life.

A few years ago, Kathleen and her family moved from the cool, crowded, chaos of the San Francisco Bay Area to the unrelenting heat of the Sacramento summer sun. Currently, a fulltime at-home-mom and a fulltime writer, Kathleen is working on books about the politics of parenthood, parenting in the elementary school years, the new shape of fatherhood, and other issues.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.