The book is organized by the concept of "mother shock," a term she coined to define the culture shock of new motherhood and the adjustment process that comes with it.
Mother shock is the state in which many new parents exist during those first confusing, chaotic and often comical years of parenting. It is the clash between expectation and result, theory and reality. It is the twilight zone of 24-hour-a-day living, where life is no longer neatly divided into day and night; it is the triple-impact of hormonal imbalance, sleep deprivation, and physical exhaustion. It is the stress of trying to acclimate quickly to the immediacy of mothering; a new conception of oneself, one's role in the family and in the world; a fearful new level of responsibility; and a new delegation of domestic duties.
In Mother Shock, Andi writes about the "dark side" of motherhood, the fears and worries mothers are often afraid to give voice to. She writes about motherhood as an adjustment process, defying the conventional wisdom that maternity is inborn and unquestionable, that there is a "maternal instinct" that all women have, and that if women do not immediately enjoy being mothers, there is something inherently wrong with them. Mother Shock asserts that being conflicted about motherhood may in fact be a perfectly normal response to the identity shift inherent in becoming a mother--and reassures those of us who were made and not born mothers that the journey to embrace motherhood is acceptable and possible... even if we don't love every minute of it.
Andrea (Andi) Buchanan's work has been featured in the collection Breeder: Real Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers and in online parenting magazines, including the former MomsOnline and hipMama.com. Her syndicated column "The Dark Side" runs on various websites, including the site she created for Philadelphia mothers, PhillyMama.com.
Before becoming a mother, Andi was a classical pianist. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, back before she knew how to play the Teletubbies theme song.
She lives with her family in Philadelphia. Mother Shock is her first book.