“Mother knows best…“
Jo Austin ~ Tug of Love
Tug of Love is one mother’s story, through the rollercoaster of relationships and emotions that has shaped the very person she has become.
The author invites you to journey alongside her, from her childhood as a mischievous but frighteningly anxious child, to a young adult filled with so much love but consumed by self-doubt, to a strong woman and mother.
Her journey has not been easy. There were many twists and turns, including mental health illness and chronic physical illness. A child with special needs was her blessing but she fought many battles to secure the best for him and his sisters.
Memoirs are always a tricky read, because you’re intruding into someone’s life. More often than not, they are sharing intimate details about the most difficult times of their existence.
It’s a brave thing to share. Yet it amazes me how many people feel the need to do so. Ranging from self-absorbed and mundane, to heartfelt and poignant, you never know how a book will make you feel.
Jo Austin has written a short book, which gives nothing more than a glimpse into her life. This is a shame, as parts of it are interesting, but not developed or explained. There are such lengthy gaps between her memories that we lose sight of her children growing up and it’s difficult to see the bigger picture. The narration is a little clumsy at times, especially when certain revelations contradict earlier memories.
However, it’s an important story to share.
Many women feel overwhelmed after having a baby, especially if there’s a limited support network, or a child needs additional help for ADHD or ASD. Austin received early support for her son, which is remarkable; many are not so lucky and have to continuously push or pay for tests and funding. Austin is just one mother desperate to raise awareness for the necessary support. Her own mental health issues show how hard raising a family can be, yet her determination and dedication to her own and other children is wonderful to see.
Yet, the underlying message for parents everywhere is to follow your instincts, do what’s best for your child, but don’t neglect yourself. Your health and wellbeing is also important if you are to be a good parent.
I received a copy of the book from Random Things Tours. Opinions my own.