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My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us [Paperback]

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Item description for My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Jessica Mills...

A parenting guide like no other! Jessica Mills, a touring punk musician, artist, and political activist, gives readers a delightful, information-packed guide to having and raising kids without giving up your politics, art, or life.

Disappointed by run-of-the-mill parenting books that didn't speak to her experience, Jessica set out to write a book tackling the issues faced by a new generation of moms and dads. The result is a parenting guide like no other. Written with humor, extensive research, and much trial and error, My Mother Wears Combat Boots delivers sound advice for parents of all stripes. Amid stories of bringing kids (and grandparents) to women's rights demonstrations, taking baby on tour with her band, and organizing cooperative childcare, Jessica gives detailed nuts-and-bolts information about weaning, cloth vs. disposable diapers, the psychological effects of co-sleeping, and even how to get free infant gear. This book provides a clever, hip, and entertaining mix of advice, anecdotes, political analysis, and factual sidebars that will help parents as they navigate the first years of their child's life.

"Jessica Mills is a great writer with a lot to say and the heart, guts, brains, and perseverance it takes to do it. My Mother Wears Combat Boots is an instant classic, the latest in the evolution of punk sensibilities into sustainable community action: full of real life experience and well-researched inquiry. It will take another generation before a parenting book has the cutting edge insight, yet stable strength, of this collection."
—China Martens, author of The Future Generation: A Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others

"This is the most sympathetic read I've come across in my travels as a punk parent and musician. It's nice to know that there is someone else in the world that understands 'The Life' and is not afraid to put her insights in print. Thank you, Jessica."
—Ara Babajian, (drummer for The Slackers)

"My Mother Wears Combat Boots helps to pave the way for a whole new generation of moms with advice on the down to earth essentials of parenting, it's also further proof that you don't have to stop Rockin' once you have become a parent. I found this to be an invaluable resource as a new mom!"
—Chris(tine) Boarts Larson, editor of Slug & Lettuce

"Sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartwarming, Jessica Mills is brilliant in her own down-to-earth way. My Mother Wears Combat Boots avoids the pitfalls of the polemical and preachy and serves as an entertaining guide to how to raise a child into more than another blind consumer."
—Sean Carswell, Razorcake magazine

"How unreal and yet real it is to have a mother of two bring along a babysitter on tour in a wonderful refusal to be 'tied down' by motherhood-and now have the experience written up in intelligent and captivating prose, alongside a wealth of 'how-to' info and inspiring stories that relate touring to family life and in the process redefine both. Excellent!"
—Dick Lucas, Subhumans / Citizen Fish

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Item Specifications...

Pages   330
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2007
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  1904859720  
ISBN13  9781904859727  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jessica Mills

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jessica Mills writes a punk-parenting column for Maximum Rock N Roll, plays saxophone for Citizen Fish, was Director of a birth center in Hollywood, Florida, makes jewelry in her metalworking studio, is mom to seven-year-old Emma-Joy and one-year-old Maya-Rae, and organizes childcare cooperatives. She lives with her partner and daughters in Seattle, WA.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
2Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > General
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > General

Reviews - What do customers think about My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us?

perfect read for parents  Jul 18, 2008
Reading is one of those things that when discussed at parenting meetups/playgroup is sometimes discussed with a long mournful sigh. Yeah, reading! Someday we'll do that again! Dedicated reading parents look for short story collections, anthologies of essays, pocket sized zines and parenting books like this one.

What makes this book great is not just the (interesting, inspiring!) content but the format of the book itself. If you know that c-birth is the only way you can safely have your babies, or if your meds won't allow you to breastfeed, then you can certainly find enough meaty content in the chapters on child advocacy, activism with children in tow, balancing parental desires/needs along with the requirements and wishes of the children in the home. The sidebars are awesome for the times when you are Taking a Break for three minutes in the bathroom before having to unlock the door and Actively Parent with all the creativity and kindness you an muster.

(Just for full disclosure, I am the Tracey that was the paid facilitator mentioned in the chapter on our cooperative unschooling effort.)
A lifestyle most wouldn't classify as ordinary.  May 6, 2008
A parenting guide for those who don't live in the beautiful nuclear family that 1950s America so happily painted for us or even the 90s where both Mom and Dad had nine to five jobs - what if Mom and Dad don't have those sort of jobs? "My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us" is a guide written with the off-beat parent in mind who has no intention of being a nine to five wage slave - a parent who makes their living touring with their band, or spends a lot a time away from what would be labeled home by many. Author and modern day renaissance woman Jessica Mills attacks numerous subjects that may come up as an issue when you live away from what's considered 'normal' by most - weaning, co-sleeping, diapers, and more, written in a clever and humorous yet still informative way, "My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us" is highly recommended for community library parenting shelves and any parent or parent to be with a lifestyle most wouldn't classify as ordinary.
A must read parenting book  Apr 4, 2008
A decade ago a new parent looking for an alternative to marketing and consumption driven advice on parenting looked to the Hip Mama. Today we have an updated version of Hip Mama for this decade. My Mother Wears Combat Boots is a great book. It's easy to read, flows well, has lots of useful advice. It's not a, this is how you have to do it, step by step book, rather it talks about the issues of parenting in a real and down to earth way.

It's definitely got a punk / diy angle on things, which i like. But it's also a useful response companion to the apolitical books on attachment parenting.
Pretty judgemental for a "liberal" book!  Jan 12, 2008
I picked this book up at the store after reading the back cover and flipping through it a little. When I got it home and read it, I wished I would have grabbed another book. It's funny that a lot of the reviews on here are from people who aren't raising kids or are done raising them. I know that the author lives in an urban area, but her ideas ran from impractical to impossible for a liberal mother who wants her kids to have their own voice in a rural town.
I took major issue with the midwife and breastfeeding sections. My first pregnancy ended up in an emergency c-section at 23 weeks, my son died and I almost died. Not only was a midwife out for my next pregnancy, so was anything other than a c-section. Somehow, this book seemed to miss the point that some women HAVE to go another route.
Also, I would have loved to breastfeed, but the blood disease they found that I had between my pregnancies prevented that, due to the meds I had to take in order to live. I felt like the author was saying that any meds that you take that make breastfeeding impossible shouldn't be taken. That's a pretty dangerous, terrible, and completely unfair statement. In South Dakota, ther is no breat milk bank available, or I would have looked into it.
The cloth vs. disposable diapers arugements were insane. Both of these hurt the enviorment in their own ways. Why not let the mom pick what's more practical and dare I say easier for their families?
Since I consider myself a liberal, politaclly active Democrat, plus I follow an alternative religion, and I have an off beat job, I thought this book would be for me. I felt really disapointed and cheated that there wasn't a sliver of god info that I felt I learned by reading this book. If you have already made up your mind that you have to have this book, please buy it used and as cheap as you possibly can. You'll thank me later.
For those who want to raise interesting kids.  Dec 29, 2007
Through this book, J. Mills emerges as a resource long absent from the hip parent scene: she's done the grunt work of wading through conventional parenting guides, disentangling the rubies from the rubbish, and brings authentic, useful experience in an eloquently written companion to the adventures of procreation. Her well-researched and colorful breakdown of effective parenting and of maneuvering both the expected and the unexpected complexities within is essential pre-, during, or post-birth reading. Mills affirms that assuming the title of 'parent' does not mean losing one's personality. In fact, it'll help ensure that your child has one.

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