The comic-style cover of former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland’s new book on motherhood, Whoa, Baby!: A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened), looks both cute and odd to me. Before reading the book, I wondered if the illustration—with comic book captions, alongside an image of Rowland—was an indicator that the book’s content would tell a story of all parents and moms being superheroes. However, just a few paragraphs into the book, I realized that wasn’t the case. This is a youthful but much less empowering read than I’d hoped for or expected.
While first scrolling through the book, which Rowland co-wrote with her OB-GYN, Dr. Tristan Emily Bickman (and Laura Moser), I noticed that it mentions important topics including body changes, breastfeeding, and postpartum depression but uses juvenile language like “No. 2” for bowel movements and “lady parts” for vaginas. While I found several aspects of Rowland’s book and tone problematic, I acknowledge that it takes a lot of courage to write a book about being freaked out by becoming a mother and the life changes that come with it. And that is what Rowland has done.