Book Review: Year of Yes
Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes is a heartfelt, laugh out loud, read for anyone, particularly any mom trying to balance it all. Initially I thought I might not relate to her because we lead very different lives. Among many differences, she is a highly successful television writer, who is single, and adopted her three children. Yet, what’s so well done about this book is that you realize that it doesn’t matter that her life is different from mine or anyone else’s, but that it all boils down to us trying to do our best for our children and trying our best to take care of ourselves. Plus, it’s so clear why she’s such a successful writer, the book is well written and she has a terrific sense of humor.
One of the parts of the book I appreciated the most was that she really acknowledged that it takes a lot of work to take care of children and it’s not something that can easily be done by one person -- we need the village! Those moms who seem to all have it together often have help. She even has a chapter about the mommy wars and her nanny who happens to be named Jenny McCarthy.
The title of the book comes from her deciding to say yes to opportunities and experiences that she would have otherwise said no to. During her year of yes she learned how to enjoy her children in new ways, let go of toxic friends, stand up for herself, and even lost weight.
Not only do the bits of the book about her family and friends make for great stories but her career is also fascinating. She talks about how absurd it is that reporters ask her why it’s important to have diversity in television. The way she sees it, she’s normalizing TV, not diversifying it. If you’ve ever been a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll appreciate her relationship to the character Dr. Cristina Yang, especially how hard it was for Shonda to say good-bye to the character.
If you’re in the mood to laugh, be so touched you cry, and shed some of your mom guilt then I highly recommend Year of Yes.
By Jessica Cohen, Owner and Instructor of Baby Boot Camp in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City