Carrie Visintainer is the author of the new book Wild Mama: One Woman's Quest to Live Her Best Life, Escape Traditional Parenthood, and Travel the World. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. She is based in Colorado.
Q: Why did you decide to write this book about your experiences, and what do you hope readers take away from it?
A: I wanted to share my experiences in new motherhood honestly and openly, and as a result, I became more visible to myself, too. I have no expectations about what people might take from my story. Some readers have contacted me, and their thoughtful responses deepen the process of discovery and wonder.
Q: You write that “so many women seem to magically transform the minute the umbilical cord is cut, going from ‘regular adult’ to ‘Mommy’…” Why do you think that happens, and do you feel it happened to you at all?
A: I was blindsided especially by the emotional changes that pregnancy and motherhood brought, even though I'm trained as a geneticist and was aware that there are many biochemical changes at play! It was very powerful, in both joyful and scary ways, and yes, I felt it all.
In context, the phrase you mention above refers more specifically to the idea of identity. As in, when I became a new mom, I observed other women succumbing entirely to the role of "mother," letting their self fall away.
It's always been important to me to honor my identity as an individual during motherhood, finding ways big and small to feel whole, and in the end, despite the guilt and challenges and self-doubt, I think this is healthy for the entire family.
Q: How did you choose the title “Wild Mama,” and what does it mean for you?
A: It means choosing and pursuing a path that feels authentic and true, instead of following pre-packaged rules about who to be.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have two book-length projects in the works: A family travel guide, and a novel which draws on my background in genetics.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I'm honored to be interviewed. Thank you!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb