“What kind of mom is Liz Astrof, who, when her son was born, quipped, “Don’t take the tags off—we may not be keeping him”? She’s a hilariously honest one who shares a series of personal essays in Don’t Wait Up: Confessions of a Stay-at-Work Mom. A TV comedy writer (“The King of Queens,” “2 Broke Girls” and more), she describes how endless hours in the writing room fill her with guilt about her family (strong-willed daughter; anxious, fact-spewing son; supportive husband), leaving her to wonder how much of her children’s early years she’s going to watch on an iPhone.
Interspersed with Astrof’s domestic tales are moving, fascinating and, of course, amusing essays that explore her troubled upbringing. Her mentally unstable mother left when Astrof was 5. Amid the abuse, Astrof and her older brother, Jeff, would hide under the bed, murmuring “safe-safe” to each other. As an adult, Astrof constantly questions her parenting skills, fearing she might turn into her mother. In a stunning essay called “Happy New Year,” Astrof finds herself coming to the rescue of her son in the midst of a meltdown, noting, “If I ever feared I was anything like my mother—which I did, every moment of every day—it was moments like this, moments of knowing what to do for my child and wanting to do them, that proved to me that I wasn’t anything like her.”
Don’t Wait Up is a funny, fascinating memoir of mothering that will definitely keep readers up way past their bedtime, laughing and sometimes crying page after page.”