I'm Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering

I'm Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering

by Janelle Hanchett


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


From the creator of the blog "Renegade Mothering," Janelle Hanchett's forthright, darkly funny, and ultimately empowering memoir chronicling her tumultuous journey from young motherhood to abysmal addiction and a recovery she never imagined possible.

Pregnant at 21 by a man she'd known three months, Janelle Hanchett embraced motherhood with the determined optimism of the recklessly self-confident. After giving birth, she found herself bored, directionless, and seeking relief in wine, which she justified as sophisticated and going well with chicken.

But over time, her questionable drinking habit spiraled into full-blown dependence, until life became bedtime stories and splitting hangovers, cubicles and multi-day drug binges—and eventually, an inconceivable separation from her children. For ten years, Hanchett grappled with the unyielding progression of addiction, bouncing from rehab to therapy to the occasional hippie cleansing ritual on her quest for sobriety, before finding it in a way she never expected.

Hers is a story we rarely hear—of the addict mother not redeemed by her children; who longs for normalcy but cannot maintain it; and who, having traveled to seemingly irreversible depths, makes it back, only to discover she is still an outsider. Like her irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and unflinchingly honest blog, Hanchett's memoir calls out the rhetoric surrounding "the sanctity of motherhood" as tired and empty, boldly recounting instead how she grew to accept an imperfect self within an imperfect life—and think, "Well, I'll be damned, I'm just happy to be here."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316503778
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,193,814
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Janelle Hanchett created the website "Renegade Mothering" in 2011 because she needed to know if the rest of the mothering world was crazy or she was. Writing after her kids went to bed and while she was supposed to be working, Janelle attracted an audience of hundreds of thousands of readers. She holds a BA in English from University of California at Davis and an MA in English literature from Sacramento State. She lives in northern California with her four children and husband, Mac, who thinks "getting dressed up" means shaving his forearm tattoo.

Table of Contents

Part 1

1 Family Planning on Ecstasy 3

2 Stop Drinking When Your Lips Go Numb 24

3 Sylvia Plath Put Her Head in the Oven over This Shit 42

4 Playing House in the Suburbs with Captain Morgan 61

5 Three a.m. Ideas 78

6 Rocketship Rock-On 93

Part 2

7 Failure That Isn't Funny 111

8 Nothing Left to Hide Now 125

9 Who's the Sickest in the Room? 139

10 Maintenance Whiskey 159

11 I Found God in a Leaf Blower, and I Fucking Hate Leaf Blowers 186

Part 3

12 There Are Three Types of Mothers in the World-I Am None of Them 197

13 Failure That Isn't Funny: Sober Edition 216

14 The Childhood I Could No Longer Blame 233

15 What the Hell Is "Soul Work"? 259

16 In the Blood of Our Mothers 274

17 If I Knew the Way 291

Acknowledgments 309

Interview with Janelle Hanchett by Janelle Hanchett 311

Customer Reviews