Fans may best know her as Donna from That '70s Show or Alex Vause from Orange Is the New Black, but to her 2-year-old daughter Ella and newborn son, Laura Prepon is known simply as "mom." After giving birth to her first child with husband Ben Foster in 2017, Prepon embarked on a "pretty isolating" and oftentimes under-discussed journey of motherhood — something she is opening up about in her new book, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood, set to hit bookstores and digital retailers on Tuesday, April 7.
"I really hope that it resonates with readers and that they feel heard," Prepon exclusively told PopCulture.com. "Hopefully it makes them laugh, makes them cry. They feel like they're heard and understood, and feel less alone. Because as a mom, there are times that can be pretty isolating, and I just hope this book helps open up the much needed conversation around motherhood that's needed."
Part memoir, part handbook, You and I, as Mothers is filled with intimate stories, never-before-shared anecdotes, practical tips for moms of any age and stage of motherhood, and recipes as Prepon reflects on her upbringing and how it shaped her as a person and a mother. Described as "unfiltered, honest, and insightful," the book also features interviews from Prepon's "Mom Squad," a group of "wonderful, eccentric mothers from different backgrounds" — a world-renowned survival expert, a top neuroscientist, Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, actress Mila Kunis, author and activist Amber Tamblyn, and chef Daphne Oz.
Recently having given birth to her second child, Prepon said the process of writing her new book "has given me so much healing that I feel like if anything, it's just helped set me up so much better to welcome my second child into the world…It's really helped me get look at what I was struggling with, what I would do differently the next time."
That feeling is something that she is hoping to offer to her fellow mothers. Explaining that becoming a mother is "the best thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world," Prepon said that she was shocked when, after welcoming Ella, she discovered that nobody was discussing postpartum life.
"When I first became a mom, I tried to find books and things to relate to and I couldn't find any. There were all these books about pregnancy, which is nine months of your life, and then once you become a mother for the rest of your life, I felt like there was nothing," she said. "I wanted a book about what I was going through as a mother, and there was nothing I could find."
After being encouraged by her husband to write one herself, Prepon said it was like opening "Pandora's Box."
"It was like all of these people dealing with the same issues, but no one was talking about it," she said. "And especially in the culture that we're in now, which is like this wonderful Me Too, kind of new civil rights for women, like we're redefining our voice. I was so surprised by how much of what we struggle with as mothers was shrouded in secrecy. And I was like, 'Someone's got to talk about this.' So I wrote this book."
With the discussion around motherhood now shifting, women now more than ever are bravely opening up about their own struggles and the less glamorous aspects of being a mom. This revelation has Prepon feeling the timing of her book couldn't be any better.
"I do agree that it's coming out at the right time," she said. "I think that talking about the fact that as mothers, it's not 'Everything's perfect.' If anything, it's mostly hard. It's the greatest job on the planet. And I often say that when I became a mother, I woke up because that is truly how I feel."
You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood hits store shelves on Tuesday, April 7. It is currently available for pre-order.