I read The Good Mother Myth awhile ago, but I wanted to wait until it was closer to Mother’s Day before I wrote about it.
I absolutely loved this book, and I would recommend it to every mother. There were so many times when I felt like the women were writing my exact words and feelings. I felt so connected to so many of the stories, and it made me feel so much better about the moments when I’ve felt that I’ve failed at motherhood. Here’s how Amazon describes the book:
“In an era of mommy blogs, Pinterest, and Facebook, The Good Mother Myth dismantles the social media-fed notion of what it means to be a “good mother.” This collection of essays takes a realistic look at motherhood and provides a platform for real voices and raw stories, each adding to the narrative of motherhood we don’t tend to see in the headlines or on the news.”
While reading, I tend to dog-ear or sticky note pages and passages that resonate with me or that I find particularly interesting. After I finished reading this book, there were so many pages that were marked with sticky notes, but I decided to share just a few short snippets with you below. “But sometimes, in small ways, we’re reminded that it’s terrifying. The mere act of having a child means accepting that something you love deeply is out in the world and out of your control” (Valenti 68). “What’s good enough? We don’t get to know. We don’t get to judge. But we do get to pledge every morning to do the best we can, love the biggest love we’ve got, pay as much attention as we can muster, given our inevitable lack of sleep and level of overwhelm. A good barometer is this: How much did I enjoy my children today? How much did my own heart fill up with love and gratitude? If I go to bed smiling at something my child did or said, secure in the knowledge that she is fed and clothed and warm and loved, I call it a good day. In fact, I might even call myself a good mother” (Nields 82). This passage reminded me of this post: I will Never be a Perfect Mother. “And instead of pretending that everything is hunky-freaking-dory, let’s be real: Parenting is ridiculously hard. And all of us do ourselves and each other a huge disservice when we pretend otherwise. Sure, there are great times that should be celebrated. Sure, when our kids do awesome things, by all means, let’s get our brag on. But let’s also not tell each other so many lies by omission” (Singer 111). This passage reminded me of this post: Did Motherhood Make Me Crazy? “Everywhere I looked that summer, babies were dying in hot cars. I couldn’t stomach any news about lost, abused, or murdered children. The rage and dispair that would follow was too much. What if those things happened to my child? I would die. I was certain. I couldn’t bear life without him–this tiny person I’d known only a few weeks but loved so fiercely. Nor could I bear life with him significantly harmed from something I should have been able to prevent, even if preventing it was impossible. So I checked and rechecked his car seat every time I parked the car, especially when I didn’t have him with me–because what if he was with me and I had forgotten? Any time he slept elsewhere than on my body, I stopped and laser-focused on his chest from across the room to make sure I could see its gentle, reassuring rise and fall. I tested his bath water higher and higher on my arms just in case my hands were no longer reliable temperature gauges” (Windsor 121-122). This passage reminded me of this post: Pyloric Stenosis: Vomit & Mommy Freak Out. “Though I knew of no specific guidelines for how to proceed through my loss, most social cues told me this: You render miscarriage invisible. You speak about it in hushed tones. You don’t bring it up, you don’t ask about it. You move along, as if nothing ever happened” (Oganowski 202-203). This passage reminded me about my posts about my miscarriage: Broken & The Miscarriage: The Not Too Detailed Details. I don’t know if these passages resonated with you in any way, but I can’t tell you how many times this book made me feel more normal and less crazy. So many of the essays touched upon things that I have personally battled or struggled with. Seriously, every mother needs to read this book. If you’re not a mom, or you never plan on becoming one, this would also make a fantastic gift for any mom or mom-to-be. In honor of Mother’s Day, I am giving away a copy of The Good Mother Myth to two lucky winners! The winners will receive the book in the version of their choice (Nook, Kindle, Paperback, etc.) All you need to do is enter below! The giveaway will run through Mother’s Day and will end at 12:00 am (central time) on Monday, May 12. Please note: you have multiples ways to enter the giveaway. You can comment up to three times (by answering three different questions.) Once the giveaway has ended, winners will have 48 hours to respond once contacted. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway