June 24, 2009

Bad/Good mother?????

I seem to question each and every decision I make as a parent. It goes a little something like this: Is this what I (we) should do? Am I (we) doing the right thing? Sometimes I'll even ask Clay his opinion such as when Lo is throwing one of those lovely "toddler fits" at my feet...."Should I pick her up or not?" You want to show her compassion and love but then again you don't want to support fits. What's the right thing? What makes us a good parent? Am I a good mom? Am I a bad mom? I assume these are all normal questions to ask for first time parent or is it not?!?!?!

So, last week I was having a conversation with my mom and asked how do we really know if we're doing everything right and making the right decisions. Her reply was "You really don't know". Coincidental, that same night I also ran upon this book Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace and video. I thought it was fitting. Here is a good review of the book:

In the tradition of recent hits like The Bitch in the House and Perfect Madness comes a hilarious and controversial book that every woman will have an opinion about, written by America’s most outrageous writer.

In our mothers’ day there were good mothers, neglectful mothers, and occasionally great mothers. Today we have only Bad Mothers.

If you work, you’re neglectful; if you stay home, you’re smothering. If you discipline, you’re buying them a spot on the shrink’s couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. If you buy organic, you’re spending their college fund; if you don’t, you’re risking all sorts of allergies and illnesses.

Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as “a bad mother”? Ayelet Waldman says it’s time for women to get over it and get on with it, in a book that is sure to spark the same level of controversy as her now legendary “Modern Love” piece, in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children.

Covering topics as diverse as the hysteria of competitive parenting (Whose toddler can recite the planets in order from the sun?), the relentless pursuits of the Bad Mother police, balancing the work-family dynamic, and the bane of every mother’s existence (homework, that is), Bad Mother illuminates the anxieties that riddle motherhood today, while providing women with the encouragement they need to give themselves a break.

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