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The Good Mother Myth Book Review

The Good Mother Myth Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

The Good Mother Myth by Various Mothers. Edited by Avital Norman Nathman
Published by Seal Press
Publication Date: Dec. 31, 2013
Genres: Nonfiction, Parenting
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*
Goodreads
four-stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“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.

From tales of mind-bending, panic-inducing overwhelm to a reflection on using weed instead of wine to deal with the terrible twos, the honesty of the essays creates a community of mothers who refuse to feel like they’re in competition with others, or with the notion of the ideal mom — they’re just trying to find a way to make it work.

With a foreword by Christy Turlington Burns and a contributor list that includes Jessica Valenti, Sharon Lerner, Lisa Duggan, and many more, this remarkable collection seeks to debunk the myth and offer some honesty about what it means to be a mother.”

 

My Thoughts:

What’s your definition of a “Good Mother?” Before I had kids, my definition was simply a loving mother that is always there for them, to support them in becoming intelligent and responsible community members and help them achieve their dreams.

 

Somewhere along the way, between the full time job, 3 highly active and spirited sons, my sons starting school, media hype and Pinterest, my vision of a Good Mother changed. Was I only a Good Mother if I could keep up with all the dedicated Supermoms in the PTA or Stepford Wives with perfectly behaved kids and spotless houses who never lost their patience?

 

I am glad to have received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. I love that this book got me thinking about how I define a Good Mother and what I aspire to be for my children.

  • I found each of the essays well-written and each evoking an emotional response with me.
  • I found thankfulness reading Christy Turlington’s essay that my 3 sons were born without complication when so many women around the world lose their life in childbirth.
  • I found compassion for the single mothers filling dual roles of mother and father.
  • I found empathy for the agnostic mother raising her child Catholic despite the soul-searching and answers to her questions about faith she was still trying to resolve.
  • I found anger that the African-American mother is still fighting racial stereotyping, assumptions about her marital status and her ability to be a Good Mother.

I found each easy to be heartfelt though taking a serious look at how each mother viewed what a good mother was and how she overcame that perception to be the best mother for her child.

Motherhood has been a difficult journey for me. When someone tells you it’s the most difficult thing they ever done, believe them. No other job would I pour my heart and soul into it completely. No other job would my happiness rest in the well-being of these 3 little men. No other job would give me the greatest of joys from the simplest of moments. Motherhood isn’t easy but it’s the most rewarding job I have ever done. My kids have my promise that I certainly won’t be perfect but I will be the best mother that I can be.

What does being a “good mother” mean anyway? How has your perception changed from before to after you had kids? Moms put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to live up to our own lofty expectations. This collection of heartfelt essays from moms who have been there encourage and inspire us to give ourselves grace and helps us realistically redefine what being a “good mother” means for our family in this season of life. The Good Mother Myth* is a great book for moms who need a little encouragement, that it’s ok to fail, that it’s ok for your kids to see how you pick yourself up when you do, that being a good mom doesn’t mean being perfect, it means giving your best to your kids everyday, whatever that may look like.

 

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Other Books Like this You Might Enjoy:

Never Will I Ever…Famous Last Words of Parenting by Various Moms – hysterically funny collection of essays of moms eating their words about how they would be before the kids came along

I Just Want to Pee Alone by Various Mom Bloggers

Discover Your Next Favorite Book or Author Here

What Powers Your Happy? + 3 Ways to Find YOUR Passion in Life (Besides Your Family)

What do you think being a Good Mother entails? How have your views changed before and after you had kids or pets? As always, tell me what you’re reading and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. Thanks for your review of this book. I may have to add it to my Library. I think we as moms compare ourselves to others via social media & get disappointed, thinking that we don’t measure up. But that just isn’t the case.
    Thanks again
    following you by way of Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party

    1. Very true Tamara. We present our best impressions on social media but no one can achieve perfection all the time. And thats ok. We’re human and moms need to cut each other a break. We all know what a tough, rewarding job motherhood is. Thanks again for stopping by!

  2. This is a topic mom’s need to keep on mind! We’re not perfect and we can’t so it all…and we do an awful lot to begin with! My definition of a good parent changes by the day! Lol but really, it has definitely come a very long way in 15 years!

    1. So true Jennine, moms have a lot on our plates! I agree that the definition of a good mother changes daily. My boys are unpredictable and never know what they will come up with! They find new ways to challenge me and each other daily. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

      I would love for you to link up 3 of your posts in my Small Victories Sunday linky!
      https://staging.momssmallvictories.com/small-victories-sunday-linky-8-bust-good-mother-myth/

  3. This gave me goosebumps! I think about this often, and sometimes it’s hard to know if I am or will be able to live up to my own expectations. I want to encourage my son to the best of my ability, to teach him to be kind and thoughtful and to love him unconditionally. I would have never thought that these 3 things would be one of the most challenging things I have done because it all seems so simple when I have it written down!
    No mother is perfect, but speaking from my own experience with MY mother, If we do the best that we can as a parent, our children may not realize or appreciate it now, but one day they will. One day they will realize our sacrifices and what unconditional love really means!
    Great review, Tanya!! Looks like a book I should look into.

    1. Thanks Tessa for your thoughtful comment. It is so true what you said, it is extremely challenging to teach them values which seem so simple. Their environment is so different from when I grew up and things I never imagined I would have to deal with as a parent are here front and center. I find myself repeating things my mom used to say to me. Karma. But she was right, I understand her perfectly now that I am a mom too. I will have done my job should they ever know how unconditionally I really do love them.

      Thanks for great discussion. I hope you stop back by and link up to 3 posts in my Small Victories Sunday linky that’s open all week.
      https://staging.momssmallvictories.com/small-victories-sunday-linky-8-bust-good-mother-myth/

  4. Thanks for the review. I definitely think this is a book I will be reading soon. My visions of a good mother have changed drastically over the years. I was a young mother with 2 children and I thought I needed to give them anything and everything they wanted. Now I am a slightly older mother with 2 more children and I realize the material things definitely do not matter.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Jennifer. It’s interesting how age and circumstances change our perceptions of what a good mother is. I agree the material things don’t matter but like you we gave them everything a kid could want for awhile. They are smart and sweet but spoiled rotten and its hard to undo and help them realize how lucky they are!

      I would love for you to return and link up 3 posts on my Small Victories Sunday linky.
      https://staging.momssmallvictories.com/small-victories-sunday-linky-8-bust-good-mother-myth/

    1. It is great to hear other mothers stories about how they come to terms with their own expectations. It is a good read to help you feel like you aren’t alone and its ok not to succumb to peer pressure or outward appearances. No matter what, no one is perfect! I hope you get a chance to read it. Are you still reading Allegiant?

  5. I think one of the takeaways from the Brilliant Book Club gang was the very, very different expectations we all brought to the definition of the “Good Mother.” So you are in good company there. I like the idea that your definition of the GM evolves over time. My son is only 2 but I imagine I will put new and different demands on myself in 5, 10, 15 years from now.

    ps – Personally, I’d get off Pinterest. See my most recent post. 😉

    1. HA, yes, Deb is very anti-Pinterest. The thing I loved about this book, that I will be sharing soon, is that even when I THOUGHT I didn’t have Good Mother issues, reading this book made me realize that there are still some lurking. I do think every mom should read this book! I bought copies for my 2 of my best friends.

  6. I sort of feel like everyone had to figure out what being a good mom means to them and then just own it and not get sucked into comparing it to what everyone else is doing. I don’t always do that perfectly, but I try 🙂

    1. Very true Trish. A definition of a good mother is very subjective. It isn’t always easy to not compare myself to another. In fact its why I started this blog, to stop analyzing what I can’t do and focus on small victories I have accomplished. Everyone has something that makes motherhood all the more challenging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, I love getting comments!

  7. It’s tempting though to say that my idea of motherhood before was to be supportive, loving and to raise a conscientious, intelligent, compassionate person who contributes to society in a positive way and now it’s simply to make sure she makes it to adulthood at all. LOL

    I do think my expectations for myself as a mother have changed since having a child–and not always for the better. I’m learning though, although I imagine it will be a constant struggle to some degree. Especially with so many different messages coming at us via the media, be it social or otherwise, through books and friends and family.

    I do think parenthood is the hardest job I’ve ever had–and the most rewarding. There are many days I think I must be the worst mother in the world and other days when I realize I can’t possibly be. I see my daughter’s smile and hear her laughter. I must be doing something right.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I agree my expectations for myself got a lot harder once I had my sons. I wanted to have it all. I am still learning too. People might think it gets easier with more kids since you learn as you go. But what amazes me too is my boys might look very alike but they are sooo different in their personalities…and completely unpredictable! I am glad I am not the only one to think its the hardest job I could have. Yes! Your daughters laugh and joy is proof positive that you’re doing a lot of things right! Thanks for commenting and great conversation!

  8. Sounds like a great book! Have you thought about creating a chain and passing it on to another mom who blogs and so on?

    Might be a great way to share the book and continue to build community.

    1. Not sure I understand how the blog chain would work. Do you mean to get others responses to add to the post? I think it’s a good book to stir up discussion. Thanks for your feedback Trish!

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