Dimity's Reviews > The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women

The Mommy Myth by Susan Douglas
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's review
May 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: feminism, parenting, reading-women-2011, reviewed, 2011, read-women-nonfiction
Read from April 22 to 30, 2011

I think I read this engaging book at the perfect time in my new parenting journey. Douglas and Michaels are a breath of much needed fresh air in the midst of the diaper stench and guilt that comes standard with modern American motherhood. I enjoyed their biting, hilarious style. I realized how prevalent what the authors dub “the new momism” really is and how the ideas I’d absorbed from it were influencing my feelings towards parenthood (and not for the better). It was a relief to realize how this heap of unrealistic expectations was unhelpful and I have been working on releasing myself from those expectations. After reading this book, I was inspired to delete my membership from all the parenting websites I was frequenting and the sun has been shining more brightly in the sky every day since doing that.

It was particularly helpful for me to read the criticisms of attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is the style that my parenting choices probably fit the best into. From my experience, the attachment parenting world sees itself as the persecuted minority (probably not a completely unjustified feeling) and most of the online forums catering to this parenting style are defensive from the get-go and there’s not always room for much dissent. It was enlightening to get some outside validation for my gut feelings that attachment parenting often isn’t very friendly to mothers.

I found the authors’ defense of notorious murdering mothers to be slightly problematic...it seems a far cry from dissecting momism to using it as an excuse for women killing their children. The images were not organized and no reference in text to them; it feels like the image section was just thrown in there.

I loved this book and I wish they had written this more recently so I could see their thoughts on “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom,” and the other shows in the recent explosion of reality shows dealing with motherhood.

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Reading Progress

04/23/2011 page 82

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