Julie's Reviews > Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace

Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman
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's review
Dec 15, 09

bookshelves: motherhood, non-fiction

i liked this book and i enjoyed reading about her life and her children (she and michael chabon have four kids). but at times it surprised me by veering off into a too-indulgent memoir. she makes some very excellent points, however, as she argues that we are all way too hard on mothers, who expect and are expected to be perfect. i liked her call to embrace and allow for "good enough" parenting. i thought she was really right on when she mentioned the berkeley parents network and how extremist and judgmental the attachment parenting people can be. when she was bottle-feeding her baby pumped breast milk, a stranger approached her to inform her that "breast is best". she points out that it seems to be one of the only approaches/philosophies that is characterized by proselytizing. (in other words, parents who use cribs, strollers, bottles, playpens, disposable diapers don't tend to have that attitude of superiority and try to convince others that their way is right.) and even though we co-slept and used a sling and i am all for attachment parenting, she is so right! for some reason, certain believers can take it too far, to the point where they believe other parents are doing it wrong. and that is representative of the larger problem waldman explores. as she says, if we can't accept & respect other parents, we should at least go back to the days where we kept our opinions about the personal lives of other people to ourselves.
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message 1: by Abby (last edited Jan 24, 2010 10:42AM) (new)

Abby I have to say, I've felt considerable pressure to use all those things (crib, bottles, disposables etc.) - not so much by other mothers my age as by the mothers a generation older than me. And breastfeeding in public also has its share of detractors, making it quite daunting for a lot of new moms. (See Bill Maher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7birRg... and read the comments too.) I think all mothers feel lots of pressure whether they are trying to do "attachment parenting" or not.

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