Motherhood at the Crossroads: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Role

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Motherhood at the Crossroads: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Role examines the many enduring myths of motherhood and how they conflict with reality. At a stage in their lives when most women expect to find great joy and satisfaction - the motherhood years - they instead experience tremendous disappointment and despair. Ms. Villani and Ms. Ryan, experts in the cultural changes concerning motherhood and family, insightfully point out how women's performance as mothers often doesn't match their expectations, ...
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Overview

Motherhood at the Crossroads: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Role examines the many enduring myths of motherhood and how they conflict with reality. At a stage in their lives when most women expect to find great joy and satisfaction - the motherhood years - they instead experience tremendous disappointment and despair. Ms. Villani and Ms. Ryan, experts in the cultural changes concerning motherhood and family, insightfully point out how women's performance as mothers often doesn't match their expectations, thereby causing intense feelings of shame and guilt. Although it is important to take the role seriously, the authors say it is not healthy to buy into the cultural myth of the "perfect" mother. Through two decades of personal in-depth interviews with hundreds of mothers from across the United States, the authors explore the Mother Crisis as a condition that is killing women's spirits. This surprisingly frank work tells their stories so that many others can better understand the conflicts they are experiencing themselves. Ms. Villani and Ms. Ryan sharply contrast evolving motherhood ideals to women's views of themselves as mothers today. Motherhood at the Crossroads explains how women are set up for a self-esteem crisis after they become mothers, how they can avoid such a dilemma, and, if need be, how to pull themselves out of it. The authors offer honest answers to such tough question as: "Should mothers stay home to raise the children?" and "How much help should mothers expect from spouses and society?" Motherhood at the Crossroads is an honest, unabashed look at a phenomenon that can and should be abated, and is must-read material for anyone who is or may become a parent.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explodes enduring myths of motherhood to reveal the guilt and shame women often feel when their performance as mothers doesn't match their expectations, drawing on two decades of personal interviews from mothers across the US. Explains how women are set up for a self-esteem crisis after they become mothers, and how to avoid it. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306455667
  • Publisher: Perseus Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/1997
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Ch. 1 A Lack of Identity: Women without a Strong Sense of Self Are High Risk for a Mother Crisis 15
Ch. 2 Embracing the Myths of Motherhood: Women with a Mythical View of Motherhood Are in Stage One of The Mother Crisis 33
Ch. 3 The Mother Crisis: When Mothers Sacrifice Who They Are for Their Children 49
Ch. 4 Grieving the Loss of Self: Women Who Sacrifice Themselves for Their Children Lose Their Sense of Self 77
Ch. 5 A Sacrificing of Identity: Women Who Give up Their Identities Set Themselves up for The Mother Crisis 97
Ch. 6 Motherhood Myths Narrow Women's Choices: Old Myths about Motherhood Endure in Modern Society, Influencing the Lives of "Liberated" Women 117
Ch. 7 The Mother Crisis Revisited: Mothers of the Nineties Drown in Waves of Anger and Denial 141
Ch. 8 Bridging the Gap: Putting an End to the Mommy Wars 171
Ch. 9 A Mother's True Worth: Conquering the Paradox of Motherhood 195
Ch. 10 Epilogue 221
Appendix 223
Notes 235
Index 245
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