Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

Overview

A lively and provocative look at the modern culture of motherhood and at the social, economic, and political forces that shaped current ideas about parenting

What is wrong with this picture? That's the question Judith Warner asks in this national bestseller after taking a good, hard look at the world of modern parenting—at anxious women at work and at home and in bed with unhappy husbands.

When Warner had her first child, she was living in...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (105) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $2.99   
  • Used (95) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.99
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(73)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1573223042 Only 1 copy left! Clean, unmarked copy. Hardcover, with dust jacket- In great shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent via ... media rate. Got any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! Read more Show Less

Ships from: Los Angeles, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.03
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(52)

Condition: New
New book and ships quickly from HOTLANTA, GA!

Ships from: Jonesboro, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.47
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(148)

Condition: New
2005-02-17 Hardcover New in Like New jacket Flawless new hardcover in also mint jacket. MendoPower Employment Services will immediately and carefully pack this book in ... high-quality bubble lined, envelopes. Then we send you a confirmation e-mail. We appreciate your business and welcome any questions. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Fort Bragg, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.98
Seller since 2013

Feedback rating:

(15)

Condition: New
2005-02-17 Hardcover New Excellent Book, Great Read, Fast and friendly Customer Service.

Ships from: Titusville, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.44
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
Hard back book New with jacket*[BLK ] Unmarked*Ships securely* All merchandise is fully guaranteed* Buy from a professional company that cares about your satisfaction*G

Ships from: Warrington, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.96
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(556)

Condition: New
2005-02-17 Hardcover New 2005 Hardback w/ DJ. You are buying a Book in NEW condition with very light shelf wear to include very light edge and corner wear.

Ships from: Wilmington, NC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.40
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(3)

Condition: New
New New. I ship next day by USPS from a smoke free home.

Ships from: Holiday, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$18.00
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
New York, New York, U.S.A. 2005 Hard Cover First Edition New in New jacket Brand new First Edition hardcover book with full number line. No shelf wear, no marks inside or out.

Ships from: Hideaway, TX

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$23.99
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(29)

Condition: New
New Quality Books...Because We Care-Shipped from Canada. Usually ships within 1-2 business days. If you buy this book from us, we will donate a book to a local school. We donate ... 10, 000+ books to local schools every year. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Ottawa, Canada

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(149)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

A lively and provocative look at the modern culture of motherhood and at the social, economic, and political forces that shaped current ideas about parenting

What is wrong with this picture? That's the question Judith Warner asks in this national bestseller after taking a good, hard look at the world of modern parenting—at anxious women at work and at home and in bed with unhappy husbands.

When Warner had her first child, she was living in Paris, where parents routinely left their children home, with state-subsidized nannies, to join friends in the evening for dinner or to go on dates with their husbands. When she returned to the States, she was stunned by the cultural differences she found toward how people think about effective parenting—in particular, assumptions about motherhood. None of the mothers she met seemed happy; instead, they worried about the possibility of not having the perfect child, panicking as each developmental benchmark approached.

Combining close readings of mainstream magazines, TV shows, and pop culture with a thorough command of dominant ideas in recent psychological, social, and economic theory, Perfect Madness addresses our cultural assumptions, and examines the forces that have shaped them.

Working in the tradition of classics like Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism, and with an awareness of a readership that turned recent hits like The Bitch in the House and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It into bestsellers, Warner offers a context in which to understand parenting culture and the way we live, as well as ways of imagining alternatives—actual concrete changes—that might better our lives.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
As a Newsweek reporter stationed in Paris, Judith Warner had ample opportunity to observe the stereotypical gender roles of French culture, and her pieces reflected an American feminist's sense of superiority. When she returned to the United States, Warner, now a mother of two, received a rude awakening. She found that the working moms she had idealized from abroad were in reality tired, harassed, and at loose ends, most of them convinced that they had failed as both mothers and wives. These stressed-out overachievers longed for the quiet times that French mothers, thanks to state-subsidized nannies, took for granted. Her book is a wake-up call for every woman who once wished that she had it all and now laments that she does.
Judith Shulevitz
Manifestoes blast their way into the popular consciousness on two kinds of fuel: recognition (we see ourselves in them) and rage (we can no longer tolerate the injustice they describe). Judith Warner's Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety brims with both. She clearly means for her denunciation of American-style mothering to do for overstressed 21st-century upper-middle-class American women what Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique did for underemployed 20th-century ones.
— The New York Times
Stephanie Wilkinson
odern motherhood is exacting costs, too. Ann Crittenden's The Price of Motherhood showed how mothers become poor in old age. With Perfect Madness, Warner convincingly shows the psychological damages. What more do we need to learn before things change?
— The Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573223041
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 16.20 (w) x 23.00 (h) x 3.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Warner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story, as well as several other books. She writes the Domestic Disturbances column for the New York Times website and is a former special correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their children.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

From the Preface
“This Mess”

This is a very personal book.

It is a snapshot of motherhood - of parenthood, really - as I found it in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs from the fall of 2000 to the summer of 2004. And although in writing it I made every effort to take my research further—away from the big cities of the East Coast, back in time to the colonial roots of America's cultural history, then forward again to our day—I know that what I have written here is not an encyclopedic overview of Motherhood, Now and Forever.

It's not a scholarly history.

Neither is it a book of self-help.

It's not a book about the work-family conflict.

Nor is it about "balance," or the problems of working mothers, or the virtues of stay-at-home motherhood.

It does not contain much by way of policy.

It will not tell you how to raise your children.

It is, rather, an exploration of a feeling. That caught-by-the-throat feeling so many mothers have today of always doing something wrong.

And it's about a conviction I have that this feeling—this widespread, choking cocktail of guilt and anxiety and resentment and regret—is poisioning motherhood for American women today. Lowering our horizons and limiting our minds. Sapping energy that we should have for ourselves and our children. And drowning out thoughts that might lead us, collectively, to formulate solutions.

The feeling has many faces but it doesn't really have a name. It's not depression. It's not oppression. It's a mix of things, a kind of too-muchness. An existential discomfort. A "mess," as one woman I interviewed called it, for lack of a better word.

She wasn't a woman who normally lacked for words. She was a newspaper editor. A headline writer. A professional wordsmith. And yet, as she sat with me one night, half-buried in a sofa in a circle of moms, she struggled, and stumbled, as she tried to express what it was that made her life feel like it was always about to come apart.

None of it made much sense, really, she said. She was a person lucky enough to have many choices. In the hope of finding "balance" she'd chosen to scale down her career—working part-time and at night, in order to spend as much time as possible with her nine-year-old daughter.

This is the kind of arrangement that mothers are supposed to dream of. This mom knew she ought to feel blessed. But somehow, nothing had worked out as planned. Working nights meant that she was tired all the time, and cranky, and stressed. And forever annoyed with her husband. And now—her daughter was after her to get a day job. It seemed she was finding that having Mom around most of the time wasn't all it was cracked up to be, particularly if Mom was forever on the edge. So what was she to do?

The woman waved her hands in circles, helplessly. "What I'm trying to figure out—" She paused. "What I'm trying to remember…;is how I ended up raising this princess…;how I got into…;how to get out of…;this, this, this…;this mess."

This mess.

The words crackled like lightning in the suburban living room where we'd been sitting since sunset. It was a Tuesday evening in the winter of 2002, the bath-into-bed-time hour was past, and the moms, out for a night without kids, were exhausted. The conversation had been moving laboriously, the big issue, Motherhood, lurching heavily across the coffee table like a big medicine ball full of angst.

Like the newspaper editor, the other moms didn't feel entitled to complain. By any objective measure, they had easy lives—kids in good schools, houses in good neighborhoods, dependable husbands whose incomes allowed them to mostly choose what they wanted to do with their time. Most had chosen to pursue Mommy Track jobs—part-time work, a big cut in ambition and salary. But they didn't mind that; they knew that that was a privilege. Still, there was something that bugged them. It ate away at them. It cast a pall on all the rest. What they couldn't make peace with was the feeling that somehow, more globally, they were living Mommy Track lives.

Lives filled with knee pads and bake sales and dentist's appointments and car seats. Lives somehow lesser than those of their full-time working husbands—men who managed, when the kids ran wild in the morning, spilling their Cheerios, and losing their shoes, to lose themselves in the newspaper, fading "into black and white" at the breakfast table, as one mom put it to me, "just like Father Knows Best."

The moms' lives were punctuated by boxer shorts on the floor and quilt-making at school, carpooling and play dates and mother-daughter book clubs, and getting in to see the right dentist and worrying about whether they had the wrong pediatrician, and, and, and, layer after layer of trivia and absurdity that sometimes made them feel like they were going out of their heads.

Sometimes, a rage seized them that was hard to control. Sometimes, everything just seemed out of control. "Living in past, present, and future all at one time," one mom said, "I get overwhelmed. I get worried about things falling apart."

Every three months, they would blow. Every now and then, their husbands and children knew, they had to leave Mommy alone. It was a standard part of their family lives. The "Zen of the boxer shorts," as one mother called it, could only last for so long.

And the real problem was—the worst of it all was—it wasn't altogether clear that what they were doing with their lives was actually worthwhile. The choices and the compromises—when all was said and done, they didn't seem to add up to all that much. Not to a great sense of achievement. Not to a great sense of pride. There was no gratitude from their families, certainly. Their husbands had started taking a tone. It sounded like: "This is what I want you to do…;" Their children simply wondered what they did with their time.

Their children had almost all of them, and they just wanted more, more, more. And after years of always trying to give more, give their all, they were coming to realize that more wasn't necessarily right. But what to do, then?

"The children are the center of the household and everything goes around them," said a woman who'd left a prestigious government job working on child-care policy because it allowed her no time with her kids. "You want to do everything and be everything for them because this is your job now. You take all the energy and enthusiasm you had in your career and you feel the need to be as successful raising your children as you were in the workplace. And you can make your kids totally crazy in the process."

"And," another stay-at-home mom put in, "the reality is: at the end of the day, you could put your heart in it and it could be all cocked up. For nothing wrong that you did. Your kids could wind up a mess, and there's your life's work."

There was a problem floating in the room, a problem so big and so strange that the women couldn't quite name it. It wasn't exactly guilt. It wasn't exactly stress. It wasn't exactly anger. It was all of that and more.

"…;This mess."

Those two simple words were like a code-breaker. Everything became clear then, and suddenly, the sentences flew.

"It's like they keep a tally of the did-nots."

"I am absolutely and scarily consumed by rage."

"I want my kids to think of me not just as doing for them but also as fun."

"I think we're making ourselves crazy."

"Your kids can end up completely messed up."

"Are we neurotic, insecure? What got us to here?"

I couldn't answer those questions back then. I didn't even try. The fact is: I was put off that night by those smartest-of-the-smart, well-off, and powerful women, with their Washington insider lives.

All women should have problems like yours, I found myself thinking. We all should be so lucky.

It was only later, when I stepped back, transcribed the conversation, and read—and read and read—more transcripts and articles and e-mails and books and policy papers, when I stepped back and listened to the cultural conversation on motherhood going on in my home and in theirs and, I believe, in all of ours, that I came to see that, indeed, most women did. Have problems like theirs. In varying forms. And in varying degress, depending on how much money and how much luck and how many real choices they had. I came to believe that all mothers in America, in differing ways and to different degrees, were caught up in The Mess. And that's because the climate in which we now mother is, in many ways, just plain crazy.

It's not the "fault" of the media. Or the Christian Right. Or George W. Bush. Or Phyllis Schlafly. Or Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Or Mrs. Doubtfire. It's us—this generation of mothers. And it's the way our culture has groomed and greeted us. Mixing promise with politics, feminism with "family values," science and sound bites and religion and, above all, fear into a combustible combination that is nothing less than perfect madness

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part I: The Mommy Mystique

Preface: "This Mess"
1. Introduction: The Mommy Mystique
2. The New Problem That Has No Name

Part II: The Motherhood Religion

3. The Sacrificial Mother
4. Selfish Mothers, Forsaken Children
5. Millennial Motherhood
6. The Motherhood Religion

Part III: Ourselves, As Mothers

7. A Generation of Control Freaks
8. Running Scared
9. Winner-Take-All Parenting
10. Wonderful Husbands
11. For a Politics of Quality of Life
12. Conclusion

Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Perfect Madness

Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety
By Judith Warner

Riverhead Books

ISBN: 1-573-22304-2


Preface

"This Mess"

This is a very personal book. It is a snapshot of motherhood - of parenthood, really - as I found it in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs from the fall of 2000 to the summer of 2004. And although in writing it I made every effort to take my research further-away from the big cities of the East Coast, back in time to the colonial roots of America's cultural history, then forward again to our day-I know that what I have written here is not an encyclopedic overview of Motherhood, Now and Forever. It's not a scholarly history. Neither is it a book of self-help. It's not a book about the work-family conflict. Nor is it about "balance," or the problems of working mothers, or the virtues of stay-at- home motherhood. It does not contain much by way of policy. It will not tell you how to raise your children. It is, rather, an exploration of a feeling. That caught-by-the-throat feeling so many mothers have today of always doing something wrong. And it's about a conviction I have that this feeling-this widespread, choking cocktail of guilt and anxiety and resentment and regret-is poisioning motherhood for American women today. Lowering our horizons and limiting our minds. Sapping energy that we should have for ourselves and our children. And drowning out thoughts that might lead us, collectively, to formulate solutions. The feeling has many faces but it doesn't really have a name. It's not depression. It's not oppression. It's a mix of things, a kind of too-muchness. An existential discomfort. A "mess," as one woman I interviewed called it, for lack of a better word. She wasn't a woman who normally lacked for words. She was a newspaper editor. A headline writer. A professional wordsmith. And yet, as she sat with me one night, half-buried in a sofa in a circle of moms, she struggled, and stumbled, as she tried to express what it was that made her life feel like it was always about to come apart. None of it made much sense, really, she said. She was a person lucky enough to have many choices. In the hope of finding "balance" she'd chosen to scale down her career-working part-time and at night, in order to spend as much time as possible with her nine-year-old daughter. This is the kind of arrangement that mothers are supposed to dream of. This mom knew she ought to feel blessed. But somehow, nothing had worked out as planned. Working nights meant that she was tired all the time, and cranky, and stressed. And forever annoyed with her husband. And now-her daughter was after her to get a day job. It seemed she was finding that having Mom around most of the time wasn't all it was cracked up to be, particularly if Mom was forever on the edge. So what was she to do? The woman waved her hands in circles, helplessly. "What I'm trying to figure out-" She paused. "What I'm trying to remember ... is how I ended up raising this princess ... how I got into ... how to get out of ... this, this, this ... this mess." This mess. The words crackled like lightning in the suburban living room where we'd been sitting since sunset. It was a Tuesday evening in the winter of 2002, the bath-into-bed-time hour was past, and the moms, out for a night without kids, were exhausted. The conversation had been moving laboriously, the big issue, Motherhood, lurching heavily across the coffee table like a big medicine ball full of angst. Like the newspaper editor, the other moms didn't feel entitled to complain. By any objective measure, they had easy lives-kids in good schools, houses in good neighborhoods, dependable husbands whose incomes allowed them to mostly choose what they wanted to do with their time. Most had chosen to pursue Mommy Track jobs-part-time work, a big cut in ambition and salary. But they didn't mind that; they knew that that was a privilege. Still, there was something that bugged them. It ate away at them. It cast a pall on all the rest. What they couldn't make peace with was the feeling that somehow, more globally, they were living Mommy Track lives. Lives filled with knee pads and bake sales and dentist's appointments and car seats. Lives somehow lesser than those of their full-time working husbands-men who managed, when the kids ran wild in the morning, spilling their Cheerios, and losing their shoes, to lose themselves in the newspaper, fading "into black and white" at the breakfast table, as one mom put it to me, "just like Father Knows Best." The moms' lives were punctuated by boxer shorts on the floor and quilt-making at school, carpooling and play dates and mother-daughter book clubs, and getting in to see the right dentist and worrying about whether they had the wrong pediatrician, and, and, and, layer after layer of trivia and absurdity that sometimes made them feel like they were going out of their heads. Sometimes, a rage seized them that was hard to control. Sometimes, everything just seemed out of control. "Living in past, present, and future all at one time," one mom said, "I get overwhelmed. I get worried about things falling apart." Every three months, they would blow. Every now and then, their husbands and children knew, they had to leave Mommy alone. It was a standard part of their family lives. The "Zen of the boxer shorts," as one mother called it, could only last for so long. And the real problem was-the worst of it all was-it wasn't altogether clear that what they were doing with their lives was actually worthwhile. The choices and the compromises-when all was said and done, they didn't seem to add up to all that much. Not to a great sense of achievement. Not to a great sense of pride. There was no gratitude from their families, certainly. Their husbands had started taking a tone. It sounded like: "This is what I want you to do ..." Their children simply wondered what they did with their time. Their children had almost all of them, and they just wanted more, more, more. And after years of always trying to give more, give their all, they were coming to realize that more wasn't necessarily right. But what to do, then? "The children are the center of the household and everything goes around them," said a woman who'd left a prestigious government job working on child-care policy because it allowed her no time with her kids. "You want to do everything and be everything for them because this is your job now. You take all the energy and enthusiasm you had in your career and you feel the need to be as successful raising your children as you were in the workplace. And you can make your kids totally crazy in the process." "And," another stay-at-home mom put in, "the reality is: at the end of the day, you could put your heart in it and it could be all cocked up. For nothing wrong that you did. Your kids could wind up a mess, and there's your life's work." There was a problem floating in the room, a problem so big and so strange that the women couldn't quite name it. It wasn't exactly guilt. It wasn't exactly stress. It wasn't exactly anger. It was all of that and more. "... This mess." Those two simple words were like a code-breaker. Everything became clear then, and suddenly, the sentences flew.

"It's like they keep a tally of the did-nots." "I am absolutely and scarily consumed by rage." "I want my kids to think of me not just as doing for them but also as fun." "I think we're making ourselves crazy." "Your kids can end up completely messed up." "Are we neurotic, insecure? What got us to here?" I couldn't answer those questions back then. I didn't even try. The fact is: I was put off that night by those smartest-of-the-smart, well-off, and powerful women, with their Washington insider lives. All women should have problems like yours, I found myself thinking. We all should be so lucky. It was only later, when I stepped back, transcribed the conversation, and read-and read and read-more transcripts and articles and e-mails and books and policy papers, when I stepped back and listened to the cultural conversation on motherhood going on in my home and in theirs and, I believe, in all of ours, that I came to see that, indeed, most women did. Have problems like theirs. In varying forms. And in varying degress, depending on how much money and how much luck and how many real choices they had. I came to believe that all mothers in America, in differing ways and to different degrees, were caught up in The Mess. And that's because the climate in which we now mother is, in many ways, just plain crazy. It's not the "fault" of the media. Or the Christian Right. Or George W. Bush. Or Phyllis Schlafly. Or Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Or Mrs. Doubtfire. It's us-this generation of mothers. And it's the way our culture has groomed and greeted us. Mixing promise with politics, feminism with "family values," science and sound bites and religion and, above all, fear into a combustible combination that is nothing less than perfect madness

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Perfect Madness by Judith Warner Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    The book should be judged for your self.

    When I went to the Barnes and Noble website to find the note from the publisher I read the reviews as well. Some of the reviews made me angry, because the reviewers kind of missed the whole point of the book I thought, which was to explain how and why motherhood has changed throughout the years, and how another culture can live perfectly without this anxiety over their shoulders all the time. It doesn't mean that we are bad mothers, dislike our kids, or hate our role as a mother. Its a fact that motherhood is a difficult job. Any job that holds you acountable for another human beings life, is definetly an important role. Looking at the big picture of life with everything that could go along with it is a difficult job. It is nice to hear that someone else recognizes this anxiety that so many mothers don't want to admit they have (if some times, or all the time.) because they need to keep their stereo type of a mother that society makes them need to live up to,(it is the era of Martha Stewart) and through history what could have caused us to mother the way we do. I feel like we could be better mothers if we could parent the way we want from what ever methods prefered, without a culture sculpting the way we should FEEL about the way we do it. Like the subject that all mothers bring up sometime in 'mommy conversations' about punishing your child in public.... what will someone else think as they watch me do the punishing, am I doing it right, am I abusing the child, does the child need a good spanking, if I don't punish because I'm afraid of what someone might think is my kid now a little brat? maybe the kid didn't do anything wrong, so now Im just a stressed out mother that takes it out on her kids, and how do I explain to the older lady that spanking is not the answere? This book could help you realize a lot of cultural differences in how we mother, and open your eye to make you realize that your anxiety is not because you are a bad mother it's only a guilt that is caused by our society and culture. I recommend this book. It wont stay on my book shelf either, because it will be passed to one friend, then on to another.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2007

    No solutions

    I enjoyed reading this book because it reinforced how crazy we, as mothers, have gotten. And it's nice to see that we're all pretty much in the same boat, albeit a sinking boat. What I didn't like about the book was that it didn't give any solutions to our problems. The book went on and on about how through history we GOT to where we are (anxiety- & guilt-ridden, frazzled parents) but it doesn't give many suggestions on what we can do about it! I'd like to know how to stop this madness!!?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2006

    A good read

    Judith Warner successfully exposed a strong view being held by some groups of professional women about motherhood in the new millennium. It is all about securing career growth while being a mother, a path that demands less presence by the mother in the life of her child(ren), while at the same time is fraught with the pressure to be the ideal mum that children always dream about, the mother who is always there when needed. It is a rising conflict in motherhood in the rapidly professional America where the specter of single parent families is growing everyday. However I think this book should have toned down its strong feminist perspective.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2005

    addressed, but not answered

    I somewhat enjoyed this book - it's relieving to read others have these same problems. The only thing that derailed me was the comparison between French & American parents. Europe has smaller families - if any, and the French are having major problems with their youths - mainly because they aren't allowed to work until after the age 18 (so as not to take away jobs from elders)- so the kids are problems - just ask any French parent with kids these ages. Yeah, it's easy to sit in a cafe & drink wine. Maybe I should try that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2005

    There's no manual for motherhood!

    I live in the DC area, and I have never lived in an area that is so concentrated with highly-educated, yet insecure and neurotic mothers. It's as if they had all the confidence in the world when they ran businesses, made laws, and generally ran the world. Yet, motherhood has them completely baffled. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to mother; I never got ushered back and forth to multiple language, creative enrichment, or ballet classes throughout my childhood in a Land Rover. I'm sure the vast majority of women in this world didn't, and we all turned out okay. The media, combined with our culture of consumption, has painted a picture of modern motherhood that is bleak and impossible to achieve, at best. This book, and The Mommy Myth, go a long way to describe the hell some women seemed trapped inside. However, what this book fails to point out is that the solution lies within the mother. If you don't like your life and feel trapped, then why don't you go get a job, or fill your day with doing things to fulfill your personal goals instead of living through a four year old. That type of motherhood will smother your children and raise a whole generation of neurotic, co-dependent children.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2005

    A book for part time mothers, full time ladder climbers

    This author wages an all out attack on attachment parenting (ie: breastfeeding) and believes that a woman that decides to be a stay at home mom is throwing it all away by 'depriving herself and, therefore, depriving her children.' Her view seems to be that a woman doesn't get any satisfaction from raising her children and that it's actually a chore. I'm sorry, but if you feel this way, then perhaps you really should rethink whether or not to have children. I'm returning this book to the store; it doesn't have a place on my bookshelves.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2005

    Half the story

    While I commend Judith Warner for continuing the discussion of motherhood and it's challenges, I can't help but feel that this is half the story--where is mention of mothers who are, for the most part, enjoying their lives? It seems to me that Warner recorded each mom's lowest thought at her lowest moment, but never asked about the high points, or the things we do get right. Why no names with the quotes? Would the women have changed their words if they thought there would be attribution, or are the quotes meant to represent a composite of what Warner found to be true? In the end, there is much thought devoted to the problems some modern mothers face, but very little talk about how to help each other, or steps to take to change the situation. I'd have enjoyed the book much more if it devoted time to discussing answers to the many questions it raises.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Falling off the treadmill

    I definitely related to parts, but wished the focus groups would have been broader. The outcome after reading was that I was somewhat depressed to partially have my situation recognized, addressed, and come to the same conclusion as myself that there needs to be a change. NO ONE knows what the answer is; just how are we to remedy the situation is the problem.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)