“Hilarious, heartbreaking, and edgy.” —Newsweek
“This is not only a wonderfully written book, but I think it may also be a book of great salvation for many women. Most of the mothers I know (the honest ones, the tired ones, the confused ones) will see themselves reflected in these wise pages and will find long-overdue comfort here.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Absorbing reading . . . takes brave risks. . . . What really makes Waldman’s book interesting, as voices on motherhood go, is Waldman herself—the intensity of her positions and the way she thinks.” —The New York Times Book Review
“I have often felt that it is impossible to be a mother without a profound, even corrosive, sense of failure, or at least that’s how I feel about myself. To find a book that shares that anxiety, and an author who dissects this insecurity and self-doubt with wit, honesty and proper, enquiring intelligence, is (as a reader) like being grossly dehydrated and being presented with a vat of water to drink. . . . I want to be in the company of her frank intelligence forever.” —Nigella Lawson
“Many find Waldman’s honesty hard to take. For some of us it’s hard to live without.” —People
“Waldman’s book is nothing short of a revelation.” —The Oregonian
“Nuanced and thoughtful. . . . Waldman is often an astute commentator on contemporary parenting.” —Boston Globe
“Waldman hates to hold back, and that trait serves her well in Bad Mother.” —The Washington Post
“Bound to stimulate ferocious discussion.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Waldman is a courageous and talented writer. Her greatest accomplishment in this book is to take her experience—some of our worst fears—and make it something we can understand. . . . Isn’t that a mother's real job?” —Susan Cheever, The Daily Beast
“Fascinating. . . . If she’s honest, every mother will see herself reflected in the pages of this book.” —The Anniston Star
“Ayelet Waldman writes cleanly and thoughtfully about motherhood as both an experience and a spectator sport. Bad Mother is blunt, wry, prescriptive and pleasurable.” —Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten-Year Nap
“Ayelet Waldman's sane perspective on the challenges of motherhood comes as a relief. I relished her graceful language, self-mocking humor, her clear, if sometimes painful, insight. And I admire her—deeply—for the bracing honesty that redeems it all.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Waiting for Daisy
“Ayelet Waldman writes about motherhood the way women live it: Not only as parents, but also as wives, professionals, and most touchingly, former children. Written with humor, insight, generosity, and unflinching honesty, Bad Mother is for anyone who has—or has been—a child.” —Pamela Paul, author of Parenting, Inc. and The Starter Marriage
If you're a mom, you're almost certainly a bad mom. Contradictory demands make any choice controversial: If you work, you're neglecting your kids. If you don't, you're probably smothering them or sending them mixed messages. If you discipline, you're twisting them for life. If you don't, you're being irresponsible. Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother grapples in hilarious ways with questions that most of our grandparents never pondered: Will Megan's play group help propel her toward the Ivies? How do I wean the kids from fast food to organic? What is the proper homework/organized activity ratio? Remedial humor.
… it's the…uncensored rawness that made me reluctant to speed through any of Waldman's essays, for fear I'd miss some of the more jolting zingers…Waldman, hotheaded and opinionated, digs herself into ditches, and with Bad Mother, sends candid shots from the pit…[she] doesn't always tie her essays up in a neat bow, which seems appropriately messy given the subject matter. They say that a good mother is one who doesn't need her kids to like her all the time. Of writers and their readers, Waldman's book leaves me thinking, the same might be true.
The New York Times
Waldman hates to hold back, and that trait serves her well in Bad Mother, a collection of 18 essays, many of which have been published previously. She covers a lot of the terrain of modern motherhood as experienced by a privileged subset of women…After reading these stories, plenty of parents will fault Waldman for something or other. Plenty more will be able to relate.
The Washington Post
Having aroused the ire of righteous mothers with her confession to loving her husband more than her children, Waldman (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits) offers similar boldface opinions in 18 rather defensive essays. The mother of four, living in Berkeley and married for 15 years to an ideal partner who told her on their first date that he wanted to be a stay-at-home husband and father (he also happens to be novelist Michael Chabon), Waldman was a Jewish girl who grew up in 1970s suburban New Jersey, where her mother introduced her to Free to Be You and Me and instilled in her the importance of becoming a working mother. With her supportive husband to manage the domestic drudgery, Waldman did pursue a law career, until she quit to be with her growing family. As a champion of "bad mothering," that is, dropping the metaphorical ball-making mistakes and forgiving yourself for it-Waldman writes in these well-fashioned essays how a mother's best intentions frequently go awry: she really meant to breastfeed, until one of her children was bottle-fed because of a palate abnormality; she denounced the playing of dodgeball in her children's school, out of her own memories of schoolyard humiliations; and she confesses to aborting a fetus who suffered a genetic defect. Her determinedly frank revelations are chatty and sure to delight the online groups she frequents. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.