Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace

Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace

by Ayelet Waldman
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Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
BevE More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have ever read a book by Ayelet Waldman. I was inspired by Ayelet's honesty and the huge helping of self that she squeezes into every sentence. The love that she has for her children is so raw, so honest that at times you almost feel that you are invading their privacy but it is because of this honesty that you begin to understand that for everything mothers do for their children they do it because of love. Right or wrong, there are really very few bad mothers, only mothers who try in their own way to be a 'good' mother. Ms Waldman holds nothing back as she shares her family's decision in favor of an abortion and also of the diagnosis of bipolar disease that runs in her family. This book opens the door to understanding more about ourselves as mothers, I learned a lot from it and want to thank Ayelet for having the courage to write it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was such a wonderful book. Each of the 18 chapters is basically an essay on a mothering/parenting related issue. I found Ms. Waldman's writing to be honest, funny, and thought provoking. I enjoyed her candor. I laughed reading this book, I nodded in agreement, I cried. In some cases I didn't agree with her parenting style or choices (that rocketship chapter was a tough one for me), but I strongly agreed with what I felt to be her overall message - mothering is hard, there is no right way, and we make it harder on ourselves and others with our expectations, judgments, and lack of empathy, support and plain old kindness. I appreciated Ms. Waldman sharing her life and thoughts with us.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
In Bad Mother, Ayelet Waldman talks about how all mothers are made to feel like they are performing poorly as mothers, regardless of their choices. Waldman is married to the novelist, Michael Chabon, and together they have four children. She gives the reader an intimate view of the choices she has made as a mother, and the negative feedback she has gotten for some of her choices. The book is written in eighteen chapters, each discussing common parenting issues. The stay-at-home mom vs. the working mom is covered, and how each is criticized for what they choose for their family. The marriage partnership and how work is divided is a chapter. Chapters I found especially relevant was one about how they elected to abort a child identified with birth defects, and one that talked about how to discuss sex and the parents' sexual history with one's children. I also liked the chapter about the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship which gave me new ways to look at this common issue through a new filter. The chapter about helping children with their social relationships and not dragging your own angst into the issue was timely, and I loved the chapter about hating homework. This book is recommended for all readers. Those who are parents will recognize themselves, or at least the issues that most parents face, while those who have remained childless will gain a better understanding of what family life is like.
thetabeta More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I felt so close to Ayelet Waldman I would swear we've been friends for years. Only the most successful memoirists can seduce you into that kind of relationship while confessing their greatest sins and fears. Even though she writes of some unsavory topics, her love and good intention shines through, and, as a reader, I just forgive and look forward to the next chapter. As a mother, I found so much humor and commiseration that I actually heaved a sigh of relief at one point. I loved this book and know that I will re-visit it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have no doubt Ayelet feels the way she does about Motherhood, I just don't share her points of view. I found some of her thoughts/opinions/actions offensive but the whole point of her book is for women to be tolerant of each other's decisions; as a new mother I can appreciate and respect that.
TaraVMurphy More than 1 year ago
I almost stopped reading in the beginning.  She was starting to lose me when describing how she was a defense attorney, determined to keep her career going, despite having a baby.  She was lucky enough to have a husband who could care for the baby all day and work at night.  She finally reeled me back in when she decided to quit and stay home, finally realizing that her mother and the feminist pursuit of career was just not realistic when having young children.  I can relate to this, having figured it out before having a baby.  I feel bad for the author to have a mother who pressured her to maintain a career while parenting.  It's not possible for women to do both (dedicate 100% to a career and children simultaneously).  The feminists sold us a bill of goods here.  Luckily, Waldman figured it out early on.   She talks of being bored as a stay at home mom.  I can relate to that, but when you have babies, it goes with the territory.  There's a lot of isolation and monotony that we have to accept and deal with.   I'm glad I stuck with the book mainly because of her chapter on her pregnancy termination for medical reasons.  I can also relate to this, personally.  This is a brave decision and a courageous thing to write about.  More women should come forward with their stories like this.  The abortion debate usually leaves these cases out, making it all about unwanted pregnancies.  This was a much wanted pregnancy where the baby had a chromosomal defect and she chose not to attempt to carry to term.  She talks of her grief, coming to terms with it and moving on for the sake of her living children.  Bravo. The other chapters were mainly about her family.  I can't relate to her politics, but her opinions are all over the place.  Maybe a little less of that and more about the kids.  She talks a LOT about her husband.  It's great that she has such a good marriage.  Many women aren't so lucky.  I cringed while reading about her parents, but she ended talking about her son's ADHD.  I can also relate similarly.  Overall, it was a good read from the digital library.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the sample and thought it was just drivel. I couldn't figure out how famous people were supposed to be typical examples of motherhood. That is not in touch with reality at all. Bad mothers are people that treat their kids bad. You know who you are. You also know that if you're a good mom, you still have bad days. Working or not working doesn't make you good or bad. Child rearing is the most challenging thing you will ever do, if you're doing it right. It's also the most rewarding. I think this woman has a lot of gall trying to psychoanalyze the mother hood via news paper clippings...
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Elijian_11120707 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as the title immediately grabbed my attenion and I thought the book would be entertaining. As I have children, one with special needs, I thought this book would give me a good laugh and a sense of relation. I understand what the whole objective of this book was, but made no connections to it. After I started reading the third chapter and Ayelet said "skip to the next chapter if you are not this person" I did skip ahead, but then I found myself skipping through the whole book not enjoying what I was reading. All mothers can tell funny stories, but the brutal honesty about some of the material in this book was not what I wanted to read (and definitely not for the faint of heart). This is the first book ever that I have not finished. I was colossally disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book during my dauther's first two years of life. It brought humor and light heartedness to the topic of being a mom and not being perfect. It was just what I needed!
ReaderontheLake More than 1 year ago
In Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, Ayelet Waldman rails against the cult of the perfect mother that is given new life online now in certain mommy blogs. When we try and live up to unrealistic ideal of maternal conduct, "this creature of fantasy," she argues, "It's as if the swimmer Tracy Caulkins, winner of three Olympic gold medals, setter of five world records, were to beat herself up for being slower than the Little Mermaid." Waldman shares stories of her own good days and bad and reminds us "how profound a problem a young mother's loss of self can be."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago