The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality

The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality

The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality

The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality


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In an era of mommy blogs, Pinterest, and Facebook, The Good Mother Myth dismantles the social media-fed notion of what it means to be a "good mother." 

This collection of essays takes a realistic look at motherhood and provides a platform for real voices and raw stories, each adding to the narrative of motherhood we don't tend to see in the headlines or on the news. From tales of mind-bending, panic-inducing overwhelm to a reflection on using weed instead of wine to deal with the terrible twos, the honesty of the essays creates a community of mothers who refuse to feel like they're in competition with others, or with the notion of the ideal mom—they're just trying to find a way to make it work. 

With a foreword by Christy Turlington Burns and a contributor list that includes Jessica Valenti, Sharon Lerner, Soraya Chemaly, Amber Dusick and many more, this remarkable collection seeks to debunk the myth and offer some honesty about what it means to be a mother.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580055024
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Avital Norman Nathman is a former teacher and lifelong learner turned freelance writer. Her work, which places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, gender, reproductive justice, and reproductive health, has been featured in Bitch magazine, The New York Times, Bamboo Family Magazine, RH Reality Check, CNN, Offbeat Families,, and more. In addition to her blog, The Mamafesto, Norman Nathman has a regular series, “The Femisphere,” for Ms. magazine’s site, as well as a regular feminist parenting column, “Mommie Dearest,” for The Frisky.

While teaching high school social studies for a number of years, Norman Nathman completed her master’s thesis at Wesleyan University, with a concentration in women’s studies. Her thesis, which focused on the status of feminism in the lives of women in their twenties, only fueled her interest in investigating and commenting on the role of feminism for women in other aspects of their lives, including motherhood.

Based in Western Massachusetts with her husband and son, Norman Nathman enjoys digging in her urban garden, hosting dance parties in her kitchen, tweeting (follow her @TheMamafesto), and searching for the perfect cup of chai.

Christy Turlington Burns is a mother, a model, and the founder of Every Mother Counts, a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world.

Table of Contents

Foreword Christy Turlington Burns ix

Introduction xiii

Part I Mama, Don't Fail Me Now…

Ichabod's Ghost Abby Sher 21

My Little Early Perfect Stephanie Kaloi 27

The Unapologetic No Soraya Chemaly 33

Parenting Without a Rope Heather Hewett 41

Mama Don't Cook Carla Naumburg 49

The Hallowed Life of an Agnostic Mother Victoria Brooke Rodrigues 57

When Our Hearts Walk Outside of Our Bodies Jessica Valenti 65

Yes, I Am That Selfish Avital Norman Nathman 69

Part II In The Mama Trenches

The Good Enough Mother Nerissa Nields 77

Another Way to End the Evening Andie Fox 83

Climbers Deborah Siegel 89

Is This Motherhood or Middle School? Naomi Shulman 97

There's a Zombie Cavewoman in All of Us Amber Dusick 103

No More Fakebook Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer 107

Oh Father, Where Art Thou? Lisa Duggan 113

Part III Inside Mama's Mind

An Existential Crisis is Born Aly Windsor 121

Through Distortion Arwyn Daemyir 129

Down the Rabbit Hole Anne-Marie Lindsey 135

Failure to Launch Kimberly Morand 141

The Peculiar Curse of Mentally 111 Motherhood Shannon Drury 147

Part IV Mama By Any Other Name

The Invisible Mother Shay Stewart-Bouley 155

The Adoption Aisle Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser 163

Confessions of a Born-Bad Mother Joy Ladin 171

The Impossibility of the Good Black Mother T. F. Charlton 177

Not Your Average Teen Mother Elizabeth Crossen 185

All the Single Ladies Jennifer Baumgardner 193

The Way It's Supposed to Be Kristen Oganowski 201

Part V "No Good" Mama

Joint Parenting Pauline Abraham 209

The End of Cute Sharon Lerner 213

The Macaroni and Cheese Dilemma Liz Henry 221

Making Time for Lust Erika Lust 227

To Be Real Candace Walsh 231

Lucky American Girl K. J. Dellantonia 237

My Online Life as a (Not So) Lesbian Mama Christina Soletti 245

When Good Mothers Come From Bad Ones Gina Crosley-Corcoran 253

Give Me My 'A' In Scarlet Tara Jean Bernier 261

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