Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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52 {Books} in 52: Bad Mother

I read Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace based on recommendation. The book is the product of all the backlash she got over an article she wrote about loving her husband more than her children and it chronicles all her thoughts on and instances of being a "bad" mother. The book starts off with the best question: how comes it's easier for a father to be a "good" father but harder for a mother to be a "good" mother? Good fathers just have to be present and provide financial support while good mothers have to cook, be unselfish, enjoy sex and a slew of other characteristics.

I had a hard time getting into the book because Ayelet is definitely an acquired taste (note: if you are Republican you will be put off almost immediately) but toward the second half of the book I couldn't put the book down. The last chapter is definitely the best one and while I thought the book was good, I don't think it's the type of book that would appeal to all because you get A LOT of Ayelet. I'd recommend reading her articles first and seeing if you like her style before investing time in this book.

These are my favorite quotes from the book:
There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you'd be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature.

The only thing worse than having low expectations of your children is setting the bar so high that they cannot hope to succeed. And the only thing worse than that is allowing yourself to be crushed when they fail.

The most toxic thing parents can do is allow their delight and pride in their children be spoiled by disappointment, by frustration when the children fail to live up to expectations formed before they were even born, expectations that have nothing to do with them and everything to do with the parents' own egos.

Bad Mother

Here's what I've read for my 52 {Books} in 52 challenge:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
5. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Glad you enjoyed it by the second half! :) I totally understand, sometimes her writing style gives me whiplash. I loved the part when her son said he was going to live with her in the top floor of his dream house when he grew up...