I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood Paperback – Mar 14 2007
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About the Author
Trisha Ashworth has produced advertising for American Express, PepsiCo, and Levi's. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three children.
Amy Nobile has led public relations programs for Visa, FritoLay, and Webvan. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. The authors have been on Oprah, Today Show, 20/20, Rachel Ray, Early Show, Fox News and NPR.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I read the book because the title was catchy and I thought maybe there were some new insights I could glean. I soon realized that there was a lot of whining and complaining to wade through to get to any helpful advice.
The authors' position is that the problem with modern motherhood is "all the choices." (p. 20) I would suggest the problem with modern mothers is the expectation of being happy (and guilt and expectation-free). Motherhood has many happy moments but the purpose of motherhood is not to make you happy. Jewish author Leo Rosten sums it up best, "I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all." When we bring another life into this world, we are faced with the needs of someone else supplanting our own. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in "my needs" versus "their needs" we will find ourselves unhappy. If we live like Rosten suggests, we will find some happiness but I think we will also find something more valuable: peace and contentment.
I was also deeply disturbed by the quotes of "I adore my husband BUT..." or "I adore my children BUT..." Would any of us like to read about how someone's love for us is conditional? I love you but I'd love you more if you weren't so time-consuming. We should be telling our husbands and children that we adore them, period. I will take the angst, the hardships, and lousy days because it means I have you and you have enriched my life.
I don't understand the purpose of including the "Dirty Little Secrets" side notes. It would seem to only enable women to further the comparison game ("Well, thank goodness I'm not as bad as her!") Most of the "Secrets" revolve around deceit. Is this the kind of life we want to live?
A lot of mothers quoted in this book do not seem to understand the purpose of children ("I thought having a baby would be like having a pet..." GASP!) I don't pretend to have the answer to that question but one thing I do know is that children are not accessories or a check mark on our "List of Things to Do in Life". Children are not widgets to be produced and marketed but independent thinkers that need guidance and training so they can contribute to society. Children are the refineries of the metal that is your character. With the right attitude, you will be a better person for having been a mother. With the wrong attitude, you're just killing time until the next event.
What really irked me the most, however, was that much of the writing was aimed at a specific target group of mothers, upper or upper-middle class and I will not get into lack of cultural awareness- not to mention the hypocrisy (though I am sure unintended). The constant mention of to work or not to work for mothers, nanny or no nanny, private or public school, organic or non-organic, TV or no TV. Believe it or not, the only of these I have ever had a hard time with is whether or not to work, and it is hard but some of us really have no choice (can't afford a nanny with working, let alone if I were at home as mentioned in the book numerous times). The writing is a lot about how not to let "bitchy" women and comments get to us and not let ourselves feel so judged, when in reality, I felt judged more from much of the writings than I have ever felt by family or friends. I found myself all of a sudden worrying about things that I would have never worried about before (the need to have the "perfect themed" birthday party with all of the "right" decorations and goodie bags?). NOT a book I will be going out and buying for my working, middle classed- though educated, friends and mothers.
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