Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman

Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman

Barnes and Noble Synopsis

In our mothers’ day there were good mothers, indifferent mothers, and occasionally, great mothers. Today we have only Bad Mothers: If you work, you’re neglectful; if you stay home, you’re smothering. If you discipline, you’re buying them a spot on the shrink’s couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as a “bad mother”?

Writing with remarkable candor, and dispensing much hilarious and helpful advice along the way—Is breast best? What should you do when your daughter dresses up as a “ho” for Halloween?—Ayelet Waldman says it's time for women to get over it and get on with it in this wry, unflinchingly honest, and always insightful memoir on modern motherhood.


I actually really like this book! I didn't get to read it to its full potential (I needed to return it to the library and I tried to read the Men/Mars, Women/Venus book before hand and I ran out of time!!). But it was very enjoyable.

I found myself thinking the same things that she pointed out. Whether it be the things I think about when I see someone being a "bad mother" or about loving her husband more than her kids. Just yesterday, I caught myself thinking to myself, "wow, what a horrible mom".. then instantly tried looking at it from her point of view. And I understood. Sort of. It's a work in progress, but I think the situation in which I speak of could have actually physically harmed her daughter. And I can't imagine any mom wanting their kids hurt. Even if you love your husband more than you do your kids.

Aaalright, I'll tell you what happened. I was backing out of a parking space and was waiting for this mom and her 3 small children (I'd say 3, 5, 7) to cross past us, but they stopped to let me out. So I proceeded to back up and right as I started turning to decide which way of the "parking aisle" I was going, she started walking in between me and the car beside me. Her daughter was right next to my front left fender, squished in between me, and her mom that was pushing the cart through the impossibly small space. Of course I stopped, said "geeezus" and thought the "bad mom" thing. But JUST getting done reading Ayelet's book, I stopped, because that was an unfair assessment. I've never met this woman, I don't know what she's like. Just because of one incident where she may have been thinking about when dad was coming home, dinner, getting her kids and herself out of the heat, and whether or not she was going to get a shower tonight, it doesn't mean she deserved the title. So, I changed it from "bad mom" to "potential moron". haha, not much better, but at least it gives her a break on being the perfect being and allowing mistakes that remind her and us that she's human.

The other part I related to was the loving her spouse more than her kids. And I've gotta say, I INSTANTLY related to it. But, that might have been because I don't have any kids. But when I grudgingly fantasize it, for the sake of Ayelet's point, I realize that the love is completely different. Marriage is not an unconditional thing. Love for another with no biological relationship, is not an unconditional thing. You work at a marriage if you want to be successful. Or even just a relationship. You work at it like you would if they were your bf/gf. You have to keep it exciting and real and romantic. But with kids, there's the very biological connection. You made them, they carry some of your traits and attributes, their DNA is from you! So.. it's a majorly different feeling!

Anyway, she's witty and fun, I recommend it for those that need a break from our usual reading ;)


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