What Makes a Good Mother?

to-hell-with-all-that.jpg Today, Kate recommends a thought provoking book about motherhood:

“The essayist Caitlin Flanagan has developed a successful career writing thoughtfully and often with acerbic humor on issues of family, marriage, motherhood, and feminism. She courts controversy by raising uncomfortable questions about whether men or women are better suited to housework, whether small children should be cared for by anyone other than their mothers, and whether contemporary women are fundamentally unsuited to accept the sacrifices required by marriage. She points at working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, and work-at-home mothers -- in other words, all of us -- and asks us to look into ourselves to understand our motivations, our compromises, and our choices and their impacts on our children. She is also the mother of twin boys, and a breast cancer survivor.
Her fascinatingly readable 2006 collection of essays To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife is the kind of book that you may love or you may hate but you won't be able to avoid thinking about. From her analysis of the Martha Stewart phenomenon to her description of her own postpartum depression and isolation -- a chapter that rang true for me -- Flanagan is honest about her own flaws as a mother and so allows her readers to be the same. The result is enlightening, engaging, guilt-inducing, and often laugh-out-loud funny. Whether you know her work from magazines like The New Yorker and The Atlantic or are coming to her fresh, Flanagan and To Hell with All That are worth getting to know.”