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Download The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Everything and Why We Pretend It Doesn't epub

by Susan Maushart

Erma Bombeck meets Naomi Wolf -- a funny, articulate, right-on-the-money look at being a new mother in the '90s.
Download The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Everything and Why We Pretend It Doesn't epub
ISBN: 1565844831
ISBN13: 978-1565844834
Category: Parenting
Subcategory: Family Relationships
Author: Susan Maushart
Language: English
Publisher: New Press, The; 1st Edition edition (January 1, 1999)
Pages: 368 pages
ePUB size: 1420 kb
FB2 size: 1109 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 788
Other Formats: doc lrf azw lrf

I agree with the other reviewers who say that this is a book that has long needed to be written.

I first became a mother in 1985, and by 1988 when I had my second child, I, too, like Maushart, had begun to feel great anger and pain at the "conspiracy of silence" among mothers about how "easy" and "constantly inspiring and joyful" the job of mothering is. I agree with the author that there is great fear among most of us mothers, particularly college-educated, professional, feminist women, of admitting that mothering is the hardest job there is, that no one can do it effectively alone, and that we are in over our heads. Mothering throughout history has never been a one-woman undertaking, but we've been programmed to believe in the U.S., especially in the last 25 years, that there is "nothing to it."

I applaud what Maushart has to say about the frequently cited feminist fantasy that: (a) all our options will continue to be open after motherhood, combined with the rather sexistly inculcated belief we are all prone to, even feminists, that (b) mothering is an "easy" job, easier than "men's work" in the business world. No wonder we become deluded that, hey, I'll just easily pump out that baby, then go on truckin' just as before, no problem, no big deal. I can, afterall, "have it all" because I want it.

I also was delighted to hear someone at last talking about the other big shock that feminist women encounter who are married to, we thought, feminist men: the baby's father's overnight Jekyll-to-Hyde return to the dark ages of gender roles after baby is born, leaving the wife the lion's share of childcare duties.

I can't count how many women I know, including myself, who experienced the way this shatteringly unexpected metamorphosis can destroy a previously viable marriage, damaging trust and respect for your husband in ways that are almost impossible to repair.

Thank you so much, Ms. Maushart, for bringing out into the open the pain and disillusionment so many women in America are suffering today around the complex issue of mothering. I believe this book should be required reading for every woman from 13-45 who has no children yet but thinks she might want to become a mother someday. Now all we need is a follow-up book on one other dangerous myth of mothers. That somewhere out there is the perfect *second* husband who will be the loving, nurturing father to our children their biological father never was.
What a refreshing, intelligent, and witty examination of motherhood! I received this from a friend the same day I heard an interview with the author on public radio last week, and I have been reading--and enjoying--it in my free time since then (in what little free time I have, that is, as a mother with a full-time job). The author, a mother of three herself, writes with great candor, insight, and humor. She has examined her own experience, as well as the academic and popular literature on the topic, and she has created an astounding document that is forcing me to re-think my own assumptions about and approach to mothering. As I read, I want to share this book with my sister, a profoundly intelligent and funny mother of five, and my co-worker, who will soon have her first child. Any mother or future mother should read this. I would also recommend it to mental health professionals who are looking for insights to help their clients deal with the ambivalencies of motherhood.
I enjoyed reading this book, but I thought it was too reliant on the author's experience of motherhood. The research referred to comprised a small part of the text. I would have enjoyed it more had it been a) more honsestly about one woman's experiences or b) better researched and more objective. All in all, I preferred Operating Instructions which was more like a), and The Mother Dance which was a bit more like b).
With everything about motherhood written in a glowing review of the changes it brings to one's life, this honest book was refreshing. It's not overwhelmingly depressing-- it just tells the truth about changes you can expect in your life as a new mom. It seems to me that it's always good to enter a new endeavor with as much information as possible-- and this book certainly helps fill in gaps.
I loved this book. I was living in Australia when I fell pregnant with our first child, unexpectedly. Our obstetrician recommended I read the Mask of Motherhood so I could come to terms with some of the negative feelings I had about being pregnant and becoming a mother. It was such a relief to feel normal. I thought - hey, if others feel this way and become mothers, maybe I can too. I have bought six copies since and given them to friends either during or just after their pregnancies. They have all loved it. I don't know what I would have done without it.
I had high hopes for this book but was very disappointed. The author really seems to have an axe to grind against working mothers and any mother with an education. At one point she asks, "What are we educating them FOR?" She definitely gives the impression that all women should be forbidden to go to school and instead be chained to the house as toddlers so they can watch other women. Lots of little digs against women who work for "economics" (her italics, not mine) as if it's misguided for a woman to want to see her child gets enough to eat or a roof over its head. She also appears offended that women who "selfishly" avoid what she recognizes as the "scatterbrained" effect from too little sleep and too much responsibility. She's also to quick to assume that women sabotage their marriages by taking the lion's share of the tasks and not sharing them. The mothers I know pitch in and get it done simply because *it must get done* and someone's got to do it. I have yet to meet a mother who wouldn't jump for joy if her husband voluntarily came home and made dinner one night (no, not frosted donuts and kool-aid eaten in front of the tv--a real dinner). She also buys into the persecution complex that SAHMs aren't valued, when a quick check into reality shows that right now our society idolizes the mother who stays home and demonizes the mother who works outside the home.