Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Mask of Motherhood

It's been a while since I did a book review, so I thought I'd get the word out about another of my childfree favorites.

The Mask of Motherhood, by Susan Maushart, is a book about the reality of being a mother. This is a reality that Maushart insists is often swept under the rug by mothers who feel too guilty to talk about what they are really facing and how they feel about it. Although it may be a little exaggerated, and can be scary at times, I would definitely recommend this book to the childfree community. It's very validating, and I think there's a lot of truth to it.

This book touches on a lot of aspects of motherhood that I personally find to be major deterrents, from the physical experiences of pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding to what happens to a new mother's career, marriage, and state of mind. Maushart is not childfree -- she has three children and is extremely forthcoming about her own experiences. Since I don't have many mothers in my life who are willing to be this honest, I very much appreciated the firsthand point of view.

One warning: this book can be difficult to read. The chapters on labor and breastfeeding are especially disturbing, particularly for those of us childfree women who are absolutely HORRIFIED at these prospects.

All told, though, this is one of my favorite books on the subject and I'd highly recommend you pick it up, whether you're trying to make a decision about becoming a parent, or have already decided it's not for you and are just looking for a good read.


Childfree Chick said...

OMG I am reading this book right now!

Thanks for the heads up about forthcoming chapters on the gross stuff.


Anyway, Maushart is an EXCELLENT author. I have read two of her other books... "Wifework" and "The Mommy Myth" and the latter is one of my favorite books EVER.

It is THAT good and thought-provoking.

Childfree in NYC said...

Thanks, I didn't realize she'd written others. I'm going to have to check those out :)

Christine said...

Completely agree with your recommndation. I wish I had read before, not after, I had a child. Her honesty is refreshing, and she has massive research to back up her opinions, especially on the disparity in seemingly equal partnerships once a child drags a mother into the black hole of parenting.