Townhouse Books

Monday, August 08, 2005

Perfect Madness: Mothering in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner

I am so blown away by this book. A former colleague of mine, now a stay-at-home mom with a home-based portrait business, recommended it at over lunch last week. Before I was even finished with the book I had to call her to move forward our next lunch date, because I so desperately want to discuss the book. The author has recently moved back to the States after living in France for her first few years as a mother. In comparison with the system of government-run and subsidized child and health care, and with the child-rearing philosophy she was exposed to in France, she is taken aback but finds herself swept up in the horrible rat-race experience of mothering in the US. Working moms are pulling all-nighters so their children won't be stigmatized for not bringing homemade cupcakes on their birthdays. Stay-at-home moms are turning to methamphetamines to keep up with their childrens' breakneck extracurricular schedules. And both camps feel that they have made the wrong life choices, that they are failing their families, and that if they could just get it together, they could raise better children. Here's the omigod moment of the book: women are becoming more and more isolated -- working moms from stay-at-home moms, moms from non-moms, blue state women from red state women -- and the women's issues that matter to us (quality of life, equality in the workplace) are falling off the radar screen. Very cool book.


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  • Anna, there was a lot of talk about this book here at my office (working mother issues are big with what we do). I look forward to reading it at some point (when I'm preggers maybe). In the meantime here is a big Newsweek article by Judith Warner about her book and ideas.

    By Blogger evt1618, at 9:39 AM  

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