(January 2014, Seal Press)
Her kids have always slept through the night, and even if they don’t, she still manages to look like she has had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. There is always a well-balanced, home-cooked meal on her dinner table. She either happily stays at home or holds down a fulfilling job while still finding time to join the PTA, run the school’s book sale, and makes it to every single soccer game. Her house is absolutely spotless, and if it’s not, she can effortlessly laugh it off. She has the energy and desire for a happy and adventurous sex life, and her partner is always satisfied. She is crafty, creative, and embodies the perfect blend of modern woman and hipster housewife. She is usually white, middle to upper class, heterosexual, and neither too young nor too old.
But above all… she’s a myth. And it’s this myth that divides women and pits mothers against each other while fueling the flames of the manufactured “mommy wars.”
Join us as we break down the myth of the good mother, and in the process change up the current narrative of motherhood to include a rich, diverse array of voices.
“Debunking the myth of the ‘good’ mother one beautiful, touching essay at a time. A perfect collection for all of us interested in being the best parents we can be.”
- Mayim Bialik, actress, neuroscientist, and author of Beyond the Sling
“…several essays by scholars, activists, artists, and professionals delve into the ways in which “motherhood, as an institution, remains oppressive to women today,” and expose ideals of femininitythat are not just exclusively straight, white, and biological but ensure that “women’s work” remains “invisible and unpaid.” Refreshingly honest, frequently funny, and overall intelligently self-reflective, these voices reassure the anxious and guilt-ridden that ‘there is no such thing as a good mother. There is only the good enough mother.’ ” – Publisher’s Weekly
“…I know that these mothers do not always agree with each other. I know that they might, like me, disapprove of others. This is why Avital Norman Nathman’s anthology is the perfect format for a response to our culture’s sanitized and polished representations of motherhood. No one mother’s point of view is, by itself, a sufficient challenge. [...] I am so glad to have read this book.” – Gretchen Sisson, Bitch Magazine
Deemed a “Mom’s Must Read” From Parents Magazine.
The Perfect Birth Myth
I’m currently working on my second book, The Perfect Birth Myth. This one will delve into the way we as a country look at/plan for/talk about birth. To learn more about this book (and to perhaps get involved!), check out this piece I wrote for the Huffington Post.