Monday, August 2, 2010

Bad Mother - Ayelet Waldman

Book Review

Ayelet Waldman’s new book of essays Bad Mother, will certainly get conversations stirring. Ms. Waldman is the sacrificial lamb for all mothers. She’s willing to put it all out there and be judged for her opinions and choices. Most mothers are only willing to put their toe in the water when it comes to saying how they really feel about a topic or situation. Waldman dives in head first, let’s the fur fly and never apologizes for her feelings. They are, after all, her feeling and it’s interesting how many other people seem to forget that.

To date, Waldman has faced harsh criticism for saying she loves her husband more than her children and how it would be much easier to have her son be gay so she wouldn’t have to suffer a daughter-in-law. As usual, those quick to judge miss the point.

Waldman is passionate about the things she’s believes in, but whet it comes to the foray of motherhood, she feels like all mothers today. If you only scratch the surface, you miss that heartfelt message underneath. Ayelet Waldman wants us mothers to work together and stop judging and holding each other up to unrealistic standards. Who better than her to lead the battle cry? Would any of us want our mothering skills under such public scrutiny?

Still, it all comes down to the writing and Ms. Waldman is one hell of a writer. Her humor is biting and she never takes herself, or her ever growing fame, too seriously.
From the laugh at loud essays “Sexy Witches and Cereal Boxes” and “Tech Support” to the soul searing “Rocketship” and “Legacy,” this collection runs the gamut of every happy, funny, horrible, challenging and life altering emotions motherhood has to offer .

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Ms.Waldman several times on her tour to promote this book. Each time, she was funny, smart, warm and approachable. She reads from a different excerpt of her book and she comes across as genuine. Plus, she brings the most delicious baked goods. She hardly comes off as a bad mother, maybe just a real one, treading the waters of motherhood like all of us. I never feel like I’m expected to agree with everything she’s putting out there, quite the contrary. By stripping away all of the taboo subjects we’re not supposed to talk about or even think about, if we’re “good mothers,” we can instead accept each other and offer an understanding shoulder to cry on when this whole motherhood thing gets too tough.

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