Another “Bad” Mother

I heard part of an interview by NPR’s brilliant Terry Gross on Monday while I was waiting in the car to pick up my youngest from preschool.  The interview was with Ayelet Waldman the author of “Bad Mother:  A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace”.  I love listening to Terry Gross every chance I get but this interview “had me at hello”.  The title alone is brilliant and the author’s candor as she recounts some of the stories was so familiar that I had to get my hands on that book.  I scribbled “Waldman – Bad Mother” on last week’s grocery list and darted out to collect my son.

Later that night I listened to the rest of the interview on-line and put her book on reserve at the library.  As luck would have it, I was able to pick it up today.  I couldn’t wait to start reading this book.   Here’s an excerpt from the front cover.  It reads…..

“The Good Mother remembers to serve fruit at breakfast, is always cheerful and never yells, manages not to project her own neuroses and inadequacies onto her children, is an active and beloved community volunteer; she remembers to make playdates, her children’s clothes fit, she does art projects with them and enjoys all their games.  And she is never too tired for sex.”

Who is this “Good Mother”?  Certainly not me.  Did I answer ‘yes’ to any of the aformentioned?  Well maybe one – you decide which one.  And just to be clear, this book is not a resource how-to guide.

I sat myself down in the library and started reading.  In the six years we have lived in this town, I have never sat in the library to read a book without pictures.  And the hour that I donated to reading this book was well spent.  It is funny and hits so closely to home.

Later today I was telling a friend about this book and she told me that she had seen it promoted on The Today Show.  She says to me, “I heard about this book, “Bad Mother”, and I immediately thought of you.”  (Hmmm, how should I take that comment?)  We laugh.  I love being in the thick of motherhood with a great friend!  She told me that she had her name on the library wait list.  Guess I better get reading.

Thank you Ayelet Waldman for sharing your story.