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The Perfect Motherhood Experience is Not for Sale

Friday, March 02, 2007
Janina Stajic, a freelance writer, mother, and community activist, has written a really compelling article entitled The Big Corporate Motherhood Conspiracy. "Retailers have created a new trend and are selling yet another a myth: the problem- and pain-free motherhood," she writes. "Too bad reality doesn't measure up."

I totally agree with her take on parenting advice books that "[promise] to put the reader on the fast track toward their fantasy motherhood experience." Heck, books in that particular parenting book tradition are what led me to want to write pregnancy and parenting books in the first place.

Fortunately, there are so many more choices on the bookstore shelves than there were even five years ago -- fabulous momoirs (motherhood memoirs); anthologies of motherhood writing; and parenting/mothering guides that provide a realistic take on life after baby. And then, of course, there's the Web -- the easiest way to get tapped into life on Planet Moms, with all its blogs, e-zines, social networking spaces, websites, and other places/spaces were moms meet up to exchange information and support one another.

Of course, the sheer volume of information (motherlode?) can be a problem in and of itself, but at least it's out there and accessible. And the information doesn't all have to adhere to a single party line, like the motherhood advice books of yesteryear (although parenting advice books have been coming under increased scrutiny by medical authorities and other interested parties as of late, with some of the major US medical associations reviewing parenting books so that doctors will know what their patients are reading; and formal studies being conducted on the quality of the information in various parenting books).

Suddenly, a lot of people are very interested in maintaining control over parents' minds and parents' pocketbooks. It's nice to be popular, but really.

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| posted by Ann D @ 1:37 PM