Perfect Madness

Perfect Madness

Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

Book - 2005
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Warner presents the comprehensive and entertaining social history of parenting.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, c2005
ISBN: 9781573223041
1573223042
Characteristics: 327 p

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JCLLauraH Oct 05, 2013

This book is expansive, covering the history of motherhood, psychology, and femisism from the 1920s to the early 2000s. It can be academic at times, but also includes a fair amount of everyday stories of mothers trying to survive the constant pressure to meet social expectations today and in years past. If you've ever wondered why things are so different for mothers today than they were for our own mothers, try this book.

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Ag2009
Apr 12, 2013

"It is as though, through the power of our prodigious mental energies, we feel we can erect a protective force field around our children, sheltering them against fat, lack of focus, immaturity, lack of muscle tone . . . failure. And if all this doesn't work, then the fault lies with us. So we must try harder. Do better. Be there more-and more perfectly."

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bjstocker
Feb 28, 2013

I could not complete this book in full but enjoyed segments and chapters to some extent. I had trouble relating to some of the dialogue and found that her views would stir up subjects for me around motherhood but not in a helpful manner. It is not an easy read (well at least I did not find it an easy read) and the content is like reading a uni phd paper at times. It does capture the confusion women can find themselves in and tackles the difficult questions of why did I study and/or or work so hard for a career when I find myself in a relationship and mothering role reminiscent of a stepford wife among others (or at least trying to make it that way). A challenging but thought provoking read.

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JCLLauraH Oct 05, 2013

For too many women in America are becoming sick with exhaustion and stress as they try to do things that can't be -- shouldn't be -- done. Too many are eaten up by resentment toward their husbands, who are not subject to the same heartless pressures. Too many are becoming anxious and depressed because they are overwhelmed and disappointed. Too many are letting their lives be poisoned by guilt because their expectations can't be met, and because there is an enormous cognitive dissonance between what they know to be right for themselves and what they're told is right for their children. Too many feel out of control.

JCLLauraH Oct 05, 2013

I tried to do it all myself: be mommy and camp counselor and art teacher and prereading specialist (and somehow, in my off-hours, to do my own work). I tried my absolute best. And like so many of the moms around me, I started to go a little crazy.

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