Monday, May 04, 2009

Mojo Mom Chapter 1: A Mother is Born

The spark of my original idea for Mojo Mom arose from the shock that becoming a mother led to an identity crisis for me. Nobody told me to expect that!

Mojo Mom is all about discovering the answers to the question, "Who am I, now that I am a Mom?" Every woman experiences this in her own way, and we've begun to talk about this more openly, and I do my part by shining a spotlight on the transformations of motherhood (the good ones, and the challenging ones) as well as the gap between expectation and reality. I believe that often our reality is pretty good, but the unconscious tension between our fantasies about motherhood (fueled by the pregnancy and motherhood marketing juggernaut) and the day-to-day realities of motherhood, can leave us feeling disappointed and burned out.

This is a pretty normal starting point, and I spend the rest of the book discussing many practical ways to help you create a new, satisfying, and holistic sense of self, to find a path to getting your mojo back!

I believe that reinventing and making peace with motherhood are our generation's major challenges. I put Mojo Mom in a feminist context connecting back to earlier waves of feminism and social trends, including:

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.

Funny how I wrote a major paper on The Feminine Mystique as an undergraduate and I treated it like a historical artifact. I thought it would never apply to me! To my surprise, I found that many of those dynamics are shaping our lives.

The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It, by Susan Maushart

The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels

The 7 Stages of Motherhood: Loving Your Life Without Losing Your Mind by Ann Pleshette Murphy

Our generation's challenge is to get mothers' concerns addressed on a political and policy level. For a look at recent developments in feminism and politics, I recommend:

The F-Word, Feminism in Jeopardy--Women, Politics and the Future by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner.

Kristin is a co-founder of MomsRising.org and I'll have a lot more to say about her work later, including the impact of her book with her MomsRising.org co-founder Joan Blades, The Motherhood Manifesto.

Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrrls Gone Wild by Deborah Siegel

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters
by Jessica Valenti

Jessica's writing style, peppered with plenty of F-bombs, will turn off some readers, but her underlying ideas and cultural analysis are worth it.

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