A Must Read: The Missing Joy

Writer Ruth Franklin at The New Republic takes on the recent barrage of books on being the bestest Mommy ever, and how hard that is, in The Missing Joy; and I have to say she does a pretty kick-ass job of it.
The article is ridiculously comprehensive, discussing the so-called “opt-out” revolution, the “mommy wars,” work/life issues and more, by focusing on three recent books: Perfect Madness, by Judith Warner; How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms, by Wendy Sachs; and White House Nannies, by Barbara Kline.
At the end of the piece, Franklin argues that it’s time that women just realize (and perhaps accept?) that motherhood is never going to be simple:
It is time to recognize that there is no inherently perfect balance of work and family, and that no amount of intensive parenting can take away the sadness of not being with one’s children as much as one would like. Children’s needs and desires, and parents’ needs and desires, are constantly in flux. If we are fortunate, we will be able to adjust our lives in accordance with them; and like any contortion, it will require some stretching, some groaning, and some pain. The tension that we feel is not the problem afflicting mothers in America today. It is the solution.

Related: Lynn Harris’ review of A Few Good Eggs: Two Chicks Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility. Best line ever: With friends like these who needs Sylvia Ann Hewlett?

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