Features & Essays

The Politics of Being a “Good Mom”

I am going to be a first time mom soon. My due date is in five weeks. As a first time mom I do what any modern mother would do. I ask for advice from friends and family, especially from my own mother and mother in law, and of corse from the countless pregnancy related blogs, forums and websites. We live in a strange time where we are surrounded by people in our communities who are having babies and yet we are afraid to ask them in person, “How do you do x?” or “Which x do you recommend?“

I look online and it makes me more nervous about being a mom than listening to other people. The questions all come from the same place though, what will make me a good mom, and if I do “blank” will I be a bad mom.

I question my choices so much because I am afraid of being a bad mom. When did feminism and choice fly out the window when it came to parenthood. Some of the same people who say “my body my choice” when it comes to becoming a parent will also make a woman feel as though she is the most evil woman in the world if she chooses not to breast feed, or make her feel like a failure if she tries and is unable to produce enough milk to feed her child. I wonder if the rates of postpartum depression are as high as they are because women push themselves so hard to be perfect.

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