Mothering performance anxiety



The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality is NOW AVAILABLE.  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by this.

Thrilled because the talent in the book is staggering, including feminist writers both famous (Jennifer Baumgardner, Jessica Valenti) and really-should-be-famous (the blogging brains behind blue milk, Black Girl in Maine, The Feminist Breeder, and Raising My Boychick to name a few).

Terrified because my essay in the book contains some of the most vulnerable writing I’ve ever shared in public, and I fear that when you read it, you will judge me a BAD MOTHER.

I’m not kidding.




Oh Philosoraptor!  DON’T GO THERE.

Luckily I have a dear friend who is also a mother-writer, and she thought the essay was good.  Another dear friend, a mother who is more the mathy-sciencey type, thought the essay was good too.  But as Paul Westerberg once sang, “the ones who love us least are the ones we’ll die to please.”  It’s not enough for my FRIENDS to like it: I want EVERYONE to like it.

I want everyone to like me.  To tell me that what I unloaded in the essay doesn’t make me a freak, or gawd forbid, a bad mother.

All of this anxiety from something I wrote in a book that breaks down the myth of the good mother??


Help a mom out, won’t you?  Pick up a copy of the book and tell me what you think.  Great reviews of it are in Literary Mama, Brain Child, Parents magazine and elsewhere: click on this link to read more.

Look at me trying to convince you that the book is actually good.  DAMMIT!  When will I ever learn?!











7 thoughts on “Mothering performance anxiety

  1. Kimberly

    I read your piece and it is more than good.
    It is more than good because you stepped forth and shone light on what mothering what a mental illness really is. And I love that you see yourself and you know what you need to do for your children. Look at how many of us struggling do anything to protect them from our pain…and heaven forbid…support them if they do.
    Not many moms talk about mental illness because we can’t be good moms. No. Not us. Women with cancer are good moms. SO. ARE. WE.
    My dad is bipolar only he isn’t diagnosed. I diagnosed him after I was. I could see bits of myself in him. The only difference is, my heart is always searching for ways to be better. To take better care of my health so that I don’t affect my son.
    You’re a good mom. Don’t deny that. I know that the anxiety and depression will tell you otherwise…they’re assholes.
    People are going to judge that’s unfortunately just the way how us moms are.
    I just wish that when those judgey moms read all of our stories, that they can find their ignorant pants in our shoes.
    I’m proud of you and honoured to be listed with you in this book rocking the nutter butter chapter :)

    1. Shannon Post author

      Hmmmm…..I can’t seem to see the LIKE button on my keyboard…probably because my eyes are watering…how strange…..


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