How Books Betrayed Me

On the literature of motherhood

Nothing had prepared me for the total transformation of self that becoming a mother entails and requires.

In fiction, women become mothers instantaneously, as simple as: x bore y, and it was good.

They helped me feel sane, which, in the case of this isolating experience, means they made me feel understood.

The problem was two-fold. On one hand, there was their reluctance or inability to share the experience. On the other hand, there was my reluctance or inability to listen. To really listen.

It’s in part because of that societal pressure to be perfect mothers and to hide our shame when we, inevitably, don’t live up to that impossible standard that we feel like we’re failing to begin with.

If you’re at home, if you’re at work, if you have some, if you have none, it’s never enough.

Writer | English PhD | Reflecting on writing, motherhood, contemporary reads, and undocumented stories

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