In the past six weeks of silence I finished the book, got sick again (writing can sure wear a body out), worked through copy edits and fact check, and the Truth Behind the Mommy Wars is now in production! Which means I can return to blogging much more regularly...
On my mind today. At the last minute, one of the many mothers I interviewed for my book told me how uncomfortable she felt with the several paragraphs I had written about her. I had used only her first name, but she decided she didn't want her name used. She wanted all details that could identify her deleted. She just plain felt uncomfortable with seeing herself in print. Her story was one of giving up her job when her daughter was born, of several moves, including one to a very glamorous European city, which I can't mention because I must respect her need for absolute privacy, and then returning to the US and working quite hard for severeal years to put herself in position for a new professional job. It's an important story that speaks to the problems that many mothers and fathers have when they take time off with young children and then look for new, decent work. It's the reentry problem.
She's not the only person I interviewed who wanted anonymity and privacy after agreeing to talk with me about the frustrations and joys of family life.
And I understand that many mothers don't want to raise a fuss, that we are afraid what others will think.
It's also true in my book that the fathers had no problem with using first names, last names, they wanted all the details in. they had confidence. Many, many of the mothers were more afraid. They wanted to talk, but became timid about speaking out in public. Which we understand. It's sad to see something I write about--mothers being timid about raising a fuss--played out so poignantly, and personally.
I understand that it can be quite horrifying to see oneself in print. We have relatively few models of literature about the everyday details of mothers' lives