From Left to Write is an online book club where the members create a virtual discussion about the book and how it relates to their lives. I love the concept of this for a few reasons. It takes the school concept of a book report out of the equation completely and it gives readers who haven’t read the book a way to relate to the topics portrayed within the book.
This post is not a traditional review, but I am using my personal experiences and using a theme within the book as a writing prompt. The second book for September is Mother, Mother: A Novel by Koren Zailckas.
The book is about a controlling mother, a missing sister, and a father who doesn’t seem to care. Told through the voices of the other children, Violet and William. I will say that Koren’s writing is very dark, I read her previous hit Smashed when it first came out, so I was used to this type of writing, but for those who aren’t it can be shocking.
What struck me about this book, was when Violet had a realization, just because you have a baby doesn’t make you a mother. This is a statement that a lot of people reserve for fathers/dads, very rarely do you hear it said about mothers. Most people think that women have this immediate turn from woman to mom as soon as they are pregnant or have a child.
While a lot of women do feel that way, not all women do. For men it is accepted among society, but if a woman feels a disconnect with her child it is unheard of.
Part of this, I think, is because there are many more pressures than there were 30 years ago. With the internet, you can read stories and see photos of people from all parts of the world and how they are interacting with their children. Oh, and Pinterest. Pinterest makes the perfectly wonderful parent feel like a completely inadequate parent. You didn’t throw your child a theme first birthday party, and hand make all the food, decorations, and clothes yourself!? How terrible of you!
This isn’t the stuff that makes you a parent. As long as your child is loved, cared for, fed, and warm, does the path on how we get there matter? Some of us thrive with the baby stage, and some of us thrive with the toddler stage. Some have amazing birthdays for their children, and some of us are okay with buying store decorations (that’s me) and calling it a day.
What do you think makes parents feel inadequate? What is something that you think makes a wonderful parent?
DISCLAIMER: A controlling mother, a missing daughter, and a family who is desperate for love. This post was inspired by the the psychological thriller Mother, Mother by Zoren Zailckas. Join From Left to Write on September 19 as we discuss Mother, Mother. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.