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Book Review - Breaking the Good Mom Myth

posted Apr 13, 2014, 7:25 PM by AndrewandSarah Witzel

While browsing at the library recently, I came across Breaking the Good Mom Myth: Every Modern Mom’s Guide to Getting Past Perfection, Regaining Sanity, and Raising Great Kids by Alyson Schafer. The author is a family psychotherapist and parenting coach. In this book, she discusses 8 myths about being a “good” mother.

The first myth (and I believe the most important for PPD) that she busts is “self care is selfish.” This is something that I sometimes fall into thinking is true, but she discusses how effective self care for Mom benefits the whole family. The author also talks about what actually counts as self care. It should be an activity that you look forward to and actually enjoy the process of doing, rather than something you just enjoy having completed. And as she points out, going to the grocery store without your kid(s) doesn’t count as “me” time!

Many women with perinatal mood disorders struggle with guilt and feeling like they are not good enough. Some may even compensate for these feelings by pushing themselves even harder and burning out. So, while this book is not written specifically for moms with mood disorders, I believe that many parts of it are quite relevant and helpful. Depending on your parenting philosophy, you may disagree with some of her points throughout the book (she pushes sleep training, for example) and many sections are not really applicable to moms with infants or very young children. However, she offers a fresh, reassuring, and relaxing perspective on parenting that you may enjoy reading.