cover image Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood

Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood

Minna Dubin. Seal, $29 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5416-0130-7

“Mothers are America’s care infrastructure, and it’s costing us emotionally,” according to this trenchant outing. Essayist Dubin, mother of a nine-year-old boy and five-year-old girl, suggests that mothers’ frustrations with child-rearing stem from feeling unable to meet the “impossible expectations of modern motherhood” and the “debilitating lack of support [mothers receive] from within the family structure and societal systems.” The author decries the expectation that mothers should “always be mothering,” admitting that she made baby food purees for her two kids instead of buying jars from the store, and suggests the idea only serves to justify the gendered distribution of domestic labor. Sharp analysis illuminates how such policy failures as America’s lack of universal preschool and paid family leave contribute to mothers’ suffering, and her proposed solutions include a more equal division of household labor between partners and developing a “multigenerational support network” of friends, neighbors, and extended family. The author’s candid appraisal of her own rage (she discusses having to mentally repeat “don’t touch him” to stop herself from roughly handling her son while angry) and her penetrating insights make for captivating reading. It’s an astute account of how society fails mothers. (Sept.)