By Peg Streep
An exploration of the darker part of maternal habit drawn from medical study, psychology, and the real-life reviews of grownup daughters, suggest moms sheds gentle on one of many final cultural taboos: what occurs whilst a girl does not or cannot love her daughter. suggest moms finds the multigenerational thread that frequently runs via those stories—many unloving moms are the daughters of unloving or hypercritical women—and explores what occurs to a daughter's experience of self and to her relationships whilst her mom is emotionally absent or maybe merciless. yet suggest moms is additionally a story of desire, recounting how daughters can get previous the legacy of damage to turn into entire inside and to turn into loving moms to the following iteration of daughters. the non-public tales of unloved daughters and sons and people of the writer herself, are either unflinching and relocating, and produce this so much tough of topics to existence. suggest moms is not only a booklet for daughters who have had tricky or very unlikely relationships with their moms. via exposing the myths of motherhood that hinder us from speaking concerning the ladies for whom mothering a daughter is fraught with ambivalence, pressure, or maybe jealousy, suggest moms additionally casts a unique gentle at the awesome effect moms have over their girl childrens in addition to the mental complexity and emotional intensity of the mother-daughter courting.
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Extra resources for Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt
GROWING UP, I THOUGHT I was alone—the only girl born on the planet whose mother didn’t love her. Mothers in books were nothing like mine, and the moms on television—it was the late 1950s and early 1960s—were women who wore aprons and served dinner with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts. I envied my friends for the mothers they had. I wanted to be Lynne, whose mother was both thoughtful and attentive and bought Lynne her first kitten heels as a surprise when we were in sixth grade, or Beth, whose mother told funny stories and let us make messy cupcakes in her kitchen.
When I ask her how her relationship to her mother shaped her, her thoughtful answer underscores how childhood experiences shape all of us in both obvious and subtle ways: “Looking back, when I grew up, some of my childhood ways of coping stayed with me, if sometimes in disguised form. When I was involved with the theater, I worked on lighting, illuminating others but staying behind the scenes, out of the spotlight, under the radar myself. As an artist, I’m mainly an observer even now, separated from the world by a camera lens.
I wavered between thinking I had done nothing to deserve her treatment and not being quite so sure—a testament, I now know but didn’t then, to nothing more than the centrality of the mother sun to a daughter’s world. The parent of a child, as Deborah Tannen has written, has the power not only to create the world the child lives in but the ability to dictate how that world is to be interpreted. Seen from that point of view, one of the lasting and important legacies of a mean mother is a wellspring of self-doubt.
Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt by Peg Streep