Healthwatch on 02/21/11
An interview with psychoanalyst, Barbara Almond, about her book "The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood"
Whether it is uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one's own children, mixed feelings about motherhood are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo. In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond draws on her extensive clinical experience to bring this highly troubling issue to light. In a compelling portrait of the hidden side of contemporary motherhood, she finds that ambivalence of varying degrees is a ubiquitous phenomenon, yet one that too often causes anxiety, guilt, and depression. Weaving together case histories with rich examples from literature and popular culture, Almond uncovers the roots of ambivalence, tells how it manifests in lives of women and their children, and describes a spectrum of maternal behavior--from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering characterized by blame, misuse, abuse, even child murder. In a society where perfection in parenting is the unattainable ideal, this compassionate book offers some prescriptions for relief by showing women how they can affect positive change in their lives.
"Just the thing for a gray and drizzly autumn afternoon. Drawing on her thirty-seven years of practice as a psychoanalyst as well as her own experiences as a mother, Almond leads an adventurous tour through the shadowy, secret parts of the mother's psyche. . . An oddly compelling read."--New Yorker