Perhaps social support does improve women’s feelings about motherhood. However, recent articles, during the time of COVID, for example, would indicate that the fundamental challenges for women who are mothers remain fundamentally unchanged. A recent New York Times article, This Is a Primal Scream, depicts the frustration of America’s maternal mental health crisis, as does this article by Kimberly Seals Allers in the Washington Post titled Female Rage is All The Rage (2018). Cathi Hanauer and friends have an updated version of this book called The Bitch Is Back: Getting Older, Wiser, and Happier. The original Bitch in the House is part of MOM’s library.
Feeling an ungodly pain in her lower back and abdomen, she was more terrified than she’d ever been in her life. Somehow, despite her panic, she still remembered the list: photo ID, health insurance card, outfit for the next day, outfit for the baby. She called a cab to the hospital. It felt like the longest she’d ever waited for anything in her life, even though it actually couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes.
At their core, stories make us care. They connect us with people and places, even stimulating the release of a hormone usually expressed during intense bonding experiences, like childbirth, breastfeeding and sex. This emotional connection is the reason stories are so powerful. As any advertiser knows, stories drive people to take action, whether that’s buying a product, gifting a donation or making a difference in the world. From a marketing perspective, stories can help museums raise funds, encourage visits and trigger sales.
The Big Letdown by Kimberly Seals Allers is a book available through the Museum of Motherhood Library.