2022's Best Writing on Motherhood
16 articles and essays that you just cannot miss
Here is my own version of a best of list. Rather than focus on books, I went with articles, but as you’ll see, many of these articles feature books on motherhood that were published this year. Most of these articles and essays were featured in my Substack, but you may not have had time to click on the Further Reading. These are important pieces that touch on motherhood today - the experience, the turmoil, the trouble. Some of them make you feel seen, and a few may even make make you laugh.
This was a rough year so I hope you can be tender with yourself over the break. I’ll be back in the new year with more explorations of motherhood, marriage, and making space for ourselves in both.
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This was Culture Study’s most popular post for the year, which I think is indicative of how relevant this issue currently is. Anne Helen Petersen interviews Kate Mangino, author of Equal Partners, and their conversation is wonderful.
Epiphany in the Baby Food Aisle. An excerpt from Jessi Klein’s I’ll Show Myself Out in The Cut.
Perhaps my favorite thing I read about motherhood this year, this essay captured early motherhood to a T. The book did not live up to my expectations after the genius of this one essay, but I will forever be grateful for this piece. Yes, yes, yes, I say, to all of it.
A Parent’s Typical Day, as Envisioned by My Child’s Preschool. Ruyi Wen. McSweeneys.
Such a funny commentary on the ridiculous things your preschool will expect you to do.
Mommy Is Going Away for a While. Amanda Hess. The New York Times.
Reviews of some of the media that featured moms who leave their kids including the heartbreaking movie, “The Good Daughter.”
This interview with Rebecca Woolf (author of All of This) on Amanda Montei’s Mad Moms Substack was fascinating. It is about how we can take the caretaking roles expected of women into the bedroom and why that can leave women so frustrated and unfulfilled (and resistant to sex). Towards the end of the year, I became interested in unpacking desire for women (and postpartum sex in particular), so this discussion was right up my alley.
Women Shouldn’t Do Anymore Housework This Year. Sarah Green Carmichael. Bloomberg.
The piece that says that women should stop doing any and all housework on August 29 if we are going to level the playing field.
Men Should Be Forced to Take Parental Leave. Reshma Saujani. The Cut.
An excerpt from her book Pay Up, the founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms reveals why it is essential that both parents take parental leave in order for us to achieve gender equity.
A 50/50 Custody Arrangement Could Save Your Marriage. Amy Shearn. The New York Times.
I wrote an entire post about this essay and then interviewed the author, so of course it would show up here. If you haven’t read it yet, what have you been doing?!?!
It’s 2022 and People Are Still Confused That My Kids Have Their Mother’s Last Name. Aubrey Hirsch. Time.
On how our society still expects children to have their father’s name.
On why motherhood won’t fulfill you nor should it. Jessica Valenti writes truth bombs. I also loved this one from 2021: American Moms Are Being Gaslit.
Maternal Instinct is a Myth that Men Created. Chelsea Conaboy. The New York Times
One of the many ways women get trapped by lies created by men from the author of Mother Brain.
How American Moms Got Touched Out. Amanda Montei. Slate.
On how the physicality of early motherhood, and the many demands on your body, can trigger issues of consent and past sexual abuse in women. A precursor to her book which will be out next year.
Can Motherhood Be a Mode of Rebellion? Jia Tolentino. The New Yorker.
a review of Angela Garbes’ Essential Labor.
On why this year was so brutal for women as the government both refused to support mothers and also forced women to become them.
It Feels Like Every Mother I Know is Medicated. Miranda Rake. Romper.
On the ubiquity of SSRI use in mothers and questioning why we must be medicated to survive the early years of motherhood.
The Abortion I Didn’t Have. Merritt Tierce. The New York Times Magazine.
This piece is from late 2021 but I’m still thinking about it. It is especially relevant considering what happened in June 2022.
MY PUBLISHED WRITING FROM 2022
On Pleasing Yourself: An Interview with Megan Mayhew Bergman, Literary Mama.
Such a joy to interview former college next door neighbor Megan regarding the publication of her third book, How Strange a Season.
Words: on the linguistic indoctrination of a woman. Isele Magazine.
a lyric essay around how I learned to silence myself as a woman. Contains much of the framework of my book proposal in progress.
Impossible Standards, Unspeakable Goals: A review of The School for Good Mothers. Literary Mama.
I was lucky enough to get to review this book, which hit so many best of lists, for LM. A must read novel by Jessamine Chan.
When the Icons of Motherhood Fail You. Mutha Magazine.
I got to reflect on how Ma Ingalls, Marmee, and Marilla Cuthbert influenced what I thought it meant to be a mother.