Comedy duo authors, Cohen and Bechtel, challenge the dogmas that divide women
OAKLAND, Calif. – July 28 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Friendship Day is just around the corner. August 7th is a time to celebrate that special human bond Woodrow Wilson called “the only cement that holds the world together.” But what happens when that cement begins to crack under the strain of childbirth? Does Sisterhood stand a chance against Parenthood? That was the question that inspired Linda Cohen and Joan Bechtel to write “Motherhood Confidential, The Strange Disappearance of My Best Friend, a Rashomon-style Odyssey of Trials by Parenthood” from SocioPathways.
Photo Caption: Polarized parenting authors launch Fall Book Tour.
“I didn’t exist anymore after she became a mother.”
“She gave me a baby shower and I never saw her again.”
“Once we had kids, our parenting was so different we just drifted apart.”
Enter baby – exit buddy. What best friend hasn’t had to move over and make room for Junior? Or lost a girlfriend to the Bermuda Triangle of Family Obligations? Even friends who go through pregnancy together can’t be sure of smooth sailing. Anyone can have a friendshipwreck on the Shores of Maternity. But why? Isn’t motherhood supposed to unite women? Why would it drive them apart?
That was the question that inspired Linda Cohen and Joan Bechtel to write Motherhood Confidential, The Strange Disappearance of My Best Friend, a Rashomon-style Odyssey of Trials by Parenthood. “We spent eight years struggling to keep our friendship afloat after we had our boys, but we were 180 degrees apart in our parenting,” explains married working urban mom, Cohen. “When this bundle of responsibilities is handed to you,” adds rural attachment-parenting single mom, Bechtel, “it can be so overwhelming, you can forget about everyone else, even yourself.”
Bechtel’s idea to circulate the pre-publication copies to “Regular Moms” preview paid off in a surprising way. “We were shocked to discover how many women had been through this. We got some pretty emotional emails.”
According to the comedy duo authors, when parenthood tears friendship apart, there’s usually a Big Mother behind it. The Big Mother of Shoulds, Shouldnt’s and Shame. The Mommy Police are not just walking around dressed as your sister, your doctor and the pizza delivery guy; the real Gestapo’s in your own head.
“Linda never came out and said she thought I was crazy to homeschool,” says Bechtel, “but her careful avoidance of the subject shouted disapproval like cheerleaders at the Superbowl of Superiority.”
Cohen describes the frustration of watching her best friend trying to squeeze into a Maternal Perfection Suit. “You watch her cutting away parts of herself that won’t fit into her new Parentally-Correct Formula. It’s like psychological liposuction. You can see you’re losing her-but worse-she’s losing herself. You want to yank her out of the dogma-doo, but you can’t. She has to find her own way.”
So how do you hold onto friendship when motherhood’s tearing you apart? The Personalized Parenting authors offer Triage for Toxic taboos:
1. Break the taboo that all feelings about motherhood or friendship have to be nice. The more we can accept our “unacceptable” feelings, the less someone else’s choices will trigger our own anxiety.
2. Look for the common ground. Underneath the surface disparities, you probably want the same thing: to be encouraged to be who you really are.
3. Follow the Prime Directive from Star Trek: Don’t impose your value system or interfere in the self-determination of an alien culture. You two don’t live on the same planet anymore. You’re contending with different gravities, atmospheric pressures, and evolution of life forms. You’re now ambassadors from different worlds.
But forgiveness is key. As Emerson said, “One of the blessings of old friends is that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
Their L.A. book tour offering asylum for the parentally-incorrect begins August 4th at Williams Book Store in San Pedro followed by a Friendship Day Book Launch Party at Sisters of Bubik Boutique Cafe. The Bay Area tour includes a Book Party at Spellbinding Tales in Alameda.
For a complete calendar go to www.MotherhoodConfidential.com. Motherhood Confidential ISBN 9760930-0-6 GynaVision Media:SocioPathways 251 pp, $13.95 available Friendship Day.
News issued by: SocioPathways
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Original Story ID: (611) :: 2005-07-0728-004
Original Keywords: Motherhood Confidential, The Strange Disappearance of My Best Friend, a Rashomon-style Odyssey of Trials by Parenthood, sociopathways, Linda Cohen, Joan Bechtel, Comedy duo authors, ISBN 9760930-0-6, GynaVision Media, Friendship Day Book Launch Party at Sisters of Bubik Boutique Cafe, Oakland, California, book, Cohen and Bechtel SocioPathways