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...there is still a kind of unique loneliness to child rearing for women. We so often do it in isolation. Add to the fact that in our competitive, perfectionist culture, in which the price woman are required to pay for freedom still seems to be martyrdom, almost everyone lies about motherhood. Part of that lying is loyalty - I can't let on that my kid is the only one on the playground who can't read or play the piano - and part of it is self-protection, since we've made hyper-motherhood a measure of female success. The preferred answer to the question "How are you?" is always "Fine," and the answer to the question "How are the kids?" is supposed to be "Great!" That's true even if the accurate answers would be "terrible" and "a mess." I think it produces its own kind of desperation, especially for women, who yearn to be emotionally open."
Author: Anna Quindlen

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