Many new mothers and fathers are surprised at how they change as individuals and as couples after a baby is born. Susan Walzer's interviews explore the tendency for men and women to experience their transitions into parenthood in different ways -- a pattern that has been linked to marital stress. How do new mothers and fathers think about babies, and what is the influence of parental consciousness in reproducing motherhood and fatherhood as different experiences? The reports of new parents in this book illustrate the power of gendered cultural imagery in how women and men think about their roles and negotiate their parenting arrangement. New parents talk about what it means to them to be a \u0022good\u0022 mother or father and how this plays out in their working arrangements and their everyday interactions over child care. The author carefully unravels the effects of social norms, personal relationships, and social institutions in channeling parents toward gender-differentiated approaches to parenting.
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Susan Walzer is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Skidmore College.
CONTENTS Acknowledgments Chapter 1 Becoming Mothers and Fathers Chapter 2 Parental Consciousness and Gender Chapter 3 "Good" Mothers and Fathers Chapter 4 Bonding with the Baby: Biology and Social Meanings Chapter 5 As a Wife and a Mother: Marriage and Approaches to New Parenthood Chapter 6 Images of Family Chapter 7 Employment, Child Care, and Parental Accountability Chapter 8 Conclusion Notes References Index