306. Screaming on the Inside: The Challenges of American Motherhood with Jessica Grose

Let’s end the unrealistic expectations placed on mothers and give them the freedom to make choices that benefit themselves, their children, and their communities.

Join Debbie and Jessica Grose, a writer for The New York Times, as they jump deep into the systemic and cultural challenges of modern motherhood. Through highlights from her book, “Screaming on the Inside”, Jessica offers insights backed by science on how to navigate the tough journey of parenting and answers the big question of whether there is hope for a better future for mothers.

With engaging discussions about societal expectations, generational differences in motherhood, and the importance of validation and compassion in the process, Jessica brings a treasure trove of valuable information and guidance. Whether you are a new mom or an experienced parent, this is a thought-provoking conversation that will leave you feeling supported and empowered.

Listen and Learn: 

  • Before motherhood, what were some of the ideal stories, norms, and expectations that Jessica internalized?
  • What we’re seeing at this current cultural moment in parenting and what it means to be a parent that might be different from a couple of generations ago.
  • How the standards of motherhood are embedded in a history of racism and classism.
  • How the COVID pandemic impacted women specifically. 
  • The challenges working mothers face and how the pressure to be the “ideal worker” is incompatible with caregiving responsibilities. 
  • Why are we not seeing the whole picture when it comes to the way that motherhood is portrayed on social media?
  • Is it time to establish more rigorous limits on our social media usage?
  • What if the bar for being a good mother was simply that your children felt safe and loved?
  • Jessica’s personal experience with mom guilt and her tactics for responding to this feeling.
  • Is there hope for sustainable motherhood, and what are some of the positive changes we are already seeing? 


About Jessica Grose 

Jessica Grose is an opinion writer at The New York Times. Her new book “Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood” (Mariner Books) is out now! Jess was the founding editor of Lenny, the email newsletter and website. She also writes about women’s health, culture, and grizzly bears. She was named one of LinkedIn’s Next Wave top professionals 35 and under in 2016 and a Glamour “Game Changer” in 2020 for her coverage of the pandemic. Her second novel, SOULMATES, was published in 2016. It’s about a broken marriage, a spiritual awakening, and a murder at a yoga retreat. Soulmates is “delightfully sly” according to Elle, “a killer read” per Cosmopolitan, and “compelling, funny, painful and wry,” says the Globe and Mail. Her debut novel, SAD DESK SALAD, came out in 2012. It takes place at a women’s website and Jess refers to it as “the devil wears sweatpants.” Glamour called it “Dishy, zingy, hilarious.” She was formerly a senior editor at Slate, and an editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York, the Washington Post, Businessweek, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters. Follow her on Twitter @JessGrose and Instagram @JessGroseWrites.

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Episode 306