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The millennial motherhood trap

Why are so many young, successful women conflicted about having children?

Scapegoat: Medea prepares to kill her children in Delacroix's 1838 painting.

Motherhood, wrote Adrienne Rich in her groundbreaking 1976 polemic, Of Woman Born, is “the suffering of ambivalence.” A poet and radical feminist, Rich had already had three children—and outlived her husband—by the time she began writing her exploration of what it meant to be a mother. At a time when to publicly admit to dissatisfaction or frustration with motherhood was almost treasonous, Rich insisted that we should recognise its difficulties, as well as joys. For her, it is…

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