The Not Good Enough Mother by Sharon Lamb
Beacon Press: 6/25/19
eBook review copy; 200 pages
The Not Good Enough Mother by Sharon Lamb is a personal, highly recommended account pf a psychologist who evaluates the fitness of parents.
and expert witness Dr. Sharon Lamb observes children and evaluates
parents after the children have been removed from their custody. She
observes and takes notes, assessing the fitness of parents in order to
determine what is in the best interest of the child. Her evaluations
will either recommend that the child be returned to their parent or that
parental rights should be terminated, opening the children up for
adoption. It is a decision that is not always clear.
As many of these parents struggle with addiction, Dr. Lamb's own son
struggles with an opioid addiction, which makes evaluating other parents
even more challenging on a personal level. Since mother's are often the
ones being evaluated to determine if they are "good enough mothers," Dr.
Lamb turns the question on herself, is she a "good enough mother?" She
knows the daily struggle of an addict to remain clean. She knows the
relapses, the lies, and the statistics as she tries to remain
compassionate to those she is evaluating, while at the same time keeping
above all else the best interest of the child. And, as a mother, she
knows that mothers always look for blame in themselves when their
children make bad life choices.
Individual situations and cases are discussed with an informative eye
for detail and information about what she looks for and observes during
various home visits and meetings. The result is a narrative that is
both informative and heart-breakingly personal. As a professional, she
needs to have boundaries and keep a sense of detachment while she also
has a plethora of first hand personal experience with an addict. In
concise language and succinct case/visit summaries, she provides details and information in a controlled, neutral manner, keeping her emotions in check, while
informing readers what she does and of what she takes note. Her
professional neutrality is almost at odds with her personal experiences,
providing the reader with the sense of a dichotomy she experiences
between her professional life and personal experiences.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House