The smell of a new baby's head, tucking a child in at night, receiving homemade, hand-scrawled birthday cards, heart-to-hearts with a teenager after a date, seeing them become parents -- these are joys parents treasure.She says, "Just imagine what would happen if, next week most mothers of America sat down and e-mailed their presidential candidate or congressional candidate of choice and said: 'When are you going to finally start paying attention to mothers and children in public policy? "Read an excerpt from "The Mommy Myth's" Introduction: It's P. Your six-year-old is whining, repeatedly, in a voice that could saw through cement, "But mommy, puleeze, puleeze" because you have not bought him the latest "Lunchables," which features, as the four food groups, Cheetos, a Snickers, Cheez Whiz, and Twizzlers.Your teenager, who has not spoken a single word in the past four days except, "You've ruined my life," followed by "Everyone else has one," is out in the car, sulking, with the new rap-metal band Piss on the Parentals blasting through the headphones of a Discman.Today's mom needs to be a therapist, pediatrician, mind reader, caretaker, consumer safety expert and homemaker. She says there are four main factors that created the new Mom: "Fear, fantasy, marketing and politics." Douglas says, "I think motherhood is the unfinished business of the women's movement. Douglas defines "the new Momism," by saying, "It's a highly romanticized myth of the perfect mother. Her 'to do' list includes: piping Mozart into her womb, using algebra flash cards with her 6-month-old, teaching her 3-year-old to read James Joyce, driving five hours to a soccer match, and oh, yes, being sexy and cheerful through all of this." What are the roots of the "new Momism" - how did we get here?Your ex-husband calls to say he won't be taking the kids this weekend after all because his new wife, Buffy, twenty-three, has to go on a modeling shoot in Virgin Gorda for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and "she really needs me with her." You go to the TV room to discover the kids watching transvestites punching each other out on Jerry Springer.The pasta boils over and scalds the hamster, now lying prostrate on the floor with its legs twitching in the air.After dinner, you all go out and stencil the driveway with autumn leaves. You have fifteen minutes to make dinner because there's a school play in half an hour.While the children fight over whether to watch Hot Couples or people eating larvae on Fear Factor, you zap some Prego spaghetti sauce in the microwave and boil some pasta. "Mommy, Mommy, Sam losted my hamster," your daughter wails.This book is about the rise in the media of what we are calling the "new momism": the insistence that no woman is truly complete or fulfilled unless she has kids, that women remain the best primary caretakers of children, and that to be a remotely decent mother, a woman has to devote her entire physical, psychological, emotional, and intellectual being, 24/7, to her children.The new momism is a highly romanticized and yet demanding view of motherhood in which the standards for success are impossible to meet.