Look, if you ask a child, 'Would you rather have a fulfilled mother or a stay-at-home Sylvia Plath,' they'll pick Sylvia Plath every time. But I think it's really important that children don't feel their parents' emotional lives depend on their success.
During the periods in my marriage when I chose to stay home with my kids rather than work as an attorney, it caused me no end of anxiety. Despite the fact that I knew I was contributing to our family by caring for our children, I still felt that my worth was less because I wasn't earning.
A good mother remembers to serve fruit at breakfast, is always cheerful and never yells, manages not to project her own neuroses and inadequacies onto her children, is an active and beloved community volunteer. She remembers to make play dates, her children's clothes fit, she does art projects with them and enjoys all their games.
I am consumed, or I have been consumed, with these issues of motherhood and the way we act out societal expectations and roles. So both my nonfiction and my fiction have been pretty much exclusively about that.
I did not want to raise a genetically compromised child. I did not want my children to have to contend with the massive diversion of parental attention, and the consequences of being compelled to care for their brother after I died. I wanted a genetically perfect baby, and because that was something I could control, I chose to end his life.