A quote from Maureen Quilligan’s (1989) review of Sara Ruddick’s Maternal Thinking in the N. Y. Times Book Review provides an appropriate starting point for this chapter:

A story often told to new parents goes like this: After a sleepless night dominated by the squalling of a colicky newborn, a young father found himself standing over the crib with a pillow inches from the baby’s face, ready to murder it. “What’s the matter with me?” he wails to his psychotherapist. The therapist asks, “You didn’t do it, did you?” The father answers, “No, but I wanted to!” the therapist nods. “Welcome to parent[hood].” (p. 15)