This essay reads the conflict, ambivalence and guilt that pervade what I call "maternal chronicles"—a heterogenous set of autobiographical texts centering on the experience of mothering—as symptomatic of the postfeminist turn in Spanish society. While in literature, maternal narratives continue to be scarce (Freixas 2012), the last ten years have witnessed the emergence of new narrative forms, ranging from blogs to diaries to comics, that express their authors’ ambivalent feelings towards this "sacred" institution (Lucía Extebarria, Care Santos, Isabel García Zarza, Yolanda Saenz de Tejada, Inmaculada Gilaberte, Gabriela Wiener, Gemma Sesar etc.). As Spain continues to experience one of the lowest birth rates in the world, popular culture presents glamorous maternal images that reflect the resurfacing of pro-natalist discourses aiming "to put motherhood squarely back at the heart of women’s lives" (Badinter 1). While the popular media contribute to the creation of a new "motherhood mystique" (to borrow Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels’s definition), maternal chronicles often express frustration with unattainable maternal myths, while stopping short of invalidating them completely. Reading maternal memoirs vis-à-vis popular culture, this essay argues that the articulation of maternal subjectivities in contemporary Spanish culture is symptomatic of a paradoxical situation, in which motherhood is celebrated as a source of women’s fulfillment in a society characterized by deeply antimaternal structures with high unemployment rate, low gender equality in the workplace, uneven distribution of domestic chores, and lack of state support for working mothers.

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