Judith Warner's Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. I won't say too much about it now except that it resonates and I can see why it was so hyped when it was first published in 2005. It seems like I'm dog ear-ring every other page. Coincidentally, I heard Harry Chapin's Cat's In the Cradle today which seems to reinforce the guilt of parenthood (I realize it's supposed to be motherhood) seeping into popular culture.
I'm about half way through the book and I like the way she traces through the evolution in what I would call child care/parenting "fads". The weakest part so far is that even though she compares France favorably, she does not answer what the first question that comes to mind: Why didn't French parents buy into the same fads?
Also, I would point out that perhaps one reason dads always bury their heads behind the papers and rely on mom to tend to the kids (and certainly this has been my experience) is that I get crap whenever I intervene which just makes a bad situation worse. Perhaps it's my inexperience or impatience with mediating/moderating/bargaining like the parenting books suggest. Perhaps sometimes I don't think the situation calls for bargaining but in the end I end up screaming at the kids and angry at my wife. My wife is definitely better at talking things out and even though I "hide behind the paper" fuming, glowering and ready to explode, I find that things eventually simmer away and am glad that I sat that one out. In a nutshell, I do butt in sometimes when I feel that I have a handle on the situation (which is probably not as often as I should).
Also I find that kids tend to prefer their moms. This is perhaps biased since I've mainly observed our kids. Even though I stayed home during K1's first 2 years and am on the slow lane right now, there is no doubt that they have a bond with her that I never will have.