A reassuring book that examines what mothers have achieved and the questions they now face, from pressure to return to work, the role of fathers in childrearing and the value of meeting other mothers to share and solve problems.
It is amazing to listen to mothers and hear how much they learn.
Each mother learns different things - some practical, some mysterious. However, some common patterns come through.
Mothers learn that:
*Mothering is more than baby- and childcare.
*Babies can't talk but they can communicate.
*Mothers are 'in conversation' with their babies.
*Through their babies, mothers learn about themselves.
*Mothers form families based on their own values.
*The role of fathers is in the middle of a major change.
*The reasons for maternal anger need to be understood.
*Mothers can still be feminists.
*Part of mothering is a spiritual experience.
*Mothers bring usable experience back to their workplaces.
WHAT MOTHERS LEARN will show, first, how learning to be a mother takes time, and then what a wonderful experience it can be. It also makes the case that, if enough of us agree that mothering is essential, society must find a way to reward the women who do it.
Naomi's books are a wonderful anthology of what mothers have said over the years, drawn together with her own contemplative reflection on the conversations . . . Naomi writes so gently; her words are a soothing balm in these months of confusion. Through listening to mothers, she learns what is important to them, and discovers the seemingly tiny details that are so significant in the life of a child, to family and to society . . . Thank you, Naomi, for your wise words - Juno
For nearly 30 years, Naomi Stadlen has been listening to hundreds of mothers at her weekly discussion meetings, Mothers Talking, and at monthly meetings for La Leche League. She an existential psychotherapist and the author of the bestselling What Mothers Do and How Mothers Love. Visit www.naomistadlen.com.