Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Mothers Do

A friend of mine recommended this book recently. She is one of my closest friends, smart and beautiful -- what more could you ask for in a friend?! She became a mom just under two months after I did, so we are puttering around in the same boat so to speak. She mentioned this book and I immediately ordered it from Amazon. If she says it's good, I know it is!

I had no idea how good this book would be. I read the first 50 pages last night and didn't want to put it down! Here are a few amazing quotes from just the beginning. If these don't resonate with you, moms, you just might be Superwoman!
  • "After my daughter's birth, I found time spent with her was full of interest, but I didn't know how to explain it, even to myself. We might have had a good morning together - but whatever had we been doing all that time?" (7)
  • "Looking after a baby may feel like 'something' at the time it is happening, but at other times mothers find it difficult to explain. It's hard to find the words to communicate what 'looking after my baby' really means." (15)
  • "The essentials of mothering are invisible. It's hard to explain them in words. Practical tasks are only part of it. They do not account for that strength of feeling that goes with bringing up one's own child. A mother can discover this suddenly when she has been looking after her baby all through a long day. In the evening, her husband comes home, and at last she can exchange news with another adult. He is the one person, the father of their child, whom she can expect to understand her. Perhaps he asks her something generous like: 'How's your day been?' It has been a difficult day. Now she can share it, hope for some sympathy, and regain her energy. She tries to find something to tell, but this can be frustrating. The words she uses simply don't match the experience." (18)
  • "The most motherly achievements are often written off as failures. 'Worrying' is a good example. Most mothers worry. But what is a mother actually doing when she is worrying? ... Her thinking may be quick and wide-ranging and work on several levels. She may end up with a fairy clear idea of why her baby is crying. Then she checks out this idea with someone and they tell her that she 'must stop worrying so much,' as if all that careful thinking had been stupid... A much more appreciative word is needed to honor intelligent motherly concern." (23)
  • "Education requires students to jump hurdles. There are now tests and examinations right through school and college. They require that a girl prepare thoroughly, demonstrate her knowledge during a short and intense period, and relax afterward... It is only too understandable that a woman might apply the 'hurdle model' to childbirth... She must study hard, aim for a 'successful' birth, and then she can go home and relax. Once she has recovered, life will return to normal, as it always has done... How alarming, then, to return home with the baby and find there isn't even a moment to settle down to a video or to join her friends for a drink." (39)
  • "Once a baby is born, a woman's life is competely changed. 'The strange thing about being pregnant and being a mother is that, although we know the one leads to the other, they are not part of the same psychological thing,' wrote Nigella Lawson. 'When one friend of mine, shortly after the labor, said that she knew she was pregnant, but why didn't anyone tell her she was going to have a baby, I knew exactly what she meant.'" (39)
If you have been, are, or will be a new mom, or even just know a new mom, check out this book! I can't give it a wholesale recommendation because I've only just started it. So far, though, I think this will be one I recommend time and time again!

Disclosure: Affiliate compensation


  1. sounds like a very interesting and thought provoking book! thanks!

  2. I am about half way through now, and I'm still really loving it! I find that every chapter gives me something to think about. I'd be curious what you would think about it after 8 kids :)