Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Book Review: What Mothers Do

Ok- so I've been reading this book and I must admit, I thought it was going to be completely different than what I actually read.

The title, "What Mothers do, especially when it looks like nothing" (by Naomi Stadlen) is a good enough title. I take one look at that and say to myself, "I want to read that book." Being a mother, anything that relates to mothering/parenting is something that I'll be interested in. Personal experience has led me to believe on more than one occasion that what I do on a daily basis can sometimes feel like "nothing". I don't know how many times I've been asked what I do all day when I tell people I'm a stay at home mother. What do you answer to that? If all you say is "Watch my children" it may come off to some as "nothing" and "oh that's it." Now, I have enough of a hard time admitting to mylsef that I'm actually worth it and doing something good when I can't manage to put my make-up on or do my hair in the morning. And having someone point out that "that's it" is all I do during the day, seems pretty demeaning.

What I loved is that this book hit each and ever one of those points. I was able to sit back and look at myself and what I do as so much more than "just being a house mom." Naomi heads each chapter with a different "problem" that confronts mothers each day. I'll hit on some of those.

Chapter 2 "Nothing Prepares You". Uh.... DUH!!!! People can talk and talk and give you story after story of how motherhood will be, but unless you experience it in ANY degree, nothing prepares you. Quote: "Why are mothers so overwhelmed with shock? In a sense, a woman can't prepare for meeting her baby. But she can be prepared to be surprised. That's what happens over erotic love. It's revealing to compare how differently women get ready for romance. We don't go to falling-in-love preparation classes...falling in love is described in songs and contrast, the experience of turning into a mother is rarely the subject of songs or litrature."


Chapter 12 "Closer to my mother". So you know the saying "I'll never turn into my mother"? Oh boy... NOTHING could be further from the truth. Sure, everyone has their own quirks and does things differently. But you never realize how much of an impact your mother has on your life until you become a mother yourself. You all of a sudden relate to her on levels that you couldn't have otherwise done. You have similarities there that you had no idea existed. You come to a greater appreciation for what your mother has done and how much smarter she really is than you. (Yes, i admit it mom!) But there are also times when your mother wants to "help" more than what is needed. What I love about this book is that Naomi puts everything in plain terms. She doesn't sugarcoat anything. Quote: "Sometimes the mother's mother assumes she knows what kind of help her daughter wants. She doesn't check that her daughter really wants it, and her daughter feels awkward about explaining to her mother that it wasn't what she most needed." Has this happened to me? OH YES. Do I regret any of it- HECK NO! I'd rather that my mom be part of my life and be over-helpful than not at all.

This really is a wonderful book. There were times when I felt that things were being repeated and it was a little slow. But the content is what matters most and I do like it. I'd highly reccomend this book to any MOTHER or soon to be mother who's looking for answers to questions you probably don't even know you had. There are so many individual experiences and stories in there from mothers all over the world.

Please, go get this book, seriously worth it. Especially because it makes YOU feel more worth it!


Unknown said...

Sounds like a good book Amber! And as somebody who rides the fence between SAHM and working...I can tell you the world does not understand the polarity of the two!!

Marjorie said...

I think Chapter 2 alone is worth the price of the book. It took me nearly 2 years to recover from the shock of becoming a mother at age 39, after a lifetime of thinking I was infertile. This book would have helped me immensely back then.

Kris Underwood said...

Stadlen really hit just about every nail on the head, didn't she? When I first saw that title, I knew I had to read and review the book ASAP.

Now, it is THE book I am recommending to all new moms everywhere!

Tricia said...

Sounds like something I would really enjoy reading! Thanks for the review of this book Amber!