What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Sep 6, 2007 - Social Science - 336 pages
29 Reviews
Instead of preaching what mothers ought to do, psychotherapist Naomi Stadlen explains what mothers already do in the course of any exhausting day's work. Drawing from countless conversations with hundreds of mothers spanning more than a decade, What Mothers Do provides lucid insight into the true experience of motherhood and answers the perennial question common to mothers everywhere: What have I done all day?

Stadlen's wise reflections, threaded throughout with the voices of real mothers, explore unsentimental reactions to motherhood-resentment, guilt, splintered identity, crippling inefficiency, and deadening fatigue. Yet the overriding sentiment is one of empowerment and wonder, as Stadlen illustrates how seemingly insignificant skills such as responding to a baby's colicky cry, being instantly interruptible, or soothing an overstimulated child to sleep profoundly contribute to an individual's socialization, self-worth, and curiosity. Remarkably perceptive and heartening, What Mothers Do will resonate with mothers everywhere in search of understanding and wisdom.


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Review: What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing

User Review  - Portia Tung - Goodreads

Naomi Stadlen is a compassionate companion to mothers who've just begun their journey and reminds us of the significance of what mothers do Read full review

Review: What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing

User Review  - Liss Capello - Goodreads

Splendid in the sense that it takes the difficult-to-describe, often never articulated tasks of motherhood and attempts to shine a light on them, and frame them in language that can be understood. I ... Read full review


one who understands?
three all the responsibility
six I get nothing done all day
seven so tired I could die
eight what do babies seem to want?
nine what is motherly love?
ten I was surprised that I still had the same name
eleven snapping at my partner
twelve closer to my mother

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About the author (2007)

Naomi Stadlen is a psychotherapist and the mother of three, and has run the weekly discussion group Mothers Talking for more than twelve years. She lives in London.

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