Review by STACY DONG
HOW MOTHERS LOVE
And How Relationships Are Born
By Naomi Stadlen
Naomi Stadlen is a psychotherapist in North London and for more than 20 years, she has been running two weekly discussion groups for mothers. She is the author of the bestseller What Mothers Do Especially When it Looks Like Nothing. This is her second book which is based on the weekly discussion groups with mothers.
In this book, Stadlen provides a medium where mothers’ voices can be heard, without any judgment. The mothers in her weekly discussion groups relate stories of their lives, without embellishments. The mothers are free to tell each other how it is not always easy to parent their children.
How Mothers Love gives voice to the mothers; it is about the joys of motherhood and also about the not-so-nice parts of motherhood.
Somehow, society has the general assumption that every woman who has given birth will be a natural mother and that mothers would automatically and very naturally know how to take care of their child from infancy to adulthood. Bonding between the mother and the child should be a no-brainer.
However, the bond between a mother and child is not as automatic and natural as we think; mothers do not always know what to do with the baby. And if a mother even dares to confess that the bond does not develop easily or naturally, she will be met with utter disbelief and shock and it usually ends with some sort of judgment.
How Mothers Love is simply a channel where mothers can vent and explore their feelings freely. The mothers could then feel that they are normal and that it is okay if they do not have all the answers. There is no judgment and there is no disbelief or shock. There are also no solutions given to the voiced problems. Instead, mothers are met with empathy and understanding from fellow mothers. Sometimes, all we that is needed is a listening ear.
The book is also a study of the loving actions of mothers, through everyday dialogues that occur between the mother and child. These repetitive actions are not extraordinary communication or activities and they usually “do not amount to much.” However, it is through these ordinary and somewhat boring actions that the mother and child bond and grow to know and love each other.
It definitely warms my heart to read this book. I find myself nodding my head through the chapters as I can relate to what other mothers are saying and confessing.
How Mothers Love is a book for mothers and for those who want to know and appreciate what motherhood is all about. It is a unique account of real-life experiences and the real needs of mothers.
By gathering the private thoughts and feelings of real-life mothers, Stadlen has managed to put together a book that reassures, encourages and gives confidence to mothers. It is a wonderful affirmation for all mothers to let them know that they are not alone, especially in those not-so-wonderful moments that all mothers go through.
Head out and buy this book if you are a mother to get the affirmation that we all desperately need sometimes. And husbands, if you do not already know the extraordinary deeds that your wife is doing as a mother, head out too and buy this book.