Pregnancy is a time of profound physical and psychological change. The transition to motherhood can be complex and difficult, and in all the discourse about pregnancy and birth the huge personal changes that women undergo can be overlooked. In the 21st century it can seem that mothers are blamed and blame themselves for everything, as they struggle to manage their multiple identities as mothers, lovers, sisters and daughters.
Why Mothering Matters is a nuanced and revealing discussion of how it can feel to become a mother in modern society. It calls for better recognition of the work of motherhood, and better support for women and families as they learn what parenting looks like for them.
"This passionate book by Maddie McMahon a doula and supporter of mothers is her 'hymn of praise' to the work of mothers. She acknowledges that mothering (giving unconditional love and sowing the seeds of self-worth) can be, and is, done by many people with or without children, and yet mothers have a distinct way of giving it. She uses personal experience (she had the courage to visit a refugee camp in Dunkirk), the words of mothers, as well as published literature to support her case that mothering is often disrespected yet essential. Why Mothering Matters is both thoughtful and encouraging."
Naomi Stadlen, author of What Mothers Do, Especially When It Looks Like Nothing
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If everybody read this book, it would change the world
It's taken me a long time to put pen to paper (yes I still do that) and write this review, because I have found it impossible to articulate the way it has made me feel. I inhaled 'Why Mothering Matters' in one indulgent sitting the day after it was published. I could never do it justice - but I'm going to try. This book touched my soul like no other ever has. As a mother I have never felt so understood, so appreciated, so valued and so loved. Passion runs right through this book on every last page. It's packed full of revelations that will make you shout, scream and fist pump the air all at the same time. There are so many moments throughout the book where I felt like I was listening to a significantly influential speech at a rally - one that would make history and change the world, one that would be remembered and quoted from years into the future. My heart literally, physically swelled in these moments. It was powerful and overwhelming. A few times I had to take a break and go calm down because I was so overcome with emotion that I could not continue reading. Maddie has much to teach us about motherhood from a feminist perspective. She talks about the effects that the capitalist patriarchy has on our daily lives and what we might do to rise up and conquer. She talks about what mothers are enduring across the globe. Some of her insights will break your heart and leave you in the depths of despair. But she never leaves you there for long, choosing instead to lift you higher than you've ever been with her message of enduring hope. I feel more connected with every single mother that has ever existed after finishing the book. We are a tribe, we are a sisterhood. In a society that does not value us we need to build each other up and tell each other how amazing we are each and every day. I am shouting about this book from the rooftops. I am telling everybody I meet wherever I go. I am talking about it at Mum's groups and posting about it all over social media - because we NEED to get this message out there. Absolutely everybody, not only mothers, needs to hear these beautifully poetic words. If everyone would take them to their heart it would have positive ramifications for every last member of the human race. THAT'S how important we are. That's the difference we make. It is almost a month to the day since I read 'Why Mothering Matters' and I still feel like I'm carrying Maddie's words into every moment of every day. It's so rare that a book has such a monumental impact on your perceptions. There just aren't the words to make you understand how utterly, astoundingly, brilliant it is - so please, just read it. For the love of mothers everywhere, read it. Maddie McMahon - Thank you. Thank you for literally ripping your heart right out of your chest and scrawling it across these pages. It must have been ridiculously difficult and I salute you. This book is the best gift you could ever have given us.
Every mother should read this!
I've never read a book that has resonated so much before. Whilst expecting our second baby, Maddie has spoken to me everything I've needed to read and writes truth. Exploring why the role of the mother is crucial not to survive but for mothers and babies to thrive like we deserve. Cannot recommend this book enough!! ❤️ X
Why Mothering Matters
Maddie sent me a draft of her book before it was published and I devoured it in one voracious 48 hour sitting. Mothers are in desperate need to know that the silent, unpaid, sacrificial and often transformative work they do for their children matters to society as a whole. That they, inwardly changed beyond recognition, still have some value, even whilst up to their eyes in washing up and dirty nappies. Maddie lovingly reminds us all what raw power and beauty there is in the act of mothering and nurturing our young, well before they are able to thank us for it. She guides us on a journey where we are encouraged to embrace our feminine superpowers and have them examined through eyes of wonder and recognition. In the act of writing this love letter to mothers, she simply communicates "I see you, I hear what you are doing, and I am reminding you what an art and skill it takes to be a mother. And I salute it all!" I'm tempted to clear my bookshelves and just simply have 'Why Mothering Matters' as it encapsulates all that is worth knowing about pregnancy, birth and motherhood in one beautiful work of love!
Why Mothering Matters
Maddie Mc Mahon's latest book, Why Mothering Matters, is a call to arms for women and for new mothers everywhere to stop putting up with the bullshitty, unsupportive, judgmental and divisive culture that is impressed upon us as mothers, and makes us feel that our feelings don't matter. Full of brilliant stories, quotes and anecdotes about birth and mothering, from both Maddie's own experience as a doula and breastfeeding counsellor, and from many other women and women supporters, this book managed to give me goosebumps, make me cry, raise my blood pressure with fury at the injustice of it all, and at the same time made me feel uplifted and full of hope and gratitude.