Moods of Motherhood
Moods of Motherhood charts the inner journey of motherhood, giving voice to the often nebulous, unspoken tumble of emotions that motherhood evokes: tenderness, frustration, joy, grief, depression, playfulness and love. She explores the taboo subjects of maternal ambiguity, competitiveness, and the quest for perfection, offering support, acceptance, and hope to mothers everywhere. Though the story is hers, it could be yours.
Today’s post is part of the Moods of Motherhood blogging carnival to mark the launch of the second edition of my book.
Do be sure to read to the end to see all the women around the world who are joining me today, lifting the lid on motherhood… and to WIN your own copy!
The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Swan
I am very proud of all my books. They are my babies.
But one has been the metaphorical ugly duckling: Moods of Motherhood. I rushed the first edition out quickly, without any fanfare. The cover was a quick job too.
I wanted to make my writings on motherhood available in one place. The rich pickings of posts from here, polished up. Articles from the many magazines I write for. Contributions to anthologies. And new pieces I hadn’t published. Even my most die-hard fans had not read ALL my pieces. Not even my mum.
I think it is the most vulnerable of all my books. And the one I feel most vulnerable about. The bits that touched mothers the most were the unspeakable bits of motherhood – of grief and depression, exhaustion and ambiguity.
And so I felt awkward selling it. I was very quiet about it, and let it sell itself. Which it did, in a little trickle. And it built up quite a devoted little following of mamas, many of them writers whose words I adore, who told me how it had touched them, told me how it had made them laugh and cry and feel held and seen and not alone.
And they kept coming and telling me how special this book was. So I have listened, and been brave… and put together a second edition. Still very vulnerable. But less raw!
It contains lots of new posts and articles to it, to bring it up to date – there are 65 new pages! It has been fully edited and polished. And has a BEAUTIFUL new (professionally designed) cover which I cannot stop stroking. I love it so much. I have book envy of my own book!!! (Thank you so much to my friends who gave me so much time and feedback as I honed the cover, it really was a joint enterprise, by women around the globe).
From the new introduction…
Mothering is the work of the heart, soul and body. And yet our culture has no interest in how it feels, to do it, the effects it has on us… just that we choose the right nappies and sleep routines, and have quiet children who say please and thank you. The inner world of a mother creates the climate within which our families, and communities, grow, and yet it is almost entirely overlooked and undervalued, until it has become so unmanageable that intervention is required.
The basic premise is this: mothering doesn’t matter. It’s not real work, be grateful, shut up and don’t complain. Or that if you’re not finding it all comes naturally, if it’s not all delightful, then you are a BAD mother and therefore don’t deserve to have kids. Shame ranks highly in the arsenal of weapons to keep mothers compliant and submissive. As does comparison to other successful paragons of mothering virtue. Women’s work has never been properly valued in our culture. In part because women have been second class citizens for so long. In part because women’s bodies and inner realities are not understood. And in part because it is done in private: within our bodies and our homes. We gestate our babies unseen. Rock and nurse them alone at home. Survive dinner time. Worry about finances. Try to reclaim flagging libidos. Curse stretchmarks and wobbly bits. Angst over school choices. Smart at criticisms of our parenting… in private.
I soon realised what an epidemic there is of under-supported, overstretched mothers out there. Working their own personal coalface every day. Women who love their children, and yet struggle with the daily mothering grind. Women who are struggling with mental health issues, often undiagnosed. Suffering from extreme sleep deprivation. Lack of support – be it financial, cultural and emotional. Women who feel very alone… and doing the hardest job in the world. And wondering if they are doing OK. Wishing they were doing better. Scared to say anything in case they are judged incompetent and incapable, and the source of their anguish – but also their deepest love – their precious children – are plucked from their less than perfect hands.
And so women struggle on in silence. Knowing that they, or the reality they are experiencing must be wrong… because it doesn’t match up to everything they are told about the truth of motherhood, the natural instinct that we are supposed to have which will carry us through everything, that soft-focus, unending love, joy and delight – by the authorities: the baby books, experts, public health nurses, doctors and movies.
This book is a celebration and acknowledgement of ALL the moods of motherhood. Not just the pretty, nice, acceptable ones. But the dark, murky, unspoken, unspeakable, confusing, ambiguous ones too. All of these and more are tangled together to make up the tapestry of our mothering days.
About the author
Lucy H. Pearce is the author of four life-changing non-fiction books for women including the #1 Amazon bestsellers: The Rainbow Way: cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood and Moon Time: a guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle. Read more…
Enter before midnight (GMT) Monday 1st December to be in with a chance to WIN one of 5 signed paperback copies.
I am so delighted to be joined today by over 40 mamas around the world in the US, UK, Ireland, Sweden, France, Poland…
Joanna at Create Your World has learned some difficult truths… and some beautiful ones too: What my son has taught me, and how it’s not all positive
Misty Tunks of Makey Mamas
We have a strong Irish Parenting Blogger contingent…
Andrea from Office Mum talks about the widely varying moods of motherhood, from first seeing those blue lines on a stick, through frustration, loneliness and intense joy, then finally learning to find happiness in the everyday: Moods of Motherhood – Ebb and Flow
Hazel Katherine Larkin over at In My Own Write has written a post called Special Deliveries about the pain of infertility and the feelings that follow successful pregnancies.
Muuka at Another Drop of Ink reflects on Being Your Own Internal Mother
Laura at Raising Elves writes about receiving nourishment within the eye of the storm that is motherhood
Una of The Now Moment reemerges from the fog of motherhood