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Paperback Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Within Book

ISBN: 0143034863

ISBN13: 9780143034865

Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Within

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Every woman longs to be a good mother. But what about those women who grew up "undermothered"--whose own mothers were well-meaning but unavailable, absent, distracted, or depressed? How are they to become the good mothers they aspire to be? In this beautifully articulate book, Kathryn Black, whose own mother's early death inspired her award-winning In the Shadow of Polio , offers affirming news: One doesn't have to have had a good mother to become...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

insightful book

Very helpful book for anyone who feels their childhood was missing a "mothering mother". Easy to read with helpful suggestions for dealing with a painful past and insuring the "absent mother" experience will not continue into future generations.

amazing, this one can change your life

This book was recommended to me by my therapist after I had been working with her for over a year. I had read countless other books in an attempt to figure out why my childhood seemed "off" and why I had this extreme sense of obligation (fueled by fear) towards my mother. This book made it clear to me, I saw my life written in the stories recounted in this wonderful book. My mother had met my physical needs, she had "acted" like a "normal" mother, but at the same time, she was not there. I learned at an early age to jump through hoops to please her, yet was never able to do so, at the same time, she almost served as an observer rather than a participant in my life, especially during major life events like my wedding and the birth of my child. Finally, I am validated that my perceptions were on target. I also am able to deal with her more compassionately after reflecting on the parenting (actually complete lack of) she received. A huge ephipany for me was realizing that my mother was totally undermothered and in fact her mother was never mothered. My maternal grandmother's mother died in giving birth to her and she was farmed out to relatives until she married. No wonder mothering in my family was so unusual. I cannot recommend this book enough. It distresses me that it is out of print. It needs another printing with updates!

Insightful and practical

I recommend without equivocation. "Mothering Without a Map" by Kathryn Black is not only well written -- excellent structure, suspenseful writing -- it is eye-opening in its conclusions. It goes beyond the thesis in "Motherless Daughters." Even if you had/have an excellent mother, and even if you like your own mothering style, I guarantee there will moments of insight for you. Most of all I marvel at Black's balance in her information; under any other writer, this book would feel like the usual blame-the-mother for all of the world's ills. But Black, through humor and empathy, makes the deficits all mothers have surmountable and understandable. Plus, you've got to see this bibliography at the end of book -- thousands of sources.

a gem of a book

As both a mother and a therapist who works with mothers, I was thrilled to find this book because of the gaping hole it fills on parenting bookshelves. It provides hope and reassurance that becoming a 'good mother' even when we've been under-mothered is both worth doing and do-able. I was impressed with the way the author connects some of the women's stories with relevant research information in a gentle way. It is a unique and timely book written for a generation of mothers who want to raise their children differently than they were raised but are not completely sure how to do that.

I cannot say enough about this book!

Mothering Without a Map changed my life. Until reading this book, I knew that something was wrong with the way I was raised - that I never felt safe or unconditionally loved - but I couldn't pinpoint the problem. Kathryn Black put my feelings into words. This book helped me to work through my anger toward my parents and come to a place of greater compassion. They're still not good for me, but I now have a peace about the state of our relationship and about my past. I can appreciate and emulate the positive things they did for me while accepting and moving past the negative. Before I avoided any of their behavior all together for fear that I would repeat the cycle of "undermothering." After reading this book, I can move forward with greater understanding and confidence in my mothering abilities. If you want a book that can truly turn your life around, this is it. Thank you Kathryn for putting together such a wonderful book!
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