For my recent birthday, Mr B bought me a kindle and I picked up my reading habit which was stalled when Phoebe was born. The first book I bought and downloaded was Jessica Rowe's book, Love.Wisdom.Motherhood
I wanted to read this book because as a relatively new mother (my little one is 22 months old), I love finding out about other parents' experiences, how they cope with looking after their child/ children, and the little lessons learnt.
I find that parenting experiences is not an area that we delve into. Publicly, celebrities may say they are loving every moment of parenthood (which really irritated me when I first became a mother cos I wondered what was so great about sleep deprivation) or are having a hard time but generally no details or specifics of their experiences or ways they get through the difficult times. Thus, this book gave invaluable insights into how some prominent women in Australia juggled motherhood and other demands on their lives and time.
This book interviewed famous mothers in Australia such as actress Lisa McCune, designer Heidi Middleton (one half of Sass and Bide), comedian Wendy Harmer, designer Collette Dinigan, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, athlete Nova Perris, Westpac CEO Gail Kelly, etc.
To me, these women coped with motherhood brilliantly. They juggle being a wife and mother (unpaid work) as well as paid work. So, it was quite revealing to read about some of their struggles and the most dominant feeling seemed to be guilt. Yet, that guilt propelled them to be a better parent while also trying to juggle other demands. It was amazing, inspiring and encouraging!
Lisa McCune found a way to juggle location shoots with looking after her baby, by asking the local nurse for help in exchange for a chance for them to view the filming process. Heidi Middleton's battle with cancer was tough and I really felt for her as I read about how she fought off cancer. Gail Kelly had to cope with having four children, including triplets, and Collette Dinigan with being a single parent.
My favourite chapter would have to be the one on Wendy Harmer. She was so refreshingly honest when she said that there were certain things in parenting that she didn't enjoy, such as "playing with little kids". And it was comforting to read her assurance when she said that "it doesn't matter how much time you spend with your children - it will never be enough....because, if children could, they would have you with them for every second of every day". Wendy also shared how different parenting her 2 children were. That Marley was a baby who was content to lie in his cot and didn't need her to cuddle him all the time, while her second child, Maeve, was the opposite. There are so many other revealing insights into her and her husband's parenting journey, which helped me feel that it's quite normal to sometimes feel inadequate or that I could have done better.
There are still so many other amazing mothers who are interviewed in this book and I am thankful that Jessica Rowe wrote it and that the women were forthcoming (some more than others) with their stories and their journeys.
What is your mothering journey like? This book would assure you that you are not alone. It would also remind us that we need to ask family or friends for help and that your children love you for your good or bad moments because the vital thing is that we keep trying to be a better parent for them.