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59 Reviews
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find...
My husband bought me this book before our baby was born and I started to read it and didn't find it relevant (as I hadn't had the baby yet!)
But when the baby came....so did the book and it was such a good help and confidence booster in the mad hazy first weeks of having a new baby at home with you. I wish I had read it before.
The book, unlike other...
Published on 6 Feb 2006 by Oh fiddly sticks....

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable with a reasonable level of interest
The summary on the back of the book sums up, pretty accurately, what the book is about. I found the anecdotes and quotes from real life mums reassuring and, since that was what I bought the book for, it did fulfill its aim in that respect. However, although the author says at the outset that she isn't there to dictate to mothers how they should interact with their...
Published on 2 Aug 2010 by Jane


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find..., 6 Feb 2006
My husband bought me this book before our baby was born and I started to read it and didn't find it relevant (as I hadn't had the baby yet!)
But when the baby came....so did the book and it was such a good help and confidence booster in the mad hazy first weeks of having a new baby at home with you. I wish I had read it before.
The book, unlike other advice books, is a no nonsense, straight from the hip advice from other mothers. I loved it because it was just so honest....a relief in times that you start to doubt your abilities as a mother. It help me to realise something that I suspected from the start - to trust myself and my intuition. I really think that this book should be read by every mother.
From one very happy Mam and a very healthly baby - enjoy!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that gives Mothers words for what they do as mothers!, 15 Jun 2007
By 
K. Kettler "So many books, so little time....." (The Hague, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this book only a few months after my son was born, and I appreciate it more with each passing month.

The author looks sympathetically at mothers, whether they are stay-at-home, work-at-home, or work-outside-the-home. This is a book that gives you words for what being a mother means in a concrete kind of way.

She helps you fill in the blanks when someone asks you what you've done all day, and you know that you've been insanely busy but can't actually put in words what you've done. You know that you ran two loads of wash, changed 5 diapers, and managed feeding your child, but can that REALLY fill up 9 hours?? Oh yes! What about the nurturing and comfort that you provided? How about the education that you provided as you emptied the washing machine over 10 minutes instead of 2 as you explain to your baby "this is a sock", etc.

The "tasks" of mothering don't have words or an accompanying value in Western society, but this book helps you name what you do and feel good about it!

All I can say: Buy it as fast as you can and enjoy!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got me through the hard times, 31 May 2007
By 
C. James "hippymama" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If I could write a mandatory reading list for pregnant couples, this book would top it. Read it. If you are already a mother it will provide you with a boost that is almost spiritual, if you are going to be parents it will provide a valuable insight into the massive changes your lives are about to undergo.

Ladies, if your partner is reluctant to read another baby book, simply get him to read the chapter 'Snapping at my partner'....a peek into why we take out the frustrations of our day on them!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers me up, 17 Mar 2005
By A Customer
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I have two really small children and a very tiring, chaotic life. Reading this (which I did in two days, despite aforementioned children) really cheered me up and helped me feel validated in the work I am doing. I will be buying it for all my new mother friends and I highly recommend it for everyone who is trying to mother their new children and feels overwhelmed, distressed, fearful and/ or exhausted. This will make you feel better and put some of it into perspective. I've never encountered another book which explains my current life better.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Mothers Do Especially When It Seems Like Nothing, 27 Jun 2004
By 
Reader (London, England) - See all my reviews
This book deals primarily with the first year of motherhood, and babyhood. Real mothers are given the opportunity to speak through this book, as many quotations are included showing a range of experiences that constitute motherhood. There is no law laid down concerning the right and wrong way of doing things. The message comes across that the best teacher is the baby and that any mother and baby relationship is unique. This book could be empowering and reassuring for new mothers. It would also be extremely valuable for new fathers to read this. It could perhaps herald a new "golden period of babyhood", as babies are seen as expressing genuine needs, rather than just being demanding.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Respect for mothers, respect for babies, 23 Jan 2005
Naomi Stadlen
This is a really beautiful book - reading it is enough to make one feel that serenity is possible. The writer clearly disagrees with authors who write on maternal ambivalence yet the way she does so is so gentle yet firm that an atmosphere of respect is generated rather than controversy. Respect is also the hallmark of her writing about mothers and about babies. The book frequently quotes mothers; mothers realising how much their baby contributes to the mother-baby relationship and generally respecting how much their babies are individuals is a major theme. Respect for mothers too and the way their love and continued attention are vital to their baby. Respect too for the way mothers relate to and support and understand each other. Stadlen shows that even if a mother feels she is doing nothing while at home with her baby, by being the expert on her baby and understanding what her baby wants, noticing things that no one else would even see about the baby's growing ability to communicate or its likes and dislikes, she is doing something alll-important; the book values and supports mothers' skill and love - I wish it had been available when my children were babies but reading it made a lovely journey into remembering that time of my life.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an esteem-boosting read!, 25 May 2006
I have four month old twins and little time to read, but I saw 'What Mothers Do' reviewed on Amazon and bought myself a copy. I have been reading a few pages every evening, after the babies have gone to bed and I have a few hours to myself.

This book has at times brought a tear to my eye because it so accurately describes the enormity of motherhood and the complex array of emotions and thoughts that we, as mothers, go through.

It is a wonderfully heart-lifting book. On days when you really think you've been useless (and I have plenty of them!) and things have got on top of you, this book just makes it all make sense again and helps you believe in yourself as a 'good' mother.

It's very esteem-boosting and reassuring, for all mothers, but particularly new mums. I've read loads of practical reference books for parents, all giving contradictory advice. This doesn't give any prescriptive advice, but simply describes what a brilliant job us mums do for our babies and society as a whole!

Great book - even my husband is reading it and agrees with me!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you are not alone! All mothers feel the same!, 6 Sep 2008
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I read this when my baby was 6 months old and WISH i had read it earlier. I thought I was the only person who felt like I was way out of my depth, but no, seems like that is completely normal. This book made me feel that I was sane, normal, and a good mother. If you are feeling even slightly inadequate, read this book!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 22 Oct 2005
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This book made a great impact on me because at the time of reading I was feeling very down about being a new mum and unsure of my abilities and decisions that I'd been making about my daughter.
The main point of the book is that the best way of parenting is to find what works for you and your child. It advocates a much more natural way of parenting and it also re-affirms the fact that being a mum is a valuable and important contribution, not just to your child but to society as well. A real confidence boost!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, 30 April 2005
By A Customer
This is an amazing book that--unlike any other babycare book--would make a great gift for a new or recent mother (or father!). It is packed full of quotes from mothers speaking honestly. It doesn't tell you what to do. It highlights and praises what you are probably doing already. It is written with "a big heart" stressing the uniqueness of each of us, that for me meant I could finally feel good about my own parenting choices while at the same time appreciating others' choices were just as right for them. My son was already 16 months old by the time I read it but it still helped me make sense of the disorienting experience of early motherhood in a way that nothing else has. I was getting ready to pass my copy onto a friend when I realised how much I still need it, 6 months after I first tore through it. "What Mothers Do - especially when it looks like nothing" made me realise how valuable my mothering was, in a society that says it is not worthwhile, and having this encouragement has been priceless. It could be for any person who is a primary carer for a baby, as the writer says.
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