Good Mother, Bad Mother

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A compelling, highly personal examination of contemporary motherhood from a top child care expert

Mothers today face relentless criticism and pressure. Breast or bottle? Work or stay at home? Routine or feeding-on-demand? The choices are infinite and at the heart of each question is the more controversial and divisive debate of what makes a good mother. Gina Ford offers an illuminating, moving, and thought-provoking study of this enigmatic question. ...

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Good Mother, Bad Mother

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Overview

A compelling, highly personal examination of contemporary motherhood from a top child care expert

Mothers today face relentless criticism and pressure. Breast or bottle? Work or stay at home? Routine or feeding-on-demand? The choices are infinite and at the heart of each question is the more controversial and divisive debate of what makes a good mother. Gina Ford offers an illuminating, moving, and thought-provoking study of this enigmatic question. Drawing on the experience of thousands of mothers, she has turned her attention to the women charged with bringing up the next generation. She addresses the challenges of contemporary motherhood and fervently argues that these awe-inspiring women seldom receive the support, respect, and admiration they deserve. And for the first time, in a candid, personal account, Gina interweaves stories from her own childhood, revealing how her relationship with her own mother has shaped the choices she has made. Any woman who has ever doubted her capabilities as a mother will find comfort and reassurance in the insights of the woman whose books have been justly described as a "godsend."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/20/2014
British baby routine guru Ford (The New Contented Little Baby Book) interweaves what feels like two separate books, even if both point toward the same idea: loving mothering is always good mothering, independent of the details. One section focuses on women’s relationships with their mothers and consists of an emotional, if not especially insightful, tribute to Ford’s own mother. Ford traces their bond from her childhood, when the family struggled financially, through an unconventional adult relationship, to the grief of caring for her mother on her deathbed. The other section is addressed to new mothers and consists of Ford’s insights into the difficulties they face, gleaned from decades of work as a maternity nurse (she has no children herself). Ford places particular emphasis on the pressures exerted by mothers, mothers-in-law, peers, and the culture at large. Setting herself against this mood of “unnerving criticism and competition,” she emphatically affirms that working, bottle-feeding, daycare-using moms are doing perfectly fine. By way of anecdotal demonstration, Ford includes dozens of interviews with mothers of young children, though these tend to be overlong and under-edited. Her established fans may feel comforted by Ford’s reaffirming words, but despite her reputation as an expert, Ford has little new to say about the ravages of the “mommy wars.” (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"This elegant study supplies both insight and encouragement for women at all stages. Ford's strengthening voice is welcome. It stands outside of the more logistics-based advice on parenting issues."  –Library Journal
Library Journal
02/15/2015
The latest from prolific British parenting writer Ford ("Contented Baby" series) gives readers a taste of something new in this poetic consideration of motherhood, both positive and negative. The author writes a tear-jerking introduction about her own mother and goes on to include the voices and experiences of many women, illustrating that we are not alone in our fears and doubts and are rarely as bad as we think we are. She provides a generational viewpoint, and grandmothers, elderly parents, and adult mother-daughter relationships take center stage over the more commonly discussed experiences of first-time parents and the demands of infancy. VERDICT This elegant study supplies both insight and encouragement for women at all stages. Ford's strengthening voice is welcome. It stands outside of the more logistics-based advice on parenting issues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780091898762
  • Publisher: Vermilion
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006

Meet the Author

Gina Ford has more than 30 years of experience as a maternity nurse, runs the website www.contentedbaby.com, and is the author of numerous parenting books, including The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies & Toddlers and The Contented Little Baby Book.
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