Mama Rising by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz – Book Review

Book Review by Doula Monique Morris

I stumbled upon this title and it was just what I had been searching for. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down because even though I have not yet experienced motherhood myself, I could still relate to it and I could feel my future through Amy’s stories.

Amy starts off by talking about her own experience of being a kick-ass career woman, while raising her 3 children. She delves into the transition period a woman goes through during motherhood, comparing it to adolescence.

Matrescence is defined to be an emergence of a new identity – the mother – while still coming to terms with what happened to the old identity. How have we gone so long without this being widely known? Motherhood is arguably the biggest transition any person will go through in their lifetime, there needs to be more conversations on this topic.

We, the modern women are lucky to have the opportunities available to us that our mothers and grandmothers fought for – a career and an income that’s (almost) comparable to our male counterparts. It’s a harsh reality though, trying to have it all. That is, a career proving us to be successful in our own right, while also experiencing all of what motherhood has to offer. This inner battle is constant for many of us.

 

“If we worked, we were judged. If we stayed home we were judged. We were pitied no matter what we chose: ‘poor working mum missing out on so much’ or ‘poor stay-at-home mum, stuck in the kitchen and tied to the sink’… So when faced with this inner split, we decide we need to just do it all.”

Doing it all inevitably leads to burnout, resentment and ill health. It isn’t a sustainable way to live but for many women and mothers, this is the path to feeling valued and successful. Amy talks about her own burnout and what that looked like. It could have been potentially very devastating – it was lucky she got the wake up call when she did.

With this progressive western (lack of) culture, we’ve lost our ability to tune into our instincts, and fail to pass on knowledge from generation to generation. Instead, we’re left to fumble around figuring it all out, over and over again.

 

So, why am I rambling about this book when it doesn’t provide us with an obvious easy answer to our struggles? I mean, that is what we’re all searching for, right? A quick fix? The thing is, it’s not about being able to go through motherhood with ease, or to perfectly balance a career and your children. It’s about honoring the struggles as much as you do the joys, and realizing these very experiences are all part of the bigger picture. We as humans are on a constant journey of growth and change and our children are our greatest teachers.

Amy has provided a string of 6 topics to focus on. They will take you from the unraveling, through the healing, and to the birth of the real and raw you.I think every mother can relate to this book. It’s real, honest words about the selfless struggle of motherhood, and the redefining of the woman as a result of these experiences. I hope that, many women read this book before having children. And of course, I hope many women who are already mothers find this book and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s time for women to reclaim their femininity, respect their own worth, and value themselves for what they are doing – raising little humans into incredible adults who will change the world.

 

My name is Monique Morris and I am a Doula who has completed extensive training at the Doula Training Academy under the guidance of Vicki Hobbs. If you would like to talk more about my services, please contact me.

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