Practical Wisdom for the Journey from Woman to Mother
By Kim Tomlinson, Illustrations James Mannes.
Published November 2016.
What does it take for us to successfully complete the journey from woman to mother? Join Gretchen and friends as they discover their own answers - 10 developmental stepping stones on the path to motherhood.
Share their practical wisdom as they walk the steps, sometimes with grace, often with confusion, joy and tears but always with the universal hope every parent has - that they won’t completely botch the most important job they will ever do.
Buy the book Gretchen Does Motherhood from:
Paperbark Merchants - Albany $15 ($AUD) or by emailing me $19.99 ($AUD) (includes postage and handling)
FOREWARD - to Gretchen Does Motherhood
After fifteen years working with new mothers and their families in the transition to parenthood while at the same time immersed in my own new parenthood experience, I began to see a clear pattern emerge. A pattern of key developmental challenges, or steps, some or all, of which appeared to arise for each of the new parents I have come across. These challenges seem to call out to us to be addressed so that we can learn how to move completely and successfully into the life of parent. I wanted to document these steps to create a resource for mastering the transition to parenthood in an easy read booklet. These steps apply to both mums and dads, but my focus is on motherhood, because as a mother that's where my experience and expertise lie.
Because we don’t have meaningful or clear rites of passage for transition to parenthood in our society; Because basic family life skills like communication and emotional regulation are not taught at school; Because I see so many new families struggling (and tragically splitting up when they didn’t need to) with no compass with which to guide them; Because if new parents are supported, during this transition there is a window of opportunity to heal the wounds of the parent's own childhoods and in turn raise a new generation of healthier more loving families. These are my reasons for writing this book.
The process of creating this book has been a wonderful and enjoyable collaboration between myself and the illustrator my son James Mannes (age 13). James has the gift of being able to capture through his pictures the human feeling and expression I wanted to convey in this book. As we worked together I would throw out an idea, we would have a brief discussion and James would draw. His drawings for me reflect the unique innocence and specialness of this beginning time in a family’s life that is so precious and passes so quickly. In a process that demonstrates the mirroring in the parent child relationship (see step nine in the book) - James encouraged me to finish the book when I stalled. Thanks James!
Read a sample of the book: