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The 7 Stages of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Momby Ann Pleshett Murphy
Synopses & Reviews
Motherhood is the ultimate transformation, a powerful and thrilling metamorphosis. Yet the vast majority of parenting books focus on the how-tos of baby and child care, not on the care or development of mothers. Ann Pleshette Murphy—the former editor of Parents magazine, current parenting contributor to Good Morning America, and herself the mother of two—looks at the emotional lives of mothers, at how we change and grow from the moment we get pregnant to the day we watch our kids graduate from high school.
The 7 Stages of Motherhood urges women to reflect on the seismic shifts they undergo at each stage of their children’s lives and to focus on their own evolution. Only by doing so, says Murphy, can we give children the best of ourselves. Many new moms assume that once things “get back to normal,” they’ll jump right back on their pre-baby path. But there’s no going back, according to Murphy, and that’s actually good news. Each stage of motherhood has its own challenges and opportunities. Motherhood forces us to hone muscles we never knew we had; to question our choices and goals; to reshape our relationships with family, friends, our spouses; and, most important, to rethink who we are and where we’re going. There’s as much circling, sliding, falling back as there is surg-ing ahead—and Murphy provides exactly the encouragement women need to overcome obstacles and celebrate their strengths. Writing with wit, warmth, and unfailing empathy about the challenges mothers face at each stage, Murphy offers insightful advice and gentle reassurance, showing moms how to make the most of their lives as they raise their children.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with leaders in the field, a wealth of personal experience, a decade at the helm of Parents magazine, and, of course, countless conversations with other mothers, Murphy offers women invaluable advice about how to cope and how to thrive along with their children. She identifies periods of particular intensity in a mother’s life and provides indispensable tips about how to manage at each stage, from the roller-coaster ride of early childhood through the ambiguities of adolescence and the tumult of the teen years. The 7 Stages of Motherhood is an exuberant, joyful, not-to-be-missed journey, full of life-changing insights and affirming wisdom and support: a buoyant contribution to the literature of maternity and self-discovery.
"This work reads as if it were an extended Parents magazine article, and for good reason: Pleshette Murphy was the magazine's editor-in-chief for 10-plus years and is Good Morning America's parenting contributor. Incorporating the magazine's informal tone, interview style and abundance of expert opinions, she plumbs the world of motherhood from labor to toddlerhood and the teen years. Pleshette Murphy focuses not on the child but on the mother's 'developmental needs at each stage of [her] child's life.' She writes, ' 'Knowing thyself' is never more critical than when those two little stripes of pink show up in the plastic window.' With such impeccable credentials, one would expect Pleshette Murphy to be the ideal mother. Reassuringly, she isn't shy about revealing her own experiences — and occasional incompetence — as a parent to dispel the notion of the perfect mom. Some of the information is tired, her sections on working mothers feels defensive and she assumes parents can afford assistance, but these are minor faults. The calming tone,plus the fact that Pleshette Murphy not only survived motherhood, but raised two well-adjusted children, make this a comforting book for uncertain mothers. Agent, Kathy Robbins. (Sept. 7) Forecast: A first serial in Family Circle and a 10-city author tour could help this book sell out its 100,000-copy first printing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] delightful mixture of theory and real-life anecdotes about motherhood from pregnancy through to the teenage years....This well-crafted book is recommended." Library Journal
"Ann Pleshette Murphy is every Mom's — and Dad's — best friend. She has captured the complexities, joys, and sorrows of parenting and presented them in ways that help us manage the usual and unusual crises of caring for children in the midst of a busy life. She is like a good parent to her readers: she lends a helping hand, she is a supportive voice in your ear, but her greatest joy is seeing you go off on your own, confident and competent." Samuel J. Meisels, President, Erikson Institute, author of Winning Ways to Learn
About the Author
Ann Pleshette Murphy joined Good Morning America as parenting expert in 1998. Since then, more than two hundred “American Family” segments have aired. In 2002, two of her segments received a media award from the National Council on Family Relations, and a segment on teen drivers received an award from MADD in 2003. She was for ten years the editor in chief of Parents magazine. Her bimonthly column, “Mom Know-How,” currently appears in Family Circle. She resides in New York City with her husband and two children.
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