If one were to believe Hollywood and Hallmark commercials, upon giving birth you’re not only handed a baby, but also a lifetime supply of confidence, wisdom and patience. However, for many women, the identity crisis that accompanies such a profound change can be lonely and baffling.
As Eden Steinberg – an editor at spiritually-oriented Shambhala Publications – says in her introduction, “We write the books we need to read,” (or, in this case, edit) which is why she assembled this book of 24 essays on the “tumultuous inner experience of being a mother.” The book contains contributions by such notable women as Adrienne Rich, Louise Erdrich, Harriet Lerner and Cheri Huber. Your Children Will Raise You is divided into four parts: “The Reality of Being a Mother,” an honest look at the actual physical experience of motherhood; “The Inner Work of Motherhood,” about its spiritually transformative nature; “Why Is Being a Mother So Hard?” which examines motherhood in a more sociological context; and “Finding Balance,” a list of specific techniques to do just that.
Like the actual experience of motherhood itself, the essays vary in tone from humorous (Carolyn Magner Mason’s ”˜My Daughter at Fourteen’) to poignant (Erdrich’s ”˜Writings From a Birth Year’) to unflinchingly raw and powerful (Rich’s ”˜Anger and Tenderness’). Reading Your Children Will Raise You is like eavesdropping on a conversation between the closest of friends. And, even better? You no longer have to worry about tracking down the perfect Mother’s Day or baby shower gift.