The book, Musings on Mothering, is an amazing creation and must have taken many hours, days and weeks to put together. Thank you so much [to LLLGB] for sending it to me and please thank all those wonderful moms and dads who had a part in it.
Mary White, co-founder La Leche League International and co-author of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 1st – 6th editions
For anyone at home with a new baby – I can recommend @MothersMilkBks‘s Musings on Mothering. Thank you Teika!
Professor Alice Roberts, anatomist, osteoarchaeologist, anthropologist, paleopathologist, television presenter, author and mother.
I love Musings on Mothering! It is a treasure that will be enjoyed by mothers of all ages. As a great grandmother, the stories, poetry and artwork enveloped me in the memories of my children’s early years.
Marian Tompson, co-founder La Leche League International, co-author The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 1st – 6th editions
This is an amazing book. It is possible to become entirely lost in it. I have not yet looked at every page because there is so much to muse on. This is the hope of editor Teika Bellamy. Often, as mothers (and fathers), we are so busy caring and meeting everyday needs that we run out of time to muse. This book can help us to read others’ reflections and then see how they make us feel. All aspects of mothering are covered, including chapters looking at ‘From Broody to Birth’, ‘Challenging Times’, and ‘Remembering Mothers’. Poems are interspersed with prose and a range of wonderful artwork from contributors of all ages. On first reading I was overwhelmed by the power of what is within. Motherhood is both wonderful and complex and Musings on Mothering captures this perfectly. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to La Leche League Great Britain.
Saffia Farr, editor of Juno
Musings on Mothering is beautiful. The editor has crafted each page and each collection of pieces within the whole anthology so that every piece is showcased as a work of art. I love the interplay of the poetry, prose, paintings, photos etc. I keep dipping into it to discover something new. Thank you so much for designing and crafting such a wonderful book. I feel proud to have been a small part of it.
Alison Parkes, mother, writer and LLL Leader
An extract from a review on the blog Slummy Single Mummy
I’m currently reading ‘Musing on Mothering – About Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding: An Anthology of Art, Poetry and Prose’ – edited by Teika Bellamy – and it is absolutely fabulous. As it says on the tin, it’s a collection of writing and art from real mothers, talking about what it’s really like to be a mother – not just the practicalities of never being able to go to the toilet alone, but the emotions and feelings that swell up in you at the most unexpected of times and the amazing bond you form with your baby, even though they’re basically just a helpless ball of mess and screams…
What I love about Musings on Mothering is that it gives you the opportunity to take a bit of time out from actually being a mother, and think about what it means – what is it that defines us as mothers, what are the shared experiences and emotions we all go through?
Jo, mummy blogger, work-at-home mother of two, freelance marketing and social media consultant, copywriter and journalist
This is an issue close to my heart. Breastfeeding is free and great for both mum and baby. I fed both my daughters despite sometimes unhelpful advice and misapprehensions about length and frequency of feeding which were constantly pushed in my face from people who should have known better. This book is not just for women, but for anyone who was ever born. Do consider buying someone you love a copy.
Angela Topping, poet and educator.
Musings on Mothering, edited by Teika Bellamy, reminds me of mothers everywhere, in that it has an understated cover and a tendency to play itself down and sell itself short. Look within, however, and it is filled with richness; an explosion of beautiful art, touching words and poems, warmth, humour, pathos and sorrow. An absolutely perfect book for all mums, a wonderful gift, a completely lovely book…
…please buy it and give it the ego boost it deserves.
The Mule, mother, editor and parenting blogger
Possibly the most beautiful anthology ever lovingly created, ‘Musings on Mothering’ (royalties to the La Leche League) contains poems, stories, memoirs, artwork and photographs, and would be worth the price for its representations from any one of those categories alone. I’m honoured to be in it, and also to be published alongside Angela Topping, one of the finest contemporary British poets. A moving, loving read, and would make a fine present for any mother or mother-to-be.
Cathy Bryant, award-winning poet.
Extract from a review first published on the GreenMums blog.
My first thoughts on reading this book were how I wish I had a copy of it 6 years ago when I gave birth to my daughter! No-one can prepare you for your first baby. You just don’t know how much your life is going to change. I remember feeling exhausted, emotional and filled with anxiety about whether or not I was doing everything right. I had no real friends with babies nearby and felt like I desperately needed reassurance that everything was ok.
This book is like picking up a collection of letters from a best friend. Someone who has been there and knows what you are going through. Someone who has been awake all night and slept with cabbage leaves in their bra. Someone who has not drank a hot cup of tea in a week and knows just how painful cracked nipples can be!
This is an honest collection of thoughts and feelings from mothers old and new, and a wonderful celebration of motherhood. I would recommend it to anyone that is expecting a baby or is a mother already. If I was pregnant this would be at the top of my wish list for a new baby gift.
Tracy, mother and owner of Green Mums
Just got mine and I love it!!! SO much beauty in one book! Thanks for doing this, it is a treasure.
Anna, from Oxford.
An extract from a review on the blog Bees On Skis
Mother’s Milk books intend to publish books that hope to share the beauty of breastfeeding and the mother-father-child connection that begins even before birth. The editor and founder of Mother’s Milk Books, Teika Bellamy, has worked really hard on this very first publication, bringing together mothers, and some fathers, from all corners of life all connected by their experiences of parenthood. It is filled with beautiful art, prose and poetry that illustrates this life bond. Reading it, you can’t help but feel the intense emotions of motherhood. Those same emotions that have us laughing and crying like we never did before becoming parents!
Shireen, teacher, writer, mum
My copy has come today! So many beautiful contributions, it’s had me in tears reading it.
Laura, from Mid Wales.
I keep welling up as I read it – it’s powerful, moving and reminds me how blessed I am to be a mother.
Justine, from Cambridge.
An extract from a detailed review published on the blog Stone Age Parenting
…The anthology [Musings on Mothering] is carefully arranged into chronological sections, starting with ‘From Broody to Birth’ right through to ‘Our Children’. The anthology can therefore easily be dipped into even for a short time, with a quick flick through, making it realistic to be able to read just one or two contributions from this book as a busy parent on a much needed coffee break, reading it in bite-sized chunks. Equally, with time you can really be drawn into the anthology and its messages by reading many contributions in one sitting, which is what I did not through choice but because I simply couldn’t put the book down, it was that infectious! With time I would have read the whole book in one sitting, feeling drawn into the contributor’s lives, able to deeply relate to most of them…
I could write so much more about this anthology, but will stop here as what you need to do is go out and read it! No other book has achieved what Teika has created here. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in parenting, as it presents a new angle on this most popular of subjects. It also makes a lovely, thoughtful gift for any of your friends who are mothers, especially those who have nursed their children.
Caroline Cole, mother, writer, journalist
I’m now just over halfway through the book and can see myself coming back to it again and again. There are so many wonderful, joyful, moving, inspiring things in it.
Ruth, from Nottingham.
Musings on Mothering landed on my doorstep a few days ago, and I have not been able to put it down since picking it up… Metaphorically of course! This book is a beautiful collection of artwork, poetry, missive and musings by parents, for parents. Don’t be fooled by the plain front cover; inside you will find a beautifully arranged, celebratory work of art, that will leave you feeling lovely and warm inside. Whenever I have a spare moment and am in need of some mindfulness, I dip into this book, and I return to the world feeling refreshed and smiling.
Zion Lights, mother, writer, journalist
Detailed Review by Lois Rowlands, LLLGB Publications Director
(Review published in Breastfeeding Matters, Sept./Oct. 2012)
Musings on Mothering is a one-of-a-kind book. Although a handful of poetry anthologies on parenthood already exist, what makes this one unique is that La Leche League philosophy sits at its core.
The anthology consists of eight chapters, which in a loose, chronological order chart aspects of mothering from pre-birth to grandmothering. The first chapter “From Broody to Birth” covers pregnancy and labour, with the next chapter “Babymoon” focusing on those first weeks and months with a newborn. Lisa Hassan Scott writes about the broken nights, and how there is an “Other Side to Sleeplessness”. She beautifully conveys how the “gifts of company and empathy” from a mother to her baby in the wee hours help to deepen their relationship.
“Being a Mother” explores the various facets of motherhood, and I read “What my daughter told me” by Shireen Babul with something like relief. It’s a meditation on the deep wordless relationship that develops between mother and child. I remember trying to explain to a friend how I felt that I could almost read my 18-month-old son’s mind and he could almost read mine. My friend looked slightly bemused by this confession. This poem is the first time I’ve heard such sentiments similarly expressed.
There are contributions from fathers, and in “Of Fathers” Tomas Cynric humorously writes about “the happy mental fog of domesticity” in which he now lives. Jim Dawson’s poem “Two Become Three” won’t fail to make you go “aww”. Other chapters include “Everyday Life”, “Challenging Times” and “Remembering Mothers” while in the final chapter, “Our Children”, one of the youngest contributors, Sophie Wood, (aged four) rhymes out what “numnee” means to her.
Musings on Mothering would make an ideal present for a mother-to-be, new mother, or grandmother. In fact, I think that any mother, whether breastfeeding, or not, will find something in here that will speak to her. I really think it’s a book that will ‘keep’, whichever stage of mothering you are at. Some of the poetry instantly stuck in my head, and brought tears to my eyes, while other pieces brought more meaning to me when I returned to them later. Although you may not consider yourself a poetry (or art) lover, I’d urge you to give the book a try. It’s written in an accessible manner, and the art, which is peppered throughout the book really helps to bring the poetry and prose to life. Some of the pairings work stunningly well together. It’s simply a lovely book to be kept by your bedside to be dipped into when you’ve just a little bit of time.
As a further bonus, each book sold helps to raise funds for La Leche League.