I was amazed to discover that if you search ‘mothers’ on Amazon, there are an incredible number of books available: 81,415 to be precise.
Why so many? What is wrong with mothers today that we need more than 80,000 books on the topic. Given the HUGE number of books, why I did I see the need to write yet another book aimed fairly and squarely at mothers. (Incidentally there are 74,147 results if you search ‘fathers’).
The Confident Mother is written for all mothers everywhere and will be published in September 2015. It sets out my philosophy on life, on being a mother and especially a working mother. I am not the perfect mother. Let’s get that clear. Perfection is impossible to attain so let’s not even try. As a reformed perfectionist, a few years ago, that statement would have been heresy! See my previous post on this topic.
Today I am happy to be the good enough mother. If I am happy and my children are happy, that for me really is good enough. The realisation that happiness is more important than perfection helped me become a Confident Mother. I want other mothers to know that too.
I came to motherhood late in life after a successful high-flying corporate career. I continued my career after the birth of my children though today I run my own successful business, working very much to my core purpose. Life has not been easy. I have had some big ups and some very big downs. I share my personal journey in the book to demonstrate that no matter what happens in life, you can learn and develop from those experiences, to become stronger.
A large part of the book is dedicated to sharing highlights from the successful online conference that I ran in January 2015. Over three weeks, I interviewed more than 20 inspirational mothers and experts, including Dame Sarah Storey, Baby Geek Miriam McCaleb and former Minister Jo Swinson.
The problem with society today
The problem with the society that we live in today is that too many of us can no longer hear our instincts telling us what to do. We do all know instinctively how to be The Confident Mother. We all know that when your baby cries, you pick her up and cuddle her or put her to the breast, or rock her, or shhh, shhh, shhh to her. We all know that instinctively. But our instincts have been smothered, covered in a thick fog, a blanket of ‘don’t spoil your baby’, ‘don’t make a rod for your own back’, ‘children should be seen not heard’ or ‘babies need to cry to exercise their lungs’. Do you think there is any other creature in the world that ‘needs to exercise its lungs’ in order to survive?
I want all women, all mothers to feel powerful. I believe you gain power through confidence; through knowledge; through self-understanding. Being powerful is about taking control of your life.
Working mums get a raw deal
I have always felt very strongly that working mums get a raw deal. Motherhood, parenthood, is not valued in our society. Even before becoming a mum, many women lack confidence compared to their male peers and do not put themselves forward for promotion; or they apply for roles which do not stretch and challenge them.
I created The Confident Mother conference to share inspirational stories and practical tips from the frontline, actionable stories, so that mums everywhere, take confidence that good enough really is good enough; you don’t need to be the perfect mother. I wanted mums to feel inspired, motivated, lifted… I want mums to raise their self-esteem and boost their confidence so that they can take control of their lives.
Why another book?
The Confident Mother is a unique collection of learnings. The feedback during the conference was overwhelming – mindblowing. So many lightbulb moments for the participants. To me, the quickest and easiest way to spread my message that good enough really is good enough, is to gather these learnings into a book and share it with the world. I know that left alone, left to trust your own instincts, all mums would find it easy to be a confident mother. However the sad truth is that society gets in the way. Mums often don’t have the self-belief, access to the right information or a path to self-understanding to give them the time and the space to learn to be their version of The Confident Mother. There is nothing wrong with mothers today but perhaps everything wrong with our society.
Over at Books on the Blog, I have been recording my journey as a first time author, and you can follow that journey here.
The book was published on 17 September 2015. Read an excerpt from the book here.