Customer Reviews: Motherless Mothers CD
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on November 18, 2006
This is such a sensitive, individual subject. For me, losing my mother at a young age is one of the strongest factors that has shaped my influenced me at such an impressionable age, that unraveling that event is a process that will forever be with me.

This book helps me understand some of the common themes that happen to motherless women when they become mothers. You think you've "grown up" without a mother, that you can handle it, you've survived your graduations, travels, weddings without her, so you think you can manage. Then BAMB, you get pregnant, and it releases this whole other world of questions, things you haven't thought of did she give birth? was she sick during pregnancy? how did she handle those first few weeks? who was there to support her? what would she say to me if she were here now? how would she help me? You ask sisters, aunts, relatives about your mom during her childbearing years, trying to piece together the information, but ultimately you don't know, you can't know what her mothering life was like.

Edelman talks about self-sufficiency, that when a child loses her (or his, probably) mother she becomes dependent on only herself. There's a tendency to combat any surrogate mother, and that reoccurs when we give birth. Usually the grandmother would be there to hand down mothering wisdom.

This book is for a select audience, and even then I think it can be read only when a woman is ready, willing to address and unravel some of her own loss.
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on July 8, 2006
I did not lose my mother from death but from a custody battle and have not seen her since I was 4 years old. Recently I gave birth to my own daughter and from the day I found out I was pregnant with her I could not believe how much grief, hurt, and confusion that went through me. It was almost as if all of those childhood pains from losing my mother surfaced the day my daughter was born. I felt cluless. I raised a son just fine but once I had my daughter I questioned so many things and longed for that motherly affection I so long ago lost. This book was a GOD SEND to me because I felt like I was the only one to feel this way. It helped me to understand these feelings of confusion were normal. Thank you for this book Hope!
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on May 3, 2006
Any mother that is trying to navigate the world of parenting without her own mother there to guide her needs to read this book!! I love Edelman's writing style - plain, frank and to the point. Many times reading this book I felt like she was talking right to me....she has captured the profound loss all of us motherless mothers feel. She has a nice balance of writing about her own loss and feelings, along with the experiences of other motherless mothers around the country, with just enough research and statistics thrown in to not be boring. This is a compelling, sometimes heart-wrenching read, but any motherless mother will take comfort while reading this book in knowing that they are not alone. Thank you, Hope, for writing this book for us!!
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on July 7, 2008
I read Motherless Daughters shortly after losing my mom to cancer when I was 21. At the time, my sister was 10, and I was profoundly daunted by the responsibility of being both sister and mother to her, but also I was afraid that losing her mom so young would destroy her. That book helped me to see that we would both be ok, that we would always hurt, but the hurt might even make us stronger...which I think it has.

Fast forward 10 years to the birth of my son, which catapulted me into a whole other realm of joy, anxiety, AND grief: Joy, obviously, at this new wonder in my world; anxiety over whether I was prepared without a mom-model; grief that I would never see my own mom hold her grandson. I felt the absence of my mother in a deeper way than I ever had before. I had no one to ask "is this how I was when I was a baby?" and no one to call in the middle of the night to ask about fever or to laugh with about the diaper explosion. And I am always heartbroken that he will never know his grandmother.

Motherless Mothers helped me in the same was as Motherless Daughters, by showing me that my feelings were not unusual, and that many other women have become strong, successful mothers without having their own mothers to lean on. I like, too, that the book focuses a little bit more on parenting than on grieving. There is some good information about why I react as I do, which has been helpful in preparing me for some of the challenges as well as some of the unexpected joys. It gave me a little support group without the actual group, and I'm grateful for Hope Edelman's work.
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on July 15, 2014
Thankful to God for Hope Edelman's book, "Motherless Mothers". I've read "Motherless Daughters" and am reading "Letters from Motherless Daughters", that were also written by Edelman. My experience is different from most of the contributors in that my mother suffers from mental illness. But unlike the writings on "being a daughter of a mentally ill mother", which I have found to be full of anger, Hope's works have been helpful in understanding my sadness. The issues discussed are tough, but very encouraging to know that I'm not alone and that many of my struggles are very common in motherless mothers. Thank you Hope and thanks to those that contributed to this. You are helping me (and countless others) work through grief.
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on November 5, 2007
In 1952, when I was nine-years-old, I took a phone message from Miller Hospital for my father. My life, as I knew it then, and for the future had changed. "Please tell your father that it is imperative that he come to the hospital as soon as he gets this message." At age 42, my mother had died.

The following spring, in the fourth grade, our Mother's Day classroom assignment was to write an essay entitled, "What My Mother Means To Me." Shyly I reminded my teacher that my mother had died a few months earlier. Within a heartbeat, she replied, "Well then, Steven, why don't you write, What My Mother Meant To Me." I bolted out of the classroom, sobbing, and ran to an empty home.

At 64 years old, I'm still learning how my mother's early death shaped my life. I wish Hope Edelman's How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become had been published years before. While the book is directed to women, which I'm not, I found innumerable common experiences.

I have two daughters, eight years apart in age. One lives 350 miles away; the other 1350 miles away. I speak by phone with each at least once a day. I can't go into a shop without thinking about what I'd like to buy and send to each of them. My wife and I visit them frequently and make certain that they have plane tickets to fly home for holidays and events. I know I've become my own idealized mother.

Long and short.......As a kid you lost your mother, read the it, borrow it, become a nuisance in a local bookstore that has a copy. It'll let you know those obsessive thoughts aren't just yours, alone.
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on January 9, 2007
Hope Edelman has a gift for writing the exact words I've been thinking since my Mother died of Breast Cancer at age 47, when I was 17. Mz. Edelman brings out all your emotions, one page after another. Hubby just shakes his head whenever I become engrosed in her book... He does not understand the Mother/Daughter bond... Hope helps me to understand and relive the love and joy of that now-missing bond!!!!
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on May 21, 2007
This book is a must have for all Motherless Mothers. Motherless Mothers helped me realize that all the emotions I was having as a first mom where normal and I wasn't alone in my struggle. Thank you Hope!
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...if she could.

Edelman's book should be required reading for any motherless mother. Her insights are startling. This book heals.
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on May 23, 2006
Being motherless affects so much of who I am; I realized this through Edelman's previous book, "Motherless Daughters". I laughed and cried my way through the pages of that book, so I was intrigued by the publication of "Motherless Mothers".

While very informative in many aspects (she begins to deal with the specifics of mothering from pregnancy all the way through grandparenting and so on...), I found many of her statements to be too broad of a stroke to cover the ever so intimate and personal experience of the loss of one's mother: ultimately, there are too many variables in one's life to truly come up with an effective statistic, so many of the ones presented, also, so bleak.

Much like with "Motherless Daughters", I loved Edelman's personal stories (written with SO MUCH LOVE) as well as those of the women she interviewed in "Motherless Mothers". In a sense, reading this book was like revisiting a friend after several years and finding she had grown up, matured and had healed what seemed to be open wounds last time I read her.

Still, would I recommend this book? Not over her previous one, no. There are many parenting books I have found more effective in helping me understand who I am as a parent (as well as improving my parenting skills, a nice consequence of understanding who you are).
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