The Making of a Mother

Overcoming the Nine Key Challenges--from Crib to Empty Nest

Publisher: Ballantine Books
What makes a good mother? Are some women just born naturally maternal, or do mothers discover that part of themselves once they have a child? Now a renowned expert on the subject–and herself a mother of three–addresses the unspoken worries and fears that accompany motherhood and shares the reassuring message that every mother learns “on the job.”

Dr. Valerie Davis Raskin has worked with more than four hundred mothers in twenty years of clinical practice and has discovered that mothering is just as developmental as childhood. Dr. Raskin identifies the nine challenges facing mothers from their child’s infancy to young adulthood, pivotal moments that put mothers to the test time and again–and yet from which they can emerge truly rewarded.

• IDENTITY: How to gain confidence during those overwhelming first months after you’ve given birth or adopted, but don’t yet “feel” like a mother.
• UNLOVING MOMENTS: Every mother’s secret guilt–learn to accept those not-so-precious moments when you don’t like the child you love so dearly.
• HONORING THE FATHER: Tips for helping Dad stop feeling like a third wheel and bond with his child (and receive attention from you!).
• SEPARATION: How to maintain a positive outlook on your child’s milestones, from the first day of preschool to packing him off to sleepaway camp.
• SETTING LIMITS: How to put your foot down, even when your child kicks, screams, or cries.
• IMPERFECT INSTITUTIONS: How to cope when your child does not have the best teacher or the most inspiring coach, or faces a less than fair grading system.
• REVISED DREAMS: Your cute five-year-old in a pink tutu has no rhythm. Your nine-year-old cannot catch a ball. Learn to modify your dreams for your child–and follow your child’s dreams instead.
• ADVERSITY: You can’t keep your child in a plastic bubble, but you can take a deep breath, relax, and be there for her when life gets tough.
• SAYING GOODBYE: Discover the joys of loving your adult child while not living under the same roof.

This wonderfully anecdotal, engaging, and accessible book is nothing less than an essential training manual for mothers of all ages. The bottom line: Just because motherhood is sometimes difficult, confusing, intense, sleepless, and frustrating, doesn’t mean mothers aren’t doing it right!

From the Hardcover edition.



The First Key Challenge

In a sense, a mother has to be born psychologically much as her baby is born physically.
—Daniel N. Stern, M.D., and Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, M.D., The Birth of a Mother

Cecilia, age thirty-eight, and her husband, Michael, performed six separate home pregnancy...
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Advance praise for The Making of a Mother

“Valerie Davis Raskin blends her significant clinical expertise with her down-to-earth observations from years in the motherhood trenches. Her empathic and witty style invites all mothers to a greater understanding of themselves, their children, and perhaps even their own mothers. I recommend it highly.”
–Martha Manning, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, author of Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface

“Moms today are surrounded by near-constant messages about everything we are doing wrong. Dr. Raskin offers the kind of grounded, comforting advice one good mom gives her closest friends. Moms everywhere, prepare to feel wonderful about yourselves.”
–Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face off on their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families

“If you have ever felt alone, puzzled, scared, or laden with self-doubt, this book will guide you to a place of understanding and empowerment. Thank you, Valerie, for creating a book that so completely covers the emotions, history, and realities that go into our own experiences of motherhood.”
–Samantha Ettus, creator of The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years: 100 Things Every Parent Should Know

“Whatever stage of motherhood you’re in, you’ll find yourself relating to one of the many women represented in this book, and you’ll find strength and clarity to help overcome the challenge you face. As Lynette said on Desperate Housewives, ‘We should tell each other this stuff.’”
–Stephanie Triplett, co-author of The Mommy Chronicles and co-host of The
Mom Chronicles radio show

From the Hardcover edition.