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OUT NOW: Mothers and Others

When are you having children?’ ‘Why didn’t you have another child?’ ‘Well, I guess that’s your choice, but…’

They are questions asked of women all the time. Beneath them is the assumption that all women want to have children, and the judgement that if they don’t, they’ll be somehow incomplete. And that’s only the beginning … With parenthood taking centre stage in today’s moral and consumer culture – and yummy-mummies and domestic goddesses the stars of the show – being a mother, or not being a mother, has never been so complicated. It seems the list of rights and wrongs gets longer daily, with guilt-ridden mothers everywhere struggling to keep on top of it all, and non-mothers struggling in a culture that defines women by their wombs. In this collection of fiction and non-fiction stories, Australia’s best women writers reflect on motherhood. Their stories tackle everything from the decision not to have children to the so-called battle between working and stay-at-home mums. From infertility and IVF, to step-parenting and adoption, to miscarriage and breastfeeding, child meltdowns and marriage breakdowns, the stories explore and celebrate the full gamut of the motherhood experience, and give a much needed voice to those who won’t ever be called ‘Mum’.

Mothers and Others: Australian writers on why not all women are mothers and not all mothers are the same