Mother Zen by Jacinta Tynan

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How a self-confessed career girl and reluctant mum-to-be fell in love with motherhood.

In 2010 Jacinta Tynan innocently sparked a media storm when her article in the Sun Herald exposed a fault line in our perception of motherhood. Her premise — that early motherhood was easier than she had expected it to be — split the parenting community down the middle. One side agreed with Jacinta, the other argued that motherhood was arduous and thankless, and both sides were passionate about their beliefs.

Four years later, now with two small children, Jacinta takes us on a fascinating journey through her own experiences of motherhood — from being so sick with her first pregnancy that she was throwing up in between her on-air segments, to her doubts about her ability to cope — and shows us how meditation and living in the moment helped her find her path. While on this journey, Jacinta gives us a compelling analysis of the ideas and philosophies that surround contemporary parenting, in a bid to understand why her comments caused such outrage, and documents her own struggles to parent ‘consciously’.

She asks other parents, health practitioners and childcare experts some key questions, such as, why do we feel SO strongly about sleep, breast feeding and discipline for our children? why do some parents find parenting easy and others a trial? And why are mothers made to feel so guilty, all the time?

Part memoir about her experiences as a new mum, part passionate manifesto, Mother Zen questions whether society’s default position —that parenting is a tough and unrewarding job — is a valid one. And by voicing her plea to think of parenting and motherhood as a celebration and a joy, Mother Zen offers a sharp contrast to the doom and gloom books that prepare parents for the worst, and encourages us to consider the care of small individuals as a privilege.

“Honest, brave, insightful.” — Sarah Napthali, bestselling author of Buddhism for Mothers

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