From the author of A Wedding in the Family, Annette Byford continues her examination of how mothers experience life changes in family contexts and how it impacts their sense of who they are. The book picks up the theme of family transitions and moves it to the wider focus of what happens to a family when children grow up and leave home, and the particular challenges this phase brings.
Becoming a mother is not just a question of learning how to bring up a child – it brings a profound change of identity. The same happens years later, when children leave home and the job is, supposedly, ‘done.’
The author draws on her own experiences, both personal and professional, to discuss how mothers negotiate this change. She includes material from interviews with mothers and looks at these experiences against the background of analytic psychotherapy and family therapy. Also included is an exploration of images and depictions of mothers-in-law, grandmothers etc in literature and media, along with several, illustrative short stories on the theme of mothers and their adult children. Throughout the book there are discussions about what constitutes a successful or unsuccessful transition.
This title will appeal to readers, mainly mothers, who are over fifty and interested in psychological processes in families, who may well have read books on childcare when their children were young, but who find themselves unprepared for this stage of motherhood.
Annette Byford has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice for the last 25 years and as a lecturer and supervisor in various settings (university, NHS, and the voluntary sector). She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register of Psychologists specialising in Psychotherapy.