April 2017

Becoming a mother

can be a profound and transformative experience for a woman. It is a time of great excitement and joy, tempered by exhaustion and self-doubt.

For many women, birth and the early months of parenting are a shock for which nothing they have previously learned can prepare them.

And as children grow, so do the challenges.

Being Mummy gives an honest voice to the full spectrum of feelings common to many mothers, never losing sight of the sheer delight that children bring. The book’s simple words and candid images celebrate the everyday love between mothers and their children.

ISBN 978 1 86254 747 6
Published by Wakefield Press, Australia
RRP AU$16.95 NZ$22.00

Jacketed HB 100 pp 180x130 full colour

Available in Australian and New Zealand bookshops (Email me to buy direct.)

International buyers welcome soon!

Buy through Wakefield Press.


Anne Manne
Author of Motherhood, How should we care for our children? Allen & Unwin, 2005

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that, “In dealing with my child, my Latin and Greek, my accomplishments and my money stead me nothing; but as much soul as I have avails.”

Being Mummy is one woman’s journey as she discovers just such a truth. In this evocative book, Taplin captures the exhilarating roller coaster ride of early motherhood. Taplin’s delicate prose captures the enchantment of feelings of overwhelming love. Yet she does not sentimentalise or idealise motherhood. She writes about a mother’s disenchantment too, of exhaustion and of never having a moment alone, of wondering where her old life has gone.

Taplin’s words are accompanied by some truly superb photography. Together they are achingly beautiful, illuminating the poetry of the everyday; the intimacy of breast-feeding, a tiny hand in ours, a small head nestled on a breast. But they also reveal fatigue, isolation and moments of alienation. Mothers can feel exhilarated by the joy in the presence of this small human being they have brought into the world, but also overwhelmed by responsibility for them. Taplin says about motherhood ‘There is no ‘safe zone’ …having a child means being forever vulnerable to pain.’ Mothering is hard work, not just physically, but emotionally. It calls out of us reserves of energy and responsiveness most of us never knew we had.

Being Mummy is a moving tribute to the ways we are changed profoundly on becoming mothers, as our sense of self expands to include not just any other, but a precious child. In Taplin’s spare and sensitive prose, mothers will recognise themselves.

Natasha Stott Despoja
Senator for South Australia (2007)

Being Mummy is a reflection on life with small children – the everyday ups, downs and frustrations but overwhelmingly the joy and ‘catch in the throat’ love that mothers and indeed all parents experience. It is a celebration of motherhood.

In a time when many Australian parents are unable to spend as much time as they would like with their babies and older children, due to increasing work pressures, it is up to all of us – and especially decision-makers – to make it easier for parents to juggle their work and parenting arrangements so they can enjoy the special early years of their children’s lives.

Being Mummy is a beautiful reminder to cherish the challenging and wondrous times in parenting each day.

“I value every precious moment with my children – or at least I try to.”*

Living in the moment is such an integral part of being a mother. The world rushes by, and so does their babyhood, despite all that relishing, savoring and devouring. Watching some home videos of my three-year-old as an infant and toddler, I found myself enraptured, remembering those blissful times (clearly blanking out the bleary-eyed exhaustion). Even now that we are well out of the baby years and immersed in more challenging times, I take the time to pause, be still and cherish.

Share your thoughts

* by Anne‑marie Taplin, author of Being Mummy