Cover image for To have and to hold : motherhood, marriage, and the modern dilemma / Molly Millwood, PhD.
Title:
To have and to hold : motherhood, marriage, and the modern dilemma / Molly Millwood, PhD.
ISBN:
9780062838650
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
xvi, 262 pages ; 24 cm
Contents:
Women transformed -- Out of the shame hole -- The full catastrophe -- Mom, interrupted -- It takes a village to raise a mother -- The great divide -- Couples adrift -- In the weeds -- Live-in Buddhas -- Lost and found.
Abstract:
A clinical psychologist's exploration of the modern dilemmas women face in the wake of new motherhood. - provided by publisher

Millwood, a clinical psychologist, discovered losses in the wake of new motherhood: aspects of identity, baseline level of happiness, and a general sense of well-being. Even with a supportive husband she resented the fact that the disruption to his life seemed to pale in comparison to hers. Now she examines how-- for most new mothers-- these issues add another layer of tension, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time. -- adapted from jacket
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Summary

Summary

A clinical psychologist's exploration of the modern dilemmas women face in the wake of new motherhood

When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for what she would gain: an adorable baby boy; hard-won mothering skills; and a messy, chaotic, beautiful life. But what she did not expect was what she would lose: aspects of her identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of wellbeing. And though she had the benefit of a supportive husband during this transition, she also at times resented the fact that the disruption to his life seemed to pale in comparison to hers.

As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event. But without the advantage of such a perspective, many of the patients she treated in her private practice grappled with self-doubt, guilt, and fear, and suffered the dual pain of not only the struggle to adjust but also the overwhelming shame for struggling at all.

In To Have and to Hold, Molly explores the complex terrain of new motherhood, illuminating the ways it affects women psychologically, emotionally, physically, and professionally--as well as how it impacts their partnership. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy come thorny issues such as self-worth, control, autonomy, and dependency. And for most new mothers, these issues are experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of tension, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time.

As Molly examines the inextricable link between women's well-being as new mothers and the well-being of their relationships, she offers guidance to help readers reclaim their identities, overcome their guilt and shame, and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, scientific research, and stories from Molly's clinical practice, To Have and to Hold provides a much-needed lifeline to new mothers everywhere.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Millwood brings her experience as a clinical psychologist and mother to a compassionate book that affirms that emotional difficulties for new mothers are not anomalous but universal and can extend well past the immediate postpartum period, with profound effects on their relationships with their spouses. Millwood draws deeply on attachment theory, not only with regards to parents and children but to couples (the book focuses exclusively on heterosexual relationships, as the author notes at the start), considering how women who fail to find a sense of security and safety from their partners can feel undermined, similar to the way children struggle when they don't firmly attach to their parents. Despite Millwood's supportive tone, she still puts most of the onus on women, suggesting that they improve their social networks, let dads take on childcare chores even when they are bad at them, and remain open to criticism from their husbands. Despite this potential hurdle for some readers, Millwood performs a helpful task in giving mothers permission to acknowledge motherhood's darker side, and in offering them help with their marriages as well as their parenting. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
1 Women Transformedp. 1
2 Out of the Shame Holep. 17
3 The Full Catastrophep. 39
4 Mom, Interruptedp. 59
5 It Takes a Village to Raise a Motherp. 77
6 The Great Dividep. 107
7 Couples Adriftp. 133
8 In the Weedsp. 155
9 Live-In Buddhasp. 177
10 Lost and Foundp. 213
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Notesp. 245
Indexp. 255