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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 motherhood could be easy — split the parenting community down the middle. Many agreed with Jacinta while others argued that motherhood was arduous and thankless, all were equally passionate in 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 her struggle to parent ‘consciously’, using meditation and attempting mindfulness to help her find her path.
While on this journey, Jacinta gives us a compelling analysis of the ideas and philosophies that surround contemporary parenting, as she also tries to understand why her comments caused such a storm. She asks other parents, health practitioners and childcare experts some key questions, such as:
• Why do we feel so strongly about sleep, breastfeeding and discipline for our children?
• Why do some parents find parenting easy and others a terrible 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 opens up an important debate that goes to heart of our identity. What kind of values are we passing on to our children? And are we teaching them, or are they teaching us?