Wednesday 8 March 2023

(Ad - Gifted) Once A Mother, Always A Mother by Annette Byford - Book Review!

On thing I have always said since my girls have got older is that there isn't many books out there on how to parent adult children. Some may say that once your child is an adult your job is done but I don't think so. They still need some guidance and us as parents sometimes need it too.

Recently I was sent a book, Once A Mother, Always A Mother by Annette Byford to have a look at.

Once A Mother, Always A Mother by Annette Byford

Becoming a mother is not just a question of learning how to bring up a child it brings with it a profound change of identity. The same happens years later when children grow up and leave home and the mother’s job is supposedly done. Yet this phase of motherhood rarely gets attention. In this moving and thought-provoking book the author of A Wedding in the Family, Annette Byford continues her examination of how mothers experience family transitions and how it impacts their sense of who they are. The book focuses on the practical and emotional challenges and tasks of being a mother of adult children, from the experience of the empty nest through being a mother in law, grandmother and negotiating growing old.

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. 

Becky is 20 years old, 21 later this year and sometimes it is challenging to parent her while she is an adult living at home. This book gives a good insight into the next steps we will be taking with Becky: leaving home, meeting that special someone, maybe getting married, me being a mother in law, eek! and becoming a grandmother. Those things might seem a long way off now but when Becky was a toddler her being 20 seemed a long way off, it's good to be prepared. This is a really interesting read and it is reassuring to know a lot of mother's have similar thoughts that I have about our future and they have lived through it.

This book appeals 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. 

Would this book appeal to you?

I was sent Once A Mother, Always A Mother by Annette Byford free of charge in exchange for this blog post.


  1. Nice review! The book deals with a very complex phase of motherhood.

  2. It does sound interesting, although I do consider myself a bit of an expert already having two adult children, two teenagers and a tween.

  3. Thisiswhereitisat9 March 2023 at 18:33

    Sounds really helpful to give insight into them tricky stages X