Modern Western society thrives on undermining a mothers' sense of ability to mother. Her apparent ineptitude keeps the capitalist cogs turning - the baby isle of ones local pharmacy is testament to this. Equally, ‘self-help’ mothering books perpetuate implicitly that a woman is incapable of gestating a foetus, delivering a baby and caring for a child without some form of intervention (in spite of the fact that humans have created other humans for 200 000 years).

I was given some books about how to be a mother and they did a wonderful job of making me feel totally incompetent. It’s been 4 years since the birth of my first child and 2 years since the birth of my second (yes, I’ve got a long way to go), but I have since come to the realisation that there was, and is, nothing wrong with me, there is just something wrong with society.

So I burned all my books on mothering, and with the ashes I have created an ink with which to write a new book.

The book is called The New Book of Mothering and all mothers are invited to use the ink to help write the book; to pen their own musings and anecdotes about their mothering experiences so that we may write our own history.

At the bottom of this page is a Bibliography of Unhelpful Mothering Books. If you would like to add an unhelpful mothering book to the bibliography please contact me via the form below.

Book Burning


Making the Ink

Installation View

Bibliography of Unhelpful Mothering Books


Acredolo, Linda P., Susan Goodwyn, and Douglas Abrams. Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby before Your Baby Can Talk. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 2002.            

Adamany, Karrie. Post-pregnancy Pilates: An Essential Guide for a Fit Body after Baby. New York: Avery, 2005.             

Addey, Melissa. 100 Things to Do While Breastfeeding. England: Letterpress Publishing, 2015.             

Alexander, Jessica Joelle, and Iben Sandahl. The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids. London: Piatkus, 2016.             

Au, Michelle. This Won't Hurt a Bit (and Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood. New York: Grand Central Pub., 2011.            

Austin, Denise. Denise Austin's Ultimate Pregnancy Book: How to Stay Fit and Healthy through the Nine Months--and Shape up after Baby. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.             

Becker, Gavin De. Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane). New York: Dial Press, 1999.            

Bing, Elisabeth, and Libby Lee. Colman. Losing Weight after Pregnancy: A Step-by-step Guide to Postpartum Fitness. New York: Hyperion, 1994.             

Boggs, Belle. The Art of Waiting--: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2016.             

Bombeck, Erma. Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983.             

Brin, Lindsay. How to Exercise When You're Expecting: For the 9 Months of Pregnancy and the 5 Months It Takes to Get Your Best Body Back. New York: Penguin Group, 2011.             

Buckingham, Jane, and Jen Furmaniak. The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood. New York: Reagan Books, 2006.            

Camp, Kim. Fit to Be Mom: Gaining Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Balance in Pregnancy and Motherhood. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996.            

Carlson, Richard. The Don't Sweat Guide to Pregnancy: Making the Most of the Months before the Baby. New York: Hyperion, 2004.            

Chapman, Gary D., and Ross Campbell. The 5 Love Languages of Children. Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2012.            

Chua, Amy. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. New York: Penguin Press, 2011.            

Clapp, James F. Exercising through Your Pregnancy. Omaha, Neb: Addicus Books, 2002.             

Clarkson, Sally. The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2003.             

Cline, Foster, and Jim Fay. Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility. Colorado Springs, CO: Piñon Press, 2006.             

Cooke, Kaz. Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy. Ringwood, Vic.: Viking, 1999.             

Cooke, Kaz. The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. London: Rough Guides, 2006.             

Cooke, Kaz. Pregnancy Decisions: Know Your Options. Surry Hills, N.S.W.: Penguin Books, 2013.             

Cram, Catherine, and Tere Stouffer. Fit Pregnancy for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2004.             

Daheim, Mary, Carolyn Hart, Jane Isenberg, and Shirley Rousseau. Murphy. Motherhood Is Murder. New York, NY: Avon Books, 2003.             

Davis, Laura, and Janis Keyser. Becoming the Parent You Want to Be: A Source Book of Strategies for the First Five Years. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.             

Day, Jill. Breastfeeding ... Naturally. East Malvern, Vic.: Australian Breastfeeding Association, 2004.             

Delisle, Guy, and Helge Dascher. A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting. Canada: Drawn & Quarterly, 2013.             

Dobson, James C. Bringing up Boys. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001.             

Dobson, James C. Bringing up Girls. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010.             

Dreikurs, Rudolf, and Vicki Soltz. Children: The Challenge. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1964.             

Druckerman, Pamela. French Children Don't Throw Food. London: Doubleday, 2012.             

Druckerman, Pamela. Bringing up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. New York: Penguin Press, 2012.             

Eanes, Rebecca. Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide. New York: Tarcher Perigee Book, 2016.            

Faulkner, Jeanne. Common Sense Pregnancy: Navigating a Healthy Pregnancy & Birth for Mother & Baby. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2015.             

Feliciani, Mary, and Rose Tingyi. Big and Small in the Mirror. Mississauga, Ontario: M.F. Publishing, 2015.             

Ferber, Richard. Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. New York: Fireside Book, 2006.             

Fit Pregnancy. New York, N.Y.:American Media Inc.             

Ford, Gina. The Contented Little Baby Book: The Simple Secrets of Calm, Confident Parenting. New York: New American Library, 2001.             

Ford, Gina, and Gina Ford. The Contented Toddler Years. London: Vermilion, 2006.             

Francis-Cheung, Theresa. Pregnancy Weight Management: Before, During, and after. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media, 2000.             

Freedman, Françoise Barbira, and Doriel Hall. Yoga for Pregnancy. London: Ward Lock, 1998.             

Freedman, Francoise Barbira, and Doriel Hall. Step-by-step Yoga for Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and beyond. London: Lorenz Books, 2014.              

Furman, Gloria. Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016.             

Gaskin, Ina May. Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding. New York: Bantam Books, 2009.             

Ginott, Haim G., Alice Ginott, and H. Wallace. Goddard. Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-child Communication. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.            

González, Marta Alvarez. The Art of Motherhood. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010.            

Gordon, Thomas. Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.             

Greene, Ross W. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, "chronically Inflexible" Children. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998.             

Gross-Loh, Christine. Parenting without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents around the World Can Teach Us. New York: Avery, 2013.             

Hall, Tizzie. Save Our Sleep: Helping Your Baby to Sleep through the Night, from Birth to Two Years. London: Vermilion, 2010.             

Harms, Roger W. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. New York: HarperResource, 2004.             

Hodgkinson, Tom. The Idle Parent: Why Laid-back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2010.             

Holinger, Paul C., and Kalia Doner. What Babies Say before They Can Talk: The Nine Signals Infants Use to Express Their Feelings. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.            

Hollowell, Monique. Bellie Fit Basics: The Ultimate Guide for a Fit Pregnancy and Fabulous Recovery. New York: IUniverse, 2009.              

Iovine, Vicki. The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood: Wise and Witty Advice on Everything from Coping with Postpartum Mood Swings to Salvaging Your Sex Life to Fitting into That Favorite Pair of Jeans. New York: Berkley Pub. Group, 1997.             

Jankovic, Rachel. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2010.            

Kabat-Zinn, Myla, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. New York: Hyperion, 1997.             

Karp, Harvey. The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer. New York: Bantam Books, 2015.    

Kendrick, Stephen, Alex Kendrick, and Lawrence Kimbrough. The Love Dare for Parents. Nashville, TN: B & H Books, 2013.             

Kilmartin, Laurie. Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us. New York: Abrams Image, 2012.             

Kimmel, Tim. Grace-based Parenting: Set Your Family Free. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2004.             

Kirkman, Rick, and Jerry Scott. Motherhood Is Not for Wimps. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub., 2001.             

Kohn, Alfie. Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason. New York: Atria Books, 2005.             

Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy. Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.             

Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy. Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic. New York, NY: William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.           

Laditan, Bunmi. The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting. New York: Scribner, 2013.     

Land, Amber. Yoga for Pregnancy. London: New Holland, 2003.             

Latham, Glenn. The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful Way to Raise Children. North Logan, UT: P & T Ink, 1994.             

Lee, Tara, and Mary Atwood. Pregnancy Health Yoga: Your Essential Guide for Bump, Birth and beyond. London: Duncan Baird Publishers, 2013.             

Lite, Lori. Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Build Self-esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2014.             

London, Joan. The Good Parents. New York: Black Cat, 2008.             

Lundgren, Chris. Runner's World Guide to Running & Pregnancy: How to Stay Fit, Keep Safe, and Have a Healthy Baby. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2003.             

Magee, Samantha. Pregnancy Yoga. London: Bloomsbury Sport, 2013.             

Mallett, Tracey. Super Fit Mama: Stay Fit during Pregnancy and Get Your Body Back after Baby. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2009.             

Markham, Laura. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. New York, NY: Perigee Book, 2012.             

Mary, Bacon. Pregnant, Fit and Fabulous: Your Complete Guide to Exercise Before, during and after Pregnancy. Issaquah, WA: Made For Wellness Publishing, 2016.             

McCarthy, Jenny. Life Laughs: The Naked Truth about Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving on. New York: Dutton, 2006. 

McClure, Vimala Schneider, and Laozi. The Tao of Motherhood. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2011.           

McGowan, Dale. Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting beyond Belief. New York: AMACOM, American Management Association, 2009.           

Meek, Joan Younger., and Sherill Tippins. American Academy of Pediatrics New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. New York: Bantam Books, 2002.             

Merwe, Paul Van Der. Lucky Go Happy: Make Happiness Happen! Pretoria: Paul Van Der Merwe, 2014.             

Miller, Karen Maezen. Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood. Boston: Shambhala, 2006.             

Mohrbacher, Nancy, and Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett. Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2010.             

Mugridge, Rebecca. The Pram Diet. North Sydney, N.S.W.: Random House, 2009.          

Nathman, Avital Norman. The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2013.             

Neifert, Marianne R. Great Expectations: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding. New York: Sterling, 2009.             

Neufeld, Gordon, and Gabor Maté. Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.            

Newman, Jack, and Teresa Pitman. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 2000.           

Newman, Jack, and Teresa Pitman. Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.            

Noble, Elizabeth. Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year: A Guide to Health and Comfort before and after Your Baby Is Born. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.            

Payne, Kim John., and Lisa M. Ross. Simplicity Parenting:. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009.          

Perkins, Sharon, and Carol Vannais. Breastfeeding for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2004.            

Perry, Marta. Mission: Motherhood. New York: Steeple Hill, 2008.            

Pinto, Kristina, and Rachel Kramer. Fit and Healthy Pregnancy: How to Stay Strong and in Shape for You and Your Baby. Boulder, CO: Velo Press, 2013.             

Pryor, Gale, and Kathleen Huggins. Nursing Mother, Working Mother: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding Your Baby before and after You Return to Work. Boston, MA: Harvard Common Press, 2007.            

Radiante, Thalia. Thalia Radiante: The Ultimate Guide to a Fit and Fabulous Pregnancy. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle, 2009.             

Riley, Laura. You & Your Baby Pregnancy: The Ultimate Week-by-week Pregnancy Guide. Des Moines, IA: Merh Books, 2006.

Runkel, Hal Edward. Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2007.             

Ryle, J. C. The Duties of Parents. Sand Springs, OK: Grace & Truth Books, 2002.           

Sheldon, Stephen H., Richard Ferber, and Meir H. Kryger. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Sleep Medicine. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2005.            

Siegel, Daniel J., and Mary Hartzell. Parenting from the inside Out: How a Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive. New York: J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003.             

Small, Merh F. Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent. New York: Anchor Books, 1999.          

Smokler, Jill. Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, the Bad, and the Scary. New York: Gallery Book, 2012.           

Smokler, Jill. Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies). New York: Gallery Books, 2013.            

Spangler, Amy. Amy Spangler's Breastfeeding: A Parent's Guide. Atlanta: Amy Spangler, 1995.            

Stone, Joanne, Keith Eddleman, and Mary Duenwald. Pregnancy for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.          

Sunderland, Margot. Science of Parenting: Practical Guidance on Sleep, Crying, Play, and Building Emotional Well-being for Life. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2006.          

Sweetland, Darlene, and Ronald A. Stolberg. Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, & Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2015.

Tamaro, Janet. So That's What They're For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2005.             

Teasdill, Wendy. Step-by-step Yoga for Pregnancy. Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary Books, 1999.          

Tobin, Cathryn. The Lull-a-baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way to Help Your New Baby Sleep through the Night ... and Prevent Sleep Problems before They Develop. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2006.            

Tsabary, Shefali. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children. Vancouver: Namaste Pub., 2010.             

Valenti, Jessica. Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth about Parenting and Happiness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.            

Walker, Rebecca. Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007.            

Warner, Judith. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.            

Weissbluth, Marc. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-step Program for a Good Night's Sleep. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.             

Weller, Stella. Easy Pregnancy with Yoga. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England: Thorsons, 1991.             

West, Diana, and Lisa Marasco. The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

Wiessinger, Diane. Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family. New York: Ballantine Books, 2014.

Willick, Erica. Your Fit Pregnancy: Nutrition & Exercise Handbook. New York: Sterling, 2016.

Your Complete Guide to a Fit Pregnancy. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning, 2008.



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