My review of The Mother magazine’s Sep/Oct 2011 issue

Photo of young brunette woman teaching two sweet kids, cheerful

Calling all conscious parents and parents-to-be!

The Sept/Oct 2011 issue of The Mother magazine is newly out and as ever, it’s an absolute must-read.

And don’t be deceived by the name – as it states on the cover, it’s “For dads, too!”

As a magazine editor and lover of good magazines, I know only too well that – especially in our age of information overload – an absolutely essential ingredient of any great niche magazine is an editor who is an expert in, and highly passionate about, the subject matter.

This is what makes reading such a magazine different from surfing the web, which is of course free: it is a digest of top-quality information on the topic, hand-picked and honed into shape by someone who has the knowledge, insight and dedication to make it worth every penny of the cover price.

And when it comes to parenting, I haven’t come across a better editor than Veronika Sophia Robinson, nor a better magazine than this one, that she launched in 2002 and lovingly puts together six times a year with the help of her husband, Paul, and teenage daughters Bethany and Eliza.

For those who wish to parent not in the way that is most conventional, nor most convenient, but in the way that best meets the child’s needs, I can think of no better source of information than this very special publication.

It covers fertility awareness, conscious conception, sacred birth, attachment parenting, full-term breastfeeding and natural immunity and as far as I’m concerned, it is essential reading for every pregnant woman, anyone even contemplating having kids, and every parent.

My favourite article in this issue was ‘Have modern mothers been cheated?’, by sociologist, parenting author and mother of four Chaley-Ann Scott, who writes that, “The ‘right’ way to rear children in our society has absolutely nothing to do with what we need or what our children need, and everything to do with what society needs.”

Why? Because rearing our children as nature intended and as mothers and babies are wired to yearn for, is bad for the economy. If we follow our instincts, that could result in us not returning to work, not wanting to pay a childcare establishment, not purchasing baby formula because we are breastfeeding, and basically having less money to spend on consumer goods in general.

So following our instinct to respond to what our babies are so closely telling us – i.e. that they want and need us close — is strongly discouraged, even when the clear consensus among child psychologists is that it takes up to four years for a child to have brief periods away from its mother without feeling a sense of loss.

In this four-page feature, Scott elicits just how damaging this is to mother, child and the very fabric of society, and encourages mothers to tune out of society’s capitalism-driven dictates and instead honour what their maternal instincts are guiding them to do – a ‘road less travelled’ that brings far more valuable rewards.

Joanna Karpasea Jones of the Vaccine Awareness Network is a regular contributor to The Mother, and in this issue her topic is: ‘Court-ordered vaccination: what all couples should know’.

“Parents in the UK often assume that because vaccines are currently voluntary, we never need worry about being court-ordered to vaccinate a child,” she writes. Unfortunately, this turns out not to be the case, and in this article Karpasea-Jones outlines the three instances in which UK parents can be court-ordered to vaccinate their children, and shares her recommended steps for maintaining our right to choose.

In the feature ‘It began with love’, Starr Meneely, mother of three, writes about the importance of parents consciously modelling unconditional love, despite the challenges of life’s daily grind when raising a family on one salary, and the importance of making home, “a space that feeds our souls, and brings us comfort.”

This issue also includes (among more brilliant articles than I unfortunately have time to do justice to here) an article on baby signing as an aid for communication development, and Richard House’s ‘The erosion of childhood: intimations of a new cultural movement’.

Finally, I love the humour in this magazine, in particular the column ‘Diary of a semi-conscious mother’ by Rachel Sills, who “lives in t’north of England and muddles through life (with good intentions but very few domestic skills) as a full-time mother of three.”

And regular columnist Anton Saxton’s wry, self-deprecating and spot-on confessional “101 ways to fail in business” also had me smiling.

I don’t have words for how good this magazine is, nor how thankful I am to Veronika and Paul for this precious gift. I’ve never thrown an issue out, but kept and treasured every single one, as each is so packed with information, inspiration and heart-led wisdom.

In short – and as you may by now have gathered – I highly recommend it.

The Mother is published six times a year and a UK subscription costs £24.

Subscribe to The Mother magazine here.

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