Author(s): Natalie Kon-yu
'When are you having children?' 'Why didn't you have another child?' 'Well, I guess that's your choice, but...' They are questions asked of women all the time. Beneath them is the assumption that all women want to have children, and the judgement that if they don't, they'll be somehow incomplete. And that's only the beginning...With parenthood taking centre stage in today's moral and consumer culture - and yummy-mummies and domestic goddesses the stars of the show - being a mother, or not being a mother, has never been so complicated. It seems the list of rights and wrongs gets longer daily, with guilt-ridden mothers everywhere struggling to keep on top of it all, and non-mothers struggling in a culture that defines women by their wombs. In this collection of fiction and non-fiction stories, Australia's best women writers reflect on motherhood. Their stories tackle everything from the decision not to have children to the so-called battle between working and stay-at-home mums. From infertility and IVF, to step-parenting and adoption, to miscarriage and breastfeeding, child meltdowns and marriage breakdowns, the stories explore and celebrate the full gamut of the motherhood experience, and give a much needed voice to those who won't ever be called 'Mum'.
Natalie Kon-yu, Maya Linden, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott and Miriam Sved are Melbourne writers, editors and academics who formed a writers group many years ago. In 2013, after they discovered they had each experienced a difficult relationship with a friend, they commissioned Just between Us: Australian writers tell the truth about female friendship to confront the myths around BFFs and backstabbing bitches. With Mothers & Others, they have turned to the complex and sometimes fraught terrain of women's 'fertile' years, to look for the real experiences of Australian women, mothers and non-mothers alike.