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Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: Becoming a Mindful Parent

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  52 reviews

A combination of personal narrative and stories gathered from mothers, this guide shows how spiritual and mindful parenting can help all mothers—Buddhists and nonBuddhists—be more open, attentive, and content. By guiding mothers on a spiritual path, this evocation also helps them cultivate wisdom, open-heartedness, and a better understanding of themselves and their child

Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Allen Unwin (first published 2007)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  439 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so so so so good! Such accessible yet profound lessons! It took me ages to read, as I found each chapter - and sub-chapter segments, very dense with poignant lessons, and would need to digest small amounts of text before I moved on (I renewed this book more than once from my library!).

I am dying to read her first book as well. Infact, I'd LOVE to own a copy of both. It's a book I think all mums should have a read of, and a copy of on their shelves, to refer back to when things are rough.

I feel l
Nikki Magennis
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully down to earth and practical advice on motherhood and a clear introduction to Buddhism. The author draws from Theraveda, Zen and Tibetan schools and lightly sketches an overview of non-self, dukkha and karma among others.
I turn to this kind of book when I'm feeling particularly strung out and/or confused, and it certainly has helped me more than any other 'parenting' book I've found. The approach, ideas and advice are a good way of acknowledging some of the difficulties of mothering
Almost as good as Buddhism for Mothers. This one was weighty and though, I loved it, found she struggled to keep the focus on the true purpose of the book. There was so much in this book, deep, important things to think about as both a mother and woman. I think I'll need to sit with it and then read it again to truly digest what she had to say.
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely love this book! Really, really helpful in a practical way as well as a great introduction to Buddhist practice. Leaves me wanting more of the same, but will save Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren until I am one, and instead begin working through my list of Napthali's recommended authors :)
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is another great book by Sarah Napthali that still somehow manages to provide additional wisdom for having a Buddhist perspective as a mom. Reading this book is akin to taking a calm pill. When I've turned to this book after a tough day, everything feels a thousand times better!
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Offers very useful meditations for this time of my life, raising a toddler.
Tiffany Fox
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I try not to read too many parenting books (trusting one's instincts is the only legitimate advice) but I couldn't resist this one and I'm glad I gave it a chance. This, along with Lawrence Cohen's "Playful Parenting," have helped make the last few months with my children the best months we've experienced together, and I can feel myself growing as a mother in ways that feel long-lasting. I am learning from the techniques I gleaned from this book to become more observant of my thoughts, to turn f ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent book for Mothers of toddlers & pre-school children. I truly enjoyed this follow-up to Sarah Napthali's first book, Buddhism for Mothers. Not only was it well written and easy-to-read (which is absolutely essential when you're constantly interrupted by the needs of a young Bub/toddler) but Sarah also included lots of invaluable resources like the mention of Nonviolent Communication, Zen Writing, Zen Drawing and various practical ways to incorporate mindfulness in a busy pare ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
So this is not a book I would have picked up on my own, for two reasons: first, not being Buddhist, this was not on my radar, and second, I try only to read parenting books by practicing clinical child psychologists. But I am glad I read this book, it was less a book about parenting and more about self care. I found so many of the Buddhist principles reflected a great deal of Christian teaching and for once have a practical understanding of dying to oneself and capturing each thought. I also for ...more
I have two boys, the oldest is just turning 6, and both this, and Sarah's original Buddhism for Mothers have completely saved me countless times during the mayhem of mothering. After the birth of my second child, this second delicious serve of parenting comfort, humour, reassurance, and LIGHT on the journey of parenting absolutely renewed my love for being a Mum. A brilliant read for Dads too. As soon as I know anyone's about to have a new bub, I rush to get them copies if both Sarah's books. Li ...more
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book that makes you refocus and think hard about what parenting is and is all about. As a Christian reading this book I was unimpressed by the little digs at Christianity (which also seemed to come from a naive understanding of what the faith is) but overall I loved this book. It re-energized me, challenged me, and made me really think about what type of parent I am and want to be...and can become. A very nice reminder that this is all so fleeting and goes by so fast that we need to ma ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My husband went overseas for a while when I was struggling with young children, sleepless etc. Before he left we wrote a list of strategies that I could refer too if I started feeling overwhelmed. Reading Buddhism for mothers - just a little each day - was the first strategy. It was like my Bible! Sarah has written a tonic for the mother's soul with this book. And this second book in the series is my favorite.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, parenting
I loved this one as much as I loved her first book. I instantly felt calmer whenever I sat down to read it. The tenants of Buddhism make sense to me, and go so well with the Yoga and Meditation I've been focusing on this year. Parenting gives us SO many opportunities to practice these skills. Beginner's mind, being in the present moment and so much more. Definitely recommend, no matter your religious preferences.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the thoughts on mindfulness and emphasis it through the lens of parenthood. I felt that quite a bit of the book assumed some of the mother stereotypes (SAHM, lazy/incompetent husband, crazy kids) which I didn't appreciate and thought detracted from the overall message. The core ideas are great though, especially for those interested in Buddhism in a practical application of daily life. Good for fathers or mothers.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very refreshing, very calming perspective on parenting. I highlighted so many passages that spoke to me, items that I want to reread and refer back to. I am not a Buddhist, but heard/read good things about this book and I'm glad I gave it a go. So much of it made sense, not just in a parenting sense, but in other aspects of life as well: to try to live in the present moment, to accept yourself and others as they are, to relinquish control. Very thought-provoking and reassuring.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great to read a book with the specific audience of mothers (ie caregivers who don't have a lot of time for themselves and have lots of opportunity to become frustrated at the needs of others) about mindfulness and Buddhism. She presents the ways Buddhism can help in a way that doesn't seem unmanageable, time wise or emotionally. She presents the benefits, and other mothers experiences.

A good read.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
In each of the 10 chapters author Sarah Napthali applies mindfulness practices to everyday lives. Interwoven in the text are the real life struggles she has faced with her own children. Each chapter ends with a short list of things you can do. Some takeaways for me: staying present with my children, thankfulness, and ultimately letting go of what I can't control.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I thought the author did really well explaining Buddhism and applying it to parenting. The book didn't teach me anything new; however, its language helped me find better ways to apply the principles within parenting that are important to me (particularly patience and compassion). You don't have to be Buddhist, or trying to become Buddhist, to get things out of this book. I liked its perspective. I found it easy to read. And I enjoyed reading it.
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A helpful and soothing reminder to slow down and focus on what's important during the hectic early days of motherhood, but not much here in the way of original thinking. She uses A LOT of quotes from other people/writers, and personal anecdotes. Might be a good introduction to the likes of Thich Naht Hahn and other authors if you haven't read much about Buddhism.
Emily Thayer
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library-2016
I can't say enough good things about this book! This book truly helped me to slow down and become more aware of what is occurring in my life. There are so many good pieces of this book and I read it during the most perfect time for me, as I was questioning different aspects of raising my daughter. LOVED it!!!!
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It helped me remember that I need to be in the moment with my kids and to enjoy the small things! I also laughed and enjoyed the stories of other moms who are in the same situation as me. It is not easy being a mom (especially a stay-at-home mom) and I needed this vote of encouragement. I really recommend it for those moms out there with little children!
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm not Buddhist but this book is amazing. It really captures the bitter sweet moments of motherhood. It's taking me forever to read because I keep going back to reread sections that are especially touching. Best book I've read in a long time!
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this! Although... The book I scanned was called Buddhism for Mothers with Lingering Questions.

Thoughtful, peaceful and made me see things in a slightly different way. It's my second time reading Sarah Napthali and I want to read more.
Angela Wade
Really helped kickstart my journey into mindfulness and got me ready for a more in-depth study of the foundations of Buddhism.

I've read it twice so far and will continue. I learn something new every time!
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Fantastic book, full of great information about Buddhism and how it can relate to being a mom. I devoured this book and found myself thinking about it as I went about my days with my son. Highly recommend it for anyone looking for ways to bring more mindfulness to their parenting, Buddhist or not.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partially-read
I had to return this to the library because it was on hold for someone else. I've really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to finishing it. Reminds me of President Uchtdorf's conference talk.
Ryan Saunders
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A absolutely beautifully written book. Every chapter is like a dharma talk (sermon) about an issue or question a parent is faced with. A very relevent book. Even thought the title seems to limit the audience, this is a book for EVERY parent. Very touching.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't give this book the attention it deserves. It was my commuter read (and I work out of home only 1 day a week, so it took me a long time to get to the end). As I have two young boys, this book really hit home, and I will surely read it again.
Jade Hallam
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book!
Kendall H
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. It has helped me start being a better mother and a better person. Highly recommended.
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Sarah Napthali is a mother of two young boys who tries to apply Buddhist teachings in her daily life. Her working life has ranged from teaching English as a Second Language and corporate training, to human rights activism and interpreting. Since becoming a mother she has focussed on writing, initially for companies and later for individuals wanting to record their memoirs. With seven memoirs compl ...more
“I had uncovered a widely held but overlooked attachment: our attachment to the view that every problem must have a solution. We delude ourselves that we can think our way out of a problem or we see it as a matter of finding the right person to advise us. We become beggars for our problems, asking numerous people for an opinion. So often, we refuse to relax until a problem is fixed, only to discover our inability to relax was most of the problem.” 1 likes
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