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Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
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Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,856 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Addressing the often-overlooked spiritual needs of mothers, this book discusses Buddhist teachings as applied to the everyday challenges and stresses of raising children. Offered are ways for mothers to reconnect with their inner selves and become calmer and happier—with the recognition that a happier mother will be a better parent. This realistic look at motherhood acknow ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Allen Unwin (first published January 1st 2003)
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 ·  1,856 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ALL parents
The most meaningful parenting book I've read (and I've read a lot). Using realistic anecdotes from her own life to illustrate Buddhist principles, she clearly illustrates the ways that Buddhism as a philosophy (as opposed to a religious dogma) can help any parent. Rather than giving me specific strategies to cure my children's behavior problems--like most books do--she goes at it by looking at the only thing I really CAN fix: my own response to the behavior. It all worked so well that I immediat ...more
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mama-books
This has been one of my favorite parenting books to date. It is an easy-to-understand Buddhist approach to living with children. This is the book that really put into perspective for me that my children come from me, but are not me. On a daily basis I have to remind myself that my children are autonomous human beings with minds that I can never know, only experience in increments. I also felt like the guidance in this book regarding how to be the calm [or find humor] in the center of chaos was p ...more
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents.
A good 'reminder' book for parents. While I don't see myself becoming an 'official' Buddhist anytime soon, I did find lots of helpful ideas and tools in this book for my never-ending quest for mindful and compassionate parenting (which seems like it should be a no-brainer, but everyone with kids knows different!).

I really like the take that Napthali takes on parents as meditators - to parapharse:

It is nice to have unlimited time to meditate, but parents of small children are really on the harde
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I finished reading after my precious Ella was born. It has touched me deeply in many ways and spoken the words I had struggled to find by myself about the torrent of new and unfamiliar feelings after becoming a mother.

The author bases her chapters roughly on the Noble Eight-fold Path of Buddhism. She talks about how practices such as mindfulness, meditation, compassion and remembering the ever-changing nature of the world can help mothers achieve a calm and loving mindset
Andi Harris
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must-read for all mothers. Small children can make you feel like you've completely lost it and this is a book FOR mothers (parents, actually) about what WE feel and how we can better manage our stress. So many parenting books are about the kid. This is a refreshing and honest look into what the parents need. This may have saved my sanity. Next up is Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: Becoming a Mindful Parent.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mothers
I discovered this book through Goodreads and I borrowed it from our local library. I thought it would be a good book to help me be more mindful, present, calmer, and patient.

I read this book slowly, trying to absorb the lessons and really take in the material just a little at a time. It's a very worthwhile read, and I really think it will help me to be more patient and calm with our girls.

Whether I pursue an enlightened path or merely try to learn some practical ways to embrace gratitude and k
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
I'm listening to this audio version for what must be the 4th time in a few years. I'm still scribbling down notes. Points to remember. I think I should invest in the hard copy and go to town with a highlighter and sticky notes for quick reference. I have found great benefit from it in the past and feeling quite silly I forgot about this book and the value of living in the moment etc etc. Really precious parenting advice.

I have no intention to be enlightened (nor call myself a Buddhist). For me
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I loved about this book was it was really centered on the mother. I like the approaches and I love the candidness of it. It gave examples of human mother moments and did not pass judgement there was useful suggestions and processes for getting past them. You may not be able to exactly relate to all of them but I think you just have to find relation in some of them. A lot of marriages struggle to keep the fire through the 0-5 years of the kids. Many moms have thoughts that are not sensible o ...more
Bina Khalfay
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great practical tips about mindful parenting. A must -read for all mums. If you're hesitating because you're not into Buddhism or religion for that matter, don't. It's more spiritual.
My only regret is that I heard it as an audiobook. Would like to read it on paper/book to really retain more of what I read/heard, and maybe jot down snippets that really resonate with me.
Patti-Ann Clarkson
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful and great examples of sinful living
Valerie Vlasenko
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for young mothers and mothers-to-be. It reminds us about the importance of not losing yourself in the parenthood and to remain calm & caring for ourselves and our children. The book provides useful practices and meditation techniques along with hands-on guidance into mindful parenting ...more
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I kind of stalled...towards the end. Loved the format and the theme. Each chapter had a summary at the end, but I hated (so not a "buddhist" emotion...)the start of each chapter. She would start each new chapter on the left side and at the very top of the page. I guess I am just peeky...I would always turn the page to make sure, that THAT was the start( I am a slow learner).
It is sort of a good-feeling type of book. The buddha's teachings are so universally friendl
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was exactly the book I was looking for and listening to it on audiobook was a delight. Sarah Napthali uses personal examples and insight to relay how the concepts of Buddhist practice can make even the most weary mom a calm, more able parent. One doesn't need to be a Buddhist to use the tools Sarah has provided.

As I listened to Sarah talk about her own struggles as a mother of small children, I was instantly able to relate. Her frank approach to discussing the feelings of being overwhelmed,
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am loving this book so much, it has so much to teach me, I am only about half-way through and I can't wait to start reading it over again! I know my children will greatly benefit having a calmer mama...just lil' gems of knowledge I've learned already amaze me, "my thoughts are just my thoughts, they are not reality" and that by suffering, we learn, and as a mama, I don't want my children to suffer, but sometimes, trying to make them avoid suffering will cause them, and me, more pain than just ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think I've read this book twice, and I could easily read it again. It's simply awesome! For one, it's the first parenting book that I've read that really focuses on the needs of the parent (all of us moms) and gives reassurance for all those thoughts, worries, and feelings that pop up without invitation. Honestly, I think reading this has made me a much better mother, more calm and more realistic in my expectations of my children, husband, and life.
Marcia Case
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bundles-of-joy, faith
This is it. The book that will change my life. I've never been inspired by a book as much as this one. I highly recommend it to not only mothers, but anyone who is looking for a calmer, more peaceful life.
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm really enjoying this book. Not so much a book about Buddhism, but a good synopsis of how to balance motherhood and person-hood, from a Buddhist perspective. Encouraging and helpful!
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: never-finished
I never manage to finish this book...but reading it always makes me feel sane. :-)
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This is the best parenting book I've ever read. The end.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. She's in my head! Practical, recommended for all moms, and dads too.
I came across this book at the right time, and reading it at a leisurely pace has been very very useful for me. It has reconnected me with meditation and with many things I already knew but haven't thought about and/or done for years.

Practical, short, and easy to read, this book fits well into the bits of time many parents can find for reading. My main gripe is that it's SO gendered, from the title (why not Buddhism for Parents?) straight through the text. If you are also sensitive to these issu
There was some crazy clarity in here. It's an incredibly well-organized book and just flows in a way that gives you actual advice for making changes in your life for any areas in which you might feel like making changes. I don't think this book is relevant for everyone, obviously, but I think you can read the title and know whether you should read it.

I've kind of been drifting in this direction for awhile and it seems like some really good advice for clearing your mind of mental clutter and bad
Jenn Sarich
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book for its calming effect it had. It’s light and fluffy and communicates essential Buddhist teachings in an easy way that are relatable to the “ordinary” non-religious person- I wouldn’t say you need to be a mother to read it. The principles of Buddhism (according to this book) are beautiful and make sense intellectually and spiritually. Very practical advice for parents or parents to be :) just imagining a society who raises their children with such values and beliefs ✨
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most helpful books I've read about mindful parenting! The author succinctly and accurately connected the Buddhist way of life with parenting, in a way that's easy to digest even when you are not a practicing Buddhist. It really helped me transform my way of parenting my daughter and jn the way I deal with difficult emotions and difficult situations. Truly a remarkable book that I recommend to every parent.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I can appreciate many aspects of this book and it provides a wonderful set of tools for all people, not just mothers, to live a calmer and happier life. Mothers need all of the tools they can get, so I highly recommend it! I will apply many of the ideas into my relationships with my child, partner and family. I personally was not interested in majority of the last chapter of this book which is why I have rated this book a 4.
Mrs. Europaea
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This has the potential to become my new parenting resource. There's so much wisdom that Napthali shares from her own parenting experiences, as well as other Buddhist Mothers personal anecdotes. It's so easy to get wrapped up and warped in daily delusions that negatively affect relations with your children and your partner but Napthali lays out and reveals the traps many mothers repeatedly fall into while presenting frazzled and tired mothers a path to awaken their own Buddha nature.
Adan Ramie
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting. This book gave me a lot to think about, and while much of it was well explained, a lot was left untouched. I would love for the book to have been shorter in parts and longer in others. A good introduction into Buddhism from the POV of a parent, but definitely not a real guidebook.
S.N. Arly
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very helpful book during a difficult time of transition from one to two children in the household. It ended up being a useful step on my path to Buddhism, though you don't have to be Buddhist to find the mindful approaches here beneficial.
Loved it. Really relatable and easy to read and great suggestions for other reads.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful indeed. I listened to the audio version of the book, and the lady's voice is filled with clarity and calmness.
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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

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