Becoming a Grandmother: A Life Transition

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9780002550734: Becoming a Grandmother: A Life Transition

In this guide, Kitzinger brings her insights to bear on what it feels like to be a grandmother, and looks at the whole panoply of issues surrounding the institution of grandmotherhood. These include: looking at the grandmother role through a range of cultures; grandmothers as represented in fiction and history; family values in the 1990s; the effect of a new generation on existing family relations, specifically the mother-daughter relationship and grandmother-father relationships; and young grandmothers. She also offers a way of looking at the transition of becoming a grandmother and how it feels to the person herself.

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Review:

What is it like to become a grandmother? In every culture, a woman's self-identity changes when her daughter or daughter-in-law births a child. In Becoming a Grandmother, Sheila Kitzinger, well-known pregnancy, birth, and motherhood expert and author of the bestselling The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, turns her pen and insights to the mother-grandmother life transition.

What has grandmotherhood traditionally been like in cultures around the world? What does it feel like to be a grandmother in youth-oriented Western society? To answer these and other questions, Kitzinger turns to folklore, literature, anthropology, her personal experiences, and the experiences of many other grandmothers. She is at her strongest when she profiles grandmothers in different cultures and when she discusses the different ways--from embrace to denial--that new grandmothers react to their new identity. Kitzinger's specific advice for enhancing relationships with daughters, daughters-in-law (this book is largely centered on the female experience), and grandchildren may not ring true for every reader, but her intimate tone certainly will. Parenting and mothering literature has neglected the role and identity of the grandmother for too long; Becoming a Grandmother is a welcome addition to a small canon.

About the Author:

Sheila Kitzinger is the world's best-known writer on childbirth from a woman's point of view. She is the author of 23 books, which are published in 20 languages. They include The New Pregnancy and Childbirth, Breastfeeding and, most recently, Rediscovering Birth. Sheila is a social anthropologist of birth and seeks to help women make their own informed choices about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood.

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