Quotations on Mothering and Grandmothering
page IV

It was an old tradition. Only the most dutiful of daughters would put her own flesh in a soup to save her mother's life. My mother did this with her whole heart even though my grandmother had disowned her. This is how a daughter honors her mother. The pain of the flesh is nothing. The pain you must forget. This is the most important sacrifice a daughter can make for her mother.

Amy Tan "Joy Luck Club"


"...Oh, you know how adult-people are." It's our secret joke. There are child-people, who believe in elves and fairies, and there are adult-people, who dismiss fantasies as impractical and have a penchant for worrying incessantly. Grandmother and I, of course, are child-people. It was Grandmother who told me about unicorns and kelpies and the marvelous birds of Rhiannon, and it was Mother who replied that she mustn't fill my head with such nonsense.

Michelle Lamarche


Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon." Said the old man, "I do that too." The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants." "I do that too," laughed the old man." Said the little boy, "I often cry." The old man nodded, "So do I." "But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems Grown-ups don't pay attention to me." And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand. "I know what you mean," said the old man.

Shel Silverstein


A mother is the only person on earth who can divide her love among ten children and each child still have all her love.



There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don't ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.

Sheryl Feldman


Giving birth is not a matter of pushing, expelling the baby, but of yielding, surrendering to birth energy.

Marie Reid


When left to their own devices, babies work their way out and are welcomed into the bosom of mother, father, family and friends in breathless attendance. Birth is indeed a sacred event.

Ellen C. Waff


A calm, familiar environment is the most natural setting for a birth: there are no "shift changes", no arbitrary time limits, no routine technological procedures, and no medical interferences."

Midwife means "with woman". In countries where midwives are the primary birth attendants, the rate of natural birth rises significantly, the use of medical technology and cesarean section is dramatically reduced. Throughout the world, the midwife is recognized as the "guardian of normal childbirth".

Nancy Wainer Cohen


Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line."

Gloria Lemay


There are millions of women today who would prefer to give birth without medical intervention, unless there is a difficulty or an unforeseen complication. In looking for an alternative to the high technological obstetric deliveries, most women desire to have an empowering birth experience, which is gentle and loving, as well as safe for their baby. Many women today are aware that the experience of birth affects not only their own lives, but more importantly, the lives of their babies. Therefore, women seek ways to avoid unnecessary trauma or violence at the time of birth. To this end, women want to avoid the routine use of powerful drugs, chemicals, artificial hormones and surgical instruments whenever possible.

Barbara Harper


Giving birth entails enabling the mother rather than the persons in attendance to be central to the arrival of her child. Even when the arrival, as is sometimes true, must be effected surgically.

Ruth W. Lubic


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