'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 of a certain age all the time. Beneath them is the assumption that all women want to have children, and the judgment that if they don't, they'll be somehow incomplete. And that's only the beginning...
Being a mother, or not being a mother, has never been so complicated. The list of rights and wrongs gets longer daily, with guilt-ridden mothers struggling to keep on top of it all, and non-mothers battling a culture that defines women by their wombs.
In this collection of fiction and non-fiction stories, Australian women reflect on motherhood: how it should be and how it really is. Their stories tackle everything from the decision not to have children to the so-called war between working and stay-at-home mums. Including special contributions by Rosie Batty and Deborra-Lee Furness, the stories explore every topic from infertility and IVF, to step-parenting and adoption, to miscarriage and breastfeeding, child meltdowns and marriage breakdowns, as well as giving a much-needed voice to those who won't ever be called 'Mum'.
With its unflinching honesty and clear-eyed wisdom, Mothers & Others holds a mirror up to the most romanticised, demonised and complex roles women play: those of mother or non-mother, and daughter.