The Mother Dance:
How Children Change Your Life
by Harriet Lerner

I greatly admire all the writing of Harriet Lerner (see some of her other books included in this list). But I especially like this one because it's personally revealing as well as soundly based in the wisdom of a thoughtful therapist. She clearly delineates how a woman is changed when she becomes a mother. While her two sons are grown now, she writes about her personal experience in dealing with motherhood at every step of their lives - and even before they were born.

As the mother of a grown daughter and a grown son, I share her sentiments: "I only know I love my two beyond words." I also identify with her assessment that motherhood is not all sunshine and light: "Kids are the best teachers of life's most profound spiritual lessons: that pain and suffering are as much a part of life as happiness and joy." But most of all, I value her perspective, "The miracle is that your children will love you with all your imperfections if you can do the same for them." This is a message about the power of unconditional love - for all of us, whether or not we happen to be mothers.

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