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Once A Mother, Always A Mother. Book Review by Gillian and the girls 📖🐾

Once a Mother, Always a Mother, by Annette Byford

Today, I’m reviewing Once a Mother, Always a Mother: On Life With Adult Children by Annette Byford. This book focuses on the next phase of parenting – that which follows childbirth, early years and adolescence. Being a Mom of two young adults, I found the concept of this book interesting. I’ve read many articles over the years about parenting, but this is the first time I've come across a book which covers the topic of when our children become adults. Being a mother doesn’t stop once they’ve left school, gone to college or university, and left home.

Once a Mother, Always a Mother covers topics such as becoming a Mother-In-Law grandparent and when there comes a time for role reversal, and the child becomes the carer for those reaching the frailty of old age.

Thank you, LiterallyPR, Free Association Books, and Annette Byford, for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.


Annette Byford has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice for the last 25 years and as a lecturer and supervisor in various settings (university, NHS, and the voluntary sector). She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register of Psychologists specialising in Psychotherapy.

Once A Mother, Always A Mother, follows her debut, A Wedding in the Family: Mothers Tell Their Stories of Joy, Conflict and Loss.

Annette is married and has two children and two grandchildren.

The book launch for Once A Mother, Always A Mother will be held at October Books in Southampton on May 21st at 12pm and it's free entry.



Becoming a mother is not just a question of learning how to bring up a child - it brings with it a profound change of identity. The same happens years later, when children grow up and leave home and the mother’s job is, supposedly, ‘done.’ Yet this phase of motherhood rarely gets attention.

In this moving and thought-provoking book the author of A Wedding in the Family, Annette Byford continues her examination of how mothers experience family transitions and how it impacts their sense of who they are. The book focuses on the practical and emotional challenges and tasks of being a mother of adult children, from the experience of the empty nest through being a mother-in-law, grandmother and negotiating growing old.


Once A Mother, Always A Mother: On Life With Adult Children made me realise that what I’d thought and felt all those years ago really isn’t so out of the ordinary. Annette Byford approaches topics with sensitivity and expert advice. It’s good reading a book written by someone with her professional expertise and someone who has not only the qualifications but also the personal experience of the ups and downs of being a parent to an adult – regardless of age, they’re still our children! The book is divided into seven sections: 1: From the centre to the margins. 2: Newcomers and monster-in-law. 3: Becoming a grandmother. 4: Like mother like daughter. 5: Me, Myself, I. 6: Acceptance. 7: Changing relationships.

Each section contains a short story, a realistic take on what’s been discussed in the chapter and gives the reader an even clearer understanding.

I found this book interesting, relatable, helpful and one which I can honestly say will be recommended to many other middle-aged mums like myself. It’s refreshing to read something that tackles this subject, and I’m so glad I read it.

My rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


My next read is the first in a four-part series entitled, The Secrets of Life: From Big Bang to Trump, written by S S O'Connor. My spot on the book review tour is 7th April, so be sure to check in for my full and honest review.

Until then, stay safe and happy reading. 📖

Gill x


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