Soul Mothers’ Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother
by Bette J. Freedson
Original trade paperback $18.95 198 pp ISBN 9781597190770 | Ebook $6.99 ISBN 9781597190787
Clinical social worker Bette Freedson shares seven key insights she has identified through years of workshops, counseling sessions, and her own self-examination as a single mother.
Millions of heroic single mothers around the world, poor and rich, are rearing their own or someone else’s children. Deaths, separations and divorces, and military deployments send many more women into single mother status every year, while other “hidden” single mothers bring up children virtually alone as fathers are ill, disabled, disengaged or just plain disinterested.
In Soul Mothers’ Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother Bette Freedson gently guides often-overwhelmed single mothers to a strong personal identity, a rediscovery of resilience, strength, and courage, and an affirmation of parenting purpose. Soul Mothers’ Wisdom helps the woman parenting on her own understand that she can create the life she wants and become the woman she desires to be, transforming challenges into opportunities and solutions, chaos into calm, and discovering (or re-discovering) all she has to offer to her children and her self.
Mental health professionals agree—children have a better chance of becoming emotionally healthy adults when their mothers’ choices are guided by the wisdom that emanates from a solid core of self, i.e., “soul.” Soul Mothers’ Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother offers single mothers the knowledge, counseling and affirmation to help them and their children thrive.
PRAISE for Soul Mothers’ Wisdom
“Informative, thoughtful, and thoroughly ‘user friendly,’
Soul Mothers’ Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother
will prove to be an impressively helpful read for any mother trying to deal with the stress
and just plain hard work that motherhood requires in our contemporary world.
Very strongly recommended for community library Parenting Studies
instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that Soul Mothers’ Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother
is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).”
Midwest Book Review
Small Press Bookwatch May 2015
“This is a fine book full of support for single parents who have to face the job
of raising children alone, and having to share them with another caregiver
when they return to work. I would advise all single mothers to read it.”
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School
developer of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale
author of more than 30 books on child development
former host of Emmy-award-winning TV show What Every Baby Knows
“The responsibilities of single mothers can be daunting.
Soul Mothers’ Wisdom provides inspiring counsel to help them flourish.
The stories and insights provide unique resources that will foster a stronger sense of self
and more fluid access to inner resources. Practical and eminently readable,
Soul Mothers’ Wisdom offers a path for single mothers—and fathers—to reclaim
their identities, and improve the lives of those who depend on them.”
Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D.
director, The Milton Erickson Foundation
“Bette Freedson has written a winner in Soul Mothers’ Wisdom.
Her numerous insights and suggestions—gleaned from her own experience as a single mother
as well as her years of practicing psychotherapy—are infused with compassion and wisdom.
Her goal is to have women not just survive single parenting but instead thrive,
and she succeeds wonderfully. Soul Mothers’ Wisdom is thus the go-to guidebook
for anyone navigating these often-confusing and painful waters.”
J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D.
author, Almost Addicted
faculty member in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“For twenty-six years I’ve had a solo general practice of Osteopathic medicine.
This has taught me and continues to teach me that the body’s inherent mechanism
has the wisdom and potency to heal. In Soul Mothers’ Wisdom, Bette Freedson
has given a flexible road map to access this soul’s sparkle, the spirit of one’s truth,
the psychic intuitive wisdom and the realization of inner peace. This is a gift
that will last forever and is useful to everyone. It transcends so-called self-help books,
for it allows one to see the truth that life’s friction gives us direction
and is the centripetal force that keeps us on the spiral path.”
Tim Kingsbury, D.O.
“Bette Freedson has written an enormously useful book on single parenting.
As an expert clinician, she has illustrated her suggestions about single parenting
with real life clinical cases. But most important, she describes her own experiences
from shock and despair through adaptation after successful adaptation.
This book gives advice and hope to so many overwhelmed parents traveling the same path.
A must read!”
Jack Weltner, M.D.
child & family therapist
international lecturer on family therapy
author, “A Structural Approach to the Single Parent Family”
“As an educator, I particularly found the parenting advice on dealing with stress,
building self esteem, and handling misbehavior to be on target and helpful.
Single mothers will find this inspirational book to be a valuable resource.”
director, Weinfeld Education Group LLC
author, Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties,
Helping Boys Succeed in School,
School Success for Kids with High Functioning Autism,
& Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book
“Bette Freedson has written an empowering and inspiring workbook for the single mother
that will serve both as a trusted guide and a wise companion. Every chapter contains
useful tips and important questions to reflect upon which, if truly engaged,
will foster the psychospiritual evolution of the reader, enabling her to transform
the inevitable challenges and hardships of single motherhood into blessings.
Freedson has intimate knowledge of the territory of which she writes,
both from a personal and professional perspective. This allows her to go directly
to the heart of the matter, and inspires trust in the reader.
It’s hard to continue to feel overwhelmed and alone when you read a book like this;
rather you will feel encouraged, as well as connected to Spirit and the human family.
Judy Tsafrir, M.D.
holistic adult & child psychiatrist & psychoanalyst
faculty member, Harvard Medical School
“Soul Mothers’ Wisdom is not your usual ‘how to’ book. It gives real-life examples
of single mothers coping with their situations. In a lovely narrative style and using
concise tips, Bette Freedson outlines the steps that individual ‘Soul Mothers’ took
and others can take to succeed as single parents. Soul Mothers’ Wisdom
is both readable and useful.”
Dr. Selma Miller
former president of the NY chapter of
the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapists,
former member of the National Board of
the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapists
“In telling the stories of a diverse group of women in Soul Mothers’ Wisdom,
Bette Freedson reminds us that being a single parent is just one attribute of a full person.
As single parents many of us feared we were wreaking havoc on our child or children.
Freedson reminds us of the positive attributes we can bring to our parenting and to our children
by finding the silver lining and coming to a place of acceptance and joy.
She releases readers to find their souls in the midst of their circumstances.
While that may look and feel different for different women, the touchstone is that
‘I’m a single parent and I am going to write the script for my children and myself.’
“You can see in Freedson’s writing that she is a therapist in the best ways.
In Soul Mothers’ Wisdom you will find a gentleness and an all-loving mother
in the way Freedson reaches out her arms and says ‘you will be great, you’ll turn out OK!'”
award-winning author, adventurer and photojournalist,
globally renowned female four-wheel driver,
member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame
and single mother
“Soul Mothers’ Wisdom shines with abundant hope, encouragement, inspiring stories,
manageable and memorable tools, powerful affirmations and opportunities for personal reflection.
Single moms, come dip your cup into the life affirming well of Soul Mothers’ Wisdom.
Draw up the inspiration, the peace and the guidance that flows in these healing waters.
You can drink in the truth that together you and your children can grow strong, resilient, joyful and whole.
Liquid light will lift you as you embrace your new life.
Soul Mothers’ Wisdom is indeed a healing gift.”
author, presenter, mentor
ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End
“Bette Freedson provides lucid guidance in the form of a coherent, workable program
that shows the reader how to rob the boogey man of his power to scare, victimize
and stress women into believing that one person cannot do a two-person job.
“Self-care is not always easy to come by in the often harried existence of the single mother.
Yet the gentleness of Bette’s yes, you can and the guidance she provides to an inner oasis can seem attainable.
Not only that, but she highlights authenticity in a way that is quite miraculous
by showing that meditation as a coping skill can be brought to the even deeper level of trusting intuition.
In Bette’s able hands, the concept of psychic power—getting to know
what your psyche is yelling at or whispering to you—would seem within reach
even to the novice.
“The phrase ‘Soul Mother’ does not seem like a cliche as it might, but rather
a vast ocean of potential healing. The reader may not at first buy, but cannot deny,
that Bette demonstrates how having ‘outrageous faith’ allows us to find gifts
embedded in our problems. She is a role model par excellence, and has written a book
that will be dog-eared by those who are willing to learn and practice what her experience, wisdom,
intelligence, humor, kindness and enthusiasm has manifest.
This book could pertain to anyone.”
Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD
author, On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility
An excerpt from the introduction to Soul Mothers’ Wisdom
I have learned a lot about the courageous and resilient women whom society calls single mothers. We are a diverse group of mothers—and grandmothers. We are women whose mates have deserted us for parts unknown, women whose partners are in far corners of a giant world, keeping an unstable peace. We are mothers of children whose fathers have been rendered unavailable by business, emotional disability, illness, divorce or death.
Some of us have chosen to leave our relationships, or to adopt or give birth to a child on our own. Some of us have even made pilgrimages to bring home babies abandoned by other cultures. Whatever the circumstances, we have this in common—we are largely, if not completely, in charge of our children.
We are of every color, race and religion. We are capable, adaptable, and resilient, often discouraged and almost always determined. On the road to greater maturity, we regularly become exhausted and overwhelmed, and sometimes experience exhilaration.
We may have supportive families or we may not. Some of us work, some receive aid, but rich or poor, we strive with whole hearts to do the job of raising our children well. Each of our stories is unique and amazing, embodying the pain and strength from which we can build a foundation for strength and maturity.
Regardless of how we have entered this overpowering and inspiring life, we share a major common denominator—every day of our lives we are working hard with little time for ourselves, even though we need that time badly. We are tired and we are resolute. As we cope with all our circumstances, we strive to solve our problems, create fulfilling lives, and give our children what they need to grow up well. There are times when our bones ache, and times when we vibrate with energy. Always we crave support and long for understanding.
In this book I share my own story as well as the stories of other single mothers. I trust that through these stories you will recognize your own strength and gather Soul Mother Wisdom. Sharing what I have learned about healing, succeeding and becoming wise is a current step in my own journey as a single mother and as a practicing psychotherapist.
I offer you what I have discovered about how to think, how to manage stress effectively, how to make, and trust, your decisions, and how to muster up the inner resources of courage and hope when things seem bleak. I believe that we can do a better job as single mothers and can feel better about our lives when we know ourselves better and know how to cope with what life deals out.