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Antonella Gambotto-Burke, the author of new book Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution set for release on July 7 2015, shares her guide to motherhood.

  1. Cherish your child. You could drop dead tomorrow. Chase them around the house and kiss them. Cuddle them. Write them cards. Draw them pictures. Tell them they make you happy.
  2. Unplug the antenna. Use your television set only for DVDs and when your baby/toddler is asleep. Never, ever listen to the radio or loud music when your baby/toddler is around. Watch less TV, curb Facebook and stop tweeting. Why? Because nobody really cares.
  3. Take your child for walks. Without your mobile. Without your iPod. And talk to them. Tell them about flowers and bugs and trees and clouds and sky and sea and your childhood. Be present. Connect.
  4. Always always always hold your child’s hand, even if it means wearing Birkenstocks. I wore Birkenstocks for six years. And maxiskirts. Walk slowly. Forget the rest of the world.
  5. Be as fat as you need to be when your child is young. Do not listen to anyone who makes you feel bad about your weight. You can lose it when they’re at school; I did. Eat cake.
  6. Dance with your partner. In the kitchen. In the hallway. Especially in front of your child. The very best kind of dancing is when there’s no music playing. Cut loose. Be free.
  7. Avoid stressful people. This includes family and old friends. You have my permission. And if tempted to feel guilt, remember the impact of maternal stress on children: very, very bad.
  8. Lie with your child in the dark after reading them a story. Talk about their day. Really listen. Don’t stop reading and listening and talking in the dark just because they can read. Then push the blinds aside and look out at the stars together in the dark. And as you do, think of all the mothers who have lost their children and how fantastically lucky you are.
  9. Start baking. There is no wound that a cake doesn’t go some way toward salving. Banana, coconut and rum cake with cream cheese icing is the answer to just about everything. Truly.
  10. Make friends with mothers in your neighbourhood. Find one that fits. Some are deeply peculiar but then you’ll meet one who makes you laugh as she drives you to your first colonoscopy.
  11. Buy or make bunting, and invest in sparklers. Love is a privilege, so celebrate!

This is an excerpt from Antonella Gambotto-Burke's new book, Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution(Pinter & Martin), available through Amazon or

Visit for more information.

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