To Have and to Hold

Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma
Narrated by: Molly Millwood
Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
5 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A clinical psychologist’s exploration of the modern dilemmas women face in the wake of new motherhood.

When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for what she would gain: an adorable baby boy; hard-won mothering skills; and a messy, chaotic, beautiful life. But what she did not expect was what she would lose: aspects of her identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of well-being. And though she had the benefit of a supportive husband during this transition, she also at times resented the fact that the disruption to his life seemed to pale in comparison to hers. 

As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event. But without the advantage of such a perspective, many of the patients she treated in her private practice grappled with self-doubt, guilt, and fear and suffered the dual pain of not only the struggle to adjust, but also the overwhelming shame for struggling at all. 

In To Have and to Hold, Molly explores the complex terrain of new motherhood, illuminating the ways it affects women psychologically, emotionally, physically, and professionally - as well as how it impacts their partnership. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy come thorny issues such as self-worth, control, autonomy, and dependency. And for most new mothers, these issues are experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of tension, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time. 

As Molly examines the inextricable link between women’s well-being as new mothers and the well-being of their relationships, she offers guidance to help listeners reclaim their identities, overcome their guilt and shame, and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, scientific research, and stories from Molly’s clinical practice, To Have and to Hold provides a much-needed lifeline to new mothers everywhere.

©2019 Molly Millwood (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about To Have and to Hold

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A new start

As a new mom, I quickly learned the struggles of motherhood, No, it wasn't just the breastfeeding, the sleepless nights it was beyond that, it was me, my feelings and my frustrations! Finally my understanding, ability to embrace the situation and feelings and dealing with it came with this book. Listening to it helped me to feel understood and normal for the first time in a long while. It gave me tools to work through it and better enjoy motherhood. I RECOMMEND IT all the time to my friends!

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Mother, Grandmother, Husband. Must read. Big help.

I’m the soon to be grandmother. This book helped me heal things in my life from my past parenting.
I felt overwhelmed by all “the negative” which I now define as truths. Good example of learning the live the good and the difficult.
This book has brought to my attention how I can be more sensitive and more gentle, standing as witness next to my daughter instead of trying move her from an emotion she is expressing. I feel more prepared to support my daughter and how she feels which will better help her through the momentum of the upcoming life changes.
This book has great insights for the whole family. I encourage husbands and grandfathers to listen to this book as well. Well done Molly!

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She gets it!

Such a good book!! Molly really understands how new Moms have so much trouble. she explains where my feelings are coming from so I understand myself better. th his is something I'll come back too when I feel like life if just too much. Knowing that someone is out there that gets it helps so much!.

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Great Read

Being a first time mom, I loved this book. Made me open my eyes to my situation and see that everyone has their struggles but we can all find a balance.

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For every expecting mom, new mama, or mom with young kids!

My January read was To Have and To Hold by @molly.millwood.phd

I read this as a hard copy and listened to it as an audiobook. I ended up annotating so many parts of the book because my greatest takeaway was I WISHED I WOULD’VE READ THIS SOONER.

If you’re pregnant (first, second or third time), read this book.

If you have young kids, read this book.

If you felt/feel resentment building or displaced emotions, read this book.

If the transition to motherhood has made you question your ability, read this book.

If your marriage is rocky and you’re at your wit’s end because of parenthood, read this book.

If you’re in constant survival or crisis mode because of motherhood , read this book.

If you need to feel less lonely on this journey, read this book.

This book has helped me understand the emotions attributed to being a first time mom is SO normal. Grieving the person you were before kids is part of the process.

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I did not feel identified.

It is a local, very particular and bleak vision of motherhood, which is erroneously intended to be generalized. I did not feel identified, because I believe that not only motherhood but life itself is unpredictable and imperfect and although we cannot change our circumstances, certainly we can decide how to deal with them, with empowerment and reiscilence, with which I felt that the book does not offer solutions or transcend the complaint and the dramatization of banal situations.

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A must listen for new mothers

Oh my goodness just so much truth in 1 book! This book will help validate so many conflicting feelings we all have as wives and mothers. I couldn’t stop sharing on social media, definitely a must listen or must read!

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Very pessimistic

Unfortunately I did not find this book very truthful, maybe due to a culture difference as I live in South Africa, maybe I'm just lucky enough not to feel as if I suffer as a mom.