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Doing It All

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349702186

Price: £22

ON SALE: 29th February 2024

Genre: Health & Personal Development

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A feminist exploration of single motherhood and a passionate call to reclaim the power of mothering.

Nearly a quarter of UK families with dependent children are single-parent families, and around 90% of single parents are women. Yet the single mother is still cast as victim or welfare queen, sexually irresponsible or too independent by half.

Tracing a history through Victorian brothels, welfare rights activism and Black feminist traditions of othermothering, Ruby Russell tells a different story: of motherhood defined not by marriage or men, but as a nexus of solidarity beyond the patriarchal status quo.

A personal quest for empowerment, Doing It All is also a fierce critique of the structures that leave single mums marginalised and exhausted – and a call to reclaim mothering as the life force of sustainable, connected and radically responsible communities.  


A fascinating and compelling exploration of motherhood beyond the confines of the patriarchy . . . at once deeply personal and profoundly political - with courage, compassion, and generosity, Russell presents an intersectional history which honours single motherhood in all its complexity . . . Bold, revelatory, and a joy to read, DOING IT ALL will ignite much-needed conversations about the communal and collective power of single mothers. A brilliant book, fearlessly told.
Elinor Cleghorn, author of UNWELL WOMEN
In this lucid and liberating book, Russell shows how single motherhood exposes the idiocy of the 'biological clock', throws light on concepts of choice, freedom, responsibility and fulfilment, and reveals the shortcomings of society's organisation of childrearing for all.
Eliane Glaser, author of MOTHERHOOD: A MANIFESTO
A riveting memoir-cum-cri-de-cœur-cum-manifesto for envisioning motherhood anew-as the anchor for a society built on caring, connection, and sustaining each other and the earth. Deftly marrying history with her own story, Russell gives us a vision of single mothers as avatars of a better world. It is a world we can all embrace, and all aspire to.
Kirsten Swinth, author of FEMINISM'S FORGOTTEN FIGHT
Powerful - Russell puts forward a compelling argument . . . mightily encourages dreams of a society where mothering is the most important activity of all. Where the reality of our interconnectedness with each other, with our children, with our frail ones, trumps the hideous bullshit of masculinity lost to the clarion calls of war, genocide, and the endless rape of finite resources.
Irish Sunday Independent