Not Like My Mother: Becoming a sane parent after growing up in a CRAZY family. - Irene Tomkinson

Not Like My Mother: Becoming a sane parent after growing up in a CRAZY family.

By Irene Tomkinson

  • Release Date: 2011-05-26
  • Genre: Parenting
Score: 4.5
From 115 Ratings


Not Like My Mother – Becoming a sane parent after growing up in a crazy family
By Irene Tomkinson, MSW


“A successful therapist, Irene is a gifted teacher and communicator. She takes complicated psychological constructs and puts them into language that is easily understood. She weaves her own powerful story of recovery and spiritual awakening into her teaching. I wish I had read this book when my kids were younger. It would have saved so much angst. Her book and workshops have opened my eyes. My relationship with my children is better than it has ever been...not just with my children but with everyone…including the relationship I have with myself.”
Bonnie P. (workshop participant) ….go to Irene’s website to see more testimonials

You love your children more than you knew you could ever love. You also know you grew up in a crazy- dysfunctional family. And you are definite that you want your kids to have a much different childhood than you had.

How are you going to do it? I-am-not-doing-to-my-kids-what-my-parents-did-to-me method of parenting is not a plan – it is a reaction. If you want to build a dream house you don’t call a contractor and only give him a list of what you don’t want. There would be no house. And you don’t want your new home to be built on a toxic foundation.

Until we know how our childhoods landed on us and what we did with the impact, our history will push us around in our present lives without our permission.
As we become conscious of our stories and learn how our history landed on us, we find compassion for ourselves. This compassion releases us to move forward. We learn how to discharge the voltage that keeps us stuck in our old story.

Becoming conscious of our childhood story is more than being able to recite the events. Becoming conscious is learning how your experiences made you feel and what you did with those feelings.

In Not Like My Mother, I share my story as a therapist for 25 years, my training as an early childhood specialist, my years of leading workshop and retreats that have helped thousands of people find empowerment and freedom. And most importantly I share my own story of recovery as a mom who went from asking “Parenting when is the @#$% job done” (I was asking this when my girls were 35 & 36!) to recognizing how my daughters are my teachers and how they have been a big part in the healing of my childhood pain. I have moved from being a parent with a not-going-to-do-it-like-my-mother plan to a parent who is able to show up as the best parent I can possibly be.


  • Where has this been all my life?

    By Stephen Axsom
    I come from a crazy family of eleven. Physical abuse was normal, emotional abuse and spiritual abuse as well. I have stayed busy duplicating the system I hated in my own adult life, and only have three and a half months sobriety under my belt today from my multiple addictions. How I wish I could have read this book a decade ago and how grateful I am for it today! This book gave me much needed directions toward breaking the cycle of abuse and giving my daughter a chance at a safe childhood. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Irene, for sharing your story with me. I am just starting to allow myself to feel emotions, so it was not a small milestone that I broke down and cried at the end of three different chapters. This book is real, this book is honest, this book offers hope that your family can be different.
  • Love it

    By Andreiyuhhh
    This book had me glued to my phone... You'll find out things about yourself you had no idea were there. Genius! Made me change my perspective on a lot of things. Thanks Irene!!!
  • Insightful

    By GloBass
    I related with Irene's story so much. I feel that I have made healthy boundaries with my 23 yr old daughter. Thank u Irene!
  • Great read

    By Healing softly
    Having been molested as a young child I have carried years and years of shame with me. This book hits home to many people who have had traumatic events happens in their childhood. Anyone who has experienced these traumatic events will relate to this read!!!! What an honest and beautiful story she shares with us. A highly suggested read!!
  • Love it and I'm 11

    By 😃Dom 😃
    This is a great book and I'm still 11 so wow😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀
  • Not Like My Mother

    By Boomerpees
    Very we'll written and thought provoking.
  • From a new mom~

    By Sassy Casserole
    I just finished this book and it really hit home. I'm a brand new mom, constantly questioning and wanting to do everything right for my growing daughter. I had rough time growing up with my family, and I'm striving to make sure hers is different. This book has definitely helped me put some things into perspective. Definitely recommend!
  • Very insightful book

    By Njalireading
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author presented her story in a way that I could live in it and identify with some of the emotional challenges she faced. I particularly loved her ending "Own your own story" as advice to all of the readers. I will definitely recommend this book to my friends.
  • intersting point

    By cloud01person
    read it
  • Eye opener

    By Pamijobo
    Reading this made me open my eyes and look at my own history. The title drew me to the book. This is exactly what I told myself. Not like my mother. I got it, or so i thought. I grew up in a crazy family myself and still experience some crazy episodes from family members. A light came on on as learned some of the reasons why I react the way I do. It has helped me gain some insight and I am hoping that it will help me be able to express my feelings more openly. Thanks so much! Pamela G