The monograph How is it for Mums portrays mothering in the first generation of mothers after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. The female respondents who took part in our research were growing up or born after November 1989, at times of considerable changes in all spheres of society, parenting being no exception. Fuller contact with the world enabled by the fall of the Iron Curtain, joining the EU and the development and spread of the internet have brought more informa‑tion and options to all areas of life. More options, however, also mean that one must choose what paths are best. Choices and decisions in mothering or parenting in gen‑eral start straight from pregnancy. Once a child is born, the number of decisions to be made increases. Parents decide how to bring their child up, but also how to ap‑proach the child’s psychomotor development, health, sleep, food, exercise, access to electronic gadgets and so on. Current parenting trends are often concerned not only with child upbringing, but also with some of the previously listed points. The Attach‑ment Parenting trend, for example, advocates long‑term breastfeeding, co‑sleeping and using a baby‑sling instead of a pram. The Intensive Mothering trend emphasises, among other ideas, stimulating the child in all areas of psychomotor development. Changes in parenting also occur in those EU countries which have not gone through a substantial societal transformation. Likewise, in the US, parental roles have been undergoing equally important changes. Father’s contributions to upbring‑ing have become more substantial and are now a given. The image of parenting and its evaluation in society has also been changing. Parents are expected to be highly engaged in their children’s lives. They are expected to provide and ensure a wide array of stimuli and opportunities for complex development. Expectations and demands that current society places on parents are, with a varying degree of explicitness, also found in the media, including film and TV. Extreme forms of societal expectations placed on upper‑class mothers mainly in the American context are embodied in the concepts of Yummy Mummy and Alpha mothers, often inspired by depicting celeb‑rities in maternal roles, for example Sarah Jessica Parker (Jermyn, 2008) or Angelina Jolie (Pitt, 2008). The concept of Yummy Mummy expects a woman in her maternal role to ensure her children’s visible happiness and health. Herself and her marriage should be equally happy and healthy. Yummy Mummies are expected to be successful in both their maternal roles and in their careers, the two existing in mutual harmony. This description of the Yummy Mummies concept makes it clear that it has been based on an unrealistic media image of women whose incomes and backgrounds are
123Summaryhighly above average. Even though the Yummy Mummies concept describes moth‑ering of well‑off American women and is, consequently, culturally and economically not very pertinent to an average Czech woman, there are traces of its image in Czech women’s mothering. Even though the concept of Yummy Mummies is unrealistic and unattainable, it does affect the forms of maternity, or, more accurately, the de‑mands put on women in maternal roles. The influence of US trends on Czech parenting is easily recognisable, for exam‑ple, in the growing popularity of children’s birthday parties, in celebrating Hallow‑een or in introducing the phenomenon of the Tooth Fairy. None of these currently so ubiquitous trends in upbringing of pre‑schoolers and young schoolers existed when today’s mothers were children. Changes in mothering and parenting in the very early stages of a child’s development can also be observed. It is fairly common to see parents with a baby in a sling or in a baby carrier, or to see mothers breastfeeding in public. Research on parenting and mothering in the Czech context often suffers from the lack of basic descriptive data which could serve as a foundation for more com‑plex research questions and hypotheses. Even though it is presumed that parenting has been undergoing changes in many aspects in recent decades, a more detailed description of its current form in the Czech environment is absent. This mono‑graph describes basic aspects of mothering from pregnancy up to the third year of a child’s life. Even though the project which provided most of the data published in this monograph is not a wholly representative source of data, owing to the charac‑teristics of the research sample, it is in many respects a unique probe into current forms of mothering, even taking the sample’s limitations into account. Each chapter is devoted to a particular aspect of mothering, describing basic characteristics of this particular aspect of mothering in our research sample. The data from the pro‑ject have been placed into the context of modern psychological knowledge in baby care, trends in upbringing, mothering ideals and bonding with the child. They also provide a psychological perspective of balancing family and work lives, integrating fathers into childcare, and coparenting support while raising a child.Let us take a look at the roots of mothering of modern women and find food for thought about possible links between various approaches to mothering, and specif‑ically, between particular families and their members. We hope that we have man‑aged to demonstrate that there is no single, guaranteed “recipe” for being a good mother, and that it is always crucial to consider other circumstances in the life of a family. We wish the monograph How is it for Mums to serve as a springboard for further research in mothering and parenting.