The last three decades have witnessed the return of maternity as a central subject of discussion on our wider thinking. The effects of this proliferation of coverage are discussed, including the rise of maternal studies within the academy. Julia Kristeva's essay 'Motherhood Today' and Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions are analysed, which each identify motherhood as centrally involving an ethical gesture towards another. Motherhood is also described in its daily, messy, bodily practice of engagement. Alternative renditions of maternal experience are offered in order to illustrate the need for ways of dislodging 'mother-talk' from the twin poles of idealisation and denigration. 'Thinking maternally' also has a potentially interesting effect on the way we think about wider issues, including economics, value, labour and the environment.