When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to graduate and begin my career as a teacher.
After I began teaching, I met the man who would be my husband, and we were married within a year.
While I loved teaching, I began to dream about the day I would be a mother.
When the time was right, we made plans to begin our family. Due to a medical condition I have, it takes very specific planning to bring a child into the world. The time was finally right, and I was expecting our first child. As a high school band teacher, I would arrive at school around 6:15 am for marching band practice, and would often be at school until 10:00 pm or later due to basketball games, football games, concerts, and the like.
I knew I could not be the teacher my students deserved if I was also the mother I wanted to be. So I resigned my position when my first child was born and became a stay-at-home mom.
The thing is, I’m not sure I've become the mother I envisioned. Mothering is the hardest thing I’ve ever done- and that includes Advanced Chemistry in high school! (kidding/not kidding) There have been times I've wept into my pillow, times I wished I could hide in the bathroom forever, and certainly times I wondered what in the world I was thinking having kids. As much as I love my kids, I often feel like a failure as a mother.
Being a blogger who is a mother has complicated things for me. I've questioned again and again the time I've spent pursuing my blogging goals, trying to find that balance between pursuing my own interests and mothering a family.
One of the resources I've found in my search for sanity and balance is the Power of Moms website. I had no idea that an old college friend, April Perry, is one of the directors (long live Stover Hall and the BYU 95th ward!) I've been a member of the site for quite a while, and it alone has been an empowering experience.
Because of this, I have the opportunity to review a book compiled by Power of Moms, called Deliberate Motherhood: 12Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order, and Joy.
It features the stories, wisdom, and ideas of more than 60 excellent writers who have come together to strengthen mothers. As for the title, being a deliberate mother means “…you really think about what you do as a mom. You really care about your family and want the best for them. Plus you want to learn and grow and develop yourself as a person through the experience of motherhood. You live life purposefully. You embrace what you uniquely bring to your family,” (p. vii).
I sat down with the book and a pencil to mark things that stood out to me, and I can tell you, there are very few pages without a pencil mark. This book is insightful, inspiring, and empowering. Every mother should read this book, and read it now.
The mothers in this book are as varied as those you’ll find in the world- single, married, working, home, etc. No matter your situation, you will see yourself in this book as you read.
I appreciate especially the format of this book. There is so much entailed in being a deliberate mother. It can feel overwhelming when you ponder on all you want to do and be for your children. Deliberate Motherhood makes this manageable by breaking up the salient points into sections or chapters. I plan to follow the advice in the book: to really focus on one “power” or area a month.
I don’t want to give away everything in the book, but I wanted to list a few of the powers mothers have and should develop. These stood out to me because they are probably my biggest weaknesses!
- Individuality: Celebrating Our Uniqueness
- Fun: Putting Extra in the Ordinary
After reading this book, I feel encouraged. I can recognize more strengths in my parenting than I thought I had. I see more things that I’m doing well. My heart was lifted when I read "Today, I know I'm a good mom because I am committed to my children and to myself in this role," (p.19).
I feel empowered. There are so many great ideas, so many insightful thoughts. There are helpful anecdotes and powerful quotations. I know I can do better and I’m armed with the tools to do it.
- One mother made a plaque for her family room with their family goals on it. Of course this appeals to my crafty side, and I'm already thinking up one for our own family!
I feel inspired. I don’t feel like I have to change because I’m guilted into it. I don’t feel like I just read a book telling me everything I have been doing is wrong. The opposite is true. I feel inspired to improve and change some of my mothering “habits” because I recognize truth in what I read. I know how much I love my children and I know, I want to do better.
"The power of mothering and living with intention is having a vision for our lives and key relationships....It is knowing who we are and lining up our doing and being with the glory of our possibilities," (p.100).
You can order a copy of Deliberate Motherhood here. Read it, and while you’re at it, order one for your sister, for a new mom’s shower gift, or for a friend who is overwhelmed with her own parenting struggles.
If you're interested in Power of Moms, you can find them at the places below:
Finally, there's a wonderful giveaway going on at Power of Moms! For anyone who purchases the book in September and sends their receipt (or an email acknowledging purchase) to email@example.com, they’ll receive complimentary access to the Deliberate Mothering Podcast series (valued at $20). Also, on October 4th, 10 Grand Prize Winners will be selected to receive the Power of Moms Premium Package (valued at $224)! See the POM Store for all the fabulous programs in the Premium Package: . For all the information on this special giveaway, visit http://powerofmoms.com/deliberate-motherhood/.
I'm working on being a better mother every day. What mother isn't? I'm grateful to have this wonderful tool in my arsenal. I hope you'll let me know if you read it, and what you think.
*Disclaimer- I received a copy of Deliberate Motherhood in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions are mine and no compensation was offered or received in exchange for a positive review.**