Raising kids isn’t easy.
It was never meant to be.
Hollywood paints this great picture of a mom who has 3 kids under 5 in tow and still manages to dress in the latest fashions, shop with perfectly behaved children, have dinner on the table at 5PM, plays pretend, reads bedtime stories, and then heads to the kitchen table to clean up so she can sew a couple of handmade costumes all before making sweet love to her husband for the 80th night in a row. (And then wakes up the next day with perfect makeup and flawless skin to be awesome again.)
I’ll be the first to admit that I somehow missed out on the radiant supermom cape given out with your firstborn. Most days, my house looks like a tornado went through at least one room…if not the whole house. There are days when “me time” looks like being able to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows (I know, FUN! EXCITING!). Motherhood is beautiful and amazing, but let’s face it…sometimes it can feel like the most lonely, hard, and unappreciated calling we’ve ever known.
The thing is, though, we aren’t EXPECTED to be able to do this all on our own. The image that Hollywood so often portrays is not only a farce, but it is also not biblical.
In fact, the Bible instructs us to live in community and for younger women to be mentored by older women (Titus 2). If we follow biblical advice, it actually might soothe our hearts as we lay down insane expectations on each other…and ourselves.
In Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, these two ladies write about their mentor relationship in a very honest way that every young mother can not only relate to but also learn from. Each chapter begins with short note from each lady to the other – each letter begins a new topic where the younger Sarah Mae feels like she’s not measuring up or struggling in her quest of motherhood with 3 very young littles. Then, Sally Clarkson follows up with understanding and encouragement, followed by pages of great tips and lessons learned from each of their motherhood experiences.
Sarah and Sally cover topics such as*:
- Ideals of motherhood (that picture in our minds of what motherhood should look like)
- “The Go It Alone Culture” (where we have this big idea that we should be able to do everything on our own)
- Parenting formulas (and how to sift through parenting how-to books and not feel like a complete failure)
-The beast of housework
and TONS more.
And, if I’m being honest here…
I don’t own a supermom cape. I’ve done the whole beat myself up game for not living up to what a mom should do in a day. I’ve played that game and can I just say…it stinks? It’s no fun! I have 3 littles under 5 and we are pursuing a 4th little guy through adoption and the thing I’ve learned so far is that 99% of the things we stress over…don’t matter.
I thought I’d be this mom who put great meals on the table each night with homemade bread and dessert from scratch. I pictured my hair styled, lipgloss, and a cute dress from the Limited. I imagined myself as a mom who NEVER raised her voice, who homeschooled, did cloth diapers, ate only organics and never had laundry piles and even my lists would be organized. Turns out, my life isn’t like that. And, for the longest time, I beat myself up over it. I felt like a failure…defeated…desperate. I saw all of these other moms who seemed to have it all pulled together…until one day, I realized they all struggled with SOMETHING too.
I still have moments where I get frustrated…(like when the toddler throws his bottle in the toilet and dumps his sisters’ stuffed animals in the tub and turns on the water). And as the sun goes down, I’m ready to go with it. But, I’ve lessened the demands on myself. I no longer worry if the laundry doesn’t get folded every day and I’m okay with pajama pants and a tshirt if I’m staying in – because then I can better enjoy peanut butter fingers hugging my legs or snotty kisses. I’m okay with a little dust, disposable diapers, and the occasional frozen pizza. I’m okay needing two months to read a novel “for fun” and letting my sewing machine collect dust.
And that’s why I really like this book…
Maybe you are desperate…at your breaking point. Or, maybe you could just use some wise council to lift your spirit and guide you because you just don’t feel like you are as happy as you could be or you find yourself frustrated or yelling a little too often. Or, maybe your just lonely in this motherhood journey…
Either way… if you are a mom, this book is for you.
*Topics listed above are paraphrased by me. These are not the actual chapter titles.
DISCLAIMER: The book I read was sent to me to be reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are mine, however.