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“Mothering from Scratch” by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo is a book that is steeped in good, Godly advice for mothers. Although I have been a mother for 17 years, I know that there are MANY ways I can improve and I am constantly trying to do a better job.
Melinda and Kathy are very honest in sharing areas of motherhood that they weren't successful at and how they turned those areas around. There are lots of Biblical references and verses to support their thoughts.
This book is a bit of a deeper read and there are many things I will be thinking about and pondering. I think the biggest lesson I took away from this book is that I need to keep my relationship with God strong in order to be the most effective parent that I can be.
I love the way the authors relate our spiritual walk with God to our mothering! Here is a quote that I really liked and really struck me….I am sometimes too hard on myself as a mother!
Another concept that I took away from this book is that motherhood is a ministry! I think I sometimes forget how important being a mom really is! I am ministering to my family…my husband and my children. God thinks that is very important work!
There is a really good chapter on “mommy guilt” and I was able to glean a lot of knowledge from the authors! Here is a quote that I think will really impact moms everywhere.
“Mommy guilt stems from an illusion that we're ultimately in control. Yes, we can guide and influence our children. But from the time they're very small, they're making their own choices. The way they process information, their perceptions of us, and their interpretation of the world around them are uniquely their own. No, we're not the boss of them all the time, especially in their little heads.”
I don't know about you, but I really struggle when my children make choices that I feel are wrong. I take it on my shoulders and assume that I have screwed up as a mother because of their poor decisions. This chapter helped me see that it isn't all on me. I teach them values, morals and the Bible, but the ultimate decisions they make are their own. It doesn't necessarily reflect on my parenting. I loved the way the authors help us see what kind of guilt we are having…if it is conviction from God or if it is condemnation….not from God.
Another profound idea in the book is the realization that we shouldn't actually strive to be perfect mothers! I know…it sounds crazy…BUT….think about this: “If we were perfect mothers, we'd be insufferable. We'd lack compassion and be fooled into thinking we have no need for God or each other.” Makes you think, doesn't it!
This book is about mothering….but it is also a wonderful reminder about our walk with God. I loved what the authors had to say in regard to that feeling moms have….when we think, WHO ARE WE ANYMORE? We feel like we don't have an identity apart from our children.
“How many times have we thought, I feel like I've lost myself in being a mom? Isn't it reassuring to know that's not possible? We can't lose our identity. It's eternally secure in the hands of the Savior who died to purchase it. Rest assured, we may lose our keys, our kid's soccer uniforms, and ever our minds from time to time, but we can never lose who we are in Christ.”
Being too busy is a concern for every mom I know! A lot of our activities are GOOD…we are helping others, serving in the church, helping at the school, etc. I was stopped in my tracks when I read the following thought….
“Ministry to others and volunteering are honorable, but not when we pour more energy into helping others than we do into the well-being of those closest to us.”
I think you can see from the quotes I have put into this review…that these authors are very insightful! I actually underlined a LOT more in the book….but I don't want to give it all away!
This book is a solid resource for mothers. I think it will help a mother at any stage of the game! It will make you think about your mothering style and let you know that it is okay to do it your own way…you can do “Mothering from Scratch“!