Danielle Bean, a mother of eight, is Editorial Director of Faith & Family (FaithandFamilyLive.com). Though she once struggled to separate her life and her work, the two have now become so perfectly entangled that she embraces the joyful jumble. She writes what she lives: marriage, motherhood, cooking, homemaking, health, humor, and Catholic family living. Read her personal blog at DanielleBean.com or follow her on Twitter (twitter.com/DanielleBean).
If you don't know Danielle Bean's writing, you might not know what to expect from a book with the subtitle, "Advice and Support for Catholic Living."
You might pick it up thinking, "Who is this woman to give me advice? Has she lived so long and so perfectly that she can dish up the goods on my life when she doesn't even know me?"
Then, you might open it, and read Danielle's preface, and find out that she is the kind of woman to pick up an advice book (you know the kind I mean: one with a rigid prescription for how to eat, drink, live, marry, parent, sleep, breathe and forego sugar) and think:
(from the preface): "Who does this woman think she is? I find myself furiously thinking as I flip to the back cover to read the author's bio. Is her family really so perfect? Doesn't her husband ever leave his balled-up, smelly socks on the bedroom floor and she snaps at him about it? Don't her kids ever argue about who's looking at whom and who got the last cookie last time and who got it the time before that and ...."
And, you might next think, "Hey! I love her! She's just like me!"
And, you'd be right (unless you're the author of the aforementioned book that initially raised Danielle's ire, in which case, I don't even want to know you.)
Which is why you'll love this book and this author. She's so very real. I want her to live next door to me and come over for lots and lots of coffee while we ignore our children and catch up with each other. Because once in awhile, that's what real mothers do.
What's in this book? Let me start by telling you what's not in it.
Danielle Bean will not advise you to rise every morning at four a.m.Read more ›
As a mother of four young children, so many of the anecdotes spoke to me and either offered reassurance or a needed kick in the pants. Bean's honest reflections on her family life encouraged me to reflect on my own family life--something busy moms don't often take the time to do. Though the chapters were short and easy to read(between diaper changes, preparing meals, etc.) her voice stayed with me throughout the day and encouraged me to think about all of the busy tasks of motherhood from a spiritual perspective. This is a book that made me nod my head, laugh out loud, and most of all, appreciate the gift of motherhood. Know a mom who needs encouragement? Give her this book!
I read Danielle Bean's first book, "My Cup of Tea", in 2 days on the beach in St Lucia while vacationing with my husband for our 10th anniversary. The ONLY thing that would have made this book any better, would have been if it came with tickets to go back down to St. Lucia!!! VERY easy to read chapters, taking no more than 5 minutes to get through a single chapter. Hard to put the book down. I had my 5th child 6 weeks ago and was able to read the book while nursing her ~ finished the book in just 4 days!
For the last five years,I have presented the "Marriage as a Sacrament" talk at pre-Cana for our parish. In addition, I have worked as one of the wedding coordinators for our parish, talking with new brides and running the wedding rehearsals etc. There were many times over those years that I wished I had a book that I could give to these young women that would help them start out their married lives in the right direction. I wanted something that was steeped in the richness of our Catholic faith, but wasn't so deep in theological language and terminology that you needed a degree in theology to understand it. I found just such a book in Danielle Bean's new book, "Mom to Mom Advice and Support for Catholic Living."
The entire book with resource guide is only 153 pages long, so its size is not intimidating. Its beautiful cover is very inviting. I think I might even be able to convince our busy parish priest that this would be a wonderful book to buy and hand out at pre-Cana, or give to new mothers at baptisms. It's a very fast and enjoyable read. (I read the entire thing while manning the awards table at a swim meet!)
But don't let its size and appearance fool you. Mrs. Bean packs a lot of information and solid advice in those pages, with a dollop of wit and humor on the side. The target audience for this little book is young Catholic mothers with small children in the early part of their marriage. Those ladies will feel that Danielle Bean is right in the trenches with them, coping with the challenges, stress and fatigue that comes from dealing with little folks all day long. But even after almost 28 years of marriage on my resume, I felt that I too could benefit from much of what she was saying, particularly in how to relate and care for my spouse.Read more ›
Danielle's second book is written especially for younger moms who are overwhelmed and still trying to figure out how to work out a lot of the details of smoothly running their homes (and lives). These moms tend to feel guilty for not "having it all together" and wonder how older, more experienced moms with more kids ever manage their large brood and complex family life. I know I felt that way when I was a younger mom and I would have very much appreciated the gentle wisdom contained in this book.
I found this book "light", but inspiring; helpful, but not preachy. Her writing deserves to be called wise, because she manages something that so few parenting/advice books do - she draws out practical truths that really do apply to everyone and then gives examples of how she applies them to her own family.
The book is organized into six main sections (that are divided into smaller essays):
How Can I Survive the Preschool Years Without Losing My Mind?
How Can I Fill My Marriage with More of `The Better' and Less of `The Worse'?
What Kind of Role Does a Catholic Mom Play in This Great Big World?
How Can I Get on Top of the Housework When It Feels Like I'm Smothering Under It?
How Can I Make Our Faith an Integral Part of Family Life?
Can I Really Have a Spiritual Life While Caring for All These Little People?
She tops it off with a simple, but helpful resource guide for Catholic families.