Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for stay-at-home moms, but not working moms, February 7, 2013
This review is from: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (Paperback)
What I liked

This book showed a beautiful picture of what a meaningful mentoring experience looks like. Sally Clarkson saw something in Sarah Mae, and they began a relationship together that was intentional, and helped both of them grow in their relationship with the Lord. The mentoring seemed to come at a time when Sarah Mae desperately needed it- in the middle of mothering three littles- and battling depression.
I could relate to Sarah Mae, in that I also have three kids incredibly close together in age (almost 4!). And there were times last year when I was staying at home with them that I did feel desperate and like I needed some room to breathe. Running after and caring for a 1, 2/3 and 3/4 year old is physically, emotionally, and mentally difficult. There are no breaks, even with a stellar husband. It takes 2 parents to meet the never-ending needs of such young children.
For moms who stay at home, Sarah and Sally offer some great suggestions on how to create space to breathe in the midst of full-time, never-ending motherhood. They rightly suggest that a lot of it has to do with our attitude towards our kids and being a stay-at-home mom.
They repeated over and over that there is no "right way" to parent. Every family is different. Every child is different. Every mom is different. If you are not good at keeping house, by all means hire a housekeeper and feel no guilt about it! If you don't want to spank your kids, do not listen to those other moms who say if you don't you will have bratty kids. Seek God, follow the promptings you feel about how He has designed your unique family, and then find a few good friends who are going to support you and not criticize your decisions.

What I did not like

At times, the relationship between Sarah Mae and Sally seemed like Sarah Mae was incredibly needy and Sally had all the answers. It has been my experience that in healthy mentoring relationships, both parties involved are encouraged by one another, and both people come out with a new perspective.
This book is absolutely NOT for moms who work outside the home full-time. Although they were big on talking about the uniqueness of each family and following what God had for each family, I don't think they would be very accepting of the decision for the mom to work outside the home. They explicitly says that "Scripture is filled with admonitions for a mama to make her home her focus and bring up her children. A mama's primary domain is her home." (p. 170) They continue on to say that this doesn't mean that's the only purpose God has for a mom, but it's first and main purpose. I'm glad they added the second part, but I still disagree with the first. I have personally faced the judgment of other women who can't believe that I would work outside the home. And perhaps some judgment that my husband stays at home with the kids ("what? he doesn't work?" ummmm....if I talked about a stay-at-home mom that way, I'm pretty sure I'd get an earful about how staying at home with 3 preschool kids IS work, yes?)

When I pick up a book for mothers, I shouldn't be surprised, I guess, to find this type of attitude. In a way, it's too bad because the book did have some great things to say about life as a stay-at-home mom. Because it IS really hard (for some of us), especially in those early years as we're becoming mothers (because some of us aren't born longing for that and sometimes it's just a process that takes a few years).

So, do I recommend it? If you are a stay-at-home mom and feeling discouraged/depressed/worn-out, yes, I really think it could offer you some encouragement and good ways to look at things a little differently. If you are a work-outside-the-home mom who is feeling discouraged/depressed/worn-out, don't read it unless you can take the "stay-at-home-moms-are-God's-favorite-moms" attitude.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 8, 2013 6:25:19 AM PST
Sarah Mae says:
Thank you for your thorough review!

I am so so sorry that you felt that there was an attitude that stay-at-home moms are "God's favorite" - I promise you that could not be farther from the truth! However, your review is generous and fair, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
If you want to chat more about this, I'd love to. My email is sarahmaewrites (at) gmail.com. :)

Love,
Sarah Mae

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2013 8:36:58 AM PST
Ang says:
This book was great but I agree it doesn't speak to mom's who work outside the home and feel the guilt of it. In fact, sometimes it's not a 'choice' so much as a necessity. In the book it is called a 'choice with consequences'. The book is still extremely helpful as us working moms can still use the wonderful advice contained within.

Posted on May 5, 2014 11:12:49 AM PDT
Thanks for taking the time to write this review. I am a SAHM and bought the kindle book for myself today. I have not read it yet but am looking forward to it! I was going to buy a copy for a very dear friend of mine who became a mother 6 weeks before I did. Although our journey of motherhood began similarly it has diverged in the last year. She is now a single mom that works outside the home. After reading your review, I decided I won't purchase this particular book for her. She is definitely "desperate" (like me!) but her situation is not the same. I wonder if there are any similarly written books that would encourage single moms or moms who work outside the home?

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2014 6:22:04 PM PDT
Thanks for the comment. I think I agree that it may not be the absolute best book for her in that way. Perhaps you'll think differently after you read it, but that would be my recommendation. As for other books that might be good.... I just read Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker and it was really good...
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