Saturday, January 26, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson (book review)

Where was this book 3...5 years ago? I'd say 3 years ago was when I was at my most desperate; right when Squirt was going through that long/short infant stage (long as you're going through, short in hindsight). I was surviving - barely. I hope and pray my children came out unscathed. I was grumpy - even angry. I had a grumpy, gassy, unhappy baby and a toddler I missed hanging out with who I couldn't understand much of the time (this is prior to our autism diagnosis). Phew! This mama was unhealthy (also prior to my weight loss and running) and unhappy. I don't know if I had post pardum depression but it felt close. I had no close friends nearby so I was really lonely and overwhelmed.

Anyway, this book would have lifted my soul to hear I wasn't alone! I thought I was. That's why I try to be very vocal about my bonding issues with my younger son, my loneliness, my weight loss journey. All of it because if someone else doesn't know you've gone through these struggles, she may feel just as alone and isolated for no reason! We can be of such a force of friendship, camaraderie, and love for other moms.

That's what I love about "Desperate" by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson. They are real about their struggles of motherhood. I've read other books of Sally's and felt kind of disheartened about how she spoke of motherhood - to me, it felt like she had it all together and everything was perfect and butterflies. I'm so thankful she wrote this book; it's helped humanize her for me. I have long loved Sarah Mae's blog for her being open; she may look perfect but she proclaims to be straining along with the rest of us.

Now, I'm out of the infant survival stage but some days I still feel that desperation with my very very active 3-year-old and sometimes with my impulsive 5-year-old. I think that will be normal forever to have those feelings but this book is valuable if you don't want those feelings to overwhelm you.

In "Desperate," they talk about sin issues (their kids' and their own! Remember all of us are sinners - sinners raising sinners, whew), trying to use formulas to get perfection, lack of upraising (to be moms and homemakers), the sacrifices (and how not to martyr ourselves), wading through all the advice and voices telling us what to do (or not do), and coming out the other end...or at least closer.

I cannot tell you how useful you will find this book (obviously that's my opinion but I highly recommend this book). It helped me remember things I've forgotten - how to be confident in raising my children the way God wants me to, not how the world tells me. It even reminds us to take time for ourselves so we don't go insane!

One of my favorite parts of this book is that Sarah Mae and Sally both suggest that as we get grow in ourselves and Christ, we need a mentor (someone to walk through life with us who has a little experience) and we need to remember these days of desperation. If you forget, how will you serve younger mothers as a mentor yourself? As we grow and age, we should be helping those younger mothers - at home, at church (volunteering in the Sunday school and children's church classes so they can take a break! I find this disheartening at my own church because most of the teachers are mothers of young children who I know could use the refreshing taste of fellowship during the church hour.), in life. It's very important not to romanticize our children's childhoods - they are fantastic but don't forget so you don't isolate someone else.

You can find Sarah Mae's blog here, Sally Clarkson's blog here, more information about Desperate, and you can buy the book here or here or here (Kindle edition).

Disclaimer: I received this ebook in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not have the same experiences that I've had with the book and/or author. I hope you love it.

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