Need a little pick-me-up, a confidence boost, a friendly reminder that you ARE a good mother? Here’s a pair of lovely books that will surely encourage you and lift your mothering soul.
Our own Colleen Duggan wants every one of you to know that you are good enough. You are good enough to be a good mother to your children. You are good enough to be a wife, sister, daughter, and friend. Most importantly, you are good enough to be a beloved and precious daughter of God, no matter how imperfect you see yourself — He sees you perfectly and loves you. She really got me where I needed it with her chapters on self-care and comparing ourselves to other moms and families.
In an effort to hypercorrect the anthem, touted by the world, that wails, ‘Do whatever you want and whatever feels good,’ we deny ourselves in unhealthy ways and overlook our natural interest because we cannot justify the perceived self-indulgence in the face of our parental responsibilities. We can even be lax about our own prayer lives, postponing what our souls need to survive. There is always work to be done or a familial need to be filled, so we often put off what we most need — whether it is human, social, emotional, or spiritual – in order to continue our vocational work. But we can’t give what we don’t have, so our work suffers and lags and becomes burdensome.
Aside from taking care of ourselves, Colleen bravely opens up about a deeper source of why moms get down on themselves and why so many Catholic moms suffer from the soul-eating disease known as “Mom Guilt”: comparison.
In those early years of parenting … I spent a fair amount of time worrying about the future well-being of my offspring, and I felt like a failure … when I compared my efforts to raise my children in the Catholic faith against those of another family.
If you feel like you are failing as a mom and or have ever felt like you are “not good enough,” gift yourself with Colleen’s book and listen to her encouraging words: You are good enough. The best part about Colleen’s book is you can read it on your own or invite your friends to read it together and use the discussion questions after each chapter for conversation starters. Or, if you missed the Good Enough is Good Enough Book Club, you can still read through and join in the discussion.
Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood (A CatholicMom.com Book
Speaking of feeling imperfect, here’s another great book to get past the notion that you can only find happiness in motherhood if you do it perfectly. Kate Wicker brings us another uplifting CatholicMom.com book to gently humble and encourage moms in our less-than-perfect motherhood. Kate candidly opens up about her path from perfection to “joy and grace in the messiness of motherhood.” Kate points out how the desire and drive to attain perfection in our lives only leads to unhappiness and chronic dissatisfaction which spills into our motherhood, overflows onto our children, and drowns out love in marriages.
Our culture’s expectations for success and happiness are pushed so high that the simple beauty of being an ordinary, loving mother is lost and we feel inadequate if we don’t give to the point of debt, nervous breakdowns, or splintered relationships.
On the other side of that, Kate delves into the other side of pressure to be perfect mothers:
No one is more guilty of candy-coating motherhood than the Christian community. In our plight to protect the sanctity of life and promote family values, we have elevated motherhood as a means to an end … Just as culture idealizes romantic love and tells us it’s all about feel-good feelings; it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of believing that motherhood is supposed to make us feel good when, maybe, it’s intended to help us learn to be and do good.
If those words resonate with you or you’ve been struggling to measure up to the “perfect mother,” open up Kate’s book and let her words peel you open, squeeze the drive for perfection out of you, and show you the path to a more joy, more grace-filled way to live. Be sure to see what other moms related to in the Getting Past Perfect Book Club.
Have you read any uplifting books this summer? How have you been encouraged in your motherhood lately?
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Copyright 2018 Erika Marie
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