We All Need A Do-Over Sometimes (And A Book For You To Read)

There was a time, back when I had one young, easygoing child, when I used to look at other moms who were having a rough day, and I'm going to admit it right now - I was judgy.  Someone would complain about something their kids did, or I'd see a mom being snippy to her kids in the grocery store, and I'd wonder what her problem was.  Didn't she see what a blessing motherhood was?  Of course I would never act that way.  I would always treat every minute with my babies as a gift.

Then right about the time my angel child turned two, we added a second baby to the mix, and I started being a little more understanding.

Then the Lord laughed and gave me another baby 16 months later, and now I totally get it (classic case of a "haughty spirit before a fall" - Proverbs 16:18, which I memorized when I was a child, so you think I would know better).  Some days don't go as planned, children don't listen, the exhaustion catches up to you, and you act in ways that you will probably regret after the kids go to bed. 

If you haven't had one of those rough motherhood moments, you probably just haven't been a mother long enough.

Every mom needs a do-over sometimes.

A blog friend, Lisa Pennington who I met last year in Nashville, has written a book titled Mama Needs A Do-Over that addresses those rough mom days and what to do about them.  The subtitle is "Simple Steps To Turning A Hard Day Around", and I feel like that subtitle almost doesn't do the book justice, because really this book is about not just what to do in the midst of a hard day, but how to minimize those hard days to begin with.

When I started this book, I was expecting a bunch of practical ideas to do in the midst of a hard day to cheer things up - and Lisa does include lots of fun ideas in the second half of the book.  But I was pleasantly surprised at the first half of the book, which is mostly focused on how to get to know your own personality better so you can see ways that you can prevent those hard days from happening as often or as severely.  Lisa encourages moms to use their talents and gifts to find creative solutions to mothering problems, and to prepare a plan in advance on how to handle those difficult days.

I feel like this book really lets you get to know Lisa, and she is quirky and fun!  She includes stories from her own family, so many of which made me laugh.  She knows what she is writing about as a homeschooling mom of nine kids (yes, nine), and I thought she sprinkled her lessons throughout this book in a really fun way.  I love how she uses the book to point readers back to their own God-given gifts and prayer to handle those hard moments with grace, and it left me brainstorming on ways that I can handle frustrating moments in my own unique way that will build my children and husband up instead of adding to the chaos.

Mama Needs A Do-Over was especially timely for me.  This pregnancy has messed with my emotions more than I expected, and I find myself crying over silly things or losing my temper more often than I'd like.  This builds on the last two years of learning that I do not have it all together as a mom - which was a hard realization because of those first couple years of motherhood when I thought I did have it together.  I don't handle every situation properly, I have much less patience than I thought I did, and I make plenty of mothering mistakes.  

It has been humbling, and more than anything, it has made me realize that I need God's help to be a good mom.  I need His help to remember to be grateful.  If I rely only on my own resources and willpower, it is only a matter of time before something breaks me down.  I shouldn't count on my own flawed abilities to begin with when I can look to the only One who is perfect for help.

I've also learned to give other moms grace, even when they don't handle something quite right - because I don't know what she's going through, and I have my own list of difficulties that I don't always handle gracefully!  For pity's sake, let's not judge other mom's struggles when hers look nothing like our own.  God gives His children grace when we fail, and I've learned I need to do the same for other moms, and myself.  We're all works in progress, and Lisa's book was such an encouragement to me to know I am not alone.  

So if your child is screaming in the grocery store, and you get that look on your face?  Don't worry, I get it now, and I'll just nod as I pass by and say a little prayer for you.

What is your best tip for handling mothering frustrations with grace?

Note: I received a copy of Mama Needs A Do-Over for free from Lisa's publisher, and I have met the author personally.  This is my honest opinion.
You may also like:
Elizabeth said...

Reading this now and loving it!! I have really appreciated the Scripture suggested at the end off each section! So, so encouraging!


stephanie said...

i am not a mom but most of my friends are moms and i want to give them ALL this book. because sometimes moms tend to beat themselves up on hard days and i just want to hug them and remind them of how precious they are.

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.