Many, many months ago Mary asked me if I would write a review for her book. I am finally writing it.
The real title of the book is, A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family. But don't let the title fool you. Mothers of any number of children will find this book helpful. Almost everything in this book is useful whether you have 1, 2, 3, or 10 kids. Don't let the title intimidate you. If you have children this book will be worth reading.
I expected to like the book. I've been reading Mary's blog Owlhaven for more than 3 years now. I expected find more of the same great content that is on the blog, and lots of familiar material in a different format.
I didn't expect to learn so much from this one volume. I didn't expect to come away from it encouraged and refreshed in my own life as a mother. I did not know how very useful this book might be.
I didn't think this would be the book that would solve for me the mystery of how to strengthen the emotional connection between my son and I that I have felt stretching thin the past year. I also learned that I will probably never be as patient as I believe I ought to be, but I can hope to become better at faking it as time goes by. And that veteran mothers of 10 still have moments of frustration when bedtime hits and there are toys all over the floor.
Mary's style is fun, light and understanding. She doesn't pretend to be a perfect mothering guru, just a little more experienced. Her suggestions are practical, and possible. Yes you heard that right, possible! Imagine a book about parenting and managing a family that has advice that you can actually picture yourself accomplishing, rather than overwhelming you at the thought of how big a failure you already are.
The book covers all sorts of topics; debunking myths about what kids really need and that supermoms exist, tips for raising polite children, how to understand what really makes your kids feel loved, and how to help them survive trips to the grocery store without meltdowns. To name a few.
I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it for yourself.
For those of you following the story of the children's home in Thailand, I'm pleased to report that since last week there have been 8 new sponsors, and almost $600 in donations. Thank-you for helping. We still have a long way to go to get to 80 sponsors, so please continue to spread the word. Let us not grow weary in doing good.