Why a Book a Month?

I love to spend time outdoors, journal and pay bills. Ok, I’m kind of kidding on that last part, but if I hadn’t studied journalism in college, I would have made a great accountant. I love working with numbers. They’re very predictable! I love that 2+2 = 4 in every circumstance. In family life, on the other hand, three kids plus two kids often feels like seven!

Why a Book a Month?

I love to spend time outdoors, journal and pay bills. Ok, I’m kind of kidding on that last part, but if I hadn’t studied journalism in college, I would have made a great accountant. I love working with numbers. They’re very predictable! I love that 2+2 = 4 in every

circumstance. In family life, on the other hand, three kids plus two kids often feels like seven!

Why a Book a Month?

I love to spend time outdoors, journal and pay bills. Ok, I’m kind of kidding on that last part, but if I hadn’t studied journalism in college, I would have made a great accountant. I love working with numbers. They’re very predictable! I love that 2+2 = 4 in every circumstance. In family life, on the other hand, three kids plus two kids often feels like seven!

Ever since I first read, What to Expect when You’re Expecting 16 years ago, I have turned to parenting books to help me cope with the chaos. And I’ve run quite the gamut…

Dr. William Sears’ series on attachment theory became my first “parenting Bible.” I was proud to announce that Baby #1 didn’t take a single snooze alone ‘til he was nearly a year old! Feeling a little frustrated and resentful of my lack of freedom, I then took up Dr. Gary Ezzo’s Babywise as my next handbook. Baby #2 took to a nap schedule in a snap!

Unfortunately, just when I thought I had one stage of parenting figured out, that child grew and his/her needs changed. To complicate matters further, the next child coming up through the ranks had a completely different personality!

I quickly became overwhelmed by the lack of a formula for raising children. And when the strategies put forth in any given book didn’t yield results within a certain amount of time, I felt inadequate, and I questioned my suitability for motherhood. Disillusioned and convinced I was incapable of creating the type of family life I’d always dreamed of, I just quit trying.

That was a dark time in my life, as I struggled with bouts of anxiety & depression. Looking back, however, I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on my own mental health. With the help of an experienced counselor, I learned how my own habits and patterns of thinking were deeply impacting the way I approached mothering.

As I experienced healing in these areas, I found greater peace in my daily life and a delight in my children’s unique gifts and needs. Now that I’m a parent to two teenagers, one tween, one preschooler, one toddler and one baby in the womb, I’m (finally) beginning to accept that there is no set formula for raising children! In fact, these days I’m less interested in quick fixes and more excited to learn how to truly connect with my kids right where they are TODAY.

This doesn’t mean that I’ve got it all figured out! I still feel overwhelmed nearly every day, and I beg God for His grace to fill in where I’m lacking. But now that I’m feeling healthier mentally and emotionally, I have a renewed sense of hope and a desire to keep learning and growing.

I hope this blog is a way to do just that! Each month, I’ll select a different parenting book for reflection. Most can be found in the public library. Whether you pick up the books themselves or just snag an idea from my posts, I hope this endeavor is full of encouragement and hope. I also welcome your ideas, tips and thoughts in the comment box (blog home page).

Parenting is hard, but it’s the most important “job” we’ll ever have. Let’s keep learning & growing together!

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