Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mommy Grace

I have found my kindred spirit (to borrow from Anne of Green Gables). Her name is Dr. Sheila Shuller Coleman. Sheila (I hope she doesn't mind if I use first names, as I feel like I know her well!) wrote the book Mommy Grace: Erasing Your Mommy Guilt
What the publisher says:
MOMMY GRACE By Sheila Schuller Coleman Universally, mothers tend to feel they are not good enough at parenting and fear they are harming their children by not being perfect. In Mommy Grace: Erasing Mommy Guilt, Sheila Schuller Coleman offers overwhelmed moms short but emotive stories of authentic motherhood from her own and others' experiences-foibles and all-and offers comfort by showing how God makes up for human weakness with His own strength. Because Sheila shares lessons learned the hard way by real moms rather than giving difficult instructions for better mothering, readers will leave the book feeling encouraged rather than lectured. For every mom who feels she's not quite up to the colossal job of parenting, MOMMY GRACE is full of hope and compassion.
The facts: Mommy Grace is a 160 page book broken into about 30 chapters. If you do the math, you see that each chapter is short. The chapters start with a 2-5 page story about a situation in which a Mom (usually Sheila) has good reason to feel guilty. Chapters include: forgetting a child at home alone; sick babies; gum-encrusted toddlers; and really listening to kids. Following the story and lesson learned is summary statement such as:
Responsibility is response-ability And leaving the results to God!
Next is a Scripture passage, and the chapter ends with a prayer. The prayer is written out like a (non-rhyming)poem. My reaction: From my introduction, you probably guessed that I enjoyed the book. You are right! When I first received the book to review, I hesitated because I wasn't sure when I'd have time to read it. But I was delighted to find the short chapters that were easy to read when the kids gave me a few minutes of peace. Many books about Moms are written by stay at home moms. I have nothing against SAHMs. (My husband is a stay at home at Daddy.) But often advice given a SAHM just doesn't work for a working mom. So, Sheila got my attention when I learned she was not only a working mom, but an educator like me. And, she's not a mom of only 1 child, but 4. (One more than me!) But, none of this is why I felt a kinship with Sheila. No. It was her stories. Some of them felt like she's been reading my mail (or at least my blog!) Stories like: being too absorbed my project to pay attention to the kids; learning to release my child into God's hands (where she was all along); and the need to (repeated) say, "I'm sorry" to my kids. I think the statement that hit home was in the chapter, "Love Covers a Multitude of Sins". She said, "Not a nurturing woman, even in the best of circumstances..." She goes on to talk about a particularly bad night when her husband had been sick for a long time, and the kids were stepping on her last nerve. What followed was a total Mommy snap. (I've had my share of those!) Long before we had kids (even before infertility) we decided that John would be the one to stay home--because he was more of the nurturer. This always bothered me. Here I was the teacher, but not a "nurturer". But when Sheila admitted this, I felt great relief. I'm not alone. During the introduction, Sheila talks about the Mommy guilt of being an educator and wondering what credibility she would have as an "expert" when he kids were less than perfect. I faced this with my daughter. My title is "Developmental Specialist II" working in the birth to three population. But I had a 4 year old daughter who was not potty trained. Mommy Grace has helped me realize that as long as I do my best, God will take care of the results. And some days my best, is far from perfect. But I am going to continue loving my kids, and I pray that Mommy Guilt will drive me to the foot of the cross where I will find Mommy Grace. Want a copy? Pre-order now:
or win one of five (5!) copies of Mommy Grace To enter: Leave a comment. No specific requirement, but please don't just say, "Pick me". For extra entries (leave an extra comment): * Share a Mommy Guilt moment (and lesson learned) * Add my button to your blog * Follow me on twitter * Twitter about this giveaway * Follow my blog * Subscribe to my blog Contest ends Friday, March 27th. Limited to US or Canada addresses. (No PO Boxes)

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