Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Deliberate Motherhood

Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Key Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order & Joy
Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order, and Joy
Collaborative Effort from the blog Power of Moms
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Goodreads Summary: 
The outstanding authors of Deliberate Motherhood have let the trials and hardships of motherhood mold them into better people. Whether the change includes learning patience when the two-year-old “paints” your walls with the black permanent marker or forgiving a teenager who screams “I hate you,” or loving more when that naughty child doesn’t really deserve it, it’s a change that refines us—or as the dictionary describes it, “removes impurities, makes something more effective or become more elegant.” That is powerful!

You may think that everything has been said about motherhood, but the delightful thing about Deliberate Motherhood is that every mother/author is one-of-a-kind. They each come from different backgrounds, have different parents, are married (or not) to different people, and certainly have “different” children.
I recieved a copy of this book from PowerofMoms.com in exchange for my honest review. Buy it in paperback from Amazon for $10.77 today!  (9/22/13)

My Thoughts:
I admit, I was nervous to start reading this book. I was completely expecting Chicken Soup for the Soul-esque book for moms, and while this book does contain this vibe, it is so much more than that.

Each chapter in the book focuses on a different 'power' of motherhood, which Power of Moms believes are fundamental to happy motherhood. Each power, than, is written by a different mother. So essentially we are reading 12 different insider perspectives on the secrets of successful mothering. It isn't a how-to-book, but rather meaningful looks at how to be a deliberate mother. Co-directors April Perry and Saren Eyre Loosli describe deliberate motherhood in the introduction as
...you really think about what you do as a mom. You really care about your family and want the best for them. Plus you want to learn and grow and develop yourself as a person through the experience of motherhood. You live life purposefully. You embrace what you uniquely bring to your family.

That hooked me! But if that hadn't the first chapter, "The Power of Acceptance: Bend With It", had me hook, line and sinker. If there was ever anything in life that was preventing me from being a good mom, it would probably be myself. Learning to accept that motherhood is hard, and moving forwards. Blogger Allyson Reynolds says it perfectly:
...motherhood demands a lot from us. That truth isn't going to change anytime soon, so we may as well own it. Acceptance is the point at which motherhood becomes easier--accepting that it isn't getting any easier.
After reading her encouraging words, at the end of the chapter I found a section of insight and input from several other mothers on the topic as well. In each chapter, these beautiful words from other mothers are either integrated into the chapter itself or included at the end. This adds such an underlying depth to the topics. It is not just one mom who thinks acceptance, etc, is important: it is a whole host of moms! It made me sit up and pay attention more.

Using blogging moms to write this book was a fantastic idea. These blogging powerhouses already know how to write! The words were uplifting and encouraging and not made to bring the reader down. Because the women are familiar with how to engage the reader on their blogs, each chapter was easily relatable and felt very comfortable. Lengthier than a blog post, each chapter was still clear and concise.

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The majority of mothers who contributed had at least four children, in fact all but two of the moms had four plus children at the time of publication! Uff-da! That is a lot of kids! I trust these women to know what they are talking about just looking at that statistic. But it also makes this book easier to read. Each chapter is broken up beautifully into different sections or different blurbs from other moms. And because each chapter is about a different power, this book is perfect for the busy mom who needs to pick up, put down, put off, and pick it up again.

Being a practical gal, I would have loved a lot more practical tips or ideas on how to work on a particular power. Stories are great and motivating, but I just need the next steps. I think perhaps because of this lack of practicalness, it did sometimes take on a feeling of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Not a horrible thing by any means, but perhaps not what I was looking for. Still, I give this book a solid 4 Stars and encourage all you lovely mothers who want to be an active participant in their own journey of mothering to pick this book ASAP.

Special Giveaway:

For anyone who purchases the book in September and sends their receipt (or an email acknowledging purchase) todm@powerofmoms.com, they’ll receive complimentary access to the Deliberate Mothering Podcast series (valued at $20). Also, on October 4th, 10 Grand Prize Winners will be selected to receive the Power of Moms Premium Package (valued at $224)! See the POM Store for all the fabulous programs in the Premium Package: http://powerofmoms.com/store/?tag=thpoofmo0fb-20. For all the information on this special giveaway, visit http://powerofmoms.com/deliberate-motherhood/.

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