Director Jewels: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe {Book Review}

Friday, August 30, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe {Book Review}

Disclosure: I received a sample copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson is a book that has been sitting on my product review shelf for a long time. Way too long. I get behind on blog projects constantly more often than I would like, but this one is bad. I think I've had this book since May. And that's just unacceptable in the blogging world!

And the really sad thing is this - it's not because I didn't like the book, or didn't read the book, or just plain forgot about it. It's kind of because I didn't want to face how close to home this book hit where I am in life right now.

Being a mommy is an incredible blessing and also the most difficult thing I have ever done. It is so much harder than I imagined. Some days I just feel like crying. It's very easy to fall down a slippery slope and feel like you are drowning in the poopy diapers, cracker crumbs, and pieces of banana that you find stuck to the bottom of your feet. My tendency when I have a bad day is to take it out on my sweet family, and I hate that so much. I need patience and I need wisdom - and I need more sleep than I am going to get anytime in the next five years, so I also need to learn to expect difficulty and have a better attitude about it.

Undoubtedly, when entering motherhood, you're going to encounter some changed expectations. It's an absolute fact that I no longer want thirteen children. Most days, I don't think there is enough of me to go around between two kids! I have a good circle of support - our family is close (my mom is here almost every day), and I have friends in the same situation as me. But there are still times when I feel like I'm failing and I can't go on. And this lovely little book? It made me realize that even in the midst of the crazy monotony that is my daily life, I am not alone. Most of the feelings of inadequacy I have are normal when you are an adult staying in a house all day with two little people who communicate in tears, screams, or laughter.


Most of my reading sessions look like this photo. I don't have down time to just sit with a book by myself. I don't really feel that I have a lot of time to read, but I made time for this book, and it is a decision I am glad that I made.

Written by two women at very different stages of motherhood - Sarah Mae is "in the trenches" with little ones at home, while Sally's children are grown - this book is both an encouragement for the present moments of exhaustion and dismay and a ray of hope that these hard days do not last forever. The topics covered are wide, but all needed by a sensitive mama's heart.

There is a section about the go-it-alone culture of mamas in today's world that really hit home for me. Even though I have family and friends nearby, it is not the same as living in a culture where generations live together and all help care for the youngest members of the clan. Going to play group or a library storytime is not the same as being constantly surrounded with support. This chapter talks about the necessity of community and having trusted people who can share your heart in your circle of friends. The first time I read the suggestion to find a mentor for myself - someone older and wiser who has been through what I am going through now - I scoffed. But the more I think about it, it's an amazing idea.

I am an overachiever - and always have been one. It drives me crazy when I don't have time to accomplish anything on my to-do list. Yet I continually add more to my list, even when I am struggling to keep up with the basic necessities of life. This book brought up several reminders that I am in a season of life where I can't do it all. I'm trying to keep that in mind.

Each chapter features words from Sarah Mae and from Sally, along with a practical application section at the end with verses to read and something for mama to do to make positive changes in her life. Overall, this book is an incredible resource for moms who are in the little years of child-raising - when they feel alone and afraid and so exhausted that they can't breathe. When my little ones are past this stage, I will pass my book onto a younger mom who will need it more than me. It is a huge blessing and, even though it is convicting at times, is just what I needed at this stage in life.

You can find more about the book on the web or purchase on Amazon.

Thanks to BookSneeze for my review sample of this book. I received no compensation for posting a review and all views expressed are my own.

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