Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Mother In Me

Written by a group of smart, articulate and thoughtful women who write for Segullah Magazine and Blog Segullah, The Mother In Me compiles essays and poems whose topics cover pregnancy, miscarriage, infertility, adoption, birth, the loss of a stillborn (I wept), parenting special needs children, and several on the challenges of being a mother to small children.

I think this book is best read in small doses - first, because each essay has its own feeling and message to experience and second, because after reading multiple essays at a time, the book starts to feel redundant. Smart woman....smart woman sacrifices (time, energy, body, mind)....smart woman resents challenge...smart woman feels grateful for challenge...smart woman better because of challenge.

As someone who considers herself a smart woman (I hope we all do), I can certainly identify with the whole cycle. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood is sacrifice. And yet, motherhood is the absolute best teacher I could have ever hoped for in life. Every essay chronicles the development of a God-like trait: patience, hope, faith, forgiveness, compassion, and pure, pure love. After reading, I'd want to hug my children, read them a story, take them somewhere to teach them something, play hide and seek, cook together. It made every experience that every mother knows is difficult and frustrating to be looked upon as a cherished opportunity. I really enjoyed it.

It's only flaw, in my opinion, was that sometimes the essays felt overly essay-ish. It's not like I prefer authors to dumb their writing down, particularly in this book because their writing isn't difficult to read or hard to understand. But sometimes...only sometimes...I felt the superfluous descriptions of leaves, food, weather, etc, etc were added because the authors were English majors going for the "A" instead of mothers writing for mothers. That's all.

This would be a GREAT book for any young mother, any mother who ever was a young mother, any woman who one day hopes to be a young mother. In other words, this would be a great book to read for any woman. I'm sure some men would even like it too.

Highly recommended.

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