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Book Review: The Better Mom

Because the FTC has nothing better to do than make life difficult for us bloggers, I’m required to disclose the following at the beginning of this post: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation, and the opinions expressed, whether positive or negative are completely my own. Personally, I’m waiting for sponsorship disclaimers from all of the politicians in DC, but I’ll probably be waiting a long time…

I’ve been reading parenting books since the moment I saw two lines on the pregnancy test for the first time! I’ve read some great books, some goofy books, and even a few crazy books. I wasn’t looking for yet another parenting book to add to my reading list. However, when the book blurb for The Better Mom stated that glorifying the mess and idolizing perfection in motherhood were both unhealthy extremes, I had to read more!Motherhood can be overwhelming! It’s tempting to glorify the mess and equally as tempting to idolize perfection. Both are unhealthy extremes in this great journey of raising children. Just as we are shaping our children, God is using motherhood to shape us. What God has started in us moms, He will complete. Join thousands of moms as we journey TOGETHER growing in grace between perfection and the mess. The secret to becoming a happier, healthier mom? It’s not what you’d think…. #thebettermom

Ruth Schwenk, the author of The Better Mom also blogs at www.thebettermom.com. (I wasn’t familiar with her website prior to reading her book, but if you have followed her blog for a while now, let me know in the comments!) I appreciated the focus of the book being less about hands-on how-to, and more about getting our heart’s focus where it should be. Sometimes, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in all of the how-tos, that I miss what’s actually important. Ruth’s book is definitely written from a strong Christian perspective, so the book contains numerous scripture verses and references to seeking God in our mothering journey.

As I said earlier, I’ve read a lot of parenting books, so I didn’t really find much content in The Better Mom that I hadn’t read or heard before. That being said, sometimes we all need reminders, and there’s one thing in particular that stuck out to me. In the chapter titled “I have to Be on Top of My Game”, Ruth is talking about Hebrews 12:1, which is the verse about running the race set before us. She made the point that we’re not asked to run fast, or win, but just told to finish. This quote is what jumped off the page while I was reading, “And running the right race – the race marked out for us – is most important.” I love that. I’ve re-phrased that just a bit into a short reminder for myself: Run your race – not someone else’s.

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I think The Better Mom would make a great gift for just about any mom. Its’ focus on God and the heart is the perfect counter-balance to the how-to parenting books that most of us have on our shelves. And while most of the concepts were ones that were not new to me, most of us need reminding of some of them now and again. (I can’t be the only one with a short memory these days!)

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