So, I read Mom-to-Mom: Confessions of a Mother Inferior. This was a very short and quick read. It was supposed to be sort of a "bite-sized essays easy for a busy mother to read" type of format, but I found that that style left the book lacking any sort of lasting impact. I would just start to get into the rhythm of the chapter and the point it was making and then it would be abruptly *over*--sort of like the ideas were introduced, but then not explored or finished/conclusions drawn. The table of contents was almost as interesting/illuminating as the rest of the book--each chapter title was a question that most mothers ask themselves at some point about being mothers, such as, "Am I what my child really needs?" or "How do I do this?" or "How do I handle my imperfections?" As I said though, each actual chapter only barely grazed the surface of answering those questions--seeing the questions acknowledged was interesting and valuable in itself though.
I also read She's Gonna Blow. This one isn't MOPS-published, but they do sell it in their online store. It was about dealing with anger as a mother. It came at the perfect time (or maybe it just added fuel to my fire?!), because I had a really bad several days this week. I think it was the pressure of too much to do following being out of commission last weekend and Monday either with sick kids or sick myself--my list got out of control and I felt the pressure of a backlog of responsibilities. I'm climbing back on top of it now. Anyway, I had a long conversation with a supportive friend at playgroup
Okay, so back to the book. Overall, I didn't actually "click" that well with this book (we got off on the wrong foot when she made a crack about LLL--something about never having any perfect, "La Leche earth mother, one with the universe moments while nursing" just excruciating pain until she switched to formula). She has a kind of lightweight and overly jocular style. However, she was very honest about her various mothering mistakes with anger--some of the anecdotes made me think, wow! I guess I AM actually a pretty good mom!
Towards the end she was talking about simplifying your life and she shared a good tip:
"Someone once said, 'We can do anything--but not everything'....I'm not just talking about eliminating the frivolous or unimportant things in our lives. Most of us took care of that a long time ago. Now we are down to the toughest step, which involves choosing the best and saying no to the rest--and the rest is often quite good too...This phrase can be the key to sanity: Pick the best...say no to the rest."
I need to remember this: we can do anything--but not everything. I would add, particularly in the season of your life of intensive mothering of small children. I am trying to make a decision right now, actually, about adding something else to my full plate. I think my gut is saying "no, not now," but then other good points keep flying around my brain and I'm back to being indecisive about it after all...