Tantrums in Barnes & Noble, The Motherhood Nod, and Being Rocked (Desperate Book Club – Introduction)

PicMonkey Collage

The other night I was in Barnes and Noble on a date with my Caroline. She was already a bit on edge for who knows why, so it was no surprise that right before we went to leave, she decided to have a meltdown, over juice. I told her “no” to the juice and that is when she plopped down in the middle of the cafe floor and proceeded to scream, “I want JUUUUUUUICE!” On the floor, in B & N, in front of everyone in the cafe. I look around, assess the situation, and try and figure out how I’m going to deal with this. I could,

A.) Buy her the juice

B.) Quietly, calmly, and sternly tell her to come to me (all while giving her the mean mommy eye) and hope that she would immediately get up and obey by coming to me

C.) Pick her up, listen to her scream, and get out of the store as quickly as possible because I’m not buying the juice and I know the calm mommy thing is an ideal that I never mastered.

I walk over, pick her up, and whisper, “if you don’t get up right now I’m going to strangle you  you are in massive trouble.” I’m sweating now, but I carry the little screaming banshee out of the store and to the car.

Now, I just have to say that for all of you who read this post and are thinking, “see, that’s what you get for not training her properly” I would like to take a moment to say…

I’m trying; I’m doing my best. Caroline has thrown me for a loop in my parenting, and let’s just say I’m a much more humble woman because of it. Which is a good thing, because now when I see mama who has a screaming child in the grocery store, I just nod the “I know, mama, I know, keep on” nod. Motherhood is hard; we need compassion.

Where was I…

Ah yes, the joy of motherhood.

Seriously, I do love being a mom, and my babies are a gift, and I can’t stand how much I think they’re amazing. But underneath the amazing, they are crazy {albeit precious} people just trying to figure out their worlds, and in doing so they rock yours.

And basically, that’s what the introduction is about, acknowledging the “rocking” and not pretending everything is wonderful. Do you know how freeing it is to feel not alone? To feel like you aren’t crazy for not having it all together in motherhood? I have received dozens of emails from moms who have read just the beginning of Desperate and it brought them to tears. Emails like this:

“I just had a chance to look at it this morning and I am crying because you are writing me: my life, my thoughts, my secret feelings, some I’ve mentioned to my husband, but some still those thoughts in my heart I’m afraid to voice aloud.  I can’t wait to read more.  So refreshing after reading so many “Christian wife & mother” books that just leave me with a weight of burdens on my back, everything I “should” be doing/feeling/thinking, but am not.”

Why the tears? Because they know that someone gets it, someone hears them, someone cares about the days they aren’t sure they’re are going to make it.

But it doesn’t stop with the relating, oh no, because that’s not enough. Moms need each other, we need to lavish grace on each other, do the motherhood nod in the grocery store, but we also need mentors. We need women willing to share their life-offerings with us. We need that kind of life-lived encouragement, the kind that says, “you can do this, you will do this, and you don’t have to do it alone.”

And that’s what Desperate offers, insomuch as a book can.

But you all, you have to step out of the pages and into the lives of the women around you. Older moms, we need you to reach out to the newer moms, and newer moms, don’t isolate yourself, it will just about drown you if you do.

Your Turn

How did the introduction speak to you?

What are you hoping to gain from reading Desperate?

Where are you most feeling Desperate right now?

Just now joining in the study? Here are some detaily things for you:

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  • Jessica Bish

    I am in love with this book and can not get enough of it…. it has already done wonders for my soul and God is providing me with some wonderful new friends because of it! Amazing. http://andtheycallherblessed.blogspot.com/2013/01/desperate-introduction.html

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Thank you! So so so glad!

      • Jessica Bish

        I was also once told that my ‘strong willed child’ is just a future leader cause you never met a leader that wasn’t strong willed about something…. it’s just our job to help guide that leader…. no pressure or anything!

        • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

          I agree! It’s both encouraging to think of our child having the potential to be a strong leader, and a little overwhelming and intimidating to think about our role in helping to shape and mold that spirit. (And why were they given to ME again??)

  • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

    I understand the tears of relating–having experienced the same reaction myself! There are so many other women who I’ve heard describe the same reaction. I love this book because it marries Sally’s calm voice of wisdom with MY voice (Sarah Mae, I know you have somehow stepped inside my head!) of desperation and raw emotion. I have loved Sally’s books, but this book is special. This book shares my screams, my sobs, my cries of doubt. But it doesn’t leave me there! It gives me hope and it gives me clear direction for finding relationships that matter in my motherhood.

    It’s causing me to take the initiative to find some connections with people who will be those mentors for me and those friends along the way. It’s also causing me to look more carefully around me and prayerfully ask, “Lord, how can I serve one of your women today? Who do you want me to encourage?”

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I love this, yes, and I’m praying with you that you find women, that you serve women, and that you find laughter and support with other women.

  • Sabrina

    Oh, I think you may have my daughter!!!! LOL! My 4 year old is a very strong-willed child and I have read many books on this matter and I think I just may have to pick up Desperate to help me with some questions I have….

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      We are in a club my friend, the wild ones club! :) I’ll tell you though, I just adore her spirit because when God gets a hold of it, watch out! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

        Absolutely! Those spirits are incredible gifts! They take so much hard work, so many tears, and quite a bit of pain, but they are the spirits that once submitted to the Heavenly Father will be capable of mighty things for his glory.

      • Kali

        So true, Sarah Mae! I have a ‘wild one’ too. I’ve reminded myself time and time (and time…) again through these spirited, trying, early years “Our greatest weaknesses are the flip side of our greatest strengths” – someday it will serve her well!

      • Charley Me

        My 6 year old is my “wild one”. I’ve been calling her “free-spirited” since she was 2! They had a tank top with “Free Spirit” written on it at Children’s Place one day. I just had to buy it for her!

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    Oh, this reminds me of the times I hauled my spirited daughter out of the grocery store, buckled her in her car seat, and then sat on the hood of the car ’til she calmed down so we could go back in and finish what we came to do. The evil eye stares I got…

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Haha, you sat on the hood of your car?! Oh man. I so get it.

  • Melissa

    “we need compassion…and vodka.”
    As a leader you should be above reproach. This may have been said tongue-in-cheek, but those who are looking for justification just found it.
    James 3. Please read it before you post anything, distribute it around the globe, and call it ‘good’.
    I’m not naive enough to know you need to display reality, but be careful that you do not lead a sister astray…

    • TristineFleming

      You know what? I’m not beyond admitting that I’ve had to have a couple of beers at the end of the day to calm my nerves. THERE I admitted it. I’m a very devout, spirit-filled Christian. But every now and then, something has to give. I don’t get drunk, but that first beer does relieve the tension. I don’t do this often, and in fact, it’s very rare. But I think if we’re going to be honest in this process…then let’s be honest. She’s not leading anyone astray. It was a joke…and a funny one at that. However, I could relate. Let’s not nitpick this thing apart. We are hear to openly express ourselves in an honest, safe environment. I pray we can do that no matter what we need to say that may offend someone else.

    • http://thequeenmommy.com/ Debbie Taylor

      I think the message of this book is that we are all broken, human beings, and that living up to perfect is impossible. That message continues in this post, and I appreciate her reality because it mirrors my own. Knowing that Sarah Mae is NOT perfect, and struggles in the same way that I do, gives me courage to keep on keeping on. Knowing that Sarah Mae grew up with an alcoholic mother, I appreciate her vulnerability and honesty here so much…

    • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.evans.4 Melissa Evans

      I’m not a drinker myself but even I can appreciate the humor with which this was said. I appreciate the honest tongue-in-cheek humor that does not put forth the image of a perfect holier-than-thou Christian. Those who are looking for justification for their excesses will find it with or without the help of others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072983619 Mindy Richburg Brasher

    The lady from the email spoke from my heart. You are telling my story. Just yesterday I was immersed in the throws of teen meltdown and it wasn’t pretty. I am still trying to find my way and I still fail, miserably.

    I know this journey through the book and the MH conference is going to get me to a much better place. God is making such sweet spiritual connections through all of this.

    How do I help my teen navigate the difficulty of growing up without the typical teen hormonal-ridden-angst syndrome?

  • Elle

    I could relate to the introduction as though I had written it myself. I have lost myself and my joy in the daily chores of motherhood. It’s great to see that I am not alone and I’m hoping to find that joy again even if it’s doing the dishes or laundry and not let the “just a stay at home mom” world view define how I feel about myself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

      Yes. I’m finding that I need to let my strength to endure the dailyness of these tasks that never end GROW. To accept them with grace, so that there is more emotional space left to love and enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with!

      • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

        I didn’t like how this sounded when I reread it. My capitalized “GROW” and so on sounded as though I were pointing a finger at someone else who wasn’t strong enough to endure their daily tasks! I’m sorry, because that wasn’t how I meant it in my mind. I was just trying to say that I definitely understand and Sally’s words about accepting the word and finding ways to take care of it habitually (instead of me trying to escape it!) was good for me. I’m prone to letting my work depress me instead of meeting it head on. When I accept it and meet it head on, there seems to be more space for me to appreciate and create more beauty around me.

        • TristineFleming

          I feel like when things begin to pile up I get so overwhelmed that I’m near having an anxiety attack by the smallest thing. While to the outside, it may look trivial, to me I just see this HUGE, MASSIVE mess (in my head). LOL!!

          • Elle

            I’m the same way! I have To Do Lists for my To Do Lists because I feel I have to write down every small detail. It doesn’t matter how clean the house is I always feel its not good enough. Does that sound silly??

        • Elle

          I understand completely! I think the worst thing for me is that I have to be in the mood to do it and I find it so boring. But once I do everything then I find that I feel I can spend more time with my family and enjoy it without having the guilt of what needs to be done.

  • KM Logan @lessonsfromivy

    Weren’t we all perfect mothers until we had children? I remember thinking while I was pregnant with my first books about nursing, then I got to a forum where one mother was asking for advice about nursing her toddler in public because he wouldn’t keep a modesty blanket on and he did cart-wheels while he nursed. In my head I thought, well why don’t you just train him how to nurse without doing cartwheels? After nursing a few older babies I realize training doesn’t come easily and children always have their own ideas of how things should go.

    • KM Logan @lessonsfromivy

      One of these days I’ll actually proof my comment BEFORE posting it. When I was pregnant with my first I was reading books about nursing. There now I feel better.

      • Charley Me

        haha I just skipped right on over that.. I think we know what you meant :)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Yes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lckeith1 Lisa Clark Keith

    Boy, I remember those days….oh wait….17, 20 and 22…it isn’t over yet! All my girls are in college, yet they still throw tantrums of a sort: They think they know this motherhood better than I. Ha! I will live to see them with their children and then we’ll see!! muaahahaha!

  • TristineFleming

    The worst part for me is that I had already raised a child who is now 27. He’s not perfect by any means, but he was an easy child to raise. I’m 44 years old now with a 3 year old (so that adds to my exhaustion). My husband and I had beautiful ideals of having a child, and since I had done it before–the whole kit and kaboodle–I figured I’d be much better this time around. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. My 3 year old is the COMPLETE opposite of my older son. Where the eldest was calm, easy going, flexible and non-argumentative, my youngest is feisty, stubborn, strong-willed, and incredibly anxious. Since the day he was born we were slammed into a warped reality of colic up until he started teething and screaming. The crying and fits have yet to stop, and I’ve been utterly exhausted. And no matter what I’ve tried, nothing seems to work. Then my friends started sending me “parenting” books. {Oh, great!} And now instead of me giving the nasty looks in the grocery store, I’m the evil-eyed victim. When I read the example on the desperatemom.com page, I began to weep…hysterically. I felt as if someone had just written exactly how I was feeling but was so ashamed to admit. Oh, it was easy to vent my frustrations, but to admit that I had given up or that I just didn’t want to be a mom some days, was not something I could utter verbally. It festered inside. I immediately ran out of the house and bought the book within an hour of reading the intro, and since then, it has given me relief from my inner grief.

  • Carol

    I don’t get it–why couldn’t Caroline have the juice, when she first asked for it? If I had wanted juice in that moment, I would have had juice. Why would the feelings of a child be of any less importance than my own?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      We were out at a cafe, where things are expensive, and I had just bought her chocolate cake and had given her water. She was fine, and I wasn’t going to pay $3 (or something like that) for a small box of juice. :)

      • Charley Me

        I hear ya. I try to remember to bring a big bottle of water from home when we go out.. That way if the kids are thirsty I don’t have to be buying $3 Evian :). A friend of mine recently complained about how her daughter has the Gimmes. The next day we were out and her daughter said “I want a Gatorade” Immediately her mom said “How much are they?”. I smiled and said “You’re doing it…” Her daughter never once said “I’m thirsty.” She didn’t get the Gatorade and my friend was glad she didn’t give in this time to the Gimmes :)

    • TristineFleming

      I think it’s important to also let our children know that they can’t have everything they want on a whim. I don’t always give my son juice every 5 seconds he asks for it. If I did, I’d spend my entire life pouring juice. LOL!!

  • Leigh W.

    I feel desperate because as you said husbands don’t understand AND this was all I ever wanted. The “perfect life” of a SAHM!! Most days are wonderful and I cherish my time with my 3 year old daughter. But then the bad days seem to overwhelm me and I feel so alone in my battles with her! And her new little brother adds a dimension of busyness, I forgot how much time nursing takes. Looking forward to reading the rest of the book ( while nursing, wink!)

  • Natalie

    At 4 o’clock yesterday, after a LONG day with my three (3 year old twin girls and a 2 year old boy), I sat down to start your book. The introduction is completely my life…and life for the last 3 years. I let the kids watch a video while I breathed in your beautiful, relative words. I can’t tell you how good it is to hear the point of view of a mom who is trying her best, following all the “rules,” but is still having a hard time of it. Thank you for this book, Sarah and Sally.

  • http://thequeenmommy.com/ Debbie Taylor

    Thank you for writing this. Your vulnerability is such a blessing to me, and obviously to multitudes of other women, Sarah Mae. Do NOT fret over anyone interpreting anything in any way that makes you feel BADLY about anything you have written here, please. I for one need your reality because it mirrors mine and reminds me that our worst enemy is an accuser who whispers silky lies into our hearts that seek to snuff out the truth from the ONE who loves us…

  • Kristi Cotter

    I am so interested in moving forward in this book, the into really captivated me and related so closely to my life. Being a mommy is hard and its nice to read a down to earth book to help guide you where you need to be….in the arms of Jesus. So many confirming things in this intro. I couldnt help but to float right into the first ch. The sincerity and shortness is perfect for a worn out mommy who barely has time to get into her daily Word, not to metion a shower. Looking forward to doing this study with you guys! God bless

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.evans.4 Melissa Evans

    Thank you BOTH so much, for writing this book! I felt like I was reading my own thoughts on each page! Being a mom is a wonderful gift; but it also a huge challenge! I read the introduction on a day when I was feeling so completely inadequate for the task, and I was bawling like a baby. I immediately bought the book for my Kindle, and have read it daily. It is so encouraging to see someone being real about life and the challenges of raising little one for God. I get so tired of all the outrageous expectations and women who are too afraid to be real, and instead go around spouting holier-than-thou phrases that do not raise each other up, but make people feel horrible. What a different world this would be if we supported each other, instead of looking down our noses! Thank You!!!

  • Emily

    Just this morning I wrote this on my facebook > “Some days I feel like I have been to battle before 10am. It has been one of those mornings!! Thankful for a minute to catch my breath. Also glad to know that God called me to this mission of motherhood, so I trust that He will give me the strength and energy I need :)” The reason for that post? My strong willed, wild child, amazing, brilliant, defiant 3 year old boy who REFUSES to poop in the potty, pulled down his poopy pants and sat on our brand new (to us!) couch! I have been reading “Desperate” for a week now, and it really is my life. I can relate in every way. My husband Pastors a very small church, and I am very much alone in my motherhood/homeschooling journey. I am praying for God to open doors of friendship with some like-minded mamas! This book is blessing my heart :)

  • jillsusanne

    I am so glad I am able to do this book study with you all. I have a spunky 15 month old and am 3 months pregnant. We moved to a different state when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first where we knew absolutely no one for my husband’s (very demanding!) residency. There were times early on after I had my daughter that exhaustion and isolation left me feeling very desperate. Sally’s books and constant prayer were a help to me during that time. Now, with a second one on the way and a budding, temper-tantrum, throwing little toddler, I am looking forward to the messages of this book. Thank you for your genuine, unmasked approach – I know it will be so helpful for me. I hope to be able to go through this online and then start a group with moms I know or through my church to go through it again this summer!

  • Laura

    I am one of those older Moms. I have two boys – 17 and 24. There are so many times I read your blogs and others and wish I could go back and change things, but you can’t. You can only hope you did your best and keep going forward. I still struggle with Mom issues as a working Mom. Although they are grown, you never stop caring and worrying about them. Thank you for your book and for reminding me that God is my hope.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gentlemama27 Brandy Watson

    Oh sweet Sarah Mae! Thank you for sharing your heart! Thank you for your honesty about your struggles! This is what this is all about. For us, as Mamas, to come together and share the real life struggles and joys and come along side each other! You are such a GOOD mama! Those spirited children bring SO much life and joy into our lives along with the occasional volcanic emotional eruption!;) I have a few spirited ones but only my last was a public fit thrower. It took a lot of ME work to get to the place where I could respond with the kind of calm, graceful response that I soon mastered from a lot of experience,lol. I’m deep in the throws of raising teenagers, as well as a 10 and almost 5 year old and there are still days that leave me feeling desperate to sit at His feet and absorb his love for me and my children so I can better pass it on! Keep it up, Sarah Mae! You are doing an amazing job!!

  • Rebecca Peet

    I purchased Desperate on my Nook about 2 weeks ago and couldn’t put it down. I’ve already finished but it was nice to be prompted to go back and look over the intro again. Sarah, I so appreciate your honesty and authenticity. I worked for the first 2.5 years of my daughter’s life and loved it. I look back now and see it was easier to go to work. Being at home is hard. When I got pregnant with our 2nd, my husband and I decided I should start staying home. I will totally admit that the first 6 months of being a stay at home mom was the hardest adjustment I’ve ever made. I often had days filled with depression and dispair. I kept the thoughts and emotions bottled because I thought that they were wrong and that I should be so “happy” that I goet to stay home with my daughter. It was so refreshing to hear your voice in the intro telling me that my feelings were normal and that encouragement is available to help me keep going. God has done an awesome work in my heart and in changing my attitude. I’m thankful for your ministry.

  • Jennifer

    Sarah Mae- I’ve been there and my girls are 10 & 12. I have pulled my blanket up so far that even my
    springy curly don’t reveal my location. I double muffled the sound by
    adding a pillow over my head and curled into a little ball to try to
    make myself invisible. I just wanted to be anywhere but where I was.
    But my desperate attempt to escape usually happens in the afternoon
    after I have battled over getting school done for 3 hours. I try to
    make my daily trip to the confines of my room something all of us need.
    I call it quite time; and for one hour I disappear. I sink into my bed
    and let myself doze off for a much needed nap. I suffered through depression and am slowly coming out on the other side of the tunnel. I hope that through this study I find other women who live the reality of motherhood and don’t
    have to sugar-coat everything to try to paint a perfect picture of
    family life. I am hoping to find other women who have been desperate so
    that we can support each other in finding hope and refreshment. http://listsandlarks.blogspot.com/

  • csr

    again, as all seem to be saying … THIS IS ME!!!!!!!!!! God keeps raining down on me right now,… reminding me He is strength and encouragement. Wish we could “find” the older women to mentor and lead us.

  • MommaY

    I have an 11 and 9 year old and have felt so blessed to be a stay at home momma. Hardest job I have ever had! With this said, I have been struggling with my role as Mother. For many months now, my nine year old has been testing me, pushing all of my buttons and stretching me beyond my limits. I have picked up several parenting books, seeking knowledge of how to deal with my situation. Most of which have made me feel as though I have done everything wrong. When I read your guest post on Simple Mom, I knew I had to get this book. Unfortunately it was out of stock at my local book store, so I had to order it. Waiting for the book to come I checked out the Facebook posts and blog posts, knowing with all my heart that this book was the answer to so many of my prayers.

    Reading the intro to this book, gave me hope! I am now halfway into the book. Living each day with a new perspective, with a whole lot of encouragement, and with a reminder of why I love being a mother so much. Each day is a work in progress, but each day is getting better.

  • Marcy Lauren Klug

    Sarah Mae ~

    Until today, I had never heard of you – or of this blog. A friend recommended your book. I started reading it today while getting my hair hi-lighted – and started crying in the studio. (They brought me a warm cup of tea). All to say – I have never resonated more with words about motherhood. I feel, think, fear all of the things that I have read in your book so far. Oh – to be able to sit down with you and share stories – life stories and mothering stories! Thank you for being vulnerable enough to put yourself out there. The church desperately needs your voice. All mothers need your voice. I will share this title with many – and plan to re-read alongside a group of mammas. Peace and Joy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

      Marcy Lauren Klug, do you know that we have been praying for you? That might sound weird and a little creepy. But there is a huge group of women who have been praying that this book will fall into hands like yours–hands like our own! Hands that feel weak and hearts that cry when we read the beginning of this book. I am so, so glad that this book found its way to you (and to me)! It fills me with joy to think of you sharing this book with other people. I’m praying for you now by name that you will be encouraged and will be able to encourage others, too.

  • care0501

    I could relate to the introduction completely. I am a sahm of 3 kids 5,3, and 1. It’s completely rough to be the mom I want to be because there is no break…no help from my mom or my mother in law because we are so far away. I would love to have the break that you received from Sally in the book. My goal for this book is just to get a reminders that I am a child of God and that my children are children of God. I want to be reminded that my interactions with my children are a blessing and this difficult time of not sleeping through the night and waking up early isn’t going to last forever. It seems like changes happen when you least expect it….they start going to school and you long to take back that time where they are with you all the time but you sort of relish that time with them at school. I am most feeling Desperate with the fact that I long for a mentor someone to come along side me and tell me that it’s all going to be okay. Money is so tight and we can’t just go out and do the things we want to. I am desperate to be a better mom for my kids, for my kids to realize that they are loved and I want them to share what’s going on with them as they get older.

  • Karen

    Oh my goodness! I am crying just reading this AND the book!!! So glad you and Sally are doing this book study as well. I have my own “Caroline” and I desperately love her, but also am so desperate to be understood by other mothers who give me the not-so-approving mommy stare. I just recently went through (and still ongoing) a very heart wrenching situation with a family member (of all people) who so totally doesn’t understand that some children are just HARDER to train and have their own quirks about them. This is one of the reasons why I am reading this book, I am desperate for someone to reassure me that I am doing okay, that I am “enough” in Christ, that I can love them deeply even if they do challenge my world every day, and most importantly, that there are OTHERS out there who have gone through this and have SURVIVED. Thank you! Thank you! Looking forward to Thursday’s “Book Club Submission” :)

  • April

    I have been feeling so lonely lately and craving connection with other women. In my world with life and kids and my husbands work schedule(70-80 hrs/wk in and out of town), it’s almost impossible to fit in a social life. (ie. a bible study or night out) I’ve been praying for a solution for months. When I saw Desperate on B&N’s shelf on Saturday, I knew God was doing something then I found this online book club and I wanted to do a victory dance!!! There hasn’t been one feeling or thought expressed in the book that I don’t identify with. So looking forward to more!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cassandra.lynne.50 Cassandra Dorman

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m there. I remember the days where I’d have one in a sling (crying), one on my other hip (also crying) and one I was dragging while he screamed and kicked. I’ve left full grocery carts because of a child’s complete freak out. I can completely relate to the feeling of wishing I could just become invisible in public AND at home. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding so many Moms that we are not alone. I remember talking to a young friend in the backyard one day and her confiding in me that sometimes, Motherhood brought out the worst in her, not the best. I smiled, touched her arm and told her I felt the same. She nearly started to cry. I told her of the many times I wanted to give up and the days I just sat in the middle of the kitchen floor crying, with three crying toddlers/babies around me. He brings us to these places to pull us out stronger and more able to have compassion – praise God for His grace and that we can then extend that grace over and over again…

  • Charley Me

    When I first read this introduction, it was as a sneak peak in December. My gut reaction was fear. I was afraid of the emotions that a book like this was going to bring up. Afraid of facing my true thoughts and feelings.

  • Hippie4ever

    For some reason my son’s favorite place to have a tantrum isTarget. I have carried him out of there screamingly 3 times in the last 9 months.

  • Judy

    I am hoping not to feel alone. My situation may be a little different than others in that I am not only a new mom to a 2, 3 year old but I am also an “old” mom, I have a 19 year..with lots in between (7 kids in all….2, 3, 6, 10, 12, 14 and 19). I have been at this mothering thing a LONG time. I feel I have 3 “groups” of kids: The Big (the 19 yr old), The Middles (10, 12 and 14 yr olds) and The Littles (the 3 youngest ones). I feel so more lonely this time around than I did with any other group. I think or should I know why that is. With my older children my closest friends all had children the same age. We got together, talked, and compared notes. We had play dates and outings with others. Well now all my friends children are older and I am the only one that has toddlers. Not so easy to go to someones house now because I have to worry about what 2 toddlers are doing (there houses aren’t baby proofed anymore) and they just ain’t in that stage of mothering. It’s lonely. I am hoping that this study will help me feel refreshed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/easybrizy Brianna McLeod Preston

      Judy, I hope you find this comment! Please join us here if you’d like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/495348887183657/ It’s a group for moms who have four or more children and who are reading through the book together. You’re right–the mother of many faces some unique challenges!

      • Judy

        Thank you!!! I joined : ) See you there.

  • Michelle

    I like so many other women feel blessed to have found your book. It is refreshing and thought provoking. As I go through my day and I feel overwhelmed I find myself stopping and thinking back to what I have been reading. I really like that you put the scans at the end of each chapter. Watching them gives me a feeling of friendship with the both of you. Thank you for sharing your words and this online book study.

  • http://www.deliniation.com/ Delina Pryce McPhaull

    There must have been something in the air in 2009, because my twin 3yo girls are kindred spirits with your Caroline. Humbling. I can’t wait to go out and give a momma the encouraging motherhood nod. Hopefully I won’t be the one getting the nod. ;)

  • Monica F

    I’m not a mom, but I’m an aunt. I understand that parenting is not an easy job. Your book seems like something much needed. Also, when I was child I threw a temper tantrum in the grocery store. My mother rolled her grocery cart around my flailing body, step over me and kept walking as if she wasn’t phased. After she was a few feet away, she turned back to me and said, “My daughter doesn’t behave that way.” Then she turned around and kept walking away. I was so stunned, I immediately pulled myself together ran to her. I never threw another temper tantrum. She told me when I was an adult that she didn’t know what to do when I threw that tantrum. Although she calmly walked away, she was really praying that trick worked : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.driesendeboer Heather Driesen De Boer

    oh you have no idea of how much I can relate – my babies are five, almost four, and almost three.. oh ya, three in under four years! CRAZY! I did the whole “fine, you can lay there in the middle of the Walmart aisle while mommy keeps walking because NO, I will not go back to the toy ailse…” just the other day with the youngest… THANK YOU! Love the intro and yes.. sooo can relate. Looking forward to the rest! Can you come to Canada to speak soon? Like in Ontario? :)

  • http://sailorsprincess07.blogspot.com Katie

    I can totally relate to the physical help aspect of what you had discussed. I have a 3 yr old and am due with a baby girl in April and I feel like I am going to lose my mind. My husband may or may not be here for the birth (military) and my closest family is 8 hours away. Plus several of my friends are having babies too and I just don’t know what I am going to do. And being pregnant and having a energetic 3 year old who just wants mama to play with him when he’s not at school is a lot for me too. I am feeling quite desperate most days. So spending the few hours that he is at school reading this book hopefully will help me through the next few weeks and I’m sure that God’s plan for the birth of our daughter will all work out in His own way.

  • Lisa

    I am a mom of an almost 19 year old son I had at 19 years old. I gave birth only 2 months after getting married to his dad, who joined the military to provide for us. We moved states away from friends and family 2 weeks after our son was born. I remember the terrified feelings. I remember not being able to breathe. Almost 7 years later we had two more children 20 months apart. I had a few women I knew superficially in church by this point and knew some teens I might trust to babysit, but I never had a mentor and I always felt scared to share my feelings, inadequacies and fears. Thoughts like these ran through my head: “What if I’m crazy? How did my mom raise 5 kids? What if I ruin them? How can I deal today with my two little ones at home while I’m crying in bed with another wicked migraine? What was I thinking – having more kids? I don’t even know how to take care of myself!” As my children (now almost 19, 12 and 10) are older, I feel more confident. I finally found out I’m not alone. I’m more confident in my roles as wife, mother and teacher. I still never found a mentor, but as I’ve seen my sister and sister-in-law struggle (states away) I’ve felt the Titus 2 call to mentor other young moms just starting out. This book has given me a local outlet. I’ve joined a small local group of struggling moms and I hope to encounter some older ones that might come along-side me as well.

  • Cynthia

    I’m jumping in a little late on this, but I just wanted to say that I loved the intro and nodded along and did the I-identify-with-this snicker almost the entire time.

  • Amy

    This book definitely speaks to me. I have seven children and everything I have been doing isn’t working. I pray this book sheds new light and life into our family dynamics. thanks for writing this book

  • Carlyn

    Hello!
    I just wanted to say that I think the Lord has a sense of humor – and how humbled I am that He always knows my needs even before I do. I have a stack of books I’m working through (2 of them on the “strong-willed child” by the way), and with 5 kiddos (ages 11 and under) that I homeschool, I get through books at a very slow pace. When I heard about this upcoming study I looked up the book on Amazon. After reading the synopsis I remember thinking that it didn’t really sound like where I’m at in this season. I remember thinking that I felt like I was doing okay (not great, but okay enough that it didn’t really apply to me). Well, I ordered the book anyway. I put the other stack aside and started reading. Let me just say that every chapter has hit home and the Lord is using it in a powerful way to bring encouragement in areas of my heart that I didn’t even know I needed it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We are fairly isolated from family and anyone who can “help”, and even though I’m so grateful to be home & I love my children, I have so needed to hear the words on those pages as they have addressed many of the deepest cries of my heart. Thank you again.

  • kjshepp

    from the forward, “My kids don’t need to see a super mama. they need to see a mama who needs a Super God.”
    I’ve seen this somewhere before (most likely quoted from this!) and reading it again, reminds me how true it is.
    I need to be reminded a lot.

  • sarah davis

    Sarah Mae~
    Thank you for this blog entry…for your words and being open and vulnerable. I relate to every story in this book. Now, in the midst of a very trying and energetic 2 year old boy and trying to balance homeschooling with 6 and 8 year old girls, I often question what I’m doing and feel at my wits end most days. The words in this book bring encouragement and hope and I’m reading it with a group of close mom-friends. It is so lovely to know that we are not alone in our struggles as mothers.