{Why} Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy Book Review

Motherhood Matters

by Heather Bock

“Motherhood may disappoint you if you are unsure of your purpose,” writes September McCarthy in her book {Why} Motherhood Matters (p. 10). As I mother my three children, ages 9, 7, and 5, my life has grown busier and busier amid soccer games, gymnastics practices, birthday parties, and chess tournaments. I homeschool my kids, so add on top of that math, science, history, writing, spelling, Latin, Spanish, etc., etc. I know I’m not alone in feeling busy as a mother, and through it all, it is easy for us moms to forget our purpose, if we had ever had one in the first place.

Reading this book allowed me to step back for a little bit and think about my purpose as a mom–remembering to be proactive instead of reactive. As McCarthy states, “the habit of mothering with the future in mind gives us a head start on our reactions to the moments” (p. 195). I know I need to teach my kids the reasons behind why I want them to be kind to each other, but in the moment, I can easily just separate the two offenders and after the consequences, just let it go. This book reminds me I have to go beyond that.

{Why} Motherhood Matters is full of wisdom for mothers on many different topics. My one hesitation with this book is that it is a little too full of wisdom, which can be overwhelming, especially as I think about all the ways I can improve. McCarthy realizes this and even addresses it after part two, encouraging us with, “you can do this. You can finish strong what God began, even if you feel zero strength, creativity, or fortitude to carry on” (p. 129).

She addresses a variety of topics, such as comparing will kill your passion, loving your spouse more than your kids, praying for our kids, saying no to our children, and raising children with faith. The two that stand out the most to me are memorizing Scripture and recognizing the individuality of your children.

My children do memorize a good chunk of Scripture every year through our homeschool community. I sort of had it in my mind that I could check that one off the list. McCarthy helps me see it differently, in a way that I think will be a big help in my parenting if I follow the advice well.

She realized when her first son was young that he had some issues that needed to be addressed (like we all do). She decided to help him memorize some Scripture that directly related to the issue and then when he did the wrong, she would bring it out in love. In time (but while he was still five years old), she was able to ask him what verse applied to what he was doing, and he could pull it out. He even applied the Scripture to his mom’s problem one day. How much more would my nine year-old son be able to do this if I taught him this way? The only problem I see in this method is if I pull Scripture out and use it as a stick with which to beat my kids over the head. I can imagine me using it in a way to produce a guilt trip. I would have to guard strongly against that tendency in me.

The second topic that was especially helpful to me was a reminder that each of my kids are unique and need to be parented differently. If McCarthy, who is doing this with ten children, can practice this well, surely I can handle it with God’s help and only three children. I must remember that my daughter needs me to sit and listen to her to feel loved. She loves it when I give her a little note or gift. This fills her emotional cup. I believe both my sons especially need a hug–usually more like a wrestle–and I think my oldest needs words of affirmation. I need to be sure of this and take the time to love each of them well as individuals.

If you’re looking for a general parenting book to help you regain your vision as a mother in many areas, this would be a good book for you.

Book Giveaway

I haven’t done a book giveaway in a while, but I have one today! If this book sounded interesting to you, or if you have a friend who might enjoy this, you can enter my giveaway by subscribing to my blog:

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I will announce the winner on Saturday, September 23, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!


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