Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Professionalizing Motherhood:Encouraging, Educating, and Equipping Mothers At Home by Jill Savage

Reading to Know - Book Club

Book Description:
"Just a mom?" There’s no such thing. Motherhood isn’t a second-rate occupation. It is a career that can maximize your talents and strengths to their fullest. Look past the surface of mothering—the endless tasks and frantic pace—to the incredible skills required to raise your children while nurturing your marriage. The truth is clear: You’re a professional in one of the most dignified, demanding, and rewarding fields any woman can find. Upbeat, candid, and engaging, Professionalizing Motherhood will do more than help you radically redefine how you see yourself. It will guide you toward practical development as a career woman who specializes in the home. Jill Savage helps you determine a strategy and set goals for professional training and growth. From the foundational to the practical, you’ll learn about Establishing your mission Developing a network of "coworkers" Discovering your value in Christ How marriage and mothering work together Organizational and homemaking basics Taking care of your personal needs Professionalizing Motherhood casts a fresh and meaningful vision for mothering as a worthy career choice for this season of your life.
My thoughts:
When Carrie at Reading to Know posted her book club list Professionalizing Motherhood: Encouraging, Educating, and Equipping Mothers At Home by Jill Savage caught my eye. I had read My Heart's at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs (review) a couple of years ago and had really enjoyed it.

Professionalizing Motherhood covers the basics for a stay at home mom all the while focusing on how you can be a "professional" about it rather than feeling like you do nothing. It covers topics such as taking care of yourself, knowing your worth, placing your marriage first, being creative, organization, finding friends, and more.

I can honestly say that I didn't get much of this book. It felt like she was preaching to the choir. I couldn't decide if the information seemed dated or if it didn't pertain to me. I just couldn't connect with the book.

I haven't always been a stay-at-home mom and didn't start until I had my third child. I had dreaded the thought of it ("What was I going to do all day?!"), but God in his wisdom began to deal with my heart and to change it. I also didn't feel like I had a career either. I worked as a church secretary and later as a teacher/secretary in a Christian school. My kids were on the grounds with me, but not actually with me.

Within a year of being home I added homeschooling to the mix (which brings a whole new set of dynamics to the picture!) In the first four years of being a stay-at-home mom I didn't even have my own vehicle at home. The only way to get out of the house was to walk, and my kids and I took plenty of walks to the library or park. Now don't get me wrong I have had my moments (and still do), but it was nothing that a short trip out of the house (thanks to my husband) didn't cure.

I don't know if I ever really struggled with feeling like I had done nothing all day or with the need to connect to other moms. I did know that being home with my kids was what God wanted me to do!

I had to ask myself if it is really possible to "professionalize motherhood?" No, I don't think so, not without adding an additional burden on yourself to meet unrealistic expectations. (I'm sure that author isn't meaning it quite in that context, but it can cause confusion.) You may not receive accolades in the paper or in front of people, and no, you may not be having a lunch with another adult for years, but when your child looks at you and thinks you hung the moon and your her/his "bestest friend" you see what really matters.

Being home with my kids is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Many days I feel like a failure, but I know that ultimately I'm doing what God called me to do.

If you are looking for a good book about being a stay-at-home mom I do highly recommend In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (review). It does not have the Christian emphasis per se, but it is filled with very practical, no-nonsense, and supportive advice.


  1. Hey Beth!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I'm sort of left with the opinion that this book is useful to moms who haven't had a history with this. It wouldn't be the one I'd recommend and I like how you offered a recommendation that you like better. (There are certainly that I like better than this one.)

    I still dislike the idea of saying that we're making ourselves "professional moms." I think you might have explained it better than I. I think the term creates confusion. It just doesn't seen right. That doesn't make the whole book BAD - and I didn't think it was - I just didn't connect to it either.

    Anyway, this has been very interesting and it was neat to hear more of your background and, in a way, get to know you better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I didn't even try to read this one because I feel like I've already "been there, done that" over and over and over again since I started this gig over eight years ago. However, I like reading Dr. Laura Schlessinger's books, so I might look up your other recommended title! :-)



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