MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family
by Jennifer Grant
In January of this year, my oldest daughter asked me if I had made any New Year’s resolutions. “Nope,” I said, “Do you have any suggestions?”
“Play more video games,” she said seriously.
It was a sign to me that while I’m a scheduled mom, a caring mom, a disciplined mom, an attentive mom, an involved mom, and probably a hovering mom . . . I’m not really a fun mom. I’m never the mom making spontaneous trips to the beach or letting her kids eat ice cream for dinner or playing Nerf gun wars or dancing in the rain with her kids or all the wild and crazy things that fun moms do.
I’d say that Jennifer Grant is a fun mom, which makes her so very different from me. She’s different in other ways, too. In fact, we probably have totally different Mom Styles.
But the great thing about this book is that it isn’t a parenting manual or a mom’s guide to practical child-rearing. It isn’t going to teach you how to discipline, how to get your newborn to sleep, how to get your toddler to eat, or how to get your teen to respect you.
It’s more about encouragement. She basically tells you that it’s okay to parent differently than other moms. It’s okay to show yourself a little grace and not take things too seriously all the time. It’s okay to be a little “selfish” at times, taking time for your own needs and your adult friendships.
It’s self-described as a “memoir” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s Jennifer Grant’s personal stories of life as a mom to four kids. There were some chapters that were significantly shorter than others with ideas that weren’t quite as developed and sounded more like a blog and less like a book. This is fun and easy reading, but you could have gotten it from say . . . . a blog. While it might have been difficult to choose to remove those chapters completely (who wants to take out some of your own favorite stories??), it probably would have helped the consistency of the book’s flow.
In the back of the book, she includes a page with a “Prayer To Tear Out of This Book.” It’s from the Book of Common Prayer and it’s worth tearing out and praying and memorizing. Not being from the same ecumenical background as Grant, I’d never read the prayer before. Even if you skip through the book unaffected by her stories and grace-filled Mom advice, this powerful prayer will hopefully make you pause, reflect, and pray and what mom doesn’t need that?
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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About the Author
Jennifer Grant is mother to four children and author of Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter (2011). For more than a decade she wrote for papers in the Sun-Times newsgroup. Currently she freelances for the Chicago Tribune and is a regular contributor to her.meneutics, Christianity Today magazine’s blog for women. Grant is a Wheaton College graduate who received her master’s in English and Creative Writing from Southern Methodist University. She lives outside of Chicago, IL.