I’ve just read the The Sixty Minute Mother by Rob and Dianne Parsons. It’s a book, it seems I’ve been aware of for ever, since before I was ever a mother. I thought it fell into the category of books promising to change your whole life by 5 minutes here or there, or parenting books which make you feel a total and utter failure because your baby doesn’t fit neatly into what they “should do”(e.g get your children really calm before bed so they drift of easily, I tried this it resulted in insomnia, Rich would wind them up into a frenzy of giggles and tickles and they went out like a light, go figure). This book appeared in our Churches second hand book stall, I thought I would give it a try, I’d heard great things about the authors and figured if it was one of “those” types of books I could just donate it back. I actually bought it along with several other charity shop books for Rich to give me for christmas. He wrapped them up individually and I am unwrapping them as I come to read them, not sure whats going to great me next, I love it.
I discovered that the Sixty Minute bit means you can read it in 1 hour, I lent it to a friend she finished it in one sitting, she sent me a photo of it ..
This book, true to the cover legend, made me laugh out loud and sob, it is brilliant and I recommend it to anyone. It is so full of truth, reality and encouragement. It espouses acknowledging your parenting lows as well a your parenting highs, something which I think our local community is particularly good at. As you may have guessed by the cover it is not a new book, it was written in 2000. Before the perfectly curated pinterest, Facebook and instagram generation*. We need the message of its ok, even more now, life isn’t perfect, its full of beautiful moments but it’s not beautiful all the time. I love the photos people occasionally post of the other side of the room or the carefully cropped out mess of daily life. We need this, we need to know we are not alone. That is not to negate the achievements, beauty, time effort and pure art in the curated photos, but the acknowledgement that this is not all. Our mainly well-behaved children do kick, scream and punch, they don’t always speak politely. Yes my 2 year old did tell me to “get the f*** out of her life” and used it in context, I blame the teenagers Rich was working with at the time but, who knows where and how she picked that up and if that happens at 2…..We don’t know what is round the corner and I can’t be the only mum who is actually relieved when another child misbehaves. Its normal and its ok.
Parenthood is hard whatever guise it takes, it’s also beautiful amazing and rewarding. Motherhood does come with guilt attached whatever we do will never be enough or right for everyone. We simply have forge our own paths with love, encouragement, acknowledgment of mistakes and totally leaning into Gods everlasting arms. If you don’t know God and those arms I respect you even more and am even more baffled at how you keep going. Jesus is what holds me up keeps me going and glues this family together, through everything.
PS if anyone wants to borrow it let me know
*For those who are interested, Facebook was founded in 2004 instagram and pinterest both started in 2010, as a side note the first blogging platforms were set up in 1999.