Tuesday, January 24

Book Review

Loving the Little years: Motherhood in theTrenches by Rachel Jankovic was sent to me by Canon Press to read, with no obligation regarding the review.

The author if this book has small children all under kindergarten age, living in the trenches of motherhood of which she is writing. I appreciate that the the author admits motherhood is not easy for her and it should be known that this is the perspective from which she writes. When then author writes that it is her problem that there are so many kids and not her kids fault (ch. 10, pg. 49) it bothers me because no children need to hear that they are a problem. I appreciated her encouragement to watch out for our kids souls and take time to know them but then found myself frustrated when she wrote that organization often comes with "neglect and hurt" on the part of the children (ch. 10, pg 51). These two need not be mutually exclusive.

All in all, this was one of my least favorite mothering/parenting books but perhaps it would be helpful to mothers deep in the trenches and finding it hard to catch their breath. I'd recommend The Mission of Motherhood and The Ministry of Motherhood over this book.


Chelsea said...

I wish I had seen your review of this book before I ordered it, I have yet to start reading it. I was wondering why you like the other two books and what your perspective on mothering is? I have a 2 year old, one due in a couple months, 2 miscarriages in between, and both my husband and I have medical conditions - so we are definitely "in the trenches". My husband keeps saying that we won't have things under control until we are organized. I take it from your review that the author of this book disagrees? How do you find a balance in your family between focus on the children and "getting things done" or being a good housekeeper? I have been reading your blog for quite some time and have really enjoyed it. My husband and I hope one day to be able to homestead too.

Me said...

Hello, Chelsea! Well, don't write off the book entirely just because it wasn't a favorite of mine. :) I should do a review of the other two books because they are sooo good. I suppose the short of it is that they are much meatier and substantial books on mothering, with more grace and love smooshed into the reading.
I don't know that things will ever be under "control" here, (smile) but there is organized chaos with six kids. There is a rythmn and pattern to our days: chore lists, menu planning, day scheduling, and so on help our days to not be an unorganized mess. I believe this helps our children feel secure and safe, to have organization, know what to expect when, how things work, where things are.... We find balance in this by working together as a family. Our three yr old can put away the silverware, wash down the table, fold dishtowels - so I say this to say we start them young :).Even the baby sits with me and throws socks while I fold laundry and the kids are lined up down the hall near me as I fold working on spelling lessons.
I hope this helps answer your questions, but if there's something further I can expound on, just hollar. I do hope you like the book and find it an encouragement.

Corrie said...

There is not a ton of meatiness in that book, that's true. But it made me laugh and had several great word pictures and thoughts. And when she said it was her "problem" that she had so many kids, I don't think she meant it like a real problem, just that we shouldn't take our choices out on our kids because there are a lot of them. Anyway, I liked the book - just don't expect a lot of theology or philosophy.

Chelsea said...

Thanks, Hannah! I am striving after that "organic" form of child-rearing where the children are very involved in the day to day life (I love the idea of spelling words while folding laundry!). I guess it looks a little different for me as my oldest is 2. He does have chores - helping to feed the dog, putting his clothes in the hamper, just starting to help clear the table, etc. I guess I need to be careful about comparing myself to others. It takes so much time right now to have the children involved as he needs so much supervision and it slowes me down, but I know in another couple of years it will all pay off.
Thank you for doing the posts on what you wear, I am absolutely loving them! Sometimes motherhood can feel so frumpy, especially maternity wear. It's nice to see a mom with more than a child or two take the time to dress nicely and modestly without looking frumpy.

Joyful Mama said...

Thank you for this honest review. I love the other two books as well. We parent in "closeness" as well. I have 11 children and they were all brought up, or are being brought up, to work alongside me.
New reader here...enjoying it.