Thursday, March 15, 2007

Danielle Bean's new book

I just finished Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living by Danielle Bean. Fans of Danielle's blog will undoubtedly be eager to absorb more of her wisdom and good humor. This book is aimed especially at younger moms who are overwhelmed and still trying to figure out how to work out a lot of the details of smoothly running their homes (and lives). I found it "light", but inspiring; helpful, but not preachy. Sure there are things I do differently in my home than she does. But that's not a problem - that's exactly the point!
In the end, I've rejected all the expert parenting philosophies. This isn't because there's anything particularly bad about any of them. Experience has simply led me to employ a different parenting philosophy in their place: my own. I call mine Do What Works Best for your Family.
Something about the book reminds me of one of my favorite quotes - practically my motto for homeschooling "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." (St. Francis of Assisi). Danielle lays out a lot of simple ideas for handling the necessary (like prioritizing housekeeping needs and avoiding mom-guilt) and the possible (like suggestions for simple monthly celebrations relating to the liturgical year - a nice simple starting point, including recipes) that end up adding up to more than we ever dreamed - and are part of - particularly from the outside - what looks impossible to moms who are overwhelmed with their two or three young children.

I'm working on a more detailed review for Heart and Mind Magazine, but wanted to jot some notes down here first.


Danielle said...

Thanks for your review Alicia!

Mary B said...

I ordered her book for my sister but read it first. I was thrilled! Yes I'd seen many of the ideas on her blog but this is not just a logical collection of those ideas. It is packaged to allow the 'experienced' mom to connect with the younger mom. I'll be getting copies to pass around.