Book Review, The Brave Art Of Motherhood Written By Rachel Marie Martin.
*Updated October 10, 2018* Adding all the links where The Brave Art Of Motherhood can be purchased.
During the month of August I received a message from Dan Morris asking if I would like to receive a free copy of Rachel Martin’s new book set to release later that fall. Rachel was offering her book before it even launched to some of her long time followers from her blog Finding Joy.
The only thing asked of me was my honest opinion and review, I was elated to help in anyway, shape or form I possibly could. What ended up starting as a simple book review and Facebook Group turned into a amazing little community that was a safe space amongst friendships with so many amazing woman, and men. All of us agree that this book is not only most definitely life changing, this book is a absolute must read, especially as a mother struggling with self doubt and her own insecurities.
After receiving the package with the book neatly packed inside, I started reading almost immediately. I have always been a huge fan of Rachel’s quotes and posts, there was just something about her words that I could always relate to, almost as if we were living the same life.
Her posts were my thoughts and fears just as if I had wrote the post myself. I always felt inspired after reading one of her many beautifully written blog posts and always shared her posts on my Facebook page as often as I could.
Most likely, you probably recognize Rachel from many of her highly popular blog posts in titled, “Dear Sweet Mother Who Feels Like She Is Failing” or “To The Mom In The Trenches Of Motherhood”. Rachel's words have always pulled at my heart strings, amongst millions of other woman all over the world who follow Rachel and can relate to her posts.
I realized almost immediately, after only a couple pages, that this book was different (In a good way oh coarse) from her extremely popular “ Dear Mom” blog posts we all came accustomed to love. And as I continued to read, I just knew this book would help so many woman who felt inadequate, helpless and alone in this journey throughout motherhood. Rachel pours her heart and soul out onto these pages, so real yet so vulnerably. She shares her struggles, fears, financial issues and insecurities beginning from her childhood to present day, as a single mother of 7.
She talks about giving into her insecurities after losing hope, hitting rock bottom, and letting the picture of the perfect mother distort her reality. The one thing I absolutely admire about Rachel, even though she is a big time writer, podcaster and world wide speaker, she is just like one of us. Rachel hasn’t let her success transform who she is or where she came from, she is just like her posts, real, authentic and genuine.
Don’t Pay Attention To The Mom Behind The Curtain.
Unfortunately, I can relate all to well to the many masks Rachel talks about in the first chapter. The various masks we wear in order to live up to society’s standards, or even the mother who is completely put together, who’s home is not only impeccably clean but can actually open her garage with ease, all while having multiple little ones at her feet. So then we feel that something must be wrong with us, we can’t even seem to get the dishes done. But as she also mentions, nothing is always as it seems to be.
She talks about the many masks she had to wear in order to cover up her own feelings of failure and embarrassment. The confident mom we all see on a regular basis, with the perfect husband and children, the beautiful home with the white picket fence. We think they must have this mom gig all figured out because we can’t even seem to even get a shower, let alone have a clean home.
Excuses are made and we proceed to hide the clutter and put on one of our various masks that we hide behind to feel as if we fit in.
I resonated with this because this was my life exactly. And I also try and hide the mess of my life behind various masks, afraid of what others may think of me.
After moving into a bigger home with a much bigger rent payment, along with the added tension and stress, that’s when my postpartum anxiety and depression skyrocketed.
Shortly upon moving into our current home, the anxiety and depression worsened. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough and just maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a mom and wife at all. I gave into fear and believed that I’d never be able to live up to the standards of society. I felt as if my children and husband were better off without me. I just wanted to disappear.
I had very little support throughout this season of my life and some even accused me of being on drugs, all while I was actually struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. No one understood that the postpartum was the reason for my constant agitation and insomnia or the fact that I was spending so much money on planners and planner stickers. Planning was my coping mechanism.
Looking back now, I do believe it was present during my pregnancy. At first I didn’t even realize the fact I was struggling, I thought that this was just now my reality, I have four kids. Unfortunately the reality was, I wasn’t OK. Being I have never experienced postpartum depression or anxiety with my 3 other children, I wasn’t really educated on this topic, and wasn’t no where near prepared for what was about to come.
I always found comfort in Rachel’s posts and can still remember reading them with tears streaming down my cheeks. Also this is when I found the amazing planner community, right before I started spiraling deeper into PPD. She also talks about the dots she wore that have hurt her to this present day. The dots of all the hurtful things someone said or had done to her. Even as a child, this kind of stuff does not leave your subconscious. You may forget for many, many years though eventually it comes to light, this was exactly what had happened to me,
One of my dots, one that messed me up for as long as I can remember, the 11 year old boy that lived in the duplexes my family and 1 lived in until I was 6 years old. This boy who had his sister lure me into the basement of the duplexes and shut the door behind me. She stood against the door so her brother could take my innocence, self respect and confidence away. I was only, at the most 5 years old.
I never knew what that boys name was or his sister for that matter. I may only vaguely remember what in fact he did to me, though one thing is certain, I will never forget the fear he instilled upon me that summer day or the dignity he took from me at such a young and innocent age. I actually thought it was all in my head for about 20 years, until I brought it up to my mom and she confirmed my thoughts.
She told me another mom of a girl who looked out for me came home and told her mom. My mom said that when this mother came to my home to let my mom know what he did to me, I was hiding in my bedroom closet. I was scared I would get in trouble, he made me believe that I in fact did something to deserve what fear and pain he left me with. He made me think it was all my fault what he had done, even at the young age of 5.
Lastly, this is why Rachel’s book is a must read for anyone out there feeling inadequate. She gave me my hope back and showed me change is possible, no matter how far it seems, and that there is no such thing as the perfect mom or family. But most crucially, she taught me to believe in myself again and go after dreams.
I am forever grateful to have found Rachel and Dan, and truthfully believe that people come into our lives for a reason, that these storms we go though in life, they actually pave the way to bigger and better things.
*Order her book directly from the Finding Joy website, amongst other neat items like coloring books, gift bundles, signed copies and so much more.
*Do You prefere listening, try Audible? Get a free credit for any book, The Brave Art Of Motherhood for instance! Get your free credit.
*Join the Finding Joy Facebook Group. Rachel has live events and giveaways going on right now!
I know you will absolutely love The Brave Art Of Motherhood like so many already do.
Comment below and let me know what you think of Rachel’s new book, The Brave Art Of Motherhood. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.