Many times we find things that seem to be working for our peers or friends as parents and we want to try them out to see if they want to work for us. Then, we find that those things don’t work for us with our personality, beliefs and way of parenting. We then feel inadequate when these parenting solutions don’t work for us. I can think of a million examples in my own life, and I bet that most of you can too. So, when I got the opportunity to review Hettie Brittz’s new book (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids, I was really enthused to get to take a look at the book, and knew that it would probably be very helpful for me in my parenting journey.
Hettie begins by confessing to some very unnatural parenting moments, and then moves on to the myths of what mothers are supposed to be. After all, we have to get the myths, such as the one about being an excellent housekeeper, out of the way before we can get to honesty in our parenting. Once these are expelled, Hettie begins to explain that temperament matters a whole lot in parenting, and invites you to take your own temperament test to be sorted into different kinds (or combinations) of types of trees. If you’re curious, my temperament is Box-Pine, and a little heavier on the Pine side.
The meat of the book chronicles the four types of moms (Boxwood, Palm, Rose, and Pine) through the eyes of one person’s example and experience as a mom. She does a “day in the life” walkthrough of that mom’s life, her views on the different stages of parenting and explains how that type of mom deals with nurturing, discipline, training and coping with life in general. She discusses some of the strengths and pitfalls of each temperament, pointers for living with a mom of that temperament, how they can step into more “supernatural” parenting and how this temperament reflects God’s heart.
After these chapters, Brittz devotes a chapter to moms of mixed temperaments and listing their basic personality traits. (Hubby says mine is spot-on!) The final chapter of the book is a call to supernatural motherhood with God at the center.
I really, really felt empowered by this book. I’ve read about temperaments and personalities before, but I’ve never felt like there was a tool that totally got me as a parent and my parenting style before. I also loved that Brittz uses the example of one mom for each of the four main chapters because I felt that, by focusing on her life, I could really picture what it would be like to live as a mom with that temperament. I think I understand why something like sleep training might have worked for another mom, and co-sleeping was a joy for me with each of my children. I understand better why some forms of discipline that work for other moms feel awful and icky to me.
I’ve been okay with my own style for a while, but occasionally gave into self-righteousness in my parenting style and felt like my way was for everyone. I feel a lot freer to give grace as a parent to other women who are different from me, and that’s the very best thing about this book for me. If you are looking to understand yourself as a parent or to give grace to moms who parent differently, this is a great read!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.