As I began to work on this review, the thought came to mind that the title of the book was just a bit much...but it is so reflective of the author, don't you think?! No, you may not know her or ever meet her, but you do know one thing...this woman is happy and excited about being a mother!
On the other hand, I've often said that God knew what He was doing in not having me become a mother...
And there you have it...each woman, especially in these days of dual-career marriages (a phrase that started back in the 80's I believe) has a decision that only she can make...do I attend college and have a career, do I get married and become a mother, or do I do both. Many in the 80's believed that it was quite possible to have a successful career as well as taking care of home and children. And Donna Scrima-Black was one of those women--at first...
The truth is, it is extremely hard, if not impossible to be Mommy Best and also have a fulfilling, demanding career. "It took time for me to finally learn, despite all my career aspirations and the time I invested in achieving them, taking care of my son, was of Greatest Value to me..." (p. 15)
Of course, one of the major problems in becoming a full-time Mother is the financial stability of family--is it possible for the new mother not to return to her career immediately after birth of her child? For Derek's parents, there was a greater consideration. Derek had received a head surgery during the birthing activity, so this created an even greater burden on the parents' decision.
What is key to this book, although it shares a truly personal inside story of one family's life, Mommy Best has been created in a self-help format. Scrima-Black does not attempt to force her decisions onto other mothers. As all good writers do, she highlights the issue clearly--"there's no right or wrong way if you genuinely care for your child. It's critical to follow your heart in making the decision!" [to go back to work]. (p.16)
After an issue has been highlighted, then Donna shares her own story and thoughts. Main thoughts are spotlighted and then at the end of the chapter, there is space for the reader to jot down notes/reflections on what she has read.
One of the spotlighted items was one that hit home--an important one for women who have been in a top-level career but decide to stay home with the children. "You need to recognize that others...may have a difficult time..." (p. 24) Some women are concerned that it will be a problem to other women. Some women are single and have no comparison of the new relationship a mother now has... When I was in a leadership role, with mothers working under me...frankly I couldn't understand how they could "do it all!" I was performing at my best and expected my employees to do the same--how could they also take care of children and a home?
The other purpose of the book is to help women to consider writing/journaling their own "memoirs" as a new mother. This is a wonderful idea for many and the book does an excellent job in assisting women in how to bring thoughts into focus and shared in a logical, coordinated fashion.
Now, let me tell you that this book was first reviewed by Kevin (Dad), Derek (Son 12) and Dylan (Son almost 11). Since they have had direct experience of how Donna Scrima-Black has performed as Mommy Best, I'll let their high recommendations speak for that part. I believe as a self-help book for both life choices and memoir writing, this is an excellent, fun and easy book that will lead readers through the paces and importance of decisions related to becoming and being a mother! Kudos to this family for sharing so openly!
Book Received Via Facebook Reviewers Roundup
G. A. Bixler
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Glenda Ann Bixler (gabixler)
After a life-long career in university administration, I retired early and became a partner in an online review site. But then I officially retired and now keep my activities mostly to my blog, Facebook, … more
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How do each of us achieve our MommyBest? Mothers today continue to face the conundrum when answering the question: What do I really want now that I'm a mom? Choices of pursuing career ambitions and creating a happy family life abound. MommyBest uniquely shares heartfelt mommy lessons, followed by poignant memoirs, sprinkled with parenting pragmatics. MommyBest's unique format allows readers to record their own responses to these magical motherhood moments. These Reflections can later be a springboard for creating a personal family memoir, something to cherish as a keepsake always!