Mothering From Scratch

Mothering From Scratch - Parenting Like HannahIsn’t it interesting one of, if not the most important job in the world comes with little or no training? For all of the jokes of a “Mom manual”, there really isn’t one official training program to help new moms. So, we take the few classes suggested by our ob/gyn and read one of those “What to Expect” books. Really proactive (or possibly neurotic in my case) parents may even read a book on Christian parenting. Then that precious little one appears on the scene.

Funny how our daughter must not have read the parenting book whose authors were convinced she would love napping from the beginning. Google (okay she was slightly pre-Google) couldn’t explain why our precious infant insisted on screaming bloody murder at the same time. Every night. For weeks on end. Even the most prepared parent feels off kilter for a great bit of the parenting journey.

Which was why I was interested when asked to review a brand new book called Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo. The authors do a wonderful job of covering a lot of topics many parenting books skip entirely. Whether it is acknowledging your personality type as a part of parenting , scheduling your dream fulfillment or examining your priorities and your own mother’s parenting, the authors cover a lot of new ground.

I’m not exactly sure how they accomplish it, but this book is soothing. The authors are writing in part to moms who feel as if they are somehow “messing up” as parents. Really though, their advice would help any mom on her journey. The chapters are filled with personal stories of lessons learned the hard way, prayers, thought questions and challenges. Attempting to accomplish so many things in each chapter can often feel disjointed and abrupt. The layout in this book, however, is smooth, yet not so smooth you can ignore their questions and challenges.

Perhaps my favorite chapter in the book addresses the idea of a mother accomplishing her dreams while parenting. The chapter could (and still may for some) be a source of strong disagreement – especially with full-time, working moms. As with the other chapters though, the authors handle the topic with grace, humor and understanding. At the same time, they are able to hold mothers accountable for putting their priorities in a godly order.

My only complaints about the book are so minor, they mostly aren’t worth mentioning. The only one I would suggest re-thinking is the Bible reading plan one of authors suggests. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with it (as far as I can tell), I would not think it as exciting as the author does that I managed to read twenty-nine books of the Bible over the course of a three year period. Granted, there were probably years when my daughter was young that reading twenty-nine verses of the Bible was probably all I managed – I just wasn’t particularly excited about it. There are much better and even more personally tailored Bible reading plans available through many of the bible apps you can get for free online.

If you want to examine your parenting in a new light or re-set your parenting in some way, I would highly suggest reading this book. The authors provide some excellent thought questions and some practical challenges for each topic. They also do one of the better jobs I have seen at advising moms how to find a parenting mentor – in my mind an essential for all moms (I still have more than a half dozen even though my daughter is in college.) If nothing else, the book will provide some great discussion topics for you to have with your fellow moms while waiting for practice to end!


This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. There is an affiliate link in this post which costs you nothing to click. It is provided for your convenience. Clicking may result in a small contribution from the vendor to help support this blog.

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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