Developing Empathy for Other Moms

developing Empathy for Other Moms - Parenting Like HannahBeing a mom is a challenging job. There usually isn’t a training program or quarterly reviews. You may get an occasional complement on how well your children behave, but it’s usually two seconds before they have a melt down in public. On good days, it’s easy enough to convince yourself you are better than average and on your bad days, you probably feel like you belong in some secret mother Hall of Shame.

Sometimes, it helps to step out of your own parenting journey for a bit and walk in another mother’s shoes. It can give you perspective, hope or maybe just the peace of realizing every mother struggles from time to time. Life may provide you opportunities to interact with other moms and hear their stories. For others, your best chance is to read a book written by another mom.

I was interested when given the chance to review Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love by Sarah Marshall Perry. Perry, a mom of three children has her hands full. From having her own autoimmune disease to raising three children – two of whom have a host of disabilities – to dealing with the serious illnesses of her extended family, Perry has had a motherhood journey that would bring many of us to our knees.

The great thing about Perry’s book is that she is honest about how stressful her life has been. There isn’t an attempt to sugarcoat things or make readers believe that faith and prayer will somehow magically “cure” all of life’s problems. In fact, she reminds readers the “God won’t give you more than you can handle” saying isn’t in the Bible at all, but is a misquote of a totally different concept. Life can give you more than you can handle. The difference is the Christian has hope and strength in God.

If you are struggling in your parenting journey or want to develop more empathy for other mothers, you may appreciate Perry sharing her story. Personally, I was a tad disappointed. I guess I expected more helpful tips or perhaps she was someone who was able to find humor in almost any situation. Although there were some general ideas of faith, strength and humor, the book is more of a recounting of everything that has happened on her journey. While it was interesting, it wasn’t riveting. Her insights, while helpful, didn’t feel particularly insightful or life-changing.

If you are struggling in your parenting journey or want to develop empathy for other moms, this book may do the trick. While I appreciate the courage it took to share her story, I think ultimately Perry might have shared more specific advice or tips to make the book more helpful, but sometimes the best help comes from knowing you’re not alone.


This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included in the post for your convenience.


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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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