Author: Katrina Kenison
Katrina Kenison is a mother of two sons. Over the course of a year, when her sons were ages nine and six, she wrote down her reflections on trying to live life simply, at a slower rhythm. The result is a wonderful collection of thoughts, stories and suggestions for enjoying motherhood, moment by moment.
Parts I Liked Best:
I noticed that much of the author’s conclusions were based on the somewhat paradoxical value of absence. By this I mean the joy and fulfillment that can come from not having something. For example, not having:
- Noise: While living in a fast-paced, sensory-drenched society can be stressful for adults, it can be even more so for children, who are so easily influenced by what goes on around them. “The simplest, most effective way to enrich family life is to return quiet to our homes” (pg 30). This doesn’t mean that we live in absolute silence; it means that we are very particular about what noise enters our house.
- TV: In keeping with the above, the author eliminated tv from her home. I would love to do this, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough! In the book, she talks about how eliminating the media’s influence in her home gave more opportunities for her family to spend time together and shape their own values.
- Too Much Structure: “Much of the structure that we impose on our children’s lives is really intended to make our own lives easier” (pg 45). I could see the author’s point of view: sometimes it’s easier to have our children signed up and scheduled for activities rather than let them have free time that we have to monitor or make up our own activities for. But children need time to be dream, explore, and even be bored. Even our homes and landscapes are pretty structured and organized. Children need a “secret” space in the home, empty of possessions, or a “wild”, un-landscaped piece of backyard or park to make their own. We all need time to experience the rythms of nature which can soothe and calm our minds.
However we choose to simplify and slow down, the author encourages us to aim for progress and not perfection. The book quotes Voltiare who said, “The best is the enemy of the good”: “When the focus is on nurturing, everyday moments become significant and infused with love and meaning” (pg 131).
How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother (or why I just really liked it):
Through the author’s beautiful writing and short vignettes, I was able to see the wonder and beauty in the everyday moments of my own life. This book reminded me to make a conscious effort to slow down and notice the small things. I think one of the most powerful concepts from the book is one that ties in perfectly with the aim of The Power of Moms: Deliberate mothering brings us more joy. To end, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
“The more consciousness I was willing to bring to [motherhood], the more meaningful this role became. Shaping and protecting our family space, celebrating birthdays and holidays, setting a mood around the dinner table, cultivating an atmosphere in our home, painting and baking and storytelling with my sons, simply attending to the details of our lives together—these and countless other activities both large and small came to represent opportunities for deeper attention, work and growth.” (pg 156)
The Power of Moms is an Amazon Affiliate. If you link to and purchase a book we recommend on Amazon’s website, we will receive a small commission. However, we only make honest endorsements on products we know and use ourselves. Thanks for your support!