I've got a small list of books I often give as bridal and baby gifts, and I'll be adding If Mama Ain't Happy: Why Minding Healthy Boundaries is Good for Your Whole Family, to the rotation. This book is well-written and practical. I was new to the writing of Rachel Norman, founder of "A Mother Farm From Home," but I've found her online after reading this book.
It was the everyday challenges of life that taught Norman the importance of putting some consistent boundaries in place. As a Christian mom, she shares a lot of ideas from the perspective of faith. After having five kids in five years, and living abroad, she knew they would need set daily routines to function in a healthy way. When she heard the words, breast cancer, time slowed down and she realized it wasn't just a good idea to put boundaries in place, it was vital for emotional and mental health with the entire family. Everyone in her world benefited from the healthy changes she made.
So Norman writes from a lot of experience. She's qualified to share what she's learned. We all have to learn boundaries, though, as life throws various challenges our way. Here are the areas where the author instructs us to: Mind Your Own...
Rules - consistent and uniquely your own, known to everyone in the household.
Standards - this is tied more to your values, which comes from a Christian perspective for the author. PS You don't get your standards from TikTok.
Friends - Real life people who you can be real with. This section offered some good boundaries for phones and social media.
Emotions - Think healthy. Feeling with your emotions, and dealing with them in a way that fosters growth as a person.
Daily Care - Focus on rest, overall care of your body, and identifying pick-me-ups that keep you energized.
Responsibilities - Owning where you are in life, and the part you've played (and the role you haven't) in being here. Focus on the things you can change to create better boundaries.
Home - Most of us share a home, so considering the personalities involved, and what you as a mama need to keep things in order.
Life - A good chapter on contentment and finding hope in the future.
This book has valuable advice for a woman in any stage of life, but the reason I think of gifting it for showers in particular, is the benefit of learning this wisdom from someone at the beginning of a journey would be invaluable.
Here are a few quotes I appreciated:
"If we loved all our neighbors as we love ourselves, we would be the most hated women on the block."
"Women who are overcommitted, overburdened, and miserable are not more noble or more spiritual."
"Only you know what simplifying your life will look like for your family."
Again, here's where you can order the book: A Mother Far From Home website
You can also enter to win a copy of If Mama Ain't Happy here. One winner will be selected on October 25, 2022.