JoyWorthy-Cover-2-201x300Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Mothers everywhere know that raising children is often considered the most important vocation of their lives. They may not be ready for the self-sacrifices that come with children, but they will find out that every mom is a secret martyr, because they usually put their children first without thinking about the fact that their own needs will not be met in the mix. New mothers find out – often too late – that there is not enough time to do it all: taking care of the children and the spouse, the pets, helping with school homework, planning play dates, keeping up with the extended family, ailing and elderly parents and anyone else demanding a mother’s time and attention.

Mothers need gentle reminding that it is critical that they take care of themselves first to be 100% ready to meet the challenges of their jobs (both inside and outside of the home). Similar to an airplane losing cabin pressure where passengers are told to put their own masks on first and then to assist others, mothers need to know how important it is to place their own needs at the top of the list to be available for the needs of the family. Joy-Worthy: A Mother’s Guide to More Joy, Less Stress and No Guilt gives real and important advice to women on how to manage family obligations, find self-contentment and develop a renewed energy for life by putting yourself first as a mom.

The book includes eleven chapters that discuss family life, self confidence, discovering and making time for your own goals, overcoming stress, managing children’s needs, finding your passion and alleviating guilty feelings that most mothers have when they have never put themselves first in their own lives. In the typical family dynamic, the role of mother as nurturer is obvious, common and expected, but the role of a confident woman is often left behind the door once a woman becomes a mother. The author uses her personal life lessons, inspirational quotes, journal entry ideas, highlights and cut-outs for ideas to develop a new and joyful attitude towards motherhood, and to provide coping skills, strength markers, lessons in developing worthiness and much more to help moms find ways to remain deeply engaged in life, take care of the family and continue to grow as a person.

Mom-guilt is dealt with in the book with lessons from other moms who took the time to battle old feelings from childhood, and expand their minds to a new perspective of letting go of guilt and replacing it with pleasure for life. I like the idea of a self-care list and have included this in my weekly list of what needs to be completed for the family at my own home. I would recommend this book for new moms, single women getting married who are thinking of having or adopting children later on, or for anyone interested in the topic of helping mothers find their special place with the family unit again.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Kelley and Hall Publicity. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.