I’m usually very open about our story as a blended family. That’s actually one of the reasons why I blog – to share our story (or at least parts of it). However, one of the things that frustrates me is the fact that I don’t really know a lot of other blended families.
Most of the time, I don’t really have a lot of people to talk to about the ups and downs we face. The blended families I know aren’t so open about their experiences, which is not really surprising because in this part of the world (where there is no divorce and so many are still very conservative), blended families, although not exactly taboo, are rarely talked about.
So, when I saw this book, The Blended Family Mom, being promoted on my Facebook news feed, I immediately clicked on it to find out what it’s all about. I thought that maybe this book could help me deal as a blended family mom.
Truth be told, I received a copy of the book from its author, Kristie Carpenter, way back in February. I had all intentions to finish reading it so that I can blog about it a week after. However, it took me a while to write this review, not because the book was hard to read but because it really makes you stop and reflect, given that it is an interactive and devotional book. Let me explain further.
The book is divided into several chapters or “Weeks”. In the words of the author, each week is divided into the following:
“Day 1’s are the devotional part of the week, including Scripture, a short story and then a written prayer to guide you in your prayer time.
Day 2’s are the Scripture memory days. Write them on note cards and place on your bathroom mirrors, refrigerators, or wherever. Encourage the kids to learn these with you.
Day 3’s are usually planning and preparing days for an upcoming activity with your family.
Day 4’s are to implement the activity you planned and prepared for.
Day 5’s are to take a minute to sit and jot down your thoughts about the week and the outcome of the week’s activity.”
Now that might sound like a lot but it really isn’t. Each chapter or week is only about two to three pages long. Since this is an interactive and devotional book, it really encourages you to apply whatever you read to your life. Thus, this is why I said it took me a while to read it.
As a blended mom myself, I found myself pondering about our life with every chapter I read and that made it hard for me to move on to the next chapter without having gone through the activities mentioned (but I’ll have time to do that next time when I really get to apply the teachings from the book on a week to week basis). I’ll tell you this, there are certain parts of the book that made me quite emotional. All that time, I was thinking, “Yes! Someone understands. I am not alone.” It was really quite a validation of my thoughts and feelings about my role in our family. It also made me feel better that what our family is going through is actually quite normal for a blended family.
Let me share with you some of my favorite quotes from the book.
“Remember, there will always be more ‘stuff’ to do, but our kids are only under our ‘wings’ for a short time. So, Mother Hen, go tend to your ‘chicks’.”
“As parents, we see the world in black and white. Our kids, when placed into a blended family, see a lot of gray. It is our job to sow generously into their lives to help them see the love and security of their new family. And remember, once you have sown a seed, it doesn’t stop there; watering, fertilizing, pruning…and then the harvest!”
“As a mom, you are responsible for so much. Your responsibilities just multiplied when you became part of a blended family.”
“Live well, laugh often, love much.”
This book can prove to be helpful for blended families as it makes you really think about what works and what doesn’t in your family and gives you suggestions on how to improve them. However, I believe that it can work for traditional families as well. Traditional families will be able to relate to and benefit from many of the issues, reflections and activities discussed. After all, like I always say blended families are just like any other family, except that we have to deal with “extra” stuff.
If you’re not a Christian though, I don’t think you’d be able to appreciate the Bible verses much. But if you look beyond the verses and focus on the core values, I think you’d still be able to relate.
I really think this book has the power to make ones family (blended or otherwise) better. Although, for it to be able to work, I believe that you and your family have to really be open and willing to explore the suggestions from the book. It might take some convincing for some people in your family but, just like what Kristie says, it really takes time and effort. It’s not an impossible task though.
Overall, this is a great read for both blended and traditional moms.
Want to win a copy of The Blended Family Mom?
Kristie wants a lot of families to benefit from reading her book. So, she’s sponsoring five (5) copies to giveaway to my loyal followers. The winners get to choose whether they want to receive the paperback from Kristie or a Kindle/Nook copy for download. Shipping will be handled by Kristie Carpenter herself.
This giveaway is open from April 3 – 9, 2014 to Philippine residents with a valid Philippine address. Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway