Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review – Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms, by Tami Kiser

Tami Kiser is a mom of nine children.  She knows what it means to be busy! 

The biblical story of Martha and Mary is one that resonates with a lot of Christian moms – how do we get all the Martha jobs done, and still have the heart of Mary?

This book was written to give mothers practical advice, ideas, and tips on how to be a “smart Martha” – a mother who, while taking care of her home and family, remembers that the best thing she can do for her family is to treat each child (and her husband) the same way Mary treated Jesus in the biblical account.  Mary sat with Jesus; she spent time focused on Him, listening to Him with her heart, not running around “worried and anxious about many things” as was Martha.

This really struck a chord with me, and has been something I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of years or so.  A group of mothers from my church get together every Monday morning to pray and spend time talking (bringing along our children to play), and we are called the “Mary and Martha” group. 

It’s a balancing act really, this being both Mary and Martha, and a mother must have her priorities clearly set before her in order to be at all successful in accomplishing what needs to be done while still listening to her family with her heart.

I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book!  Tami Kiser has a lot of practical tips to share, and she writes in a friendly, familiar way, with some great humor thrown in occasionally.

Many of her tips about organizing toys, and general housekeeping were either unrealistic for me or things I already do, but they were written well and I do think would benefit many mothers.  The author’s idea of how many toys are “a few” toys for each child was “a lot” of toys in my opinion; perhaps I was looking for a more simplify-and-minimize approach than she uses in her home.  This is fine, and I understand that each family must do what works for them; but this along with her feelings about children and video games and the use of other electronic media just aren’t my feelings and thus I didn’t get much out of these sections of the book.

I also hoped for more wisdom and guidance about balancing activities that provide spiritual nourishment with all the down-to-earth responsibilities.  I found that, while this was discussed a couple of times, the book was mostly about being as organized as possible to allow for more time, the idea being that this freed up time will allow one to be more of a Mary to her family.  This is fine, but personally I know that if I don’t have clear priorities laid out for me, extra time will simply be spent doing more “Martha” activities.
Overall I enjoyed the book.  I appreciated the writing style, which kept me engaged and interested, and I did learn quite a few useful things that I hope to implement into our routines and home life.

Thank you to The Catholic Company, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  The opinion stated is fully my own.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Smart Martha's Catholic Guide for Busy Moms . They are also a great source for first communion gifts and baptism gifts.

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