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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mama's Got a Fake I.D. by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira (Book Review)

Title: Mama's Got a Fake I.D.
Author: Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Available: Now
ISBN-13: 9781400074938
Genre: Christian Living/Women

This ARC was provided to me by Staci at Waterbrook Multnomah for Mother's Day Tour! Thanks Staci!

First Sentence: Motherhood changes you.


How many moms out there can say that after they had children they did not lose some part of their identity. I would guess not many. Even though I worked after my first two children were born, the assumption was that since I was a mom, I must "have" to work - because why would I leave my kids in daycare if I didn't have to. I had never considered not working before or after my kids were born - I enjoyed my job and had always felt like I would be doing something in the working world. But even though I didn't quit my job, I did sacrifice other areas of my life. I didn't read a book for years, didn't cross stitch, and stopped playing the piano. I am not saying that some of this was not my fault, but I don't think that other people in my life helped me to not "lose" this part of me.

As I got older and had my third child, I did quit working and choose to stay at home with him. Now the assumptions became that I was only a stay at home mom. What happened to the mom who could manage a department? Who actually had adult conversations (ok, there is some argument as to whether they were actual "adult conversations" there) for 9 hours every day. Who had men and women friends who didn't know anything about my kids? What happened to the girl who was going to be a doctor/psychiatrist/social worker way back when?

Rosalie wrote,"I look at it this way: [We need to] keep casting our nets out there, seeking to find ways our gifts can be used that [are] fulfilling. I feel God hems us in at times for his own purposes. He uses our children and their needs to hem us in; he uses our husbands' conflicting schedules; he uses job application rejection. I just pray that I fulfill what it is he wants me to do within the hedge he has erected, and I pray that some day he will free me for more personal fulfillment beyond the precious role of mother." p 148

With this third child I finally began to realize all the parts of me that were no longer "present". That is what this book is about. How do we get back to who we were meant to be - without sacrificing our family - but at the same time not sacrificing ourselves for our family. God made us to be so much more than moms. Especially with all the technology of today, many of the things that wives and mothers had to do can now be done quicker or bought, etc - so how can we fulfill our roles in today's society to full capacity.

While we may at times feel discontent with our role or abilities as mothers in general - or if we're honest, at times with our kids' behavior in particular - that's not what I mean here. The contentment that needs to seep into our hearts, minds, and souls is for the hemmed-in times, when we see the hedges growing around us and feel like jumping right over them. You know, when it feels like nothing is happening, no gifts are being used, no passions are fired up, as if God has taken no consideration whatsoever of our personal temperaments when it comes to our role as mothers.
No matter how much we love everything and everyone inside our hedged yard, it's the stuff on the outside - the parts of our identities that don't seem to fit within a current season in motherhood - about which we need to seek contentment. That way, we can focus on where God wants us looking and why he wants us looking there. p152-153



If you have ever struggled with whether or not you are doing the whole "mothering" thing correctly - or wonder how you ended up with those 1 or 2 or 6 kids - then you should read this book. If you have a friend, or a sister, or a cousin who is a mom, read this book and help her to discover her full potential. Or get a group of women together and everyone read it. There are wonderful questions at the end of each chapter that can be used for discussion.

My heart raced a bit as I worked through the ways I empowered my kids through blessings - and the ways I needed to do better. And then my pastor said the words that nearly made me jump up and shout "Hallelujah!" "When you bless someone," he said, "you give them a picture of themselves that is honest, affirming, and empowering. That's a blessing."
So while I wasn't shouting out loud, inside I was shouting hallelujah! At this point I was thinking beyond all the ways I could give my kids honest, affirming, and empowering pictures of themselves. I was thinking, We moms gotta do this for each other! We gotta bless each other - give each other this honest, affirming, and empowering picture of who God made us to be. That's the real secret. p176-177

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