Monday, February 19, 2007

"Mama Said" Blog Tour for Jenn Doucette

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This by Jenn Doucette

Mothers often feel they are running as fast as they can to keep up or to stay just ahead of those who want a piece of their time, energy, and self.

Author, speaker, and mother Jenn Doucette offers a humorous and insightful look at how every mom on the run can head for much–needed rest stops by:
*experiencing girl time
*choosing contentment
*setting boundaries and achieve freedom
*getting a grip on emotions
*giving themselves a break

With comedic flair, Doucette confesses to her own failings as well as God’s successes in the face of them, reminding mothers that it is healthy to laugh, take a break, and practice grace.
Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

I sat down with Jenn to ask her a few questions:

Tricia: If you had only five minutes to sit down with a overwhelmed mama, what glimpse of advice/hope would you offer?

Jenn: [my opinion is that the term ”overwhelmed mama” is redundant . . . motherhood is overwhelming by definition! J]

First I’d give her a hug! Then I’d let her know she’s not alone (not by a long shot). I’d then ask her about the top three things stressing her out right now. Chances are, just by talking about them with someone who cares and commiserates with her will already help our frazzled mom. But if she’s like me, she’ll want something tangible to take home with her and help her cope in the trenches. Here’s the advice I’d hand over:

* Get help! Hire a responsible 10-12 year old to help keep your younger children entertained while you get caught up on some housework.
* Get out of the house! Take some time every week to spend alone or with a girlfriend.
* Get creative! Alternate cleaning/kid sitting days with a friend
* Get ‘em on board! Give the kids one chore to do every day. Don’t go back and re- clean after them. Just let it go . . . . .
* Get the strength you need for every day! Read Philippians 4:19

Tricia: Too often I find myself wanting more and more (especially at the mall or bookstore). I see the same traits in my kids. Help!

Jenn: Ah, what you’re talking about is the elusive enigma otherwise known as contentment. Even though North Americans have more stuff than 90% of the world, we’re constantly on the prowl for stuff, stuff, and more stuff. And once we get sucked into the vortex of consumerism, it’s tough to break free. Here are a few strategies that have worked for the Doucette family in our quest for contentment:

*Establishing simple, inexpensive family traditions like Ice-cream Friday Nights! The goals is to spend time together, not break the bank on the next big function. This one’s become such a fun time for our family, we rarely miss it!

* Sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision. Our family has always sponsored at least one child; just reading her letters and hearing how thankful she is for the small things, helps to keep our priorities balanced.

* Scheduling in down time. Everyone needs down time and the family unit is no exception.

* Practice saying “no” – even to good things! There really can be too much of a good thing sometimes.

Tricia: I often run and run until I collapse. I feel guilty when I think of "me" time. Tell me (please!) why it's important to give myself a break.

Jenn: Great question, pick your adage:

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

“Take good care of yourself, you belong to me!”

And my personal favorite, “Fudd’s First Law of Opposition” which states:

"If you push something hard enough, it will fall over."

The wonderful thing about motherhood is that it’s all about giving; the brutally hard thing about mothering is that it’s all about giving. Julie Barnhill wrote a book last year titled, Motherhood: The Guilt that Keeps on Giving. I think that says it all, doesn’t it?

It’s an undeniable fact, however, that unless you take care of yourself and take a break occasionally, you won’t be as effective on the home front. When I feel the mom guilts setting in, I remember that Jesus took breaks away from the crowds, and that God rested on the Sabbath.

I just need to try and remember that before I’ve fallen over from exhaustion.

Tricia: Where can I find out more about your book and you???

Jenn: My book, Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This, can be found or ordered at any bookstore. You can read more about it on Amazon.com or the Harvest House website (http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/).

Jenn Doucette
Come visit me on my blog (http://www.jenndoucette.blog-city.com/) sometime – I could use the company!

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