23 Sep 2014

When Motherhood is like Learning to Walk Again: Book Club Week 3: Chps 6 & 7

“The thing is, there is no road map. No matter how many stories you’ve heard. No matter how many books you’ve read. Motherhood is like learning to walk again, and the only way to do it is by falling down a lot. Because you’re becoming someone else, and your stretched and broken skin can itch with the strangeness of it.”~ Surprised by Motherhood.


Welcome to week 3 of the Book Club. Here’s how it works each week:

Every Monday: Discussion video posted on the blog – feel free to leave your questions in the comments.

Every Wednesday: A discussion around some of your questions on the blog.

Every Friday: A Free, Useful, help-you-hold-onto-your-sanity Printable posted on the blog for all book club readers.

OK, happy Tuesday – I realize we’re a day late this week – so grab yourself a cup of something warm and a few quiet minutes of mom-time alone and read along with me.


Chp 6: Because Sometimes Becoming a Mom Is like Moving to a Foreign Country

Chp 7: There Is No Road Map

{If you haven’t already – you can pick up a copy over here.}


Chapters 6 & 7: I got to chat with two women who have mothered and shaped and taught me and who were among the very first to read the book before it came out.

Book Club week 3

Jennifer Dukes Lee is a farmer’s wife, mom to two girls who are changing the world for a community in Haiti and author of the beautiful book, Love Idol.

Jacque Watkins is a labor and delivery nurse the person I had in mind when I wrote my love for the work those women do in the sacred space of the maternity rooms.

Click here if you can’t see the video.


Take a few moments today to think through the questions below and feel free to share your answers in the comments. Or use them as you talk through the book in your MOPS group or with your book club.

Chapter 6

  • At what point in your life did you realize that you actually wanted to have kids?
  • Who have been some of the most influential women in your life, when it comes to the views and practices of motherhood?
  • When and how did you come to believe that motherhood could be good? Did you ever have any childhood impressions that turned you off from motherhood altogether?
  • Lisa-Jo writes about how her new stepmom brought renewed life and vigor to their family. Can you think of a similar experience in your own life, where God has used someone to breathe fresh life into your home?
  • How might you take up the challenge to open up your life to others, and in so doing, show them the gospel, as Lisa-Jo’s family has done in South Africa?

Chapter 7

  • In your experience, how was becoming a parent like breaking up with yourself?
  • What are some of the most embarrassing moments you’ve experienced in your role as a mom?
  • Has the word ‘mother’ grown more comfortable for you now? If so, at what point and how did that happen?

Scripture passage for this week:

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

A few favorite quotes:

“The books … were silent when it came to the how-tos for me. How to feel about this change, how to love this tiny tyrant …. No parenting book spelled out in neat bullet points how to wrap my head around what I’d lost and, even more, what I’d gained.” (pp. 82-83)

Becoming a parentis a lot likeBreaking

“Like a pair of saggy old jeans on a Sunday afternoon, the word mother fits more comfortably now.” (p. 89)

OK, YOUR TURN – share your answers and observations in the comments – let’s crowd source encouragement for this journey deep into the heart of motherhood together.

Just click here to leave a comment.



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    My husband and I got pregnant right after I stopped taking birth control. I felt like it happened too quickly even though it was planned. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and I had a hard time adjusting from working to staying at home. Your book brought me such encouragement and I am enjoying reading through it again now that my son is a little older and I love the videos where you talk about it. Thanks for this book club. I love it!!

  2. 2

    I have grown a lot more comfortable in my mothering, and that came when I started becoming okay with the mother I am. I started looking at the best qualities that I bring to my parenting and focusing on that rather than what I don’t do. Losing my mom at an early age (9) brought a lot of fear about parenting and doing the right things but the more I learned to embrace who god has made me and what I bring to the table, and started trusting my kids smiles and laughter as the greatest judge of my parenting abilities I started to be okay. And your blog, your book, your words truly mean a lot to me on my journey especially now as I’m starting to navigate through teenage years for the first time. Knowing I’m not alone and that just like there is pain behind my smile some days, I have to consider that for all the other moms I encounter.

  3. 3

    We became pregnant immediately after marriage an, d Being a Mum is the most exciting, challenging, tearful, tiring job I have ever done. I did not know what I was getting myself into. THANKS to your sharings and blog that I bumped into…..it has most certainly been so helpful and at tmes I have found myself in tears just reading them. Thank you and keep up the good work. (I am still trying to get my hand on the book, can’t locate it in my country, Malaysia). God Bless

  4. 4

    These two chapters spoke volumes to my heart. I always wanted Traditional and never seem to have had it. Reading your story has encouraged me. I had that same August birthday wish at 30. Our first daughter arrived when I was 31. Now she is 23 and out of the house. ..as well as her two younger sisters, my baby boy is 18. Now I mostly have mothering advise and stories to shared. I told my son how he covered me in yellow poo at his sister’s 2nd birthday.
    Now I am trying to find who I am between the Mommie hold yous, and the future… Grandma hold yous. When they were little I often would be asked for Mommie hold yous…Now I get a call about once a week… can you transfer some money from the saving to the checking. Who are we when they Leave? Two left at once, one got married and the boy was gone all summer fighting fires. I still don’t know who I am.

    So I pray. I’m in a Bible study of Moms praying for adult children. I would like prayer for God’s purpose to be revealed.

  5. 5

    I’d been convinced my whole 20s to adult life that my mom, who stayed at home with us,
    1) was not happy doing it and/because she 2) lost who she was in the process of mothering. This is the main reason I was convinced I never wanted to have children. I thought that my life would be over when I did. In some respects, perhaps, that is true. My littles are still quite little; there is joy to be had in mothering, but it is true that my goals and aspirations (like, to get a pjs and do research) have been modified to such an extent that I’m not sure what they will look like when/if I ever have a chance to look at them again. In some ways, I sense that this shuffle may have been where my mother got “lost” from her role as mom. This is why I appreciated your book, Lisa Jo. Because I am one of “those” moms, the reluctant ones… loving it, but still a little clingy to old habits, fearing that what is gained in motherhood will not be as ‘worth it’ as what could have been. I’d love to hear perspective from others on down the road. How DO you find yourself in the space of motherhood? What comes after the break-up?

  6. 7

    These were two of my favorite chapters in the book so far, especially chapter 7. I’m not sure I’ve read a more eloquent, honest, spot-on description of adjusting to life as a mother and the tension involved in accepting and adjusting to the new role and pace of life.

    Loved this, “It’s learning to walk again, and the only way to do it is by falling down a lot. Because you’re becoming someone new, and your stretched and broken skin can itch with the strangeness of it.”

    I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about the “old” me, but for some reason your phrasing here really hit me…I knew it would be a whole new way of life, but to thinking of myself in terms of “becoming someone new” was a bit of a shift in perspective (and I’ve been at this 7 years now!)…

    I also loved…”Children arrive and blow through what used to be your routine. They huff and puff and they blow your life down.”

    Well said!! Great chapters.

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