Review

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Longtime homeschooling expert Sally Clarkson teams up with newcomer Sarah Mae to create a bountiful feast of encouragement for moms of young children. DESPERATE is written in a she said/she said style, in which Mae opens up each chapter with her own mothering questions and concerns, and Clarkson answers them. They then proceed to share their thoughts on each particular topic.

Mae begins with her young mother experiences and struggles in a very personal and transparent way that will have all moms nodding their heads (and hearts) in understanding and agreement. Next, Clarkson follows with her personal experiences from a more reflective viewpoint since her children are now grown. The combination of these present and past perspectives is a true win-win for readers who find themselves in either one of these mothering positions.

"...valuable and timely... [A]ll moms will appreciate the wide scope of topics covered here.... One of the reasons why the tone of the book works so well and reads so warmly is that Clarkson is actually Mae’s mom mentor in real life."

As one recent Gallup analysis confirms after interviewing over 60,000 US women in 2012, moms who stay at home to raise their children experience the following emotions: 41% felt worry, 26% sadness, 50% stress, 19% anger, and 28% depression. Even though their working counterparts experienced the same struggles, they did so in lesser measure. However, 40% of moms who work outside the home felt constantly rushed, whereas only 26% of stay-at-home moms felt this particular stress. The bottom line is that every mom, no matter how and where she spends her time, needs encouragement and a mentor to gently guide her through the toughest mothering seasons.

This premise is exactly why DESPERATE is so valuable and timely, and all moms will appreciate the wide scope of topics covered here. Included in this dynamic three-section text are mothering principles on such subjects as developing ideals and a parenting plan; understanding how much moms need other moms; formulas don’t always work; the issue of sin that finds its way to the surface of every heart and life; when emotions go dark, as in discouragement and depression; lack of training to be a mommy; learning to live a selfless life as a mother; wanting and needing to escape; taming the beast of housework; figuring out life in new ways than what we grew up with; all the voices that influence us; living on purpose in a distracted world; developing the art of life; feeling desperate but not defeated; and living the story of motherhood for eternal legacy.

One of the reasons why the tone of the book works so well and reads so warmly is that Clarkson is actually Mae’s mom mentor in real life. The two exchange letters frequently, and Mae has spent a week in Clarkson’s home, where she was pampered, loved and spoiled. Out of their relationship this book was born, and women will find themselves smiling, crying and thanking God for bringing Mae and Clarkson together so that they could collaborate on this excellent mothering resource.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on March 14, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson