From the first few pages to the end, this book was an engaging read. Danielle Bean, in a manner that reads like a chat with a close girlfriend, sets out to encourage and lift up mums who, though they love their kids and husbands, can often end up feeling exhausted, burned out, disillusioned and doubtful of their abilities as mothers, wives and homemakers.
As the tagline of the corresponding Momnipotent study program goes, the goal of the book is “to help you find peace, balance and joy in your vocation as a mother.” Quoting heavily from St John Paul II, Bean identifies 8 feminine strengths that all women possess, and discusses how we can best use them as mothers. These strengths include things such as our compassion and empathy for others, our ability to juggle many activities, and our attention to details. For each strength, she also illustrates how that strength can become a weakness if we let it, and challenges readers to consciously avoid this. One example of this is when Bean identifies that we have a natural sense of generosity in serving our families. But the flipside of this is that we sometimes (or a lot of the time) forget to care for ourselves in the process, and end up burned out and depleted.
Each feminine strength and its corresponding weakness are laid out clearly in each chapter, including explanations, personal anecdotes, tips, strategies and prayers to help you improve in each area. The chapters close with a quiz to help you evaluate how you’re going in that area, and discussion of the quiz answers to encourage and guide you in addressing these issues. The chapters are a manageable length, making the book easy to chip away at as you get the opportunity.
Momnipotent manages to be both a feel-good read, and a challenge to be better, with constructive steps to make that happen. It also manages to be both very practical and very Catholic in its approach. The concept of this book was something that appealed to me from the get go and I connected with the content too. I think Bean hits many nails on their heads. So many times throughout the book, I found myself going “Oh yeah, I do that!” or “Oh yes, I so know what she means!” Herself a wife and mum of 8, Bean shares her personal experiences in an engaging and at times candid manner, which made for an immediate connection as someone who shares in the same struggles and joys.
I can see how this book would work well with the corresponding 8 week study program for mums. The chapters each took me about 30 minutes to read, which makes for a manageable amount to get through in between the weekly sessions. I can also see the value in participating in the study program, though I have not seen any of the content. It would be a great opportunity to reflect further and go deeper into each of the feminine strengths presented, share experiences and ideas on them and build relationships with other mums. One to look out for, or consider running in your local area!
Overall, Momnipotent strikes a beautiful balance between acknowledging and identifying with the struggles we mums face, encouraging us and lifting us up to embrace our vocations with joy and confidence, and at the same time giving us clear ways we can improve as mothers and disciples of Christ.
About the Author: In yesteryear, I studied and taught music and was involved in youth ministry. Now I am a wife and a home educating mum, with kids aged 5, 2 and a baby. I also like to read, knit and sink my vocal chords into chant and polyphony. Through it all, I am striving to battle the busyness to come closer to the Lord. For anything of value I write here, to God be the glory.