Desperate Book Study {Chapters 1 & 2}

Desperate Mom Book Study at

I am so excited that this day has arrived! I have been looking forward to reading Desperate since I first heard about it several months ago. This is one of those books that begs to be discussed, and I am thankful for the opportunity to discuss it here with you. Chapters 1 & 2 are full of so much insight that there is no way I could ever cover it all, so I am just going to highlight the parts that spoke most deeply to me.

Chapter 1: Ideals and Going Under

“When it finally dawned on me that I couldn’t be my vision of what a ‘good mom’ was, my little world of ‘perfect’ came undone. “ Sarah Mae

I really identified with Sarah Mae in this chapter. I definitely struggle with ideals of perfection in all areas of my life, including motherhood. When I pause to think about who and what contributed to my image of the perfect mother, I am embarrassed to say TV and movies make up a big part of that image. So basically, the perfect mother image is based on FICTION.

I’ve always laughed at that scene in Cheaper By the Dozen when the 12 kids are having this crazy, messy breakfast and the frog gets loose on the table. Things get even crazier and messier and the mom’s favorite china gets broken in the process and she just keeps her cool. It makes for a pretty entertaining scene, but let’s get real, I don’t know of a mom in real life that would be so chill in the middle of that kind of chaos. But for some reason, I often forget that she, and so many others, are fictional characters and end up comparing myself to them in some way. And surprise… I always end up falling short in the comparison.

The comparisons can be just as hard in real life, because if we’re honest, us moms usually put on our best Mommy front when we are out in public. We may be calm and collected at the restaurant or at the park, but when we make it to the car, we get real and lose it a little. But we always end up comparing our private and worst  parenting moments to others public and best ones, and that’s just not a fair contest. I have written about the dangers of this comparison trap before, and I think it goes hand in hand when we talk about ideals.

I think it is important that we focus on who God created us to be and fairly look at our strengths and weaknesses minus the comparison aspect. Then we can encourage ourselves by counting the things that we do right each day, and take all of our wrongs to the Father, because only He can truly equip us in that which we lack.

“Each of us has a story, but God, who originated the design of motherhood, is the expert advisor to whom we should turn. God has equipped us for every good work, and I am quite confident that He who designed this role to be so eternally significant is the one who is ready to help, support, instruct, and guide. He will provide all we need for the task He has given us to fulfill.” Sally Clarkson

Do you struggle with the ideal of the “perfect” mother? Who or what contributed to that idealistic image?


Chapter 2: The Go-It-Alone Culture (On Needing People)

“Young moms were never meant to be without the advice and care of multiple women assisting them and advising them in their lives.” Sally Clarkson

I remember the first time my eyes were opened to the concept of mothering in community. I was reading “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” and Dr. Harvey Karp talked about how, in many cultures, extended families live together in the same home or on the same property, and so many of the daily homemaking and mothering tasks are done together, while the children play with their siblings and cousins. That is so different from my reality, in which I am at home alone with my children all day, and right now without a car. My face-to-face interaction with other moms consists of a few minutes of conversation before and after church and the very rare play date. That’s why I am so incredibly thankful for the online community. I know that online can’t replace face-to-face, but it sure is better than zero interaction at all. Because as much as we love our kids, we need the encouragement of other women, and especially the ones who know exactly what we are going through.

Tears filled my eyes as I read the sweet note that Sally’s friend left for her…

“Sally, I have prayed for you today, that you would know God’s love, His provision, and His blessing as you move into a new home. We are looking so forward to having you as our friend in Colorado. May the peace of the Lord be with you, for He is near.”

As I was reading this, I thought of how much I want that kind of support and encouragement in my own life, and I felt challenged by the Father to be the initiator of that kind of support and encouragement in the lives of others.

I loved that Sally shared her experiences, full of both successes and failures, as she has sought to cultivate community and friendships among moms. I was really encouraged and challenged to follow in her footsteps.


Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Chapters 1 & 2!

How about you? What were your biggest takeaways from these chapters? I would love to get some conversations started in the comments, so please share your thoughts!

Go ahead and start reading Chapters 3 & 4 and meet me back here next Friday to discuss!



Desperate Book Study

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  1. Sarah Mae Sally Clarkson Desperate

    […] ther, while the children play with their siblings and cousins. That is so differ […]

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