At this time in my life, motherhood is tough. I love my kids, but there are days when I crawl into bed exhausted from the day. That is why I love Why Motherhood Matters, the debut novel by September McCarthy. The book recognizes that being a mom is hard. It doesn’t give you simple answers that gloss over your pain, or judgmental platitudes that blanket complex issues. This book is like having a friend sit by your side through the journey, laughing with you in the face of your mistakes and holding your hand when you are broken with tears. McCarthy understands that mothering is tough and wants to encourage you to be the best mother you can be no matter what circumstances you face.
The book itself is not unlike a story she tells. One day, a woman dropped by her home for an impromptu visit. The book describes how neat the woman was dressed, but McCarthy had dishes in the sink, piles of laundry on the sofa, and the dining table was sticky from the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches her kids had for lunch. McCarthy honestly admitted, “I immediately felt small, defensive, and hesitant…I was secretly hoping she was just dropping something off” (p 53). However, the woman stayed, not focusing on the messy home but on visiting with her. McCarthy writes, “She sat right there in the sea of my craziness and beamed like a lighthouse. I wanted to draw near for comfort and security. I wanted her peace, and she was bringing it to me” (p 54).
That is the essence of Why Motherhood Matters. McCarthy encourages women to stop worrying about their mess and draw near to Christ. It is through her own openness that she hopes to encourage others to help build up our children to be world changers and Kingdom builders . Whether you are the mother of a troublesome toddler or a moody teen, this book helps the reader look at creative ways to mother.
This uplifting book stands out among the many motherhood books that are on the shelf because it does not stop at the traditional concept of motherhood. McCarthy also reminds the reader that God gifted every woman with “a mother’s heart” and we should be purposeful in how we use it. McCarthy speaks to all women — the woman who is suddenly faced with an unplanned pregnancy whose dreams seem to be fading away, to the woman with empty arms longing for a child.
Why Motherhood Matters also reminds women that motherhood is not just a title; it is a calling and an investment in the lives of our children. This book invites the reader on a creative exploration of their personal journey as a mother. Using her own life as an example, McCarthy is open as she describes the pain of giving birth to her daughter who moments later breathed her last breath. She is honest in how she describes her transformation into the “Yelling mom”
However, this is more than a compilation of McCarthy’s stories. She begins each chapter title with Why, exploring how the why leads to the purpose God has in designing our hearts. Each narrative also includes steps to take, whether that is through explorative questions or personal challenges. The chapters end with a parenting principal to encourage and strengthen women from all stages of motherhood.
Why Motherhood Matters is set to release at the beginning of September from Harvest House Publishers. While this might be September McCarthy’s debut novel, she is not a novice writer. Her blog, One September Day, is a regular place to visit for many women struggling with the woes of motherhood. She is also the founder of Raising Generations Today, a non-profit organization designed to encourage and strengthen women through all seasons of motherhood. You can check out her speaking schedule or conferences on her website septembermccarthy.com