Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Desperate: Hope for the Mom who needs to Breathe by Sara Mae and Sally Clarkson

on January 21, 2013


About the Book:


“I just can’t be a mother today.”

These words have been whispered to God in quiet desperation by mothers who love their children to the depths of their soul, but who are struggling with how hard motherhood is.

Motherhood turns you inside out. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by how tired you feel; the days go on and on, and you want to be a “good” mom, but you feel like a failure so much of the time. What happened to all your ideals? When did you end up feeling so…lost?

Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson have been to the edge and back. Desperate is the story of one young mother’s trials and one experienced mentor’s priceless exhortations. Desperate is not a book about despair, nor is it a rule-laden mothering manual. It is a bouquet from a friend who has been there, reminding us that we are not alone. Sarah Mae’s unvarnished account of her own struggles mothering three feisty young children is a lesson in learning patience, loving idiosyncrasies, accepting help, and—most of all—leaning on God.

Each chapter includes a brief Bible study with journal exercises to help you find your own quiet center, and get you back into the fray soul-filled and refreshed. Written with candor, empathy, and faith, Desperate is like coffee with a trusted girlfriend; one who knows how hard being a mother can be, and how to navigate the often turbulent road.


You can purchase the book at Thomas Nelson or at Amazon.


My Opinion:


I don’t think I was ready to be a mom – so my oldest was my guinea pig – I had to teach myself how to breastfeed after a horrible c-section because the only support I really had was my husband and my mom, most people were just like “give her a bottle”.  It was the only thing I had control of in those days, I lost my dream of a natural birth and with that recovery I had a lot of restrictions.  I still remember calling my mom one day and telling her, “Hannah hates me”, it seemed she only calmed when she was nursing or when my husband held her.  I felt used, of course I also had a ton of hormones that were doing a good job of clouding my judgement, but if I had had more womanly friends who had walked the path before me I think it would have been a blessing from God.


Don’t get me wrong, being able to call my mom and have the support of my husband (who was able to be home with us for almost 8 weeks!) is nothing to sneeze at.  What I needed, even though I didn’t know it at the time was a godly, woman mentor.  That is where Desperate comes into play.  Some moms are isolated due to geographic locations or maybe because they are only seeing woman who desire a career more than children and the church isn’t helping by continuing the lie that we can have children, a husband, a home and a career and nothing will feel left out.  Where do we turn?


Thankfully, we have a book full of knowledge in Desperate  Sally Clarkson gives us her years of knowledge and experience and Sara Mae gives us her raw emotions as she goes through bringing up her children.  I ended up joining a local but national moms group that really helped me and I’ve made some friends and wonderful, godly ladies who I am still in contact with – but oh how I wish I had had this beautifully inspiring book when I was crying on the phone to my mom that my newborn hated me!  I can laugh at it now, but at the time it wasn’t funny.  There are still days that I feel like “I can’t be a mother today”, maybe I’m overwhelmed, maybe the children are fighting like cats and dogs or I’m thinking “Lord, really?”.  Children are blessings but even with that realization being a mom sometimes is hard – and we need other moms who can mentor us through the hard times, get us over that hump, and get us to the other side – not false platitudes or an empty “I’m praying for you”, but a real hug while you pour out your soul to her.


I love that this book makes it feel like you are reading a personal conversation between Sally and Sara but also that you are included, you are welcomed into their inner circle, so you can see the struggles and learn from them.  One of the things that jumped out at me was this, “Sally and I want to encourage you to keep going even when it feels like you can’t, and we want to help you.  We won’t offer you formulas, but we will offer ideas, perspectives, transparency, and wisdom.”  Formulas often times make things worse, especially when you fail to do every step, or skip something or your child fails to do what the expected outcome was – but by giving us ideas, being see through and using wisdom – we can take joy in our motherhood and enjoy the blessings that God has given us without fear or trepidation.  There were other quotes but I can’t share them all with you – what I can tell you is that whether you’re a new mom, a mom of 1, a tenured mom or a mom of 10 this book will inspire you and give you breath.


Before you think it’s all what Sally or Sara says – it’s not included are Words from the Lord and journal prompts or, if you don’t have time to journal, questions to ponder as you go through the day so you can focus on what God wants from you as a mom.  Also included are QR codes for those who have smart phones (apps can be downloaded as well for iPod Touches) that will take you to a video based on that chapter that Sally and Sara collaborated on – giving you further inspiration.  I also think that if you know of a mom who may need a pick me up get them a copy, send it to them for their Kindle as a gift, or give them a physical copy – but truly for every woman who desires to be what God wants and who sometimes (and admit it we all think it sometimes) thinks, “I can’t be a mom today”, needs a copy of this book.


**Disclaimer:  I was given an e-copy of this book through Booksneeze through Thomas Nelson in exchange for posting my own opinion, no other compensation was given.




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