The Great Wall of Mothering {GIVE AWAY DAY}

Let's work ourselves out of our jobs!

I am so excited to have a give away and guest for today’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip!

I’ve been learning so much from Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk’s new book Hoodwinked: 10 Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock it Off. 

Here’s Karen:

Maybe I could fake being sick. Or pretend I twisted my ankle. I just have to think of something that will get me out of this!

I was a mess, my heart beating so wildly. It was my freshman year of college, and I stood staring at it—a legend I’d heard about since my very first visit to campus. “It” was made of wood and nails. It stood tall and plain in the mid-Michigan countryside, yet it taunted and intimidated me until I surely thought I’d faint.

They called it simply, “The Wall.”

The legend was also a tradition, one that every single freshman who arrived on campus each autumn must take part in. Every new student must scale the ten-foot beast, assisted only by the members of their twelve-member freshman “core group.”

One by one, each group stood to face The Wall, trying to figure out how to get all the members of their team up and over the wall. On the backside of the wall was a platform, about a quarter of the way down from the top. Once a person was over the top of the wall, they could lower themselves gently and stand solidly on the platform. There they then could reach back over the wall and assist their classmates who had yet to experience the thrill of conquering this wooden monster.

Getting the first person over was the hardest, since there was no one already on the other side—and planted on the platform—to help to pull them up and over the top. Usually teams chose the tallest, thinnest, and most athletic guy to go first. Others hoisted him up on their shoulders, and then he tried with all his might to pull himself up and topple over to the other side.

Our first teammate made it over in exactly that way. Then, one after another, more freshmen were lifted, hoisted, pushed, or pulled until they made it safely to the other side. I did my part to help others over, but I dreaded taking my turn. I tried to speak positively to myself, “Come on, Karen. You can do this. Focus. Jump high and grab on tight.”

When my turn came, I backed up a few feet, took a couple running steps toward the wall, and then leapt upwards toward the top with all of my might, praying all the while someone’s strong arm would catch me.

After a brief moment of panic—when I thought I’d slide back down the wall in shame—I felt the hand of a teammate grab hold of mine and grip it tightly. With all the might I could muster, I simultaneously tried lifting myself up with my arms while swinging my right foot up as high as I could so a teammate standing on the platform on the other side could grab it. After about three tries, I was finally successful. My teammates then hoisted me up to the top of the wall, and I gingerly set my feet down on the other side. Sweet relief.

Once I was safely over, we worked together to get the other few members of our team up and over. Our core group had done it! We had scaled The Wall.

Just three-and-a-half short years after I was married, I found out I was expecting our first child. I was excited to be carrying a new life, although I also felt fear as I stared at the massive wall of motherhood that I would now have to scale, mostly because I thought all the weight was upon my shoulders to be my child’s everything.

Caretaker. Provider. Cook. Teacher. Nurse. Social director. Counselor. Coach. And probably something else I hadn’t even thought of yet. How in the world was I ever going to be able to do all that?

The Great Wall of Motherhood seems insurmountable because we moms have been hoodwinked—tricked into believing lies that keep us from not only enjoying motherhood, but forging friendships with other moms who might tackle the tasks of motherhood differently.

Myths such as “Mothering is natural, easy, and instinctive” cause moms to feel like failures if they have questions or apprehensions in raising their kids. Operating from the premise that “The way I mother is the right (and only) way” puts up fences between moms instead of building bridges of encouragement between them. Lies such as “I am my child’s choices” tempt moms to mistakenly believe that if their child makes a wrong choice then they, in turn, must be a bad mom.

Let’s determine today that we will reach out—and reach down—to help our fellow moms. Together we can scale the wall of motherhood as we seek to raise our children on our knees—as deep in prayer as we are in laundry, and homework, and life.

You can do it mom. God is with you. Love lavishly and mother well.

Today, we’re giving away a copy of Hoodwinked to one random winner who comments below. To enter, share the name of a mom you would love to encourage with this book and if that mom is you, that’s great!

I’ll post the winner on Friday, November 13th.

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  1. I, like all moms, feel weary sometimes. Would love to read the book then pass it on to a wonderful mom, Angie W!

  2. Laurie Lett says:

    Few weeks ago I got an email from my oldest son’s teacher saying that he has acted up from time to time and disrespected his teachers. I immediately thought my parenting skills have failed me and him! I thought I am a doomed mom. I beat myself up thinking I did not do enough of this or that then think of all those angelic stories where mommies proudly say their child has never misbehaved and has a golden heart. I thought then what is my child?

  3. I would love to read this book and I’d share it with my sisters. I think we all can get beneficial tips from remembering we do it all with God by our side.

  4. Thank you for your insight. I would share the book with my precious daughters. Again, thanks for your coming alongside moms.

  5. I would love a copy for myself to read and also for my friend Nicky. We encourage each other, but we’re also both asking did I totally mess this up?? My daily struggle is feeling like they have so much homework, how can I put the house over their grades? So I let things go, & then it gets so bad I just explode or implode, and that’s a terrible way to handle this. I do need some help.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Courtney – it is so much to manage, isn’t it? Karen’s other book Let.It.Go. also addresses what you spoke of – not knowing what to prioritize.

  6. I so want to read this book for myself and then share it with my neighbor!

  7. Thank you Lynn for the reminder that I need to pray more for my children. I would love to read this book for myself then share it with my friend, Bonnie.

  8. Such truth in these words and I know many moms like me who need the encouragement.

  9. Andrea…new mom to be…full of desire to be the perfect super mom…I d like to share with her what I learned as the mother of her husband…enJOY being a mom more than work at being a mom & that it’s ok to seek out help & support…I didn’t – I felt inadequate & thought I had to figure it out & be perfect before opening myself up to other moms…I was truly HOODWINKED!

  10. Love it! I am one of 10 and we all had chores ( no such thing as allowance back then) and we are all better for it. I passed this onto my children and now grandchildren. The 19 month old is a whiz at the iPad and she also helps Nana load the washer and dryer! Would love to share with my 6 sisters and sister in law!

  11. Great words of wisdom…I love the cellphone/washing machine comparison. I do way too much and my teens do way too little. I know I haven’t enforced their home helpfulness – being a single mom is really tough. I am their only parent and sometimes I just cater to them too much! I pay for it by staying tired so much. I need this book to help guide me through the rest of these teen years.

  12. I could really use this being a single mom of 3……………

  13. Alicia is a single mom that I would like to receive this book

  14. I would love to give this to my daughter, Nicole. She is a great mom of my 3 beautiful grandkids, but let’s face it, even great moms need all the help they can get. Especially when the help is taken from God’s word!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Yes, we sure do! And this book is loaded with great help for moms!

  15. Peggy Clement says:

    I would love this book for myself

  16. Dawn Parks says:

    This is so cool! I am a mom who has a chore list on the fridge for my 2 boys who are 10 and 12. They do their own laundry, vacuum, dust their furniture, put away dishes, etc. Sometimes though they do a lot of complaining, so I would love to see what this book says about all this! Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  17. nancys1128 says:

    As my own children are grown (or think they are as is the case with the 14yo) I would hold the book for the next baby shower I am invited to and give it to that new mom. Plus, my advance order copy is at my local Family Christian Bookstore waiting for me to pick it up. 🙂

  18. Sherri Smith says:

    The quote in the picture might be one of the best I’ve read in a while! A little “lightbulb moment” for me! I would LOVE to read the book & to share with many of my friends!

  19. I will share the book with my friend Stacey. I am so excited to read it. I love learning new things to help me grow as a mom.

  20. Nicci Ramirez says:

    My friend Kerri 🙂 She has a 6 year old daughter 😉

  21. I would love to share this with my mom.

  22. I would share it with my daughter.

  23. Denise Grandolfo says:

    I need this book for myself! I have two teenaged daughters- wonderful girls who love the Lord. I am struggling to balance life as a single mom, full time employee and active member of our church. My heart’s desire is that my girls grow into strong, successful adults who will follow the Lord all their days, yet I struggle with letting go and with feelings of guilt because of not being there as much as I would like due to working full time plus! Help!
    I would love to read this book and then pass it on to young mother I know, Kimberly.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hang in there, Denise! Keep shining your light. Your girls see!

      1. Thank you, Lynn! I needed to hear that!

  24. J. Taylor says:

    I am a Nana! But would love for my daughter, who is going thru a divorce right now, to have this book for tremendous Encouragement , as she is a Mom of our Precious grandson! It’s hard, but so impressed during this process, to Shine as a Wonderful Mom! A lot on her plate right now & she needs All the Encouragement she can get to get her through some difficult days ahead!
    Thank You so much for this devotional! So remember those days past & Praying for Wisdom to get through them each day! I Pray this Strongly for my daughter each day, as she faces the challenges!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      A praying mom … what every mom needs!

  25. Jessica Grimaldo says:

    I would really love the book for my self mother of 7 . It would be a great blessing for me God bless the winner how ever it is.

  26. I would love to share this book with my lovely daughter. She is expecting any day a beautiful daughter of her own. This is an unplanned teenage pregnancy, but is truly a gift from God. We will tackle this next chapter in her life together.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I love your perspective, Tammy! True, unconditional love in action!

  27. I would love to read this. There are some things I do well but so many I still need to learn and I think this book would really help me set realistic expectations on myself instead of feeling like I fail anytime I can’t pull off a project or forget to pack a lunch. 🙂

  28. Dawn Collins says:

    I would love to pass this book on to a woman who is our church secretary, Youth Pastor, Praise & Worship Leader, Vocal Artist, student, incredible wife & mother to a soon to be 3 year old boy & a 5 month old baby girl , she is a daughter & friend…Did I mention she is only 28 years old! By the way she’s also our Pastors daughter, yes she is a PK.
    Thank you for your time! Continued Blessings!

  29. Shayla Donaldson says:

    I would love a copy of this book. I am still learning how to manage the expectations and reality of motherhood. There are days when I think, “Yay, I’m doing it right!” And then days where I realize I am doing it all wrong. But I am thankful for God’s grace and guidance. I would also love to share this book with my ladies bible study group that meets every other Monday. Most of us are mothers and I truly believe this would bless them also.

  30. I would like to bless my friend who is getting ready to have her 5th child. Her 4th child isn’t even 1 year yet.

  31. Emily Wilson says:

    Emily Wilson ???

  32. I would love to give this book to my daughter-in-law who just had her first child 4 weeks ago and is already feeling the pressure of being the “best ” mom.

  33. I’d love to read this for some encouragement and support in my role as mom. And then I’d love to pass it along to another mom friend 🙂

  34. I want and need this book because I feel like such a failure of a mom. My hearts desire is to be that godly mom .

  35. Sharon C. says:

    I would love to read the book and develop a confidence in what mom’s rules should be. I never had a good example of what a parent should be. I think there would still be something I could salvage from my parenting style and work on what I could change. Thanks that your willing to share what you’ve learned.

  36. Obviously I would love to read this book and I’m sure I could learn a lot myself. But I have a woman in my life who is a single Mom and has been going through a very difficult time. She has 3 children and I think this book might be a real encouragement to her. Thanks!

  37. I would like to give this book to my daughter-in-law. She just had her first child 4 weeks ago and is already feeling the pressure to be the “perfect” mom.

  38. I would love to read this book. I can think of a few moms that I would pass it along too once I was done.

  39. I would love to read this with my sister, Amanda

  40. I would love to read this book myself! I have several friends I swap books with regularly, so it would be a great one to share as well!

  41. There is a group of 4 moms in our neighborhood with daughters in the same grade — I would definitely share with all of them!

  42. I’m happy your fellow students helped you over that wall! I didn’t have to do something like that during my college years.

  43. The photo made me laugh out loud. I remember my mom telling me how she made dinner for her family (parents and 3 siblings) by age 12. She didn’t teach me to do that. My brother and I were not raised like that. We didn’t have many chores and I could barely cook when I left home. It’s truly a disservice to not teach children how to cook, clean and basic maintenance of owning a car and house. I’d love to see what you have to say in Hoodwinked.

  44. Tisha Ploense says:

    I would give this book to my sweet friend Sarah Fagan. I have the book and love it.

  45. I would love to have this book and afterward I would share it with my good friend, Carrie!

  46. Tiffiny Palm says:

    I would love to win this book for myself I can use all the encouragement I can get.

  47. My friend Alicia just found out she is pregnant after 15 years of being told she couldn’t get pregnant and she’s 35.

  48. I would love to read this book. I have 2 grown and started over with adoptions. I am still hoodwinked! I would love to share with my mom friends.

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