When Motherhood Feels Too Hard

What? You never feel that way?

I’m sure this will come as a complete surprise to long-time readers, but I’m not the self-help or advice-seeking type. I don’t, as a rule, do devotionals. For my personal devotion time, I have a Bible. I read it, then I pray. I read other religious works, too, of course. I don’t flatter myself that I can figure everything out on my own. I just prefer to keep the “guidance” to a minimum during my morning time with God.

This is why I didn’t know any better than to consume Kelly Crawford’s little book Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard in one sitting. Having done that, I can now tell you that it is a) very encouraging and helpful and b) not meant to be read in one sitting. Each of the thirty-one (meant-to-be) daily readings contains enough wisdom, encouragement, and advice to do any mama for a whole day. If you do what I did, and read it all at once, you will enjoy it.

If you read it the right way, each chapter will serve as a springboard to one really GOOD day. I found in these pages much encouragement, some challenging truths, and some sorely needed attitude adjustments.


I recall one day last November when all the lessons had gone horribly, the kids were sick of me and of each other, and Get Along Husband went to bed with another migraine as soon as he came home from work. We had just finished dinner, and my kitchen was a mess. I stood in the middle of that disaster, hands helplessly dropped to my side, so heavy I could barely will myself to lift them, and gazed blankly into another disaster in the dining room, and yet another in the living room. I just listened as the noise level (and I TOLD them to be quiet because Daddy has a headache) became louder and louder.

I was lonely, because the headaches take my husband away from me (in a good month) 25 days out of 30. I was tired, because 5 kids–one of whom doesn’t sleep through the night yet—will do that to you no matter how much you like them. I admit, I was also feeling slightly rebellious, because there were about a million things I’d rather be doing than dishes, especially after the amount of mothering I’d already done that day.

I honestly had no idea how I was going to make it until the kids’ bedtime, so I cried out to God. I said, out loud, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle even one more tiny thing right now.” And then my three year old brought her dishes to the kitchen to put in the sink, and dropped her unfinished cup of milk in the floor. It was like God was saying “Well, Cindy, there’s your ‘one more tiny thing’. Now what do you think you can handle?”

What I found out was that I can handle an awful lot more than I feel like I can, if I keep the right attitude about it. I got down on my knees and cleaned up that spilled milk, and while I was down there, I had a chance to pray and gather strength for the rest of the evening.

This little book offers the kind of encouragement that a day like the one I just described requires. I probably would have been a wee bit better off if I’d had Kelly’s book back then. It has certainly helped my perspective this week!

Written by a mom who has been in that same flurry of desperate activity, trying to keep up with a houseful of people who seem bent on destroying her last shred of sanity, Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard, is a healthy, encouraging way to get every day of mothering started in a Christ-focused way. There is no hint in this book of the kind of “woe-is-me” mothering that is so destructive to the joy that can be found in motherhood, and I love Kelly for that! Seriously, I want to hug her neck for not descending into the self-pity to which it is all too easy for young mothers to succumb. I also note the complete lack of breathless, purple prose, summoned solely to torture every possible shred of emotion from the reader, that so many women seem to enjoy in their spiritual reading. This is just good common sense, sweet wisdom, and sometimes a little kick in the pants to get your day started.

Connect: If you’re not already reading Kelly’s blog, Generation Cedar, now is a very good time to start!

Buy: You can get a copy of Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard in paperback for $8.99, or ebook format for PDF for $4.97.

Win: Now I’m going to go back and read this book the right way next month, and I’d like one of my readers to join me. Kelly has generously offered a free paperback copy of her book to one Get Along Home reader.

How to enter: You know the drill. Just leave a comment and your name will be in the hat!

Details: This giveaway is open to anyone in the US. This giveaway will be open until midnight, February 15, 2013. The winner will be chosen by And the Winner Is… WordPress plugin. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If there is no response after 48 hours, I’ll have to choose another winner. Please use a valid email address in your comments so that I can contact you if you win! Please use one email address per entrant, per household, per IP address. The giveaway provider (not Get Along Home) will be responsible for prize fulfillment. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. I wasn’t otherwise compensated, nor are there any affiliate links in this post. Here’s your mommy blogger grain of salt.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • danielle February 12, 2013, 6:51 am

    I love your take on self-help reads.

    But this book DOES look great. And haven’t we all been there – in the need of mom-couragment!


  • belva jean houck February 12, 2013, 6:53 am

    i would love to review this book in todays society with so much streee and bad things happening sure it will be helpful

  • Joanna Joyner February 12, 2013, 7:53 am

    Thanks for the recommendation, I can really use the encouragement right now!!

  • Sennie
    Twitter: 5ennie
    February 12, 2013, 8:25 am

    Wow, sounds like a great book!

    And hugs to you.. I have been where your husband is now. When my babies were about two my migraines became chronic, and for a 2-3 years I could also count the good days in a month with my one hand. It was a horrible time, and it was an amazing time – I remember how God carried me through it. But it was so hard on people around me, too.
    I hope your husband’s doctors find the right ways to get his migraines under control.

    • The Husband February 13, 2013, 3:58 pm

      Thanks, Sennie. It’s encouraging to know others have gotten better.

  • Lee Anne Johnson February 12, 2013, 8:41 am

    Would love to have this book! Motherly encouragement is always a good thing. Having 5 children and one on the way, plus homeschooling, the house, and everything else we do, I need encouragement.

  • Celena February 12, 2013, 8:58 am

    Sounds like a great read. I don’t often find time to read devotionals either, and I truly dislike an all-emotion inducing book as well. (Or church services that play solely to people emotions… but that’s a different story.) Mothering IS hard some days, and we can all use a bit of wisdom and encouragement!

  • Nikki February 12, 2013, 9:16 am

    Sounds like a good book, one worth reading. Please enter me!

  • Amie February 12, 2013, 9:31 am

    Sounds like a fantastic book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Vertical Mom February 12, 2013, 10:44 am

    Wow…I could use this devotional. It’s been one of those months – just putting one foot in front of the other.

  • Raylene February 12, 2013, 11:06 am

    I would love to give this to my daughter-in-love.

  • latanya February 12, 2013, 11:56 am

    I would love to win this book

  • Jennifer Miller February 12, 2013, 12:20 pm

    You described a typical day in our house…right down to the spilled milk! 🙂 It’s encouraging to know we’re not the only ones! Thank you and maybe I will win a copy of the book…sounds like it would be worth the read!

  • Kath February 12, 2013, 12:50 pm

    I would love to have Kelly’s book!

  • Rebecca
    Twitter: momsmustardseed
    February 12, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Some days – we need 30 devotionals in one….. sounds like a great book and I appreciate you sharing it. You always help guide me to the ‘good’ and away from the less than good.

    • Cindy February 12, 2013, 3:51 pm

      Yeah. Some books aren’t so great, so I pick them up with some trepidation. What if I’m forced to throw a book that I’m supposed to review? Imagine my relief when I was able to give a good review. 😉

      • The Husband February 13, 2013, 4:02 pm

        She’s not kidding. She really does throw ’em.
        Just ask her about “the potential heft of butter” some time…

  • Linda Finn February 12, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Having a DH who is bi-polar I can so relate, he is often having headaches and not feeling well.
    It sounds like days at our house. Would love to read your book and thank you for sharing it with us and writing such good things to help us not to grow weary.

    Love in Jesus
    Linda Finn

  • zekesmom10 February 12, 2013, 1:31 pm

    I’ve been struggling. I know change begins with me.

  • Mrs. R. February 12, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Kelly has been such an encouragement to me, challenging me to think differently. I would LOVE to have her book.

  • Lynn J February 12, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I would love to win a copy of this book!

  • Renee February 12, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Would love to have this book! Motherly encouragement is always a good thing.
    I’ve been struggling.I could use this devotional.

  • Gayle February 12, 2013, 3:35 pm

    I would love a copy, too!

  • KayTee February 12, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Thank you for your generous offer!

  • Stephanie February 12, 2013, 5:05 pm

    Sounds like a great book.

  • Korrine February 12, 2013, 5:28 pm

    I had one of those moments just last week. This sounds like a truly encouraging devotional.

  • Susan February 12, 2013, 6:45 pm

    I thought I was the only one who didn’t go for devotionals:-). This book sounds lovely. Please enter me.

  • Dawn February 12, 2013, 8:35 pm

    “I also note the complete lack of breathless, purple prose, summoned solely to torture every possible shred of emotion from the reader, that so many women seem to enjoy in their spiritual reading. ”

    Honey, if I didn’t already adore you, I would have after those lines. Hmmm…actually, I meant to say,”This. Yes, just this. How my heart embraces this. Oh the ache I feel when reading your words.”
    Or something like that…

    • Cindy February 13, 2013, 5:46 am


  • Jessica February 12, 2013, 10:25 pm

    I would love to read it. I have 3, soon to be 4 children and I have those kind of days all the time.

  • Amy Belanger February 12, 2013, 10:44 pm

    Would love to read this.

  • Jenny February 13, 2013, 2:09 am

    I’ve followed Kelly’s blog for awhile. She has a lot of wisdom and I would love to read more of it.

  • Heidi Vehrs February 13, 2013, 9:03 am

    I have been reading her blog for years! Love her!!

    • Cindy February 13, 2013, 9:54 am

      I only found out about her a couple of months ago. She is fantastic!

  • sleeplessinsummerville February 13, 2013, 10:14 am

    Pick me!

  • Rachel February 13, 2013, 11:18 am

    Sounds really good. Could use the encouragement. 🙂 If I don’t win it, I may buy it.

  • Trisha February 13, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Motherhood doesn’t just feel to hard – it feels impossible! I couldn’t be a good wife and mother without the Holy Spirit guiding my life. I would love to get this book!

  • Amber February 14, 2013, 6:11 pm

    I love Kelly’s blog, so I look forward to reading her book!

  • Holly C. February 15, 2013, 11:10 am

    Kelly is one of my biggest encouragements, and I have been wanting to get her book! Thank you for the chance!

  • imlovinmyhubby February 16, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I’m too worn out to tell of all the reasons why I would love to have this book but 1 of them is unemployed, 2 need their diapers changed, 2 are fighting over markers, 2 are crying about doing math on a Sat since we had a stellar day of homeschool yesterday-NOT!, 1 is whining about getting online to chat with his new female “friend” & they’re all starving…AGAIN! I think it’s time for Mamma to take a nap! 😉

  • imlovinmyhubby February 16, 2013, 4:40 pm

    Btw I saw that the giveaway is already over…guess I’ll check amazon after my nap. 🙂

    • Cindy February 16, 2013, 4:56 pm

      Ha! If you get your comment in before I close it, it’s good enough. I forgot to close it, so you’re in! Good luck!