Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: (un)Natural Mom

(un)Natural Mom:  Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids
By Hettie Brittz
David C. Cook, 2016


Do you feel like you're the only mom who serves store-bought birthday treats, dreads school plays, and misses the days of going to the bathroom by herself?

Unnatural Mom gives you permission to say that mothering doesn't always come naturally to you. Parenting expert and self-proclaimed unnatural mom Hettie Brittz helps you . . .

-Recognize how unrealistic our culture's standards of mothering are
-Move beyond the myths of "supermom"
-Complete a profile to determine your own parenting style
-Understand and forgive the mothers who hurt you
-Embrace your capabilities as well as your challenges

Come find new hope in discovering that every mother has unique gifts. In Christ, the "unnatural" mom becomes the supernatural mom who is just right for her family!

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My thoughts

An (un)Natural Mom is any mom who finds
some everyday aspect of motherhood so challenging that
she experiences shame, fear, or even despair.

(un)Natural Mom by Hettie Britzz is a gem that has the potential to be a wonderfully helpful – even life changing – resource for any mom who takes the time to read it. In fact, the greatest compliment I can bestow is to say that I wish Hettie had written it 38 years ago. I wanted to review this book because there are several young mothers in my church, and (un)Natural Mom is a book that I will recommend every chance I get – and even plan to give it as baby gifts occasionally.

My son was the first baby I had ever held – talk about inexperience and not knowing what to expect! In chapter 2, “The Counterfeit Call to Be “Natural,” Hettie shares seven myths drawn from personal experience – man-made rules heaped upon mothers by society. I’m glad to say that I didn’t fall for all seven, but that’s all I’m admitting to.

Hettie writes with intelligence, honesty, humor and passion, and there’s not one boring moment. I especially like how she can laugh at herself. If we are totally honest, I suspect many moms reading this can relate to Hettie’s question after the birth of her daughter: “Why did I love her to the point of being willing to die for her, while finding the daily baby-care chores unfulfilling?”

Of great benefit is a free online tool called Tall Trees Parenting Profile (T2P2), which helps us determine our parenting temperament and then embrace God’s design for us as individual moms. This is a great concept and let me again say how much I wish this had been available years ago! Four chapters in the book parallel this profile, and moms are just like these trees – “100 percent natural and yet diverse in our beauty.” Rather than describing each type, Hettie makes it much more interesting by fictionally focusing on one specific mom, recognizing her struggles, and offering grace.

One thought that especially spoke to me is … don’t force yourself or let the expectations of others force you into a “natural” style that isn’t you, for the Master Designer made you to fit the design of your children. “Only the One who calls us by name has the right to tell us how we should be. The beauty is that He does not tell us without enabling us as well. He doesn’t demand what we don’t have. And we always have enough by virtue of His free gifts.”

And with God in the equation, (un)Natural becomes (super)Natural. As a mom who has raised her children and enjoys the godly adults they have become, I cherish this quote . . .

A (super)Natural Mom knows that her failures won’t
stop God from keeping all the promises He made
concerning her life and the lives of her children.

Hettie wrote about something else that touched me in a special way and I can’t end this review without mentioning it, as adoption may play a role in one or both of my children’s future . . .

The mom who chooses the adoption route, whether she can or cannot conceive a baby, experiences a pregnancy of its own kind. The approval by the adoption agency may be her “double pink stripe.” Her pregnancy can last for years. She also has a readied room, a baby bag by the door, and a supply of formula. Her waters break when the adoption agency finally calls with good news. This unnatural pregnancy is supernatural in my book.

Highly recommended.


Hettie Brittz is an author, international speaker, and one of South Africa's foremost voices on parenting advice. She is the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course and Tall Trees Profiles. Hettie and her husband, Gospel singer Louis Brittz, live in South Africa with their three children.

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Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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