The book is available for pre-order on:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
w/the-high-calling-of- motherhood-chimene-shipley- dupler/1125819957
Ambassador's online retail store: https://squareup.com/store/
If this post, or any of the other ones along the book tour, pique your interest you can follow the author on social media on Facebook, instagram, and twitter.
So who is this author? And why should we even bother consider listening to her? Well, Chimene Shipley Dupler is the Founder and President/CEO of Pink Polka Dot Productions and Passion4Moms ministry. She is a well-respected speaker on marriage and parenting who has her B.S. Degree from Baylor University in Child and Family Studies. And most importantly, she's a mom!
When I agreed to be a part of this blog book tour, I did it as a favor for a friend in my Facebook mom group. I'm generally super skeptical about any kind of parenting book; especially with all the new and popular parenting techniques that I know I disagree with. I know, I know: my kid isn't actually here yet, so to some that calls into question my authority on parenting and parenting techniques, but I believe that what Chimene says her book about being a mother is strictly Biblical. Maybe when I'm actually chasing an obstinate toddler I will apply the principles differently than I anticipate, but I know I will definitely be using them and following her advice!
There were two big themes that stood out to me as I read this book. The first theme is the dangerous trap of comparison, and the other theme is the importance of intentional parenting.
We all know that we aren't supposed to compare our lives to the other women we know, but we all know that we do it anyway. Reading this book was a great reminder of why we have to be so careful. As women we always seem to be looking to everyone else for approval for our choices, and Chimene brought out how being a mother only acerbates this instinct in us. Are our kids as far along developmentally as so-and-so's? Is my daughter doing as well in ballet as my friend's daughter? Why did so-and-so's son get on the club team but mine didn't? And on and on it goes. We look to everyone around us as the measuring stick of what our child should be doing and what being a successful parent looks like rather than reveling in the child's personal accomplishments and enjoying the moments with them. Not only does comparison kill our own personal joy and make us feel inadequate, but it also teaches our children to look to others for their validation, and that can be very dangerous. I've personally run into this already as I get ready to welcome my little munchkin. Everyone has an opinion that they feel they need to share, and while I appreciate the interest that prompts this need, I have already discovered that I have to make decisions for myself and my child. I'm responsible to God and God alone for the choices I make for my child and my ultimate validation as a mother shouldn't be that people are condoning my decisions, but rather that I know I've prayed about each decision I've made and that I know that I'm making the best decision that I possibly can for my child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing stories, getting advice from friends, and celebrating other children's accomplishments! We just have to make sure that we remember that every child is different and every experience that they have should be for their enrichment and training and not to make us look good as a parent or give us some kind of parental prestige. Each family is different and we have to make a conscious effort to be thankful for everything we can be. Not every family is going to look the same, and when we expect them to we set ourselves up to feel guilty when ours doesn't look the way we think it's supposed to.
The other big theme that stood out to me as I read this book, was the importance of intentional parenting. We live in a culture where families are child-centric and the children are allowed to run the home under the pretext of catering to their "needs". Then one day they wake up to realize that the children have reared the parents and have the parents trained to give them exactly what they want. That does the children a great disservice. I have always held the belief that children should be trained to be adults, not trained to be perpetual children, and this is a principal that Chimene spent some time discussing. In recent months we have seen a great deal on the national front of what happens when adults were raised to be children who got everything they wanted when they wanted it. Each child is a gift to their respective family and with that gift comes the parental responsibility to actively raise that child to be the best person they can be - in every way. For us that are Christians, that means that God expects us to intentionally train our children to be obedient, caring, thoughtful, unselfish and respectful to authority, and to love Him with all their hearts. It's not the easy way to parent, but it's the right way. We do no service to a child when we let them be disobedient, make excuses for their bad behavior, and allow them to get away with things by just saying "they'll grow out of it" or "they're just kids" or "boys will be boys". Things don't change without conscious effort, and a child's character is no different. Chimene told a personal story that brings this point home. She told the story of how she was out spending time shopping with her mother-in-law and her toddler was throwing a fit and being disobedient. She told her daughter that if she didn't get her behavior squared away and start behaving, that they were going to go home and she would take a nap. She continued in her disobedience and so they went home. It wasn't fun for Chimene or for her mother-in-law, but it was an important moment to teach her child that mother means what she says, and that disobedience will not tolerated. Those kind of uncomfortable moments are what make a strong, well-adjusted, mature, godly adult. Honestly, yes, I'm dreading having to make those kind of decisions and yes I'm absolutely dreading being inconvenienced by a tiny human. But as the title of this book reminds us, being a mother is important calling that is given directly by God and held in high esteem by God. And He makes no mistakes! The little phrase "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called" is never more true than in this capacity. He promises to never give us more than we can handle, and to never leave us. And yes that applies to motherhood as well! Every if we feel like we are having to do it all alone, we aren't.
If you're frustrated with where you are on your journey as a mother, I definitely recommend that you check out this book. It was a huge encouragement to me, and I know that it will be to you as well!!