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Review: MomSense by Jean Blackmer


I took careful notes when a nurse showed me how to bathe my first baby, over 18 years ago.  Nervous and uncertain, I pestered all the nurses with questions about everything to do with babies. Finally one nurse turned to me, smiled with her dark brown eyes and said, “Don’t worry.  Your baby will tell you what to do.”  To me, that was a life-changing moment, the first step of many on the path to confident mothering.  I could be the expert on my child.

Not everyone has a golden moment with such a wise nurse.  However, MomSense:  A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering by Jean Blackmer can give you the same sense of confidence.  The book is meant to be about “…being confident in our roles as mothers, trusting our intuition, and developing the skills we need to confidently raise our little ones.”

MomSense is not a hands-on parenting guide and “is not meant to tell anyone what to do but to help each individual mom decide what is best for herself and her family…”.  Blackmer does this by helping each of us discover our own MomSense, which is a combination of a mom’s intuition and her common sense.  Since a mother’s life is full of decisions, she discusses decision making, critical thinking, instincts, and mommy brain –contrary to what we’ve been told, motherhood actually makes one smarter….

Blackmer compiled a list of essential elements of successful mothering. Useful tips and tools on how to develop and practice them make up the bulk of this book. Yes, that’s right, she suggests we should deliberately practice things such as patience, consistency, self-control, joy, and love so that they become a part of us.  Then, when we really need them, we can rely on habit as well as determination.  This reminds me of the idea of spiritual disciplines.

Obviously, being a mom is a huge responsibility, but there’s more to life.  In order for mothers to function well, they need relationships with others and God.

Each chapter in MomSense contains stories and quotes from various moms as well as questions for personal or group study.  Some of the chapters also contain helpful questionnaires and lists.

MomSense is carefully structured and well-written, appealing and informative.  The quotes and stories will resonate more with new moms than with experienced ones, but many of the discussion questions will be helpful to all.

My thoughts

When I was offered this book to review, I remembered the dark-eyed nurse and thought, “Sure, it sounds like my parenting philosophy.  I’ll be happy to review it, and I’ll pass the book along to a new mom when I’m done.”

Well, despite having been a mom for almost two decades, I learned enough from this book to keep it for reference.  Blackmer’s down-to-earth encouragement to deliberately practice important qualities is exhilarating. I must have been looking for something like this, subconsciously, for a long time.  Yes, MomSense is a great book for new moms, but with its insightful chapter on decision-making and its practical chapters about eight essential elements of mothering, it’s a goldmine for experienced moms as well.

You can read up to page 28 of MomSense here.

Disclosure:  This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  and is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

MomSense is my 18th book in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge.

One Comment

  1. Stacy says:

    Sounds like a good book. I may have to read it in my spare time this morning at work. I just hope I don’t fall asleep from reading! LOL!

    I was sound asleep this morning when the alarm sounded at 5:10. Not a good way to start the day.

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