I absolutely love this author. Thank you Sheila for how well you articulate the issues that mothers face! This book needs to be recommended to moms "in the trenches" with toddlers and young children at home. I would say it is more geared to the stay-at-home mom that feels burdened under chores, home responsibilities, and childcare. This is in NO way to say that my working mom friends do not deal with these issues (they are double-burdened with other responsibilities from the workplace AND home duties) but I think this book is meant to be more easily understood by a SAHM who has little to no adult interaction during the day, who feels like sweeping cheerios up twice a day and scrubbing poop stains off the carpet, are all she has to look forward to. Sheila has been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, so I think she provides some great balance from different viewpoints. But this book is certainly geared toward a mom who feels she is relegated ONLY to washing endless loads of laundry, cleaning up chicken nugget crumbs embedded in the van, wiping off greasy smudge prints on the glass door (for the tenth time), and dealing with the fact that you pretty much have no one who can help you through it (like, no grandparents who live close by, a babysitter, a friend who can watch your kid for a few hours each day, etc.) Even if you don't struggle with ALL of these issues, it is so beneficial to read. I have been a stay-at-home mom for five years and have 3 young children. The things in this book have been so helpful to me!
I was cracking up when she wrote, "Sometimes I think we demand too much of ourselves, thinking that good parenting involves climbing into the sandbox. There's nothing wrong with that, but that may not be who you are. But if you involve them where you can, where it's more natural for you, as often as you can, then they won't feel abandoned if you make them play by themselves at times." (p. 143) She makes you not feel guilty for being super into playing with your kids. That's not to say you shouldn't play with your kids...or involve them in your life. That's not right. But sometimes I feel like a bad mom because I'm not on the floor playing legos for 2 hours with my boy. Where on earth did that thought come from anyway? Sheila discusses what moms back in the "olden days" dealt with and how some of our modern-day problems and guilt trips are both similar to what women dealt with decades, even hundreds of years ago. It really is an insightful book that offers a lot of much-needed perspective. Definitely recommend.
From advertisements to mommy blogs to Pinterest, scenes of domestic bliss abound, painting a picture of perfection and expectation nearly impossible to live up to. Why can't you work a full-time job, stylishly clothe yourself and your children, plan a party for twelve with handmade decorations, keep your house sparkling clean without chemicals, and bake a gourmet meal in the same day? Everyone else is doing it! For many women, housework has become more than chores that need to be done; it is a symbol of identity. Sheila Wray Gregoire wants to stop that thinking in its tracks and help women back to a life of balance--for their sakes and for their families. She encourages women to shift their focus from housekeeping to relationships and shows them how to foster responsibility and respect in all family members. The second edition retains the helpful, concrete advice on everyday situations such as strategies for tackling chores and budgets and tips on effective communication, while incorporating the wisdom Sheila has gained through her interaction with thousands of readers of her blog and through her speaking ministry over the past ten years. Through the principles in To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, Gregoire promises readers they can grow and thrive in the midst of their hectic lives-even if their circumstances stay the same.
About the Author
Sheila Wray Gregoire, a born entrepreneur, writes for numerous magazines, actively blogs at tolovehonorandvaccum.com, and speaks to a variety of audiences across North America, combining the realities of a family with Scripture for real-world, real-biblical answers. In addition, she and her husband, Keith, tag-team homeschool their kids.