Mothering by the Book by Jennifer Pepito

I just finished reading Mothering by the Book by Jennifer Pepito. I was struck by her stories of loss and the intense life struggles she faced. Yet, she chose to look for the joy. Books and reading aloud to her children led the way.

Mothering by the Book

Mothering by the Book

As a first time mom, I am constantly plagued by the thought of mothering incorrectly. Of leading my children down a path only to find out it’s a dead end. Not only that, but one that I can’t turn back from. Is the food I am giving her right? Is my approach going to scar her for life? Did my decision to stay home with her come from the right place, or am I holding on to her babyhood too tightly? There are a constant stream of these types of questions that leave me second guessing. And, my motherhood journey is just beginning.

Jennifer Pepito writes about her own fears in motherhood in Mothering by the Book. Each chapter recounts a struggle or trial that occurred in her life and how she chose to overcome her fears and seek out joy both for herself and her children.

Books were the answer.

As the title suggests, books were a key part of Pepito’s ability to find the good in tough times. She ties each struggling moment in her life to a book she was reading aloud to her children. She discusses how those classic novels and the struggles of the characters in them, were able to show her the light at the end of the tunnel. Books like Cheaper by the Dozen, Charlotte’s Web, Pride and Prejudice, and Little Britches taught her an important lesson.

Additionally, Pepito provides a deep dive into how each book helped her out of the tough season and then offers additional reads. She lists both read aloud options and books for parents going through their own struggles.

I have always felt a deep connection to literature. I have turned to it when most other parts of my life felt bleak. Pepito is absolutely right in saying that literature can teach us, can be a respite in troubled times, and can provide the insight we are so desperately craving. Motherhood is hard. Life is hard. But, we aren’t the first to endure. Pepito shows us how we can learn from those before us.

What books have helped you overcome tough times? What are your favorite classics and what lesson did they teach you?

To read my other book reviews click here.

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