Are you trying to do this mothering thing alone? So focused on the kids that you’re hungry for friendships of your own? Have great friendships that you want to make even better?
Jill Savage, mother of five, knows those challenges well, and she’s here to help. Presenting a compelling vision of motherhood as a group effort among friends, Better Together shows how you can:
All these things are possible. Dive into this storehouse of creative ideas for how to make mothering easier, richer, and more fun than you ever imagined!
My MOMS (Mothers on a Mission) group is gearing up and I feel like "Better Together" by Jill Savage with Anne McClane should be our theme book. There are so many good things about this book, but I think just the overall message is my favorite: "Because You're Not Meant to Mom Alone."
Motherhood can be a really lonely time for so many moms. I remember when my boys were very small and we lived in communities that just weren't friendly. Not that they were mean but just isolating and lonely. I feel so blessed to be raising them in a community where there are more chances at relationship for me, but I still feel isolated at times (especially with it being summer and I have a baby who naps most of the day).
Jill Savage and her daughter Anne McClane wrote this book together, and one of the opening questions is "Why are Mom Friends so Important?" I wish I could read this at my church to encourage women to come to our MOMS group no matter their parenting stage. It feels like so many women think a group like this is not for them when they don't have preschoolers, but I believe a mom group (whether MOPS or Moms in Prayer or a freezer meal group or anything else) is important for all moms because "A century ago, extended family often formed a woman's natural mothering community. While quilting with aunts and sisters-in-law, marriage wisdom passed along. While cooking with your mom and grandmother, parenting knowledge was shared. While scrubbing clothes with sisters and friends, homemaking tips were discussed. If a mom was sick, her community helped care for her kids. When a new baby was born, the village fed and cared for the new mom and her family. When there was a big project to accomplish, her tribe of mothers pulled together to help.
Today, many of us live away from our moms, aunts, sisters, and in-laws. Families are more independent in carrying out their household responsibilities. Even if a mom lives near her family, many older women are now in the workforce and just don't have the time or the opportunity to be together in the day to day - which is what it takes for regular interaction and natural conversation to happen.
Because our mothering community is no longer formed naturally within extended family relationships, we have to pursue, discover, and assemble it ourselves. We have to recognize the value of it and make it a priority in our lives because we're stronger, wiser, and even healthier when we have a mom community around us."
The book goes on to explain the benefits of friendship: connection, a sense of belonging, the ability to give, the ability to receive, sounding board, wisdom and experiences of others, marital health, spiritual health, emotional health, and physical health. It's just so helpful to know we're not alone, right?
Savage goes on to explain how to find friends, how your friends don't have to be mirror images of you, ideas on how to get together (once-a-month cooking, housework together - my favorite, kid exchanges, craft nights, or Christmas present wrapping, exchange parties, block parties, exercising together, etc). I personally love the idea of cleaning together. Anyone want to come help me fold laundry? I'll help you with yours!
One of my favorite chapters is about helping others. The best advice I think I've ever been given is to allow people to bless you. If you say no to someone's help (whether a meal or cleaning house or money), then you are not allowing them the chance to bless you. They may need to do that. Just the other day I made a meal for someone and I NEEDED to do that. I needed to think about someone other than myself. Too often we are too prideful or fearful or something to accept help. Too often we are too busy or fearful or whatever to offer help. We're afraid of "owing" someone or failing (or seeming to fail). It is so important of us to put ourselves aside to help and accept help at different seasons in our lives. This past year with a new baby and a son's brain surgery, we've had to accept a lot of help. We so appreciate the people in our lives who were willing to step up to offer childcare, money, a meal, an encouraging note, prayers. I've learned to say yes to help and I'm learning to offer help in areas I can help.
At the end of each chapter in "Better Together," there are sections with Anne's perspective and Friendship Assignments. Nothing hard but just ideas to get you thinking about connecting with those you love.
I think every mom needs a copy of this book. It was just full of ideas and inspiration to get together and get connected. Motherhood is hard and I don't have all the answers and neither does anyone else but we can get the job done well if we work together.
No one warned me that mothering would be one of the hardest, most rewarding, yet loneliest jobs that I would ever have. Even with a supportive husband (who I thank God for), it was still a bit of a rough transition. So, I was thrilled to get a hold of this book and read the wisdom that these two ladies brought to the table. They do a wonderful job of sharing from the perspective of an almost empty nester and a mother of little ones. The balance is excellent! I love the personal stories that they shared and how they sprinkle in the stories of others. I highly recommend this book as a gift for new mothers!
This book was like a balm for this Mommy's soul. It was some much needed encouragement and sage advice, good for newbies and veteran Mom's alike. I loved every single chapter of this book, I loved how it focused on standing together as Mom's and not tearing each other apart which is so common in this day and age. I have began to realize in my own life how vitally important friends are and this book solidified that.
Filled with wonderful illustrations, sage advice and biblical examples this book is excellent.
It can be hard to make friends, be friends or have time for friends. Yet, God created us for community and to make connections with others. With that in mind, author Jill Savage and her daughter Anne McClane have collaborated to create a book on making friends for moms of all ages. This book, Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone, caught my attention when I listened to an interview that Savage did on The Busy Mom podcast a month or so ago, and before I knew it, Better Together was making its way to my home.
In better together, Savage begins by explaining why you need Mom friends, what categories of Mom friends you need, where you can find friends and how to make them. Then, she has you go through some personality quizzes and apply the results to discover your Mom friend style, and how that effects the size and depth of your Mom friend circle. The rest of the book is spent describing ways that Mom friends benefit each other, and it has tons of practical help for being a better Mom friend as well as anecdotes from Savage’s life, as well as from McClane’s life and sidebars from other ladies as well. These chapters include, learning with friends, helping friends, caring for friends, sharing, praying, forgiving and encouraging each other.
This was a really warm and fuzzy read for me, and it helped me to realize that not every friend I have has to have a soul deep connection with me to be a friend. It also helped me to see that it’s okay when you drift closer to and farther from particular friends in certain seasons of life. As an introvert who processes internally and has a medium-low capacity for activity and a busy schedule, I’m going to have fewer friends and less activity than other moms do. I’m okay with that, but sometimes seeing friendship activities on social media do make me jealous, and that’s a character flaw in myself that I just have to deal with.
However, when I do feel the urge to branch out and make new friends, I feel much more empowered to actually take the extra steps necessary to make those friends. For that, I have to say that I really enjoyed Savage’s book and found it very helpful.