Christian Blog and Online Women's Ministry in South Africa - Cup of Faith

Stretched Too Thin Review

Cup of Faith has recently taken the step of giving a handful of our contributors books to review on our platform, which we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks. If you’d like to join the contributing team, feel free to apply to join here.

Moms everywhere are finding it more and more difficult to balance the demands of their jobs with their role as moms. With busy schedules, having to remember PTA meetings, client pitches, and of course, extra-curricular activities for each child, it’s easy to see why working moms find themselves overwhelmed by stress and often, feeling like a failure as a mom.

In her book, Stretched Too Thin,  Jessica Turner has helped teach working moms how to cope with the pressure of working and building a happy, lasting home, while also maintaining contentment amid the busyness of life through finding happiness and joy. She expresses that we need to make changes to our day-to-day life and embrace a new normal that is free of feeling Stretched Too Thin.

Jessica explains that living ‘stretched too thin’ is the norm for many working mothers, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can live with purpose, and be content with both your role as a mom and career-woman. The book outlines practical ways to make things easier and is jam-packed with ideas and changes that you can make, to help you thrive. Of course, not every idea is applicable to you, but with so many ideas to page through, you are spoilt with options that will suit your family and career.

In this practical and inspiring book, Jessica shows working moms how to:

  • work and parent guilt-free
  • establish clear work boundaries
  • set achievable goals
  • discover more flexibility
  • develop home management solutions
  • prioritize self-care
  • invest in her marriage
  • cultivate deeper friendships
  • feel like a good mom, even while working

At the end of each chapter, she asks readers questions relating to the chapter, that prompts you to think and figure out how these lessons can be applied to your own life. In addition, there is space to journal, which I found incredibly helpful.

Some of the highlighted lessons that I loved from her book included:

Setting yourself up for success

If you want to achieve radical changes, you need to set goals and exercise the goals you set. Jessica helps you consider your past, brainstorm goal ideas, write your intentional goals and then encourages you to pursue those goals. When doing all these things, you should also track that time it takes to do so over the course of a week. By setting goals and tracking time, you are putting yourself on the path of making improvements on how you live your life.

Acknowledge your feelings!

Mom guilt is a real thing and no matter how hard we fight it, it always has a way of rearing its ugly head every now and again. The struggle is real! Mom guilt, confusion, fear of missing out and the struggle to feel satisfied are all normal and valid. But do not let these feelings steal your joy or your capacity to be your best! Working moms are phenomenally capable, loving, driven, passionate women – we are not robots without feelings.

Stop keeping scores!

The sooner we break free from this habit, the sooner we will be content with our circumstances, and be able to focus on what really matters. As working moms, we need to learn to forgive ourselves for the times that we fall short or don’t measure up to our own expectations. Unforgiveness is like poison in our lives, and it will eventually impact the relationships and experiences that make up our lives. Forgiveness clears the way for new growth.

Get over FOMO!

Fear of missing out is also a very real thing! Take a minute to switch off from social media and all the posts telling us what sort of mom to be, and how we’re not measuring up in the eyes of someone’s highlight reel. Trade comparison for celebration, and practice self-acceptance. Working mothers are some of the strongest women we know because we learn to navigate so many responsibilities and roles in such a short time.

Practising self-care is vital

Have you ever tried to make time for yourself only to be interrupted by something or someone? We have to take care of ourselves by putting on our own oxygen masks before we can effectively take care of others around us. Jessica mentions that by intentionally investing in ourselves, we are simply declaring our self-worth and proclaiming that who we are as individuals matters. For some women self-care looks like a day of pampering at a spa, for others, it is taking a hike, and for some, it is time with God each day.

To mitigate the feelings of guilt and not measuring up, we must take time to nurture ourselves mentally and emotionally. We need to shift our thinking from putting ourselves last, to prioritising the need for self-care whether that’s through a simple act like journaling. Mental and emotional care isn’t a privilege; it’s a necessity. There is also a need for physical care, through regular check-ups and paying attention to your body, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, eating healthy and resting. Jessica also talks about the importance of spiritual care where one meditates and practises mindfulness, reads spiritual books, and keeps a prayer journal.

Not forgetting our marriage

While trying to keep up with work, motherhood and, and, and… it’s easy to forget the importance of pouring energy and love into our marriages, and while Jessica does also understands that not every working mom is married, I appreciated that she teaches on how to invest in our marriages.

Work is not the enemy

She clarifies that as a working mom we need to find rhythm at work, by understanding why you are there, recognising the values of your work, the benefits it brings, financial relief it provides and the opportunity to create relationships outside of the home space. Work is where you are spending much of your time, so it’s important to approach work with a positive mindset and attitude and not seeing it as a space that drains you, or keeps you from your tole as a mom.

While reviewing this book, l was overwhelmed by how Jessica explains and clarifies some points. She taught me to truly value the things in life that I’d be shattered to lose.  A vital tip to me, was that she mentions that we might need to shake things up, in order to cultivate meaningful experiences with our kids that will positively impact them for life, while also encouraging us to see working as an opportunity to teach our children the value of hard work. She goes on to talk about creating a home you love, cultivating deep friendships and leading a life you love. The book also reminded me that l am a light, and I have the opportunity to shine bright every day in all my roles, and you should too.

You can purchase your copy of Stretched too Thin from CUM Books and other leading book stores. 

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