In nine years, I’ve never gone into my Catholic Mom’s Bible Study / Book Club and said, “We need to read this book today,” but I did that with the latest book by Kate Wicker.
If you are always perfectly fulfilled in your role as a mother and you have a group of well-behaved children who never try your patience, feel free to stop reading this review right now. If, on the other hand, you struggle with your God-given vocation of motherhood and sometimes feel like a total failure, then you will want to put Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood at the top of your reading list.
In the Foreword, Rachel Swenson Balducci tells us that “Motherhood is not for wimps. . . .Being a mom is the hardest thing you will ever do and one of the most important. And that’s why, if we start thinking about things too much, we can get a little carried away.” We all want to be the best moms we can be, but at the end of the day, we need to accept that we are not perfect. Only God can make that claim. We need to find our center in “the loving arms of Jesus.”
Wicker describes motherhood as “the ultimate extreme sport.” It is, after all, a race with no finish line. Even when our children have crossed the threshold into adulthood, we are still their mothers. With the stakes so high, it’s easy to wrap our identity up in being a mom. Wicker wants to remind us that “motherhood is actually not [our] highest calling. Being a daughter of God is. . . The highest calling placed upon our lives is to know and love God with all that we have and all that we are.”
Each chapter begins with two contrasting quotes. One is an “Evil Earworm” that the world (or the voice inside our head) tells us. The second is an “Unvarnished Truth” giving us a much-needed dose of reality rooted in God.
Wicker, a mom of five, offers refreshingly honest anecdotes from her own life to illustrate her points. She freely shares where she has gone wrong and how she could do better. She doesn’t have all the answers and describes herself as a “perfectionist in recovery.” She is in the trenches with the rest of us. Reading Getting Past Perfect is like sitting down with one of you best faith-filled girlfriends to have an honest heart-to-heart about life and motherhood. A Reading Guide is also included for use by individuals or groups.