Fit to Burst (review and giveaway)

I remember when I first read Rachel Jankovic’s debut book, Loving the Little Years.  The feeling of relief and encouragement was profound.  Finally!   Here was a parenting book author who understood where I was coming from.  At that point, I had two little ones under the age of two and it seemed like all the parenting books I had read until then were directed toward parents with older kids.  I mean, it’s all fine and good to learn about how to effectively listen to and talk to your children, but that can only go so far when your oldest isn’t even stringing words together yet!  But in Loving the Little Years, written when Rachel had five children ages five and under, she knew what that was like.

My initial good experience with Rachel’s writings only continued over the last several years as I eagerly read anything that she blogged.  She got it.  She knew the hard parts of being surrounded by littles always demanding your attention, but she also embraced the humor in those times as well.  She knew how draining the constancy of mothering tinies can be, but she also fully recognized that amazing joy it brings as well.

IMG_9527This “getting it” is what made me so excited when I saw that Rachel was writing another book on mothering — this one called Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem and the Joys of Motherhood.  I wrote and asked Canon Press about getting a review copy and they graciously sent me one along with a copy to give away to another young mom.

Now with six kids eight and under, Rachel’s parenting has had to move beyond the very little years and that quickly becomes apparent in her new book.  The book tackles some serious issues, but always with Rachel’s characteristic humor and with the long-term perspective in mind.  Like Loving the Little Years, this sequel reads more like a blog with a laid-back writing style and short chapters.  But for a mom of busy toddlers who can’t often sit and read for prolonged periods of time, I greatly appreciated that aspect of both Rachel’s books.

One of the weightier topics addressed in Fit to Burst is that of how a mom influences her kids’ relationship with their dad.  In one six-page chapter, Rachel doesn’t hold anything back and handles the issue more articulately than anyone I’ve ever read before.  I read that chapter aloud to my husband and we both were very impressed with how she addressed the subject.

As in her first book, Rachel doesn’t focus on all the different things we can do to make our children behave better and therefore make ourselves look like better mothers.  She instead zeroes in on attitudes and mindsets in ourselves that we need to submit to Jesus, and in doing so become better parents.  While she understands all the difficulties that come with being a mother, this book doesn’t condone wallowing in those hard things.  Instead we’re encouraged to embrace those difficulties and recognize them for what they are — things that help to sanctify us and make us more like Jesus.  And with being made like Jesus, we can help to point our children to Him as well.

Giveaway

We have a copy of Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joy of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic (provided by Canon Press) that we’d love to give away to a mom in need of some encouragement.  Just leave a comment telling us one of the joys of motherhood you’ve recently experienced. A winner will be drawn Monday, March 18.  This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Jessiqua for winning!

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conversations between sisters in Christ

  1. Rachel H. says

    I have a 2.5 year old, 1 year old, and one coming in September! How well I understand the constant attention little boys need! I love those quiet moments though, when I get the chance to rock my youngest asleep for his nap, then get to go lay down with the other till he falls asleep. I would love the insight and help this book can offer!!

  2. Rachel says

    Wow, so many great (and not so great, lol) mommy moments recently! Having a newborn in the house again and all the wonderfulness of that, how Chrissy and Danny interact with little Will so gently (usually, lol), watching my two toddlers learn so much every day, how their eyes light up when Daddy comes home, how God is stretching and growing me every day… I was so encouraged and challenged by Loving the Little Years and look forward to reading this one someday! :)

  3. Carrie says

    This book sounds wonderful! =) I am just loving all the new words/phrases, etc. that my almost-three old girl is coming up with! And right now, I just love how she says “par-tee” (just like Gretel in Sound Music! =) These little things so delight this mommy heart; especially on the long, rough days =)

  4. says

    I read her first book and loved it. It helped me a lot with my oldest child who is so very social and used to act like an overactive puppy all the time. Rachel’s picture of the puppy and the horse going off the trail really helped me see my daughter in a new light , and helped me communicate to her how to behave appropriately. I got 4 kids under 10 y.o. and I would love to read Rachel’s second book.

  5. says

    I read Loving the Little Years before our second daughter was born and found it to be so practical and full of wisdom! I would love to win Rachel’s new book for some good reading and advice for the future ;)

    The other day I loved having my oldest daughter, Fiona (2 1/2), help me make cookies while our younger daughter, Kenzie (9 mo), stood next to me holding onto a chair. ~Ah! the joys of motherhood!

  6. Anna says

    When all is quiet and everyone is finally cuddled up in their bed, my 2 year old son calls out for another round of “Hug! Kiss! Handshake!”. Even though it makes me get out of my warm bed and toddle half asleep into his room next door, it makes it all worth it!!!
    I have a 2, 1, and 2 month old, and would LOVE to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Janice says

    I have three boys three and under! I get tired just typing that! My favorite mommy moments is when I am nursing my 7 month old and the older two decide to crawl right up next to me too and cuddle! It melts my heart, I just love my little guys soo much and feel so blessed by them! Can’t thank Jesus enough!

  8. says

    Wow. It sounds like I need to read the first book, too! Definitely on my wish list. I am a mother of a 6 m o baby boy, and am expecting another little one in October. While there has been so much less stress to motherhood than I had expected, I’m sure that is going to change.

    Favorite mothering moment? When my baby is nursing and can’t stop staring at me, touching my face with his little hand. Melts my heart every time! :)

  9. Samantha R says

    I’m not a Mom so please don’t enter me into the drawing but I wanted to leave a comment :) I love reading the Femina Girls blog and I also have a friend who is currently reading this book and she loved it. I had never heard of the book before but I had heard of Rachel Jankovic. I can tell that Rachel is walking closely with the Lord and I think she offers a lot of encouragement for many mothers.

  10. says

    I’d really love to win this! :-) I’m fuzzy-brained, so I’m gonna share a humor story from today, since that’s what came to mind, and hope it works. ;-)

    Vivi (almost 3), who’s fascinated with her “breasts” (aka “nursies”) kept offering to nurse Timothy (16 months). They made me laugh so hard! She kept lifting her shirt, sticking herself in front of him and asking “wanna nurse?” Um, no…..we have some explaining to do, Love! ;-)

  11. says

    My best friend just had her third baby 10 days ago! She now has three boys under three. I would love to enter for her if I may. Aside from the joy of having a third baby born, I know a joy she has recently experienced has been seeing her older two boys become friends. They play together better, and the middle child loves to share (he piled my lap with toys when I came to visit!). Thanks for giving away this book!

  12. Hannah B says

    My son is almost 2 and our second is due in about a month. I hardly slept last night. When our son put his arms around my neck and squeezed tight it made it all feel so much better! I loved Loving the Little Years, and would love to read her new book!

  13. Krystle says

    I just had an aha moment that our middle child needs more love and affirmation and less discipline. :) I have 3 under 2.5 years old and would love this book!

  14. says

    Abel holding out one hand to each of us at the table all by his big little self, because although he can’t wait to eat, he loves holding our hands while we pray and ask for blessings