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Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner: Personal Discoveries of a Mother of Twelve
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Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner: Personal Discoveries of a Mother of Twelve

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A treasury of observations by a woman who has raised twelve children presents the author's life lessons while celebrating the potential that every woman shares and sharing her beliefs about family, children, husbands, and relationships.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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this was a great little book i read in December that is a little window into the life of a mother who raised 12 children. It didn't have as much actual child-rearing advice as I am looking for/in need of, but it was a sweet reminder of living in the moment, enjoying precious children, and knowing our place as women and mothers is one that is irreplaceable, noble, and extremely important and rewarding.
I'm always interested in how women of so many children structure their days. You would have to have some good pointers if you've raised 12 children! Well written and I liked her spiritual side.
One of my new favorite books:
"Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner: Personal Discoveries of a Mother of Twelve"

My Dad described Jaroldeen Edwards as "sharp" and he's absolutely right. I thoroughly enjoyed this book enough to read it yearly, or even more often than that. The 'windows of light' she shares in this book are so simple but packed full of positive impact on life and home.

You'll learn an amazing towel tip and so many other practical and spiritual nuggets of wisdom. Ain't it great that we can
This read was simple and had a few gems of wisdom to impart. Since it was written by a Mormon woman it is heavily laden with scriptural references, testimonies, and Mormon humor. I had to skip a few pages concerning the teaching of Joseph Smith for my own sake, and while nothing in this book was novel, it was nice to be reminded to be appreciative and love what you have.

"It is important to see choices as opportunities, not as frustrations." p.20

"When we live our lives dealing with things that re
Mrs. Edwards insights into mothering were lovely and profound. I did not love having to wade through some of her personal religious beliefs...I think it's harder for me to read things that have elements of my faith and are twisted to fit into something else. I'm not sure why. For example, I love two mothering books by Katrina Kenison, who I believe is Buddhist. For some reason, I can just "chew the meat and spit out the bones", even though Kenison and I do not believe the same at all. With this ...more
I really loved this book, I was surprised. I guess I was just expecting it to be a nice little relaxing read--which it was--but it was so much more than that, too. It was very inspiring for me. I loved her pieces of wisdom that were all so simple and profound. One of my favorite things she talked about was how valuable the time spent with a baby in diaper changes is (so relevant to me right now). Another was how it's too bad that our generation of women has been taught to think that the years of ...more
So many life lessons that any one could absorb... I've read some narrow-minded reviews for this book from writers who assume that since they are not in the same life situation, nothing about the book applies to them. Not true! Even if a reader just opened their mind to what a different life might be like and what makes someone tick who would have 12 children. Wisdom for handling any life- no matter kids, no kids, or the number. The first time I read this book, I sped read it at Barnes and Noble. ...more
This woman speaks from experience and with a huge amount of wisdom. This is a very short book that I did not want to end. Scouting out a copy for myself. I was reading a library copy and found that I wanted to underline sentences on every page!
I've read about three or four chapters so far and I am loving this book! I love her writing style, her opinions, her passion for nature and motherhood, and her essay about a day in her life. I'm so grateful for this glimpse into a successful family life. Her perspective covers the entire span of having 12 children. Since I am at the beginning of just having a few children I feel like this woman is my mentor and I'm eager to learn and grow through the pages of her book.

update 2014: Reading again
Not a waste of time; nice in a "I'm not alone or nuts" sense, just not very profound. I liked Mitten Strings for God better.
I picked this up at the library the other day and read it all in one evening. It really resonated with me -- perhaps because I'm about to have our 7th child and it's nice to feel that I'm not alone, even if the author's youngest is probably my age by now! Her stories and insights were like listening to a good friend a bit further on in life. She gave some practical suggestions, but mostly just told stories and wrote about what she finds most worthwhile about life. Reading it made me resolve to s ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Jaroldeen Edwards is entertaining and has some great ideas and examples of life. She raised 12 children. My favorite essay, and the reason I bought the book, is the one entitled, "Things I wish I'd known sooner." It's full of practical ideas and the things that she wishes she'd learned earlier in life. My favorite: to only use white linens and white towels. You never have to worry about matching sheets or making sure the blue towels don't get washed with the yellow ones! My next favorite is to m ...more
Each chapter of this book reads like a Time Out for Women talk. While I didn't come away with an incredible "how to" mothering plan, I enjoyed each vignette (some ideas for gracious living and reminders to soak in children's young years).

Here's a fun fact: The author, Jaroldeen Edwards, is the mother of Marianna Richardson, the wife of our recent stake president. I took a parenting class from Marianna (the oldest of 12, has 12 children herself) and she is one of the most articulate, incredible w

When I picked up this book I thought for sure there would be some enlightening coming my way. That was not exactly the case, so in my mind the title is slightly misleading. I didn't really learn anything and it wasn't particularly insightful.

Having said all that I quite enjoyed reading the book. It was like listening to a good friend telling you about her life with her family, and all the wonderful adventures they had together. On that basis, I think it's a worthwhile read.

*Better than some bad
I didn't quite know what to expect with this book. I found a woman who has a wonderful way of expressing herself with words. I really enjoyed her writing style. The title may make you think it is a self-help book, however she sets it up more as a sharing book. She doesn't tell you to do things a certain way. She shares her experiences as a friend would. Since I loved her writing style so much I gave it 5 stars. I also enjoyed the content very much. Worth the read (to me)!
Feb 06, 2009 Kelsey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kelsey by: My mom
Shelves: parenting
I actually really liked this book. I felt it had some good spiritual direction as well as simple everyday helps around the house. The thing I liked best about it was even a wonder-mom like Jaroldeen had days where she felt she worked and worked and got nothing done. She addresses this and gives advice on how to love even those kinds of days.
I would say all mormon mom's should read it!
A very pleasant, guilt-free, humorous, and empowering book. She writes like an well-seasoned friend telling stories from her memories of family living & sharing the wisdom that came from her life's journey. She inspires me to CHOOSE to SEE the extraordinary in the ordinary, the marvelous in the mundane, and the miracle of motherhood!
This would make a great gift! Biggest message I took away--never devalue yourself as a woman, a mother, a wife. I loved hearing Edwards' point of view coming from the 70's with it's message to women that being a homemaker is enslaving and degrading. What I do is important and I should never be embarrassed or ashamed of it.
This woman had 12 children and she shares some of her advice. It's a good book. She gives a little practical advice, but mostly its philosophical. She has a great view of womenhood and motherhood. While her husband was at Harvard, she had 5 children preschool age and under! Unreal.
I feel bad for giving this only 2 stars, but really it was just OK. I should have known a woman with 12 children was LDS :) I thought she was a lovely woman, and this book was like sitting down with your grandma and getting random tid-bits of advise and things she learned in her life.
This book does the favor of painting motherhood as a privilege that passes too quickly instead of something to barely survive. Her stories are lovely and funny. A mom can't help but feel like her life is important after reading them.
I waited for months to get this book from the library, and it didn't dissappoint. It had insightful reflections on being a wife, mother, and individual. I read it in just a couple of hours, and thought it was uplifting and inspiring.
I read this at my sister's suggestion. The author had great stories and tips for simplifying household tasks. The tip I liked most was to always use all white bed linens so you could bleach them and not have to match them.
Janna Harris
This book was so fun to read. The author has such wonderful insights into motherhood and raising children. It helped me see my daily life as it really is - something great and important.
My mom gave this to me when we first got married. I really enjoyed the simple insights she had in this book and have thought of her ideas often as I have been raising my kids.
Great book for a pick up when motherhood gets frustrating. Also helps you appreciate being a woman. Very quick read and I found it to help me not sweat the small stuff.
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read. This book is WONDERFUL! As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again. So thought provoking and uplifting.
The author inspires me with her ability to love and to live life. A great quote in the book by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "A noble type of good. Heroic womanhood."
Mar 07, 2008 Charity rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nicole
Delightful anecdotes and practical ideas. Great pick-me up book when I need one. One of my all-time favorites. Great ideas for family, home, and self.
I love the way she uses humor to teach lessons. It was great to help me have a better attitude towards the mudane tasks of mothering.
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“One unexpected bonus of motherhood is the visual beauty. I am enchanted by the sights of my children, the tones of skin, the clear eyes, the grace, the curve of a hand and cheek, to see them racing across the back lawn in a certain slant of light.” 4 likes
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