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Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
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Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  1,638 ratings  ·  284 reviews
I didn't write this book because mothering little ones is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't. I know that this is a hard job, because I am right here in the middle of it. I know you need encouragement because I do too.

This is not a tender reminiscence from someone who had children so long ago that she only remembers the sweet parts. At the time of writing this, I h
Paperback, 102 pages
Published November 26th 2010 by Canon Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.5 stars

There were parts of this book that I loved! I thought she had some great advice, and there were definitely several points that I really needed to hear. I would like to re-read this book just to help me remember those points. She had some great thoughts: about having a joyful attitude and refusing to use the word overwhelmed, about disciplining with purpose to build kids up rather than tear them down, and about how we get frustrated with our kids' misbehaviors when we ourselves are misbe
This book left me with very mixed feelings. I didn't just "like it" - I loved parts and hated parts. If I could, I'd give it 40% one star and 60% four to five stars, but will accept that we have to communicate in averages.

There were a lot of very practical points in the book. Some of the images and statements have really stuck with me. I like the concept of not being a "picky chicken" and tearing our family members down. This is a great principal for marriage too.

My two favorite points where th
Joceline Foley
This is absolutely the most encouraging book I've ever read on parenting. I could have underlined about 3/4 of the book if I hadn't reigned myself in. My kids are currently three, two, and one, and I admittedly have many days when I feel defeated, exhausted, and like I'm doing unproductive work. Of course I love my kids, and I enjoy them, but three kids that little are a LOT of work. Jankovic (the mother of five children five and under) gives Biblical wisdom, practical tips, and encouragement to ...more
"It was okay" was honestly the best review I could give.
As parenting books go, it just doesn't bring a lot to the table.
It feels more like a collection of blog posts...the kind written late at night that don't always make as much sense when the writer reads them back the next day.
Lots of anecdotes and metaphors, not a lot of practical tips or strategies.
The author also comes off as ultimately unrelateable, which is surprising, because you'd think a book by "mom in the trenches," should be VE
There were many things I liked about this book, but it was missing some key elements.

I appreciated her frankness, and her acknowledgement that children are sinners who need to be taught repentance and given forgiveness. She has clearly been (and is) "in the the trenches" and offers some refreshing perspective and practical advice for day-to-day life with littles.

But, despite her emphasis on showing grace to our children, she does almost nothing to address the grace we all need as mothers. We al
Not something I particularly enjoyed reading. While I didn't necessarily disagree with what the author was saying, I didn't really agree with it either. I felt like the book was thrown together - something I could easily write if I was so inclined. Lots of strange metaphors that didn't make any sense. Lots of jumping around. Lots of examples from her life that seemed kind of thrown in for no real reason. Just because someone has five kids five and under, it doesn't mean they are a better parent ...more
Catherine Gillespie
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the logistics and the mess and the hubbub of motherhood and forget to have this bigger perspective. Each moment comes and goes and seems fleeting, but they add up to a life. That’s why I really appreciate Rachel Jakovic’s book Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. It’s a short book, with short chapters, but each is packed with encouragement to be mindful and deliberate in how we handle those moments with our children.

I took over three typed
Steve Hemmeke
This little book of little chapters about little people was more than a little helpful. While dishing up some juicy ones about nursing twins while the ever helpful husband sleepwalks, and the like, the author encourages and points to important principles.

The encouragement is to take heart that your labor is not in vain. Rejoicing in the task before you is possible! You can be in the trenches (and the author knows them in depth), and not be overwhelmingly frazzled and frustrated.

The au
Though not a mother yet (so take my rating with the appropriate grain of salt!), I really enjoyed this book. I saw some reviews criticizing the lack of Scripture references in the book, but I think the author is writing for a Christian audience and therefore just assumes a familiarity with Scripture's admonitions to parents. If you think of Christian non-fiction, as I sometimes do, in the framework that usually applies to sermons (some books are doctrine, some are exposition, some are applicatio ...more
Some Pros:

-Good suggestion to set behaviors into stories. For example, if a boy is hitting a sister, “tell him about a brave knight who went out to fight the dragon but started hitting the princess instead.”

-Comparing our emotions to horses “The horses are not the problem. There is nothing wrong with the emotions . . . The goal is not to cripple the horse, but equip the rider. A well-controlled personality is a powerful thing. That is what dangerous women are made of.”

The Big Con (no double mean
If any of my friends ever get pregnant, I will probably recommend two books: Bringing Up Bebe and this one. Bringing Up Bebe tells you it's okay to let go. Loving the Little Years tells you it's okay to press in.

When parenting gets hard (and it does even if you don't have five kids like the author), I don't want to press in. It's very easy to want to back up, demand time to myself, abscond. I think Rachel Jankovic has learned what I'm starting to realize: you don't solve fussy kids or stressful
It was encouraging and funny at times, but I thought it needed editing. She stories and perspectives were helpful for a Christian mother, I wish just that she had completed her thoughts more often. At one point, she says that she sometimes writes when kids were running around the house and it definitely shows!
Julia Forrester
This is one of those books that you read over and over again. It makes you laugh and moan and maybe cry too :)

“Sometimes parents can discipline behaviors over and over and over like we are playing whack-a-mole. There is a sin! Get it! This can get very frustrating when it doesn’t seem to be helping anything. We think we are being so diligent! But the real problem is that the child doesn’t know what to do with it.

…Little girls need help sorting out their emotions–not so they can wallow in them,
First off, this is a very short, delightful book - funny, realistic, insightful, and - still more - kindly, modestly, sanely, and cheerfully written. It's mostly about heart attitudes, both your own and your children's. I'm not a mother of small children (well, one very, very small child, lol) but I'd hand this to any woman who teaches or works with children in any capacity. This is real-life stuff. Rachel Jankovic has five children under the age of five, came from a thoughtful pastor's family, ...more
Sean Higgins
This is the best book on parenting I've ever read. I'll admit that I haven't read as many books on parenting as I probably should have and I'm sure I've forgotten too much of what I have read. That said, every Christian mother and father should own this book, inside and out.

A certain sort of parent will not enjoy this book at all. Parents who view authority as a control mechanism rather than a means to fellowship, who prefer dispensing law rather than following it, and who expect change in their
Aug 06, 2012 M.K. added it
This book was a lot shorter than I had expected...but I think that works in the end: I read it from cover to cover, but as it's a series of essays, I think it would be a good title for moms of littles to keep on the shelf and pull down on those tough days.

Lots of sweet nuggets and gentle calls to intentional parenting throughout, which I greatly appreciated. And as we've just seemed to slam up against the terrible twos in my house, plenty of things I need to remember going forward.

The closing p
"Probably her most effective message (in my opinion) for mothers feeling overwhelmed is this (paraphrased): don’t allow yourself to use the word “overwhelmed”. Refuse the feeling of being overwhelmed, and make the decision to walk through difficulty looking ahead to the end outcome. I also really appreciated her tip for managing those really horrible moments. You know, when five or ten things go wrong all at once? Realize that it will all be over in twenty minutes. Just focus on getting through ...more
This is a quick book; I think I read it in about an hour this evening (no skipping). Maybe it's just the stage of life/mothering I'm in, but this book felt like a tall drink of water (or maybe a splash of water in the face). It's nothing ground-breaking or literarily stunning, but the author's advice is very helpful and practical. I've known for awhile that my attitude regarding my children/my time/my life needed adjusting, and the simple admonishments in this book perfectly addressed my issues. ...more
Victoria Berry (Ripple)
Helpful and encouraging insight to motherhood. But not just for mothers (I am not a mother at the time of reading this book), this book gives a great perspective on relationships in general (you may need to read between the lines if it's not so clear on first reading) and the beauty and importance of bearing fruit in our lives for the glory of God and the building up of the whole body of Christ (children and adults). I highly recommend this book to all, yes even to men because motherhood, relati ...more
4.5 stars
This is a very short book with short chapters. I appreciated this format!

I gleaned some great parenting ideas and encouragement from this book.

I recommend this book to any mom with 3 or more kids, but even a new momma can gain good parenting advice here.

Here is one lesson I learned: 20 minutes . When you are overwhelmed (blow-out diaper, hungry kids, child just got hurt, etc.), look at the clock and think, "This will be over in 20 minutes." If you work hard, not dragging your feet and
I enjoyed the candor of Rachel's writings and her honesty in stating how things sometimes are in a busy household. While she offered encouragement and practical tips for loving your children, whatever the struggle, I found some of her advice unnecessary and unhelpful. Letting kids make messes and worrying about the clean up later isn't always the way to go. Kids can have fun and learn without creating more work. The chapters were short, making them easy to get through in one sitting. I would rec ...more
Abby Haynes
Loved this! It's one I go back to frequently. Rachel is encouraging, funny, and honest. A great read for mamas of littles.
I read this in one sitting, only interrupted by toddler potty mayhem, and I felt like I'd sat down for coffee with someone who gets it. Who understands what my life is like. I can't recommend it for anyone with fewer than 3 children, but it's precisely what I needed with 3 under 3.

It was clearly written by someone frequently interrupted, which might cause problems for some, but if you can handle the phone conversations where every other word is to a kid you'll have no problems with the writing s
Havebooks Willread
I recently finished reading Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic and I can't recommend it highly enough. As I have been telling everyone I talk to about it, I found it refreshing, funny, encouraging, and surprisingly insightful.

The author is a mother of five children ages five and younger. She writes with a wry sense of humor that just lets you know she really is "in the trenches" and makes her more relatable. This book was very timely for me as I have (a mere)
The first three-quarters of this book can be summarized as follows:

Suck it up. Stop complaining. Choose to not feel that way. Have a better attitude.

That isn't necessarily or universally bad advice — and within those pages, there are some definite gems — but that style has never resonated with me. There's quite a bit of "you feel X; the bible says Y; now don't you feel better?" But instead of feeling better, I feel like I ought to feel better but in fact don't.

There are a few points on which I
Liked: most of the anecdotes and practical tips, like "don't be a picky chicken," and it's not your kids' fault you had more than one

Didn't like: Even though the author is clearly "in the trenches," as opposed to many people who try to tell others how to parent, I still felt like her tone was a little superior - "If I have FIVE littles and can raise my kids, love my husband, and serve God with a happy face, then you people who have fewer should have an easy time of it."
I've read this little book twice now. It is short and easy to read, but for me it is a hard book. Jankovic challenges mothers to get our heads and hearts right towards our children: "...the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment secretly toward your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender" (p. 14). I love that quote and need to memorize it. Later in the book she goes on to share analogies and images of what we do and don't want in our fam ...more
My friend Allie recommended this book and I read it in one sitting---(1) because it is SO good; (2) because I really needed to hear what she had to say; and (3) because it is short, which is perfect for a busy mother in the midst of "the little years." Insightful, creative, and instructive. I am going to be giving this book to just about every mom friend I know.
This book is excellent. The subtitle is "Motherhood in the Trenches," but the book is great for dads too; I'll be coming back to it often for encouragement. It's one part memoir, and one part field manual for continuing to find the "overwhelming joy" (102) as you're in the "trenches" of parenting. Ultimately, it's a parent's guide to the good life.
Valerie Kyriosity
Delightful! I don't have kids, but what makes this little parenting volume so marvelous is that its author doesn't just understand kids, she understands people. Her insights into her own heart as well as her children's helped me see my own more clearly. Written for mothers...recommended for all humans.
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Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She received her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Culture from New Saint Andrews College, but mostly reads cookbooks now to avoid story grip (being highly susceptible). In 2003, she married her husband, Luke, and they have six children who know how to party. As of November 2012, their little posse includes Evangeline (8), Daphne (6), Chloe (5) ...more
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“Sin is a fact of life. It is the way we deal with it that changes ours.” 0 likes
“Treat sins that your children struggle with like basic math. Practice, Practice, and you'll get it.” 0 likes
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