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Are you looking for a book on Motherhood like no other? A book that knows what you’re going through and can speak to you so clearly and eloquently you’ll feel like the author knows you? Then I’ve got a book for you!
How I Came Across ‘To Have and To Hold’
Years ago I was in a really rough spot after having my twins and I was really lost in life. I had gone through rough times in my life before, but I didn’t expect it after I had children. I walked into Barnes and Noble and started looking at the self-help section.
Not finding quite what I wanted, I sheepishly asked a lady who worked there if there are any books about the difficulty of motherhood. I think she could see the pain and desperation in my eyes and hear it in my voice. She told me to wait where I was and she’d be right back. She came back with a pile of books for me to consider, which was greatly appreciated.
She let me look at the stack of books at the cafe and I took pictures of them all, knowing I’d just purchase one then and likely purchase more later. The book “To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage & the Modern Dilemma” stood out to me as the best choice for me.
Why I Chose “To Have and To Hold”
First and foremost, I liked the title and the cover of the book. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but often it does lead me one way or another. The title of the book, “To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma,” really spoke to me. Though I wasn’t a new mother as my oldest was already 2, I had just had my twins which was a whole new level of chaos and I was struggling with motherhood, indeed.
My marriage was great overall but had been stressed with the twins’ arrival as we were short on sleep and short on time for the two of us. The modern dilemma, well I wanted to know more about what that was exactly.
I love the Venn Diagram overlap of all three because they really do overlap so much.
Secondly, I saw that this book is written by a clinical psychologist. My background is in psychology so this fit me perfectly. She didn’t go too into science that it would be off-putting for the non-psychologists but she clearly knows what she’s talking about. It was neat to have that perspective instead of so many others who just published solely based on their own experiences. She included her own experiences but also the psychology behind what’s going on.
The titles of chapters include ‘Out of the Shame Hole,’ ‘Mom, Interrupted,’ and ‘Couples Adrift,’ among several others. I surely was feeling shameful at the time for every decision I made, second-guessing it all, including whether I was fit to be a mother of twins.
Mom, Interrupted went into how so often we lose ourselves once our kids are born. Again, though I wasn’t a first-time mother, this hit me hard. I had been fine giving up my career when my first child was one, but now with 3 children under 3, I knew I was stuck being a stay-at-home-mom for the foreseeable future and didn’t have the time or energy for anything besides being a mom. I felt like a shell of myself. This book not only showed me that I wasn’t alone but also helped me figure out how to carve out much-needed time for myself.
Couple’s Adrift helped me realize I needed to pay special attention to my marriage and ensure our bond stayed strong, even though this difficult season of having 3 kids, 3 and under.
As you can see below, those are just three of the chapters in this great book.
Underlining and Annotating
As you can see below, I underlined a lot in the book and even made notes in the margins to come back to. This book spoke to me more than any book has in a long time. It’s been a couple of years since I read this book and I still hold it in such high regard and though I have the hardcover copy I ended up buying the Kindle version when it was on sale for just $1.99 a while back.
Kindle books are able to be read through your computer or through an app you can download on almost any device including Apple and Android devices. I have a Kindle Paperwhite but have found that lately, I prefer to read on my iPad because highlighting is easier. On the iPad I’m also able to highlight in different colors with just the touch or drag of my finger, and make notes as I read.
This book helped me so much. I read it after I had my twins and went into a deep postpartum depression. So much of this book resonated with me that I found myself highlighting it constantly while reading. This book helped me understand why I was feeling the way that I did and that it was ok to feel that way. I wish I would have found this book earlier, it helped me that much.
Grab Your Copy
To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, & The Modern Dilemma is available on Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.
As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.