Good Enough is Good Enoughby Colleen Duggan
Length: Approximately 6 hours. To read (160 pages).
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Every mom who has had a bad day or felt like she isn’t living up to the standard the world holds for mothers will find a friend in Colleen Duggan as she shows how Good Enough is Good Enough. This book offers hope for the hurting mother and shows how we are all in the same boat.
Who should read this?
This book is for any mother who finds motherhood to be a bit of a struggle. From being short on patience to longing for more time alone, there are many struggles mothers have during the day-to-day grind of motherhood. Mothers seeking understanding and encouragement will find it in Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom by Colleen Duggan.
This book is for Catholic moms who have doubts about passing on their faith to their children and living their faith “the right way” in motherhood. Duggan shares her personal struggles and gives honest answers of how faith plays a role in motherhood.
Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom by Colleen Duggan is written in a coffee-shop style – like you’re sitting across the table chatting with the author over coffee. It is geared toward being used as a book study by a group of moms. The book isn’t divided into chapter, but into confessions.
There are five confessions with an introduction and conclusion. Each confession chapter has discussion questions at the end for either personal reflection or for a group discussion. The book is written by a Catholic mom, so it is faith-based and discusses the Catholic faith.
Colleen Duggan wanted to be the perfect wife, mother and child of God. She realized fairly quickly that she would fail every day. However, one day she found herself at her wit’s end and realized she needed help. Counseling helped her find ways to deal with motherhood realistically. She wrote Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom to help other moms realize they are not alone in their struggles and to pass along her experiences to help moms learn from her mistakes and trials.
Confessions are often about things people don’t accept as the right thing to do. In motherhood, there are many expectations; yet, many of us don’t and can’t live up to them all. Her first confession is that she doesn’t know how to master motherhood. Most mothers have days where they don’t feel like the best mother in the world. She shares her personal experiences in each of her confessions. Her main message is that mothers need to rely on God in all things, including motherhood.
While Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom by Colleen Duggan is a quick read, it is a powerful book. Duggan joins the ranks of Lysa TerKeurst, Shauna Niequist and Jen Hatmaker – Christian women who are willing to be honest in their struggles and successes with faith, family, motherhood and womanhood.
Duggan was only married 11 months when their first child was born and the second child was born 11 months after that. A third baby came less than two years later. She had been a teacher, but decided to stay at home with her children when they were born. She initially struggled with finding satisfaction with her role as a stay-at-home mom.
She is honest with her struggles, which include a day where she could see herself hurting one of her children. She didn’t – she got help. It was the right thing to do and she makes sure her readers know they should ask for help if they need it.
All her struggles are ones mothers can identify with. Duggan then confesses to not taking care of herself as well as she should. Mothers often put others first and themselves last. Yet, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. She feels she doesn’t know how to keep her kids Catholic.
Most mothers of faith hope and pray their children take the faith as their own, yet we all know that our children must choose their own path eventually. She also doesn’t like watching her children suffer. A mother’s first instinct is to protect her children, but we must also allow them to make mistakes and face the consequences of their actions.
Lastly, she admits to comparing herself with others. It is all too common with social media nowadays to compare lives with other families – they have a better vacation, better house, better party, better outfit. Comparisons will eat at a soul. We should all be seeking to be content with what we have and consider our own blessings.
I read this book with a group of mothers and we meet twice a month to read a chapter and discuss the questions. We had some great discussions. I think Duggan’s book is very relevant for mothers today. The topics are ones all mothers struggle with on a daily basis. I would highly recommend this book to any mother.
One of the best parts of Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom is how honest Duggan is with her struggles. She adds authenticity to her advice by telling her own personal stories. It is easy to read and comes with great discussion questions that can be used in a group or for personal reflection.
After reading this book and several like it where women of faith are sharing their true stories, I feel inspired to be more honest in my day-to-day life with others so we can share in each others’ struggles and support each other.
Briefly highlight and identify 2-3 strengths.
Parts of Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom are difficult to read because of how honest the author is with her stories. However, most mothers have those few stories from our worst days where we yelled or lost our patience or threw a toy away. Not all of us need to seek counseling, but none of us are perfect. Duggan is Catholic and while her message is of faith, there may be parts that Protestants don’t connect with.
The message of Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom is very important because it is very true – sometimes good enough is good enough. Mothers don’t need to be perfect according to the world. Mothers need to be who God made them to be because that is who their family needs them to be.
In the end, mothers need to surrender it all – themselves, their children, their expectations – to God and let Him take care of it. She ends the story with two stories of a donkey to show how God can use little things to get our attention. She ends the book with the message she really wants to get across to all her readers: “Let’s pray for each other and for our imperfect efforts to form our imperfect families.”
“As difficult as that work was, I struggled to see the value of my role as an at-home mother in the same way I was able to see the value of my work at the school.” (p. 2)
“We live in a frantic culture with constant stimulus overload. Couple the cultural norm of frenzied living with a Christian desire to serve our families first, and in my experience, you get parents who are overwhelmed, overburdened, and burned out.” (p. 35)
“It is only when we are kind to ourselves and when we encounter the peace of Christ that we can actually love another anyway.” (p. 38)
“We dutifully brought our children to church, for instance, and there they behaved as children do – like crazy people.” (p. 45)