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Book Review: Mom Needs Chocolate: Hugs, Humor, and Hope for Surviving Motherhood by Debora M. Coty

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I’ve never been one to laugh easily. Jokes slip off me like jello on a greased dinner plate, but sometimes, just sometimes one hits me smack-dab in my funny-spot. When that happens, watch out. I don’t just giggle, I guffaw, snort, wheeze, and at times collapse to the floor. I don’t technically roll-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud, I adopt more of a hunched-over-slapping-the-floor-and-howling technique. Author Debora M. Coty’s devotional for frazzled moms – Mom Needs Chocolate — didn’t quite take me to the position of prostrate hilarity within it’s first few chapters, but it did come very close.

Having been through the trenches of motherhood and come out the other side with two grown children, Coty digs deep and pulls from her personal experiences, shortcomings, and growth. The result is a compilation of frank, and almost embarrassing episodes that illustrate the realities of mothering while pinpointing the areas many of us need work on. The 60 short, devotional chapters are designed to bring joy and spiritual insight into the lives of frazzled moms.

Each of the chapters is short enough to read during the valued reading time each mother cherishes – the five-minute bathroom break. Most entries come in between three and four pages in length including three “Faith in Action” questions for you to ponder throughout the day, or complete formally in a journal if you are able to eke out some personal time for study. The light-hearted tone of frank sharing would also lend itself well to gatherings of friends for a fun study.

As brief as each of the stand-alone devotional segments are, Coty has a knack for hitting moms in the areas where they are likely in most need of refinement. After softening unsuspecting mothers up with her funny stories, she delivers a swift one-two punch in the questions section, delivering a healthy dose of conviction. Of course, knowing that Coty herself has struggled in these areas – road rage, misplaced priorities, nutrition, and so on – helps to soften the blow so that it never comes across as high-handed.

What I most appreciate in Coty’s approach is her bracing honesty. There’s no vision of perfect domestic bliss presented here for us to attain, just encouragement to keep seeking the Lord on our continuing journey and a sister to laugh and cry along with. By book’s end I felt like I knew Coty to a certain extent. After all, in her own words, she’s baring it all:

"Hey, I even hit a few girls-only, whisper-behind-the-hand subjects like excessive boobage during pregnancy, fashion faux pas, menopause and – gasp! – bodily functions. (Ain’t nothin’ sacred after poppin’ out a baby in front of a dozen pubescent boys in lab oats!)"

So, be prepared. In truth, Coty won’t gross you out too much, unless you find descriptions of a cat with an exploding abscess unpalatable, or admissions of cellulite horrifying. She draws upon the everyday misadventures of mothering to concoct humorous teaching anecdotes from her own life, but doesn’t delve into the truly disgusting.

Like its chocolaty namesake, Mom Needs Chocolate makes a great gift for moms young and old in need of a bit more lift in their lives. While reading it the names of other mothers I could bless with this resource came to mind. I’m looking forward to sharing my chocolate with others.

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  • http://preteristblog.com Roderick

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