Peace of Mind: A Book of Calm for Busy Mums by Georgina Rodgers
|Peace of Mind: A Book of Calm for Busy Mums by Georgina Rodgers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: I was left underwhelmed, but if you need a little lightness and magazine-style me-time in your life, there are lots of ideas to try in this book.|
|Buy? maybe||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: February 2016|
|Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton|
|External links: Author's website|
The promise of a book bringing me calm was too much to resist! There it is, in the title, my job description (busy mum...well, that's just one of my jobs!) and that elusive state that many mums seem to be trying to find, peace of mind. I have to say, I was looking forward to some insightful revelations into changing my life. I think the problem, however, was quickly apparent in that like a busy mum, who is trying to wear a hundred masks at the same time, and carry out a multitude of roles, this book isn't entirely sure what it's trying to be, with everything from poetry and colouring to mindfulness and recipes.
There were a lot of things to like. It's clearly designed for people who only get 3 minutes of quiet reading time in one go, and therefore it's written with lots of bullet points, shaped like flowers so they seem friendly and more calm-inducing. There are short, informative paragraphs, or quick quotes to read alongside of spaces to fill in your own thoughts and ideas, or suggestions of things to make and do. It has the light touch of a women's magazine and indeed you can dip in and out of the book as you wish, and as you have time, to find a few moments of peace in your life and some new ideas to try.
A lot of the text is about mindfulness, but written in an accessible way. There are plenty of different suggestions about different exercises and breathing to try, or sleep techniques, or simple meditations, and I liked that there was a variety of suggestions as if something didn't sit quite right with me, there were plenty of other options of what I could do. The colouring pages weren't brilliant, to be honest, and if that's what you fancy doing then there are plenty of really lovely that will more than satisfy those needs. This is a rather thick book to be trying to bend open and colour on, so I personally skipped those pages.
There were a couple of things I'm hoping to try, including a 30 day photo challenge, and also a creativity exercise involving circles. Much of the rest of the book, however, left me wanting. It's perhaps a symptom of working part time in an academic environment, but I become increasingly frustrated by the generalised assertions that the book makes, or the 'research' referred to. One chapter refers to people (or just women? It isn't clear) getting on average two hours less sleep than in 1960. 'Really?' I thought to myself, 'That's an interesting change to have happened.' However, without any references as to where that information came from, I was unable to read any more about it. There are no references through the book at all, so any survey, or research, or proven scientific fact that is mentioned has to be taken at face value and could, in all likelihood, just have been discovered on the internet from a wikipedia page! I perhaps could have forgiven this, perhaps, but then I'm afraid I came across one quote in the book that reads Piglet: 'How do you spell love'? Pooh: 'You don't spell it, you feel it.' Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne What's wrong with this? I hear you cry. Well, nothing, except that I am 99% sure that it isn't a quote from Winnie the Pooh. Or The House at Pooh Corner either. I looked through both books, both favourites of mine, to try and check. It is quoted heavily all over the internet, because the internet does love a good Pooh quote, but I'm afraid that I cannot verify that it is real, and so after that I found I had lost my trust in the author.
I expect if I'd read this 3 years ago whilst breastfeeding my son and getting 3 hours of sleep if I was lucky, I would have thoroughly enjoyed the breathing exercises, and the bright ideas of changes to my routine, or little suggestions to try in my life, and I wouldn't have read too deeply into the text. As it is, I am still a busy, permanently exhausted mum, but I found that I wanted something a little deeper, and a little more meaningful than what this book has to offer. The author writes well, with an engaging style, but also without being an expert in anything that she's writing about. As long as you're okay with that then go ahead and grab yourself a copy (and I recommend trying the mindful walk suggestion, it was an interesting experience for me with my tendency to speed walk everywhere). If you're a stickler for detail, however, then you may wish to look elsewhere for your moments of calm.
Further reading suggestion: If you're feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, you might want to look at this honest account When Will I Sleep Through the Night? An A - Z of Babyhood by Eleanor Birne and for a lift in your spirits, if you can find the time, take a look at How to Be Happy (or at least less sad): A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley.
You can read more book reviews or buy Peace of Mind: A Book of Calm for Busy Mums by Georgina Rodgers at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Peace of Mind: A Book of Calm for Busy Mums by Georgina Rodgers at Amazon.com.
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