We had the privilege to ask authors Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk questions about their background, authors and books that have influenced them, and all about their new release, Hoodwinked:Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off. Pre-order it today!
Check out Vyrso’s author recommendation blog series, where you can read exclusive interviews with Christian authors and get great recommendations on ebooks that have impacted their walk with Christ.
Ruth, can you tell us a little bit about The Better Mom community, what drove you to create this site and how has it impacted you?
Several years ago I was thrilled to find a little help in mothering online.
I had spent so much time feeling frazzled and just trying to keep it all together that it was refreshing to read insight from other moms and join their journey online. I realized I wasn’t alone. Over the next year I began to feel the nudge into mom’s ministry.
I wanted to come alongside other moms and encourage them like I had been encouraged.
It has been an incredible experience so far, as I have been blow away by the community that has grown. There is a real sense that we are all in this together!
Karen, tell us a little bit about what drives you—from being a mom to writing multiple books to working as a Proverbs 31 speaker, what keeps you going?
I simply love to encourage women, especially mothers. Because writing and speaking is something I can do at home it works well in my family schedule.
I think what keeps me going is remembering how hard it was for me as a wife and mother starting out.
I had a few people who mentored me but the Internet wasn’t around in the way that is now. I love how we can use this modern tool to send an instant encouragement to others who are in the trenches of motherhood.
Over the years as you’ve grown in your faith, what specific authors or books have been life-changing? And what are some ways that these author and books have influenced you?
Karen: I really love reading books by both Elisabeth Elliot and Edith Schaeffer.
Both of these authors seem to have a good blend of practical ideas and also deeper theological material that kept my interest. I love the way their books encouraged me when I was first a new mother.
I especially love The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Schaeffer. It is a go to book that I try to re-read once a year. It really helps to give me a fresh perspective in my home life and to realize that homemaking really is an art.
Ruth: I have to say that Bible Studies by Beth Moore and Ray Vander Laan have probably had the biggest impact on my spiritual growth over the years.
I also really love all of Emily Freeman’s books. Grace for the Good Girl was a message I needed to hear desperately and it really helped me discover that it was okay to need God.
My very favorite books on motherhood are by Sally Clarkson. Several years ago when I felt like I was barely surviving as a mom, I came across the book The Mission of Motherhood. It radically changed my perspective on mothering and made me realize that there was actually a purpose behind what I was doing.
What drove you two to write Hoodwinked?
Ruth: Karen and I became friends when she started writing for The Better Mom.
As we got to know one another and spent time talking we realized that although we were in different stages of mothering (she has grown kids and I have younger kids) we both deal with some of the same personal struggles in motherhood.
One day I said, “Karen! We should write a book together!”
Before I knew it we were discussing struggles that we thought moms of all ages and stages wrestled with. The more we talked about these “myths,” the more we realized how necessary a book like “Hoodwinked” is – we were confident this would be a message that would really resonate with moms in all different stages of motherhood.
What are the three biggest myths that moms believe, and how can they “knock it off”?
All three of these myths, if we take them to heart and believe them, can mess with our mothering in the worst of ways.
1. The way I mother is the right (and only) way.
If we think we are doing things the right and only way, we won’t forge friendships with other mothers who may parent a little bit differently than us.
2. I can do it all, all at once.
If we believe that we can do it all, all at once, we soon find ourselves in overload mode and on the brink of exhaustion.
3. My child’s bad choice means that I’m a bad mom.
If every time one of our children makes the wrong choice we feel like we are a failure as a mom, it can discourage us and drain the joy right out of our mothering.
We must learn to speak the truth to each other in all three of these areas. We must also learn to believe what God says to us in his word about these things. We need to have grace with others. We need to know our limitations and go to Jesus to find rest. (Click to Tweet!) And we need to know that everyone will give an account of themselves to God.
We are not responsible for the choices of others, not even for our children. (Click to Tweet!) The more we believe these truths, the healthier our mothering and our relationships with other mothers will be.
Find helpful advice and “we’ve been there” encouragement from Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk as they tackle the challenges and myths all moms face when you pre-order Hoodwinked:Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off.
Read exclusive interviews with Christian authors and get great recommendations with Vyrso’s author recommendation blog series.