Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Review: A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family

Do you know the feeling of not wanting a book to end because you enjoy reading it so much? I definitely felt that way the whole time I was reading A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn. The author is a mom to TEN children (six of whom are adopted, 2 boys from Korea and 4 girls from Ethiopia) who homeschools her brood in Idaho. I'd first read Ostyn's writing at Owlhaven, her blog often linked to by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer (another blog I followed for a long time). When I discovered that Ostyn had written a book about her experience as a mom to many, I put in a Request for Purchase at my local public library and was delighted when they bought 5 copies (if you live in Charlotte you can place one on hold here). One came right to me and I dug in.

I did most of my reading while I nursed Teresa, which was very appropriate...I hope to begin implementing Ostyn's suggestions with our first daughter so that parenting becomes easier as we add to our family (God willing). I enjoyed Ostyn's perspectives on welcoming additional children (and the discernment involved in that decision), the resources needed to raise those children well (money, space, and training - music lessons, sports, etc.), vacations, schooling, and building relationships with and between your children. I found her advice regarding discipline, chores, and activities to be especially helpful - she has gleaned much wisdom from her experience and shares it in a humble, honest, and engaging way.

Here's an example I can completely relate to:

"Play is not easy for me. I am a ridiculously task-oriented person. Sometimes I literally have to look at the clock and force myself to play for 15 minutes straight without wandering off. But I never regret disciplining myself in that way." (102)
I highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to have, enjoy, and successfully raise lots of children. When God blesses us abundantly, He also gives us the graces we need to give Him glory with those blessings. I count A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family as a conduit of God's grace.


Wood said...

Sounds like a book I should read too. The excerpt you pulled out is also so applicable to me! I'm glad I'll be able to take advantage of your request to purchase at the library!

Lillian said...

Thanks for the review. I'll be looking for it. You might like the book written by the Duggars (family with 18 children). I finished it a few weeks ago and loved it.

*carrie* said...


I keep seeing this book mentioned on various blogs--sounds like a great read. I didn't know you could request a book to be purchased by the library--good tip!

I can also relate to the statement about being too, ahem, task-oriented.

Owlhaven said...

Thanks so much for the review of my book!!