Book Review: Mothers of the Village

March 9, 2016

Mothers of the Village
CJ Schneider
256 pages
ARC from publisher

From the Publisher:

So many mothers feel like something is out of joint, something is missing and maybe the truth is that we re all just missing each other.

C. J. Schneider found herself in the middle of a perfect storm after giving birth to her third child and moving to a new neighborhood. Conditions for misery and postpartum depression were ideal: she was isolated, lonely, and exhausted with three young children at home. As she started talking with other mothers, she realized that she was not alone in her experience of feeling alone.

In her unique voice, Schneider intelligently and compassionately offers practical advice on how to create the essential community that mothers need. Given the many examples of communal mothering from the past and around the world, as well as modern examples of communities in which mothers are thriving, the research is clear: since the beginning of womankind, mothering has been a communal effort.

Mothers of the Village affirms that as mothers connect with each other and learn to work with each other, despite the challenges, they may find a piece of themselves that they have felt missing all along.


If you have ever felt alone in this journey of motherhood – this is a book for you!

“The truth is that there will be times in every mother’s journey when she feels she is simply not enough.  I have also felt that I, alone, am not enough.  However, this feeling doesn’t make me feel guilty anymore, because I now know that together, we are enough.”

The book is split into two parts – the first that tells you C J’s story and the second that offers ideas, suggestions and ways that we can all connect and why we should all connect to build a village of motherhood!

I love her ability to write candidly about real hard issues that mothers face.  That motherhood is hard.  But it is worth it.  And that we can connect and create supportive places where we can all thrive.  C J offers many real life stories from her own personal experiences, but she also backs up a lot of her ideas with proof from studies done around the world about families and motherhood.  I really loved the quotes from Brene Brown, (I am a big fan of her work too).  I appreciated that this book didn’t just tell me a list of good ideas and how to do it, but gave me background on why creating a village and why being supportive of one another is SO important for us as women.

There was a passage about a dream that C J had once as an early mom. The passage is SO fascinating! I have thought about it often since reading this book. In a few words: In this dream she was lined up with another woman and they had to pass through a  wilderness in a sort of race.  C J looks to the side and sees a fascinating woman and decides to follow her path instead of her own.  But that path she can’t pass and she eventually gets lost an stuck.  Then a man appears and asks her what she is doing there.  He tells her go to back and cross on her own path.  C J then wakes up.

WHAT. A. DREAM.  C J then goes on to say:

“I have tried to stay true to my own path through life.  It was like God was saying to me, C J, Honey, just keep your yes on your own work.”

I LOVE this.  I need to remember this!

Our times, our resources are limited.  Sometimes we invest years in building a village of friends and support to find that they move away – or we do – or circumstances change.  My husband and I have moved over 10 times in our 16 years of marriage – I TOTALLY get that a village of friends and support is important.  And while I love that I can stay connected with friends through social networking, a REAL life network is SO important too.  It is invaluable.  It is always a battle, but something that we must strive and always work for.  I have been blessed to be able to find a village of women in our church congregation every place we have lived.  These ladies have been such examples to me and I have learned so much from them.

Motherhood is hard.  Being a woman is hard.  Raising a family is hard.  Being a wife is hard.  But all of these things are worth it.  And a village of motherhood can help.

This book was so insightful, encouraging and helpful to me. Perhaps you know someone who is struggling right now, or perhaps you are.  This book might be just the right answer for you or your friend. Easter is right around the corner – and Mother’s Day will be here soon.  This book would make a fabulous gift. I believe it offers some great advice.


Final score:

5 stars


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1 Comment

  1. Reply

    CJ Schneider

    I can’t thank you enough for such a kind review!!! I’ll be posting a link to your blog on my Facebook page:

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