Queen Mom begins with a fairy tale in which the king and queen, reigning over their happy little kingdom, decide to have children. After years of poor parenting decisions, they find themselves dethroned by their precious prince and princess. The children are allowed to rule and the kingdom is in chaos. This fairy tale serves as an allegory for what happens when parents allow children to exert their wills over the household. Author Brenda Garrison recalls when she realized that she had abdicated her throne, how she decided to reclaim it, and the little, daily decisions she made along the way to maintain her reign.
“When and how did the Queen Mom get dethroned? Who decided the prince and princess could reign sovereign?
Moms, it’s time we take back what God gave to us – the role of the mom. The sad truth is that in more and more homes, moms are at the beck and call of the kids. The children dictate what they are allowed to do, how they talk (even with disrespect), where they go, what they watch and listen to, and whatever else their little hearts desire. Moms are shrinking from their God-given roles and responsibilities.
And God has given this responsibility to us –“she watches over the affairs of her household” (Proverbs 31:27). The Bible has much to say about a mother’s role.”
Over ten chapters, Garrison shares what the Bible has taught her about being a mother and how she applied those truths in her parenting style. The first two chapters focus on helping moms understand how their kids were so successful with their coup and the tremendous power mothers have when they place their hope in God as they do life His way. In the chapters that follow, she discusses going against the culture, setting priorities, anger management, helping kids handle emotions, setting and enforcing boundaries, how to create a homey atmosphere in your home, resisting peer pressure from other moms, knowing the difference between the major and minor issues with your teens, and preparing young adult children to leave the nest. Each chapter closes with questions for reflection and self-evaluation.
I appreciated Garrison’s emphasis on God’s word as we parent. First, a mom must spend time with God in his word every day, and then use it in everyday life and conversation, in prayer with her children, and in worship. She references scripture quite a bit (using six different versions) to encourage the reader and to offer direction for the struggling mother. She likes the wording of The Message, but most of the time she follows it with the translation from the NASB or NKJV.
It is very easy to become so overwhelmed with the minutia of raising children that moms forget their end goals, whatever they may be. Garrison does a good job of pointing her reader in the right direction. She offers principles rather than clear steps, so that any mom can glean something valuable from this book. Queen Mom is an honest, yet light-hearted, look at what it takes for moms to regain and maintain control of their families and homes. It served to remind me of an area or two in which I have relaxed and need to make adjustments, but also some areas in which I can release a little now that my babies are older. The reader, who can be any mother of children from toddlers to teenagers, will find a great deal of freedom in that Garrison does not assume that what worked for raising her daughters will work for everyone. I can recommend Queen Mom and think most moms will enjoy it and find something within its pages to challenge and encourage.