Steady Days: Book Review and Giveaway

Steady Days: Book Review and Giveaway

“I am not a perfect mother. Often I struggle with impatience; sometimes I lack the enthusiasm I long for. I make many mistakes, just like my children. As they are maturing as children, I am maturing as a mother… We need to equip ourselves with practical tools that allow us to give our personal best to our young children, helping us thrive in our strengths and overcome our weaknesses. We aim for professionalism in every other area of our lives; why should our children get anything less?”

Infused Cover Color smlThis month I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing the book Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood, by Jamie C. Martin. The quote above is from the beginning of the book, setting the stage for an exploration of what it takes to be a professional mother.

There is one message that rings out strong and clear throughout the entirety of Steady Days and it is this… mothering requires intentionality. To maintain peace and order, we must be purposeful about how we achieve that. To maintain our enthusiasm, we must plan activities and encouragement into our days that inspire us. To capture memories and special moments with our children, we must have a plan for what we will do and how we will remember what we’ve enjoyed and experienced.

Over and over again, this one thought. To be successful in achieving my goals as a mother, I must be intentional. Purposeful. Prepared. Well-planned. Goal-oriented.

Let’s face it. It can be easy to go on auto-pilot as a mom. Sometimes our days are so full and overwhelming that we just go with the flow, without being intentional about how we are spending these precious years with our children.

As a home educating mother, I make more of an effort to be intentional about how I educate my children, what learning resources I expose them to, how many books we read, etc. And yet, throughout the rest of my day I can sometimes get so focused on other aspects of my roles as mother, wife, homemaker and more that I cease to be purposeful about all the other realms of my mothering.

If you can relate to what I’m saying, I think that you would be blessed by Steady Days. Jamie is encouraging and upbeat, and yet consistently challenging us to consider how we are doing things, what our motivations are, what could be changed, how we could grow as mothers.

Jamie reading to her 3 sweet children
Jamie reading to her 3 sweet children

A few other practical things I loved:

  • Short, simple chapters. If bite-sized is what you need to make it through a book and really implement its strategies, then you will just love how Jamie has organized Steady Days into 40 short chapters.
  • Steady Days Planner. This is Jamie’s version of a homemaking binder, and she has so many wonderful suggestions for adding to it. A few that I was particularly inspired by were a Steady Blessings page (for recording our blessings, special moments, thoughts of gratefulness), Special Date Organizer, Shopping Lists, and Children’s Goals. Many of the particular pages she discusses and shows throughout the book can actually be found on her website, at http://www.steadydays.com/resources.html.
  • Room Time. A clever technique for achieving a bit of quiet time for Mom to get some things done, while each child plays/reads productively in their own space (no more sibling squabbles, at least for 20-30 minutes!). Love it!

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and I know that I will reference it again and again. I love Jamie’s encouragement to just implement new things or small changes bit by bit. For moms who are feeling overwhelmed and in need of someone to help you get more organized and intentional in your mothering, Steady Days is for you!

To get to know Jamie a little better and find more tips, strategies and thoughts for bringing steadiness and professionalism to your days, you can find her at her blog, Steady Mom.

Would you like to win a signed copy of Steady Days: A Journey Towards Intentional, Professional Motherhood?

Here’s how:

(Please leave each entry as a SEPARATE comment, to ensure that they are all counted. Thanks for making my job easier!)

  1. Tell me why you need to read this book, or a goal that you have for your mothering.
  2. Visit Jamie’s blog, Steady Mom, and leave a comment.
  3. Subscribe to Steady Mom.
  4. Follow her on twitter, @steadymom.
  5. Subscribe to Keeper of the Home.
  6. Follow me on twitter, @keeperhome.
  7. Post about this giveaway on your own blog, and leave me the url.

Giveaway ends Friday, January 29th at 3:00pm. This giveaway has now finished. ­čÖé

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279 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, this is EXACTLY the encouragement I need right now! I am a SAHM of 3 boys, two of which are only 10 months apart…thought it would be easy, but boy was I wrong! I am feeling really overwhelmed and tired right now, so I would love to read this book! Thanks for this post!
    .-= alexis┬┤s last blog ..Super-Simple Salad Dressings =-.

  2. I need to read this book because I’m still having a tough time adjusting from the working world to the mothering world. I often get the mindset that since I’m at home, I’m “on vacation,” so things get neglected. I really want to make motherhood my career, and I think this would help me to figure out how.

  3. Why would I need to read this book? Please excuse my laughing ;p. I have a four year old son, I’m pregnant, married, have 4 dogs, a goat, a brand new house on six acres of jungle… I guess in short because I need all the help I can get! Thank you for the chance!!
    .-= Emily┬┤s last blog ..Some Times Life Happens =-.

  4. This book sounds right up my alley. I am a single mom of two 8,5 and I run an in home child care program and care for up to six children plus my own to be home with them. With very little help its hard to find steadness in my days at times and I struggle with this. I am new in my faith and would hope to grow there this year. I think this book would be a good read for me.
    Thanks for your posting I enjoy checking in with your blog.
    Sara

  5. I’m still learning how to be a SAHM after 18 months & this would so help me put a few missing pieces into place. Her info. looks invaluable! Thanks for the offer.

  6. I have been reevaluating somethings lately and when asked what my “Dream for life” was I realized that it wasn’t for fame or fortune but really just a peaceful safe home for my girls. Not that it’s not safe and loving now but it’s not at the level of peace I would like it to be. I really had to step back and look at things about our home and mostly myself that I need to change to accomplish this…Tis book sounds great and I would LOVE to read it!

  7. I need this book. I realized the other day that my oldest is 7 and how fast that has gone by. I want to cherish my children and be intentional in the things we do. We homeschool and it is so easy to just keep going on to the next thing.

  8. I saw you mention this book in a previous post and have been waiting for the review. Would love to win a copy of this book, being intentional would be great!

  9. I’d like to read this book because it is on my heart to get more organized and become more intentional in my mothering. I’d love to see her ideas!

  10. I’m afraid that with only one child time slips away. When the second is here in a few months, I don’t know how to hold on to it. I don’t want them to remember me always saying “later, honey.”

  11. What a blessing to come across this. I have definitely felt overwhelmed lately, so this comes at the perfect time. I would love to win this because I think I could really gain some perspective as well as be a better mommy by reading this!
    .-= Kelly┬┤s last blog ..On the Mend =-.

  12. I would love to read her book because I am a mom of a one year old and am somewhat overwhelmed all the diffrent things you are “supposed” to be doing I ofen dont’ do “anything.” I would love to have some direction.

  13. I am always looking for ways to be more organized !! I have gone from 1 child to 3 in a matter of months (adoption and birth) and need a new “system.”

  14. I would love to read this book. I have two little ones and I am expecting another in June. I need some motivation to better plan my days. Thanks for this offer!

  15. Oh, I need some steadiness…still haven’t gotten my groove back after baby #2, and she’s 4 months old!

  16. I would love to read this book and learn to be a bit more organized with household things so I am freed up to spend more quality time with my children, and I am not stressing about the laundry!

  17. This sounds like just the book I need! I find myself often lacking purpose in my mothering. I am 13 weeks pregnant, and am still struggling with morning sickness each day, which brings in lack of motivation as well! I would love to win this book and get some encouragement and ideas!

  18. Wow, this sounds like an amazing book. We just found out that we are expecting number three and it has prompted me to take a look at our days and how we spend them (anticipating a general upheaval when another kiddo is added). I was surprised to find how UNintentional our days are.
    .-= Katrina┬┤s last blog ..Goofing Around! =-.

  19. I had my first child 9 months ago and with a series of disappointments, i suffered post partum depression for 2 months. Adjusting to new motherhood and my husband working extra hours so I could be a Stay at home mom made me feel like I lost my best friend, which added to the depression. I am slowly adjusting to my new positions as mom and homemaker, but it has been a real trial for me. Since i was a child all i wanted was to be a stay at home mom, but have found it is a great deal more than I realized it to be! I love being at home with my baby girl, but it has been a rough road personally for me which has left me with a lot of guilty feelings. I feel I could definitely benefit from this book to become a better wife, mom, and homemaker. Thanks for the chance!

  20. I would love to read this book. I am a relatively new mom (my first will be a year old next month), and lately I’ve been trying to figure out how I can, even this early, be purposeful in mothering my sweet daughter.
    .-= Mary Jo┬┤s last blog ..Menu Plan, 1/25-1/31 =-.

  21. I’ve recently been thinking about more intentional mothering. This book would be great to help me along this path. Thanks!
    .-= Mominin┬┤s last blog ..WINNER!!! =-.

  22. I am determined to be a good mother and get it right the first time. I try to read as many books as I can so I can figure this all out before I have kids.

  23. What mom doesnt need to read a book like this. I know I too go with the flow, just to keep my head above water. I would love some direction in intentionality.

  24. I would love to read this book! My family has recently moved & it is just us & I have a bit of free time now to be more intentional. Melissa

  25. I subscribe to this blog at My Yahoo. Thank you for making me aware of another great blog to read daily!
    -Deirdre

  26. I need to read this book because my one goal for this year is to become a more intentional mom/homemaker. It was so cool to open up your blog and see this post. ­čÖé

  27. My “wing’n it” days are over! Call me older. Call me wiser. Call me a mother of 6 now! When we knew triplets were on the way I knew things couldn’t go on the same way as with my first 3. I am attempting to be purposeful in my parenting and everyday life. But am just changing my ways. I desperately could use the book! Love the info!

  28. I added Steady Mom’s blog to my own blogroll at Finding My Way at Home. I also have your blog on my list as well.

    I think her site looks great and am eager to spend more time reading there. I will comment back when I have done so and will be putting a post into my own blog about her book and site. As I said I’ll drop you another comment with the url when I’ve completed that.

    Thanks for sharing this one Stephanie
    .-= Dawn@Finding My Way at Home┬┤s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – January 25th – The Extra Challenging Pantry Challenge =-.

  29. Why I would like to read the book? Intentional living is important to me but I feel that I so often fall short. I would love to get some new ideas.

  30. I am a mom to two little ones and I so desire to be a intentional mother to my children. I’ve seen several giveaways of this book at different blogs and everyone seems to be so encouraged by it that I thought I better enter to win it myself. I plan on home educating my children some day too and I think this book would be a great resource.

  31. I I have been following along with Steady mom for quite some time and have always been so inspired by her! I would just LOVE this book, as i am soon to be (in 3 months) a Stay At Home Mum of 3 boys under 3 years. Im so thankful that its the beginning of a new year because many NEW things are taking place around here… including my NEED to have more organization!.. particuarly with the boys. I have always been very routined with them and we have a great schedule. But I realised last week as i sat on the couch almost every night in tears that i needed more than just a great schedule. I need to have goals, and a purpose and more practical detailed stuff prepared and planned ahead on a daily basis! So to me, this book sounds like it would be a wonderful help in the area i need right now.

  32. I love reading books that encourage mothers (and fathers!) to be intentional with their kids. I think I do this fairly well for awhile…then fall off the path, over and over. I always* need a good reminder of enjoying the moment my child is in, and to absorb it with contentment!
    Sarah M
    #1

  33. I love reading books that encourage mothers (and fathers!) to be intentional with their kids. I think I do this fairly well for awhile…then fall off the path, over and over. I always* need a good reminder of enjoying the moment my child is in, and to absorb it with contentment!
    Sarah M
    (#2 for commenting on her blog under “Sarah M”)

  34. I love reading books that encourage mothers (and fathers!) to be intentional with their kids. I think I do this fairly well for awhile…then fall off the path, over and over. I always* need a good reminder of enjoying the moment my child is in, and to absorb it with contentment!
    Sarah M
    (#3 for following SteadyMom on twitter (ssmast))

  35. I love reading books that encourage mothers (and fathers!) to be intentional with their kids. I think I do this fairly well for awhile…then fall off the path, over and over. I always* need a good reminder of enjoying the moment my child is in, and to absorb it with contentment!
    Sarah M
    (#4 am a follower of your blog feed!)

  36. I love reading books that encourage mothers (and fathers!) to be intentional with their kids. I think I do this fairly well for awhile…then fall off the path, over and over. I always* need a good reminder of enjoying the moment my child is in, and to absorb it with contentment!
    Sarah M
    (#5 for following you on twitter)
    .-= Sarah M┬┤s last blog .."New House" Home Blog Tour =-.

  37. My goal as a mother is to become more patient – with my children, with my husband and especially with myself. Some month ago we visited my mother- in -law. It was such a stressful day with children without naptime, our house full of chaos, because we had to leave early,…
    When we drove back home, I asked my husband to stop at our church. I sit there, in the dark church, for half an hour and promised to myself that I want to change some things: Get more organised, cut out some time for myself, enjoy my kids more and look out for people and books to help me with this. Steady days is on the list, I wrote, so it would be wonderful to win it!

  38. How timely. My hubby is in the military and will be leaving this week for four months in Haiti. I’ll be home hoemschooling 3 kids. Intentional mothering is something I’ve heard about, but this book seems to teach ow to do it in practical ways. Trying to be mom and dad the next several months, I need to be intentnional so every moment is used the best way to glorify God. It sounds like an awesome read. I’m heading to her site now. – Kathy

  39. Wow, this sounds like a great book! I’m really working on intentionality with my kids right now. I have 2 boys (5 &3) and we’re thinking about homeschooling next year, so I’m trying to slowly work things into my day, so when we get to next fall I’m not freaking out. This sounds like a good book to help me do that! ­čÖé

  40. My goal for mothering right now is to use more positive discipline. I try my best but sometimes revert to raising my voice. It makes me sad.

  41. I need this book because I am a homeschooling mother of three boys 6, 4, and 2. Homeschooling requires organization and intention; things I need to improve on. I would love to read this book.

  42. I need to read this book because it sounds like it is exactly what the type of encouragement and motivation I need to be intentional and focused on my children. When I first started out as a mom, it was a lot easier for me to be focused and intentional, but as I’ve added another child and have now another one on the way, I find it harder to be intentional and often beat myself up about it. I stay at home in order to make the most of the time with my children, yet I find it hard to balance time with them and time doing chores or things I need to achieve. This sounds like the very thing that could help me organize and intentionalize my time at home!
    .-= Jamie┬┤s last blog ..Lap Room? =-.

  43. Definitely been feeling like I’m treading water in my home and with my kids. Would love to read this book.

  44. My goal for mothering: to be there for my children and have them grow up in a nurturing environment. I want to make great memories. for them.

  45. I need this book because I seriously think I might be the worst mother in the history of mothering. I do very little with my son and I need help – ideas, organization, motivation, etc.
    .-= Kris┬┤s last blog ..Nevermore =-.

  46. This sounds like such a great book! I was trying to put the things floating around in my head into words, and they should have come out exactly like that. “intentional, purposeful, etc”. Thanks for sharing!

  47. I need this book because I just had my fourth child, I homeschool, and the encouragement to be a better mother would be great!

  48. I was wanting to purchase this book, but it would be nicer to win it! I have 3 children (4, 2 and 7 months) and I would love to have some ideas and encouragement in the area of “mindful mothering”!

  49. I’m pregnant with twins and also have a 2yo little boy. This sounds like exactly what I need to get the worries under control!

  50. I need to read this book b/c i’m planning to be a mom sometime next year and we’re planning to home school our kids. i have so much to learn and plan!

  51. One of my biggest goals as a mother is to be intentional. It’s so easy to fly by the seat of your pants and react to everything that happens on a given day.

  52. I’m curious about her take on “professional” mothering. That isn’t an association we see very often, unfortunately!

  53. Being intentional with my days is a constant goal of mine. I heard a quote somewhere “Live every day as if it were on purpose.” I want to be proactive and not reactive with my kids.

  54. This book sounds like it would be very helpful in giving me more purposeful direction to my days and intentional planning for my son.

  55. I’ve been drooling over this one for a few weeks =) Love Jamie’s blog – only just discovered it.

    The concept of “purposefulness” could summarize what God has been teaching me this past year. My mothering has taken on a new peace. It’s amazing what being intentional can do, not only for your children, but for yourself. Instead of letting the days happen to me, I’ve realized that simply by choosing to not let that happen, I change the day completely. When I claim each hour, suddenly I have energy and direction, and my children pick up on that in an amazing way.

    Thanks for another great giveaway, Stephanie.
    .-= Amanda┬┤s last blog ..One of my favorite authors… =-.

  56. The Lord has been helping me to re-prioritize my time the last few months. With my blessings of 3, 2, and 10 months he is showing me that they are where my time needs to be! I would love to read this book to get some help in being intentional with every moment I have with my children. The time is going so fast!

  57. i would love to read this book! i have two littles (two years, and five months) and feel like the days get away from me without having accomplished anything. i know that i want to be intentional, i guess i’m just not always sure how during this season.
    .-= katherine┬┤s last blog ..meet me in…atlanta? =-.

  58. I love the concept! Some days I have it together- most I don’t feel like I do. I would love some encouragement and practical application.

  59. I would love to win this book to learn how to become the mother I am not. I feel like I get the start of a plan and do not follow through. I would love to be a mother who is organized and has a plan and follows through!

  60. I would enjoy this book as I have hit a season where I am needing encouragement. I am so blessed but the bigness of each day has left me weary and needing to refocus.

  61. This book sounds like it would be so practical for my life and give me focus as I mother my four children, age 6 and under!

  62. with baby number 4 arriving within the next few weeks, this will be a way to keep me encouraged and give me new ideas…i have been reading your blog for about 1 1/2 years now…i really enjoy it…thank you and God bless.

  63. I would love to have this book because somedays (actually many this week) I felt like I couldn’t handle my children and the house. My children are only 15 months apart and that has been really hard for especially since my daughter really needs lots and lots of attention.
    .-= Felicia Eis ┬┤s last blog ..Current Discounts for eShakti: An Upcoming Review =-.

  64. I want the little time I have to raise my children to be done on purpose. I want to train them not only in the Bible, but also in life skills. So many people have no clue in this area. I don’t want my children to be lacking.

  65. As a new stay-at-home mom, I am working towards being what Jamie calls, “a professional mother.” I would love to read her book and learn to make the most of the early years with my little one, so I don’t miss a thing.

  66. I really need to work on maintaining enthusiasm. I’m just entirely too easily overwhelmed. I would LOVE to win this book.

  67. One thing I see as a challenge is not comparing myself to those moms who always seem to have everything together. They are clean o matics, their kids hair never moves out of place no matter how many times they jump on the trampoline, their clothes are up to date and stylish and their kids only wear children’s place or ‘higher end’ brands and never get one spot on them. Their home could be in better homes and gardens tours at any time of the day or night, they always display an appropriate attutude to their kids and always know exactly what to do in every situation, and etc. Realistically, their families have problems just like mine at some point. So this steady days book seems like it would be an encouraging read. After all, it isn’t the absence of problems that makes one happy, it is the joy that God gives deep down. It would still be cool to have motionless hair though ­čÖé

  68. I need to read this book, because the main thing I struggle with is what you describe as the message of her book: being purposeful and not just letting my days with my family happen. Thank you for the giveaway!

  69. I think Steady Days could help me get a handle on our crowded house that is in the 4th week of homeschooling grades 2, 3 & 5, and I just found our I’m pregnant. I need to find some stability in our day before it hits a whole new chaos..

  70. I have four children and one on the way and I also home school. I seem to try and fail so often.
    I think my biggest challenge is just perseverance. I can get excited about trying something new to be a better mommy, and I start off with a bang, but somewhere along the way I get discouraged and it all goes by the wayside. My goal: to persevere.
    Thank you for this! It sounds like an excellent help!
    .-= Christin┬┤s last blog ..Are You ALL In? =-.

  71. This book should be next on my list! I really need to work on “intentionality” and being purposeful with how I use my time at home. Balancing it all is tough work!

  72. I have 41/2 yr. 3 yr and 4 mo. old girls. Homeschool my oldest. Would love this book as it’s a daily struggle to keep my priorities straight and get everything done!

  73. I would love a copy of this book! I am a SAHM of 2 children. I have a hard time juggling my time between their needs and mine!

  74. I have been following Jamie’s blog since she guest posted on your blog a while back. I have really enjoyed her perspective and would love to read her book.

  75. Entry 1: I would love to read this book to help me complete one of my goals of motherhood. I have a plaque in my kitchen that says “May the lilt of Irish laughter fill your home.” Without intentional motherhood, chaos ensues. With chaos, there is no laughter, only stress and tension. I believe that my learning more about intentional motherhood will help my children have a home filled with Irish laughter. Growing up in such a house, I know how precious that is to pass on.

  76. I’d love to read this book, learning to be an intentional mom is a slow process i’m willing and wanting to follow and learn

  77. Who doesn’t need help? I have 5 kids from age 17-4. Lot’s of different schedules with different stages of life.

  78. I am a working Mom, but so many of the things I have heard about this book can be applied to my life as well. Thank you for this chance and for all the great and solid advice ­čÖé

  79. I strive to be intentional in all areas of my life and am interested in ideas to include motherhood in that as well.

  80. Oh, this book is on my list to read! It would be so nice to read before my second little one arrives on April. My daughter will be 19 months right around the time he/she is born, so some organization and motivation are just what I need! ­čÖé

  81. I really, really need to work on patience. I have such a hard time when everything’s happening at once. And I feel like every mom on earth manages to be patient and purposeful except me. I sit there yelling at them to both be quiet and wait a minute and I know it’s not even their fault and that yelling is the wrong choice, but I still do it. Of course that’s in my weak moments…. But I need to find better ways to deal with those weaknesses than going on emotion alone. That is why I need to read more about this.

  82. I am a mother of 6 and wife of a small store owner. Our lives are busy and I am often disappointed that we have not gotten to what I know is important. I would appreciate this author’s thoughts on a steady small bite approach to this problem.

  83. How many reasons can I include?!?!? I love my daughter more than I ever believed I could love anything or anyone. I work full-time as the director of a non-profit school for at-risk youth…a job I adore and am so proud to have attained. I look so forward to the moment at the end of the day when I get to come home and be with my almost 4-year-old and my husband, yet within minutes of arriving home, I can feel my blood pressure and anxiety rising. I’ve just spent the 25-minute drive home trying to transition and prepare myself for the joys and responsibilities that will be on my plate the moment I get out of the car, and then my beautiful family, including my dog, rush me at the door, showering me with affection and I feel like I want to run away. And then I want to cry because how could I feel like that? How could I possibly not revel in this? The constant self-doubt and fear that comes with motherhood never ceases to amaze me and just reading the opening passage of this book filled me with a sense of relief and calm. I would LOVE to read this book and am so grateful to Sarah of sagefemmemama.blogspot.com for exposing me to this blog! It is so helpful to know that other wonderful mamas question themselves and feel overwhelmed!

  84. THis is just the sort of book I’ve been looking for. I’m a soon to be SAHM and really could use some guidance on how to be efficient and effective in my homemaking. Your blog is a real inspiration as well!!

  85. I have been given a third wonderful opportunity to parent (last two are 6 years apart), and I want to do it with more grace, organization, and intent.

  86. i just subscribed to your blog . the meal planner is exactly what i was looking for. I made that my resolution for the year, and now I can say I actually started before the end of Jan. ­čśë

  87. I am the SAHM home educating mom of 4 kids. I was having a horrible afternoon this past Monday. I suddenly felt overwhelmed, unappreciated and taken for granted. I went to the grocery store by myself just to get a break. When I got home, my husband and I put the kids to bed and then we talked for a while about what I was feeling. I told him that I needed something, I just didn’t know what it was. I decided to go to bed very early, so I went into the office to turn off my computer. With almost NO energy left, I decided to do one more thing…. visit your blog. When I saw your review for Steady Days, I said “That’s what I need!!” I would love to win this book, as neither of my local libraries have it. It would be such a blessing to me.

  88. I have just subscribed to your blog. I found your blog about 3 weeks ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it!! Thanks so much for all your help.

  89. I need this book.
    I struggle with impatience too. I often lack hope or energy to go forward, and I am sure my children are paying the price.
    With three kids two jobs and a house, I need it.
    M
    .-= Melissa Waters┬┤s last blog ..Contest =-.

  90. I feel like I really need this book because 1) I am new to mothering and often feel very lost/overwhelmed, 2) I want a game plan for my day, and 3) I work with a lot of moms so this looks like an excellent resource.
    .-= cindy┬┤s last blog ..Day 9- Get Your Iron On! =-.

  91. I need this book because I am a momma of 4 kids ages 4 and under! My youngest is 3 months so I am pretty recovered and he’s slowly getting more of a schedule, so this is perfect timing for us.

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