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Mama's Got A Fake ID
by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira

Reviewed by Jennifer Bogart

"Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. brings it all home with suggestions to encourage and bless other moms around you who likewise seek to be known and appreciated."

Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. entered my life during a time when I was struggling with the concept of what it means to be a ‘good Christian mom’. Somewhere along the line I’d picked up the notion that in order to be a good mother I needed to devote every waking hour to the care of my children (and sundry domestic duties). What I didn’t know at that time is that there are many other moms out there struggling with just this issue as well.

Despite the timeliness of this books arrival, I felt a vague sense of unease about the title. Would Caryn Dahlstrand Rivandeneira recommend that I stridently claim my rights to spa days and girls nights out? Would she be someone who suggested that I abandon my children emotionally to pursue a self-centered life? After tentatively dipping my toes into the water I discovered that the answer was no – Rivadeneira is a mom herself, and adores her children, just as we all do.

Borne from her own personal experiences, she also draws from the thoughts of family, friends, bloggers, commenters, co-workers, authors, and her very own “Big Mom Survey” to discover how mothers approach issues of identity. When Rivadeneira’s work rings true, it’s not only because of the Christian worldview it is rooted in, but also because it springs from the real experiences of women.

After conquering my initial uncertainties I dove headfirst into Rivandeneira’s cleverly written, yet seriously developed examination of the identity issues common to Christian women today. After examining the needs of women in the area of identity she explores the ways in which we are hindered from being fully known as uniquely gifted children of God and the legitimacy of a need to be known. Rivandeneira then explores ways in which women can encourage others to know them more fully – in both their role as moms, and in other areas as well – through language, lifestyle, and behavior. Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. brings it all home with suggestions to encourage and bless other moms around you who likewise seek to be known and appreciated.

Written realistically and with a balanced pen, mothers are encouraged to rejoice in the way God has made them unique, while also cultivating contentment in the face of limits, transparency, and acceptance of His purposes.

Not only did I take away valuable reflections, practical suggestions, and reassuring concepts that I’ve tucked close to my heart from this book, but I also found a kindred spirit in its author. Rivadeneira’s passion for writing while in the midst of raising children is similar to my own, I only wish I could write as entertainingly as she does. Sharp, tongue-in-cheek, and all together witty, she had me laughing out loud with her spot-on serious-comical observations.

Identity issues can take many forms: feeling tied to a stereotypical ideal that just isn’t you, wondering if you’ll ever be able to exercise your giftings again, feeling guilty for having interests outside your children – the list goes on and on. If you suffer from any form of mama i.d. malaise, head over to Caryn’s for some encouragement – I’m sure you’ll find the visit deeply refreshing.

Jennifer Bogart is a child of God, wife and homeschooling mother of three young children (so far). She writes homeschooling resources with her husband at Bogart Family Resources, and reviews as a creative outlet. Passionately dedicated to promoting the work of Christian authors and artists, her blog Quiverfull Family features reviews, contests, family updates, homeschooling tidbits and well - a bit of everything.