hey mommas

One thing EVERY mom on the planet needs is this: to know she is not alone in how she feels. Although our individual experiences as a mom are unique, the emotions of motherhood are universal no matter what season of motherhood we are in.

How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.")

None of us are immune to feeling afraid, alone, confused, distraught, overwhelmed, depressed, worried, angry, and guilty—among a million other feely things. Yet, so often when someone asks, “How are you feeling?” we respond with, “I’m fine,” when we’re so NOT FINE. We tend to keep these sentiments to ourselves, pretending to have it all together for fear of exposing our weaknesses.

This book is a sigh of relief as you come to realize you are not alone in how you feel. It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to care for the village. That’s what Lisa and I are trying to do in these pages. Consider our words a giant group hug for all of us.

P.S. SCROLL DOWN if you want to hear the story about how Lisa and I wrote this book even though we STILL HAVE NEVER MET IN PERSON!

Judge, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Entry Title: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”)
Author: Shelby Spear & Lisa Leshaw
Judge Number: 28
Entry Category: Inspirational

● Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary:

Outstanding opener to the book, as the authors establish a nice, relatable foundation so that the reader feels heard, understood and supported (i.e. “there are common issues we all face” that helps with a sigh of relief.) Beautiful embracing of the reader. We know we are spending our time well with this book, as comfortable as we’re invited to feel right from the start.

‘Each chapter will drench you in grace’ is a standout example of the authors’ lovely use of description in sensory detail that brings their words to life. Beautifully done. I loved the spotlight on ‘fake it till you make it’ insights that can often sprout feelings of inauthenticity and dread. That alone is a book’s worth of healings and straightening out outdated advice. Well done.

Personal Reflections sections are strong, with fresh leading questions and plenty to assess. The authors identify which of them is speaking, deftly avoiding confusion. We get a duo of identifiable voices with fabulous transitions between them. Well done.

Authors have avoided danger points in sharing a narrative and providing a nice sense of organization in their content. Scripture is nicely-chosen with a fine mix of known and little-known Scripture to give the reader excellent inspiration, and – when they do recognize a bit of Scripture that they do know – a sense of self-confidence, that they are a bit on the right track with the things already in their knowledge. Very well done. This is accomplished through providing such a wide range of insights, questions, considerations and beautifully-chosen material when warranted. Not overdone, not skimpy. I found that to be one of the many strengths of this book.

Halfway through, we are reminded that God will ‘stop and stay awhile’ so that the momma does not feel alone. Excellent moment here! Authors remind the reader in multiple ways that she is not in this walk alone. Lovely. Repetition is a big strength there, as are equally energetic writing voices, a smooth edit (which can be a challenge with two authors!) And wow, what an ending with all of the Scriptures. Great job.

How We Came to Write a Book from a Distance