Peace for a Mother’s Mind: A Review of ‘Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom’

“If Jesus didn’t expect perfection from His people and if he accepted them for who they were, warts and all, perhaps I should dial down my own expectations for my family. Jesus chose to hang out with the likes of Peter and Judas on the evening before He saved the world from sin. He invited them to be part of his salvific plan, so why do I worry so much about my own family’s idiosyncrasies? Jesus handpicked a handful of very imperfect people who messed up a lot, just like I do and just like my family does.”–Colleen Duggan

Review and Comments

What a blessing this book was!  I have to tell you, it was perfect timing for this mom filled with all kinds of emotions in this season of my life.  I seem to constantly stress over a constantly messy house and piles of laundry.  I worry about my first child who is entering kindergarten next year and thus begins to spend more time away from my protective grasp. I continually look at the divisiveness of the world and wonder where my children will end up as adults.  Luckily, Colleen Duggan has offered me so much consolation in her book and reminded me of what is really important when raising children: that I do my best to bring them to God, and allow Him to do the rest.

Colleen Duggan offers 5 big confessions in her book about things that worried her when raising her own children, and I’m willing to bet bother most moms. With each of her five confessions, she offers an example from her own mothering that help to demonstrate her confession. Then she offers how she learned through the experience.  She also connects her problems with the story of Jesus which further gives her credit.  At the end of each section she offers a prayer and questions for your consideration which I found very helpful.

Without giving too much of the book away, I will say that confession #3 was the one I needed to read the most: I don’t know how to keep my kids Catholic.  This is something that is a constant concern of mine.  Despite my best efforts, my kids will ultimately make their own decisions as adults.  She reminds mothers of our jobs to bring a loving home full of Jesus to our families, but to also remember that we do not need to do it alone!  We have heavenly help we can also rely on.  Our prayers are not in vain.  These reminders brought great consolation to my heart.

Her fifth confession was another issue that I also share: I sometimes compare myself with other parents.  I’ll admit.  I do it all the time.  It comes from my own insecurities.  It often seems that everyone else has it together and I’m off in left-field.  But she again offers familiar examples and presents consolation from Jesus and the saints to help remind all mothers that NO family is perfect.  We all have our own issues and struggles.

I think this book is great.  I can’t say enough about it.  I hope more moms read it and take it to heart and share what they’ve learned with other mothers.  We need each other.  We need more Catholic mom connections.  We need prayers and consolation, and this book is a great place to start.

For Discussion

  • What are your biggest confessions as a mother?  What do you worry about most?
  • Where do you turn when your worry seems to become overwhelming?
  • How can Catholic moms be a better support for each other?

(Don’t forget, the book is full of questions for you as well!)

Other Reading and Resources