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Long Days of Small Things {A Review}

I’m just going to tell you right up front that this book is intriguing. The pace, the thoughtfulness given to every word, the value this book gives to motherhood is refreshing and unique.

The words almost feel like lyrics to a song. 

Lately, my house feels rushed and loud. This book is a reprieve from all that is noisy and pressing. You can soak in these words and let them linger in your mind because they are deep enough thoughts to keep you pondering for a while. 

This newly released book is for new moms, older moms, moms with young kids and moms with older kids. When you read this book, you will be reminded just how cherished you are as a mom.

The author is Catherine McNiel and she gains your trust early in the book. She knows the depth of motherhood’s trenches of exhaustion but she also knows the gifts we can all find if we are patient enough to be thoughtful.

Here is an example of her writing and an accurate excerpt on how careful she is with each word to bring the reader to an understanding of how treasured her work is:

“We knew it was coming. The work, the responsibility, the obligations of raising children. But you can’t prepare for something so massive. Motherhood requires every ounce we didn’t know we had in us to give, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Too exhausted to think of anything besides placing one foot in front of the other (preferably with coffee in hand), we fail to notice the powerful spiritual forces encircling our constant service. Like a rich, life-giving fertilizer, our labors mix into the soil of our souls, enriching our spirits without our knowledge.”

Doesn’t that remind you of all the hidden-gem-goodness locked in the secret places of motherhood? On the pages of this book, I am reminded again and again why any I wake up and answer the people who call me mom. Motherhood is beautiful and we just need a friend to tell us, or a talented writer to put it in poetic words to remind us. She might be both.

Another thing that McNiel does in this book, that I appreciate is how she weaves the deeper thoughts with the practical application. The end of each chapter contains easy-to-grasp ways to bring the ideas in the first part of the chapter to life. 

Some of the practices that are touched on are:

Being aware

Eating mindfully

Setting aside time for the Sabbath

Enjoying your body

Reflecting with gratitude

Mindfully cleaning the house


Listening to the noise

Caressing lovingly

This book makes you think, analyze and look at things in a new way. The author talked about menstruation, sex, and resting in ways I hadn’t thought about. She doesn’t shy away from those topics and approaches them with great care and respect. 

This is a book to read with a group of friends and discuss. No doubt there will be many points in the book that will spark lively conversation. It’s good to dive into these subjects that as moms, we often neglect or just overlook because of our own busyness. 

McNiel gives an invitation to consider the why behind all that we do. Why do we wash the dishes? Where is the beauty in it? Why do we clean the house? Why shouldn’t we rush? Why take the time to be silent when a sliver of peace is so rare and precious?

She challenges the reader in a good way. Even if you end up seeing something differently than she will, you will come away from this book having well explored motherhood in new ways.

I have to say, I think I like mindfully cleaning the dishes. Really.  It's better than rushing and the dishes are cleaner. Double win. :)

Lindsey Feldpausch

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. Opinions are 100% my own.

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