My guests are Rev. Molly Baskette and Dr. Ellen O’Donnell. Their new book is Bless This Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaotic World. When the two first met, they were both new mothers seeking parenting wisdom. They read a lot of books on the topic, but none of them contained practical suggestions that would help their families psychologically and spiritually while maintaining their progressive values: How do we teach the art of forgiving and serving others? How do we raise kids who are tolerant, curious, and honorable? And what about the sex talk? Taking matters into their own hands, Baskette and O’Donnell began creating actionable steps addressing these questions and more. This book is the fruit of their many conversations begun long ago during the daycare carpool, from angsty moments to hallelujahs.
In Bless This Mess, readers will gain constructive tools as they learn how to talk to their children about social justice, money, God, ethics, bullying, disabilities, sexuality, and their bodies. Parents will also glean insights on how to serve others with joy, give generously and gratefully, and—perhaps most important—learn how to stop being so afraid all the damn time, even while raising kids in an increasingly chaotic and often scary world. With real-life examples, relatable personal stories, and strategies tailored to the toddler, preteen, or teenager, Bless This Mess guides parents of children at all stages of their development.