Book Feature: Because I Said So

The Pranayama breathing exercises I learned in the few yoga classes I went to are starting to prove to be really useful.  They help restore my emotional and mental balance in this harried and frenetic world known as single motherhood.  Because I’m basically going at it alone, I need all the help I can need- both physical and virtual.

In the virtual aspect, I have found something to hold my hand and ease the parenting weight off my shoulders.     Because I Said So: Life in the Mom Zone by Annie Oeth, which was published in April 2014, has become my go-to book whenever I feel the pressure of parenting taking its toll on me.

In this book, solo mom Annie presents various stories of laughter, tears, worries and fears which are all associated with being a parent.  Each story tells of how mothers manage to find strength, love and humor even in the direst of situations.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

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There was a time of retribution like no other in my growing-up years. It was when church let out.

At no other time in no other day did more children get more beatings, spankings, whippings and whatnot than after church.

Now let me preface this by saying our parents were not the “spare the rod” types. If you loved your children, the thinking back then was you would get to the seat of the problem. Rapidly. There were no time-outs back then. We kids would have loved those.

I am not an advocate of spanking children because I think there are more effective ways of communicating right and wrong than hitting. That sentence would have been laughed off the street in the South circa the early 1970s, though. And if one was to call one of those hiney-warmings child abuse, then I guess a whole town’s worth of parents would have been locked up.

No, we kids all wound up being worn out at one time or another. It was only a question of when and where.

Usually, most waylayings happened once the 15th go-round of “Just as I am’’ was played and a couple of people rededicated their lives to Christ. The handshakings and greetings would begin as folks made their way to their cars in an effort to beat the Methodists to the Sunday buffet at the Southern Inn.

We kids would be walking out of the church together, and sure enough, some other child would be screaming in the parking lot. Probably several. It was the topic of discussion for us—who was getting a beating and what they did in church to deserve it.

Church misbehavior would get you a warm behind faster than setting fire to the school back then. It was a reflection on your parents‘ child-rearing in the public-est place in town. You didn’t challenge authority too much more than acting like a heathen in church. It was like asking for the physical motivation to stand awhile.

We would witness someone wearing out their young’uns‘ backsides beside the family‘s Chevy Malibu and be thankful that our own badness, doodling, whispering and note-passing didn’t cross the line that Sunday.

Our badness continued, though, not unlike a game of Russian roulette. We’d keep talking during the preacher’s sermon, never knowing when the bullet of getting a backseat beating had our names on it.

Of course, we all grew up, and many of us kept the habit of going to church. We had even learned to behave by the time we had children of our own. And this is when I learned the lesson my parents and all my friends‘ parents knew: Never commence to punishing your child during the sermon.

Needless to say, Because I Said So has become my warm blanket of sorts.  It reassures me that all will be well, that even if I sometimes fail at motherhood, I am not alone.  If anything, that knowledge in itself will help me carry on.


Check out Because I Said So for yourself.  It’s available for sale on Amazon

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Ah, I remember those days well. My mom was not a spare the rod parent either, and she was going solo because my dad passed when she was expecting me. No one questioned a spanking, but it was usually a pinch I subtly got on my arm if I was squirming around too much in the church. ;)

    • I guess your mom did a great job at raising you by herself, Rosey :). You turned out to be an awesome woman.

  2. What a nice thing to say, Pepper. Thank you!

  3. A friend who’s a parenting expert asked this question, “what how does spanking help?” I think it’s a great question. I was spanked relentlessly. I think it made me angry, sneaky, and retaliatory. I’ve never met a person who thought getting spanked made them into a better person. I’m so glad we’ve evolved as a society. That said, a hand smack can be useful in deterring very small children. Also, the threat of a spanking can be a really good motivator for kids. I use that threat more than I’d like to admit. This seems like a great book though.

    Thanks for introducing me to it!

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