Loving the Little Years: Motherhood In The Trenches

loving the little ones

Loving The Little Ones: Motherhood In The Trenches

I just love the title of this book by Mom of 5 and author, Rachel Jankovic: Loving the Little Years:  Motherhood in the Trenches. “Motherhood in the Trenches” is such a wonderful description of life with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. At the end of the day it’s easy to feel battle-worn when doing life with little ones!

I first saw Loving The Little Ones as I was searching for another book on Amazon. It looked like such an encouraging book to read that I contacted the publisher (Canon Press) almost immediately to see if I could get my hands on a copy. Thankfully, they obliged and even offered TWO books to be given away! (Giveaway now closed!)

When I received the book in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised by its small size. Even more pleasant than that though, was the fact that the 20 chapters within the book are super short and most can be read in 5-10 minutes max. This makes it the perfect book for mothers of young children!

loving the little ones

I could read it while one little one is napping and the other (who is supposed to be napping) interrupts every 2 minutes by coming out of his room asking if he can get up yet. (Side note:  I think I’m going to have to just face the fact that the Big Brother’s napping days are just about over.)

Encouragement For Weary Moms

Loving The Little Ones: Motherhood in the Trenches isn’t a parenting how-to book. It’s not full of developmental theories or even practical tips for getting your child to mind. No, Loving The Little Ones is a book about encouragement for a weary mother.

And the author, Rachel Jankovic knows a thing or two about being battle-worn and plain exhausted as a mother. Rachel Jankovic is the mother of five young children (including a set of twins) all under the age 5. Whew! And I thought I had my hands full with two young active boys!

This book is about learning to embrace these sometimes stressful years caring for babies, toddlers and  preschoolers. It’s about thinking of our role as a mother as our mission in life, our pastoral duty. Loving The Little Ones encourages us to refuse to get caught up into the chaos of life with young children so much that we forget that these children of ours have souls, emotions, and feelings that need nourishing.

Loving The Little Ones Quotes

After I began reading this book, I quickly realized I needed a highlighter. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.

“So while your children are little, cultivate an attitude of sacrifice. Sacrifice your peace for their fun, your clean kitchen floor for their help cracking eggs, your quiet moment for their long retelling of a dream that a friend of theirs allegedly had. Prioritize your children far and away above the other work you need to get done. They are the only part of your work that really matters.” (p. 51)

This is so easy to “think” in theory, but so hard to put into practice. And very rarely do we look at our role as mothers from a sacrificial standpoint in a positive light. In fact, I could probably count on two hands the number of times PER DAY that I think about how I just need some time to myself…I just want to get this done or that…I just need a break. Instead of whining, I need to be embracing the sacrifices I’m called by God to make on behalf of  my children. They really are the only part that truly matters in the long term.

And the other favorite quote:

“Motherhood is hard work. It is repetitive and often times menial. Accept it. Rejoice in it. This is your toil. Right here. Those are their faces. Enjoy them. The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this. But joy is not giddy. It is not an emotional rush–it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil. So rejoice in your children. Look them in the eyes and give thanks.” (p. 102)

Would you say you are in the trenches of motherhood right now?

More Resources For Moms 

10 Best Books:  Recommended Reading For Moms

Free Scripture Printables For Moms


First published 2011.


  1. I liked Canon Press too. . . but something goofed in my comment and it posted twice, so please delete one of these so I end up with only two comments.

  2. Sometimes a positive outlook on being a mom is far more important sometimes than sitting around talking about the negative side. I would love to read this book!!

  3. 5 under 5?!?! My 6-year old and 2 under 2 should be a breeze. Why isn’t it? Whether or not I win a copy, this is a book I have to read.

  4. As much as I think I need the encouragement from a book like this, I want to thank you for bringing it to my attention. This may become my go-to gift for the new mothers in my life. I’m glad someone finally pointed out that “just” being a mom can be wonderful AND rewarding.

  5. This book sounds wonderfully supportive! I would love a copy, not only for myself but also to lend out to my daycare families when they need encouragement.

  6. I have 3 little ones(ages 4,3,1). I certainly need all the encouragement I can get my hands on. :)

  7. This would be a great book for me! I have a 3 year old, 1 1/2 year old, and another baby coming this week!! This would be greatly encouraging to me!

  8. I have a daughter and daughter-in-love that NEED to read this book — or I will read it to them. I so want them to treasure these days with my sweet granddaughters.

  9. I LOVE this book! A quick yet realistic helpful book. I know I will be reading it frequently over the next few years.

  10. I would love a copy! I’ve been eyeing her book on Amazon after recently reading an article she wrote on the Mission of Motherhood. So encouraging and so timely as right now I have two very busy little ones!

  11. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. I have three under three! Thanks for this opportunity!

  12. What a lovely book! Yes, we get caught up too much in the daily humdrumedness a lot of the time to remember what the really important things are.

  13. I would LOVE to read this and then pass it to a friend who just had twins (currently in the NICU) and has just begun to enter the trenches…it sounds like something every mommy needs!


  14. I have an almost 3 year old and a 9 day old newborn – my mom is here to help and I still feel like I’m losing it! I would love this book.

  15. This book is on my Pinterest “Books Worth Reading” board though I don’t own it yet… glad to read your review and be encouraged to get my hands on a copy soon :)

  16. Getting ready for my 3rd baby (in 4 yrs) and would love this book to help get my heart prepped beforehand!

  17. Wow I have to get this book! Your few highlights spoke to this stay at home thinking about round number 2!

  18. This book sounds like exactly what I need right now – words of encouragement! Thanks to you and Canon Press for the chance to win.
    Side note – My oldest (4) sometimes seems to be in the “possibly giving up nap” stages too. I think the quiet time is necessary for both of us. I put a little table-top night light on her dresser, and plugged it into one of those timers that you can program lights on and off with. She is required to have “BOB time” or Body On Bed. She can sleep, play quietly with her “friends” or read. She can get up and come out when the light turns on. It is also her signal for when she can get up in the morning. It isn’t bright enough to wake her up, but if she wakes up and sees it on, she can get up, and if it isn’t on, she knows she needs to go back to sleep, or rest quietly until it comes on. Something to consider for a bit more than 2 minutes of downtime.

  19. I’d love to win this book. Sounds like a great encouragement and gentle reminder of what’s really important. As a homeschooling mom who is always on the lookout for new ideas, I am thrilled to find your website! I hope to utilize much of your wisdom with my precious little minds. Thanks!

  20. The quotes in the books are so true. All moments with children are fleeting and should be cherished for what they are. I would love to read this book, and pass it on to share with others.

  21. Being the mother of 4 I would love the opportunity to get this book, thanks. Mom of Trace, Grant, Kaide, and Brady

  22. I feel like I am in trenches now and mine are a little older! :D I have another on the way in Jan and I could use some encouragement!! Best of luck to all!

  23. What an amazing sounding book!! As the mother of a 2 and 3 year old, I chose to change my career to running a home daycare so I could spend time with my little guys. There are some days where I am exhausted by 5 o’clock. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of the time I get to spend with my boys, their spontaneous kisses, hugs, stories, etc. But, I’m also there for their spontaneous bites, scratches, yelling, etc. I would love to get a copy of this book.

  24. Thank you for letting us know about this book! It’s nice to receive encouragement and I would love to read this book.

  25. I so need this! I too have to active boys & 1 more on the way. I feel more drained & defeated than I could imagine.

  26. I am the mother of a VERy strongwilled two year old and step-mother to a strong willed 11year old who has ADHD , ODD, and some other behavior issues. With all of this and working full time and getting too keep up with dishes and everything else. I forget that what is important is spending time with the kids. Reading the exerts from the book made me stop and remember whats REALLY important! Hope to win:o)

  27. Thank you for the chance to win this book. I would love to win it for my daughter, mother of 2 girls one year apart in age!

  28. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!! :) Sounds like an amazing book that would help me out in tough times :)

  29. I would love this book – I have four kids who are under 5 and sometimes I could really use the encouragement.

  30. I heard about this book and it the information given spoke to me immediately. However, our local library doesn’t own a copy, so I’ve been looking for it elsewhere.

  31. I so would love to win a copy of this book!! It’s on my amazon wishlist! I have 2 boys–one turns 3 this month and one is 20 months. I am also pregnant with #3 (we didn’t find out the gender) and due at the end of October. I would love to LOVE these little years. :) Thanks for a chance to win!

  32. This book sounds like just what I need:) Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed by everything going on inour lives that I find myself getting irritated easily:( I could use a good inspirational read:)))

  33. Looks like a great book to read. Loved both the quotes you shared. I am chewing on them, thinking on them… you are right..easy in theory, but very difficult to put in practice. Thank you for the giveaway. :)

  34. I just had a very crazy day! As a mother of two boys under age five, and one on the way, I found these quotes very inspiring. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post on facebook.

  35. I would love to read this…and I have a few friends I’d love who I’m sure would love to read it as well! Thanks for the chance to enter!

  36. Sounds like a book I could identify with! Would love to learn from this author’s own experiences and be encouraged by her outlook.

  37. This sounds perfectly timed….with number 2 due in two months I am having moments where I doubt my abilities. I could use an encouraging read. ;)

  38. Ever since you mentioned this book weks ago, I have been scouring the net searching for what I thought the title was (I was close but off an important word). I need this book!!

  39. Just last week I was introduced to this author on the desiringgod.com blog! I was so convicted and refreshed at the same time. I would love to win a copy of this book!

  40. Mmm – I’m up for an inspiring new read! And it sounds like one I could pass on to the MOPS moms in my group!

  41. Sounds like a wonderful book and a great topic for my current stresses! Would love to have a copy!

  42. I love the attitude of this book. What a great way to think of life with my wonderful 2 month old!

  43. I’m thinking this book is just what I need. I love being a mom and have found this to be my purpose at this point in my life, but “battle-worn” is a great way to describe how I’m feeling most days lately! I can think of at least two other moms who I could share this with!

  44. I love the title too! The quotes you had in your review were encouraging and are something all mommies need to hear from time to time to remind us just how important our job as being a mother is.

  45. As a mother of four grown children, I would love to win these books to give to my daughters-in-law. Really enjoyed the philosophy in the excerpts.

  46. Love this! It’s so comforting to hear that other moms have the same frustrations. God has been working in my heart lately to look at my children as my “mission” or “purpose” in life and to embrace this and not complain about my day when it gets stressful. I definitely need to read this book. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Wow I could use this book. I have 3 energetic boys and it is so hard to remember sometimes that they will only be little once.

  48. Count me in!! The toil seems great many days, but I know the days will be over soon and I will be looking back and wondering where those years went….

  49. a group of us have started a monthly mother’s group… this book would be so perfect. The title is basically the foundation of why we started this group!

  50. I’m transisitioning from working full time to SAHM full time for my 2.5 yr old in the next 2 weeks. I’m anticipating needing some encouragement!

  51. So far I’ve really treasured the moments I have with my daughter – maybe because we waited so long for her. But I would still love to read this book!

  52. I have a 4 year old son and a 10 month old son. I am still trying to adjust to life with two!! Would love to read a book that could encourage and offer a game plan! :-)

  53. thanks for sharing this book and the opportunity to get a free copy! I’ll definitely put this on my to-read-soon list. :)

  54. I may only have one for now, but a book like this seems like it would also be a good pass-along item to other parents, and I have a growing circle of friends who are also young parents that could benefit as well as me!

  55. I have heard about this book from many people…but still haven’t gotten around to getting it. Would love to win a copy and give one away!

  56. Looks great. I will add it to my to-read list and hope my library has it (I would love to win it though!)

  57. I have read some of her posts before and really enjoyed them and would love to have a copy!!!

  58. I’ve heard good things about this book but never have picked up a copy. I’d love to read it, and hopefully learn from it.

  59. I’d love one! Looks like the odds on this one are going to be pretty slim though–everyone seems interested in this topic!

  60. I would love to win a copy of the book…Have heard nothing but GREAT things about the book…

  61. I would absolutely love to receive this book. I’m in a group that will be doing a book study using this book.

  62. I have had two friends tell me about this book and I was just about to order it. I am a mom of three young boys five and under and can’t wait to read it! Thanks!

  63. As a parent educator and mother of two small children, I would LOVE to add this inspiring book to my library!!

  64. I just love the title as well… I can definitely use/hear/learn from this book and lift myself up when needed! Thank you for the opportunity :)

  65. Sounds like a great book to read and then pass on to my MOPs group, or a great MOPs group discussion book

  66. I love the quotes that you posted from this book…..I hope I win! I “liked” Canon Press too!

  67. I would love to read this book. As the mother of a 4yo boy, 2yo boy and 3 month old girl, I am needing some encouragement these days.

  68. I’m in the trenches now as my son has sat at the lunch table for over two hours now… I am desperate for some encouragement in any way I can find it. Thank you for being so generous!

  69. As a mother of 3 kiddos under the age of 5, I gave up reading yrs ago–unless it’s instructions on how to put together a stroller, crib, or swing! I would love to read this–it sounds do-able. Mothers always need encouragement. It’s the hardest job on the planet!

  70. i have been reading her motherhood posts on The Resurgence and have been meaning to order this book from Amazon. can’t wait to read it eventually :)

  71. I love things by Canon Press! I have read two of their books on homeschooling and this sounds great!

  72. This book sound amazingly encouraging. My days are busy and crazy with 4 all at home, but I want my kids to remember that in their little years they were the most important treasures to mummy, to know that they were loved beyond measure….somedays that’s easy and other days not so easy.

  73. Hello- Just bought this book and love it. If I won these copies I would give them away as prizes at our MOPS group!!

    Emily Dykstra

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