Heartfelt and devout, this memoir of family and personal strength will resonate with single mothers.
Rose Hunt was twenty-eight when her husband died of leukemia, leaving her to raise their three young children alone. As a single black mother in the 1980s, her struggles were significant: she faced economic hardship, the standard yet singular challenges of parenting, and racial discrimination against her children. Nevertheless, she succeeded in raising three doctors who went on to establish a charity for developing countries. In Mom 3MD, Hunt credits her religious faith and emphasis on discipline for their success.
The book focuses primarily on the Hunts’ domestic life. The author chooses to stress the challenges she faced within her immediate family, especially those related to her children’s education and her husband’s death, instead of some of the wider social difficulties she encountered. There is no doubt that the story of her career would be as interesting as the story of her home life. However, true to the title, this is the story of a mother, someone for whom everything else in life, including her own aspirations, comes second to the well-being of her children.
In the face of poverty, discrimination, and pressure to compromise her beliefs, Hunt remains defiantly true to her personal code of ethics, which is as strict and upright as anything she imposes upon her children. The heart of this code are the PDRLs, namely Patience, Perseverance, Discipline, Respect, Loyalty, and Love. Though the author relies heavily on her faith for the energy necessary to follow through on her personal doctrine, her dedication to her core values is impressive and may serve as an inspiration to other parents struggling to fulfill family responsibilities alone.
Hunt’s emphasis on education and discipline recalls the debate over the “Tiger Mother” phenomenon sparked by Amy Chua’s 2011 book. However, unlike the self-deprecating Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Mom 3MD takes itself seriously, stating that a strict (though loving) approach to parenting results in successful adult children. Considering the success of all three of her children, the book represents a good argument for parents who advocate pushing their children academically and enforcing strict rules at home.
Though unafraid to declare that her way is correct, the author allows herself to appear vulnerable, even fragile, at many points throughout the book. It is often clear that her strong faith was the only factor holding her together emotionally. Her many credits and appeals to God suggest that this is a recommendation best suited for members of religious communities.
This readable, engaging memoir is a good portrait of a likable woman and her satisfyingly successful family. It can be considered inspirational reading, especially for single, religious parents.
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