Book Review: Byarugaba book more than an ode to motherhood

What you need to know:

  • Title: Scent of a Mother: Making Your Mothering Experience Enjoyable
  • Author: Charity Mbabazi Byarugaba
  • Price: Availability: Aristoc
  • Pages: 91
  • Published: 2023

The Scent of a Mother is remarkable book. It not only shares a mother’s message, gleaned over the course of 18 years, with the world. It also celebrates the transformative power of a mother’s love with vim, verve and a veritable sense of humour. 

In the process, this book lays out a toolkit for all mothers to chisel out the sculptural outlines of that special beauty that comes with a woman’s work. 

In so doing, it has a “Gratitude Stopover” at the end of each chapter aimed at renewing the spirit with which each message is conveyed. 

Charity Mbabazi Byarugaba, the author, is a dyed-in-the-wool believer. Not only in God but in a mother being a font and fount of wisdom and love. 

After all, God is love and wisdom. 

“The scent of a mother is supposed to be the source of a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God,” she writes. 

Before we continue, it is only fair to point out that this well written book is not simply an ode to motherhood. It is more than that. 

Accordingly, the author recognizes even those mothers who have fallen by the wayside, as it were, of their walk with God. 

For instance, she tells us that “the unpredictable mother is an emotionally unpredictable mother whose parenting style is based on her mood.” 

This is refreshing not because it calls into question the purity of motherhood but because it acknowledges its humanity. 

We are all a sum of our strengths and weakness, our lives a summary of our triumphs and failures. 

The author’s nod to this reality elevates her book from the boilerplate considerations of a How-To book to the fireside conversations born of flesh-and-blood truisms. 

In speaking to Homemaking Mothers, she writes: “Recently I watched an interview by a dear friend Irene Birungi Mugisha that was aired on Desert Island by Flavia Tumusiime Kabura. One of the things that stuck with me was that Irene made a decision the day she became a wife that her home would be one of peace. She would never use her home as a battlefront but as a place to build dreams, encourage productivity and cheer all the family members on.”

Take a minute to take that in. 

Okay, now consider the subtext of what has been written. I am sure you noticed words like “peace” and “dreams”. 

The world has been cast adrift on treacherous seas which lack both, peace and dreams, largely because the world is at odds with both. 

If a mother, the very foundation of how a society feels about itself, can promote the two; the world may begin over again. 

Mothers have their fingers on the reset button; part of what they need to do to rebuild a shattered world is press that button by accepting their role as change agents. 

This takes us to Chapter Six, Mothers as Givers; the author highlights the Generosity Factor as being seated on the three-legged stool of time, talent and treasure. 

Mothers impart skills, while allotting time to do so, to ensure the treasure of what we can give to the world is found and fostered. 

Chapter 9, Mothers as Physical Nurturers, there are pointers to how a mother proverbially rocks the cradle: 

“When I was expecting our firstborn child, I read a lot about pregnancy and discovered that our babies can hear everything we read, say or listen to during their months of formation. When I spoke to a pediatrician, I found out the following: 

A) The baby’s brain develops during pregnancy. 

B) During weeks 16-18, the baby hears their first sound.

C) Reading to children while pregnant helps with promoting brain activity and can promote early literacy skills and language development. 

D) Children learn from environments around them and as we read for them even when they are born it becomes easier to understand concepts that may include numbers, letters or even sounds, colours and shapes. 

As you can see, a mother not only has the potential to recast our ability to learn, which is what intelligence is predicated upon, she has the power to make what we learn count. That is if what we learn carries that distinct scent of a mother. 


It is only fair to point out that this well written book is not simply an ode to motherhood. It is more than that. 

The author recognises even those mothers who have fallen by the wayside, as it were, of their walk with God.