• Rage Against the Minivan

  • Learning to Parent Without Perfection
  • By: Kristen Howerton
  • Narrated by: Kristen Howerton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (155 ratings)

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Rage Against the Minivan

By: Kristen Howerton
Narrated by: Kristen Howerton
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Publisher's Summary

“Howerton writes unflinchingly about what it means to be raising children in today’s world and how to liberate ourselves from the myth of perfect motherhood.” (Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed and Love Warrior, founder of Together Rising)

In this smart and subversively funny memoir, Kristen Howerton navigates the emotional and sometimes messy waters of motherhood and challenges the idea that there’s a “right” way to raise kids. Recounting her successes, trials, mishaps, and hard-won wisdom, this mother of four advocates for letting go of the expectations, the guilt, and the endless race to be the perfect parent to the perfect child in the perfect family.

This book is for 

  • the parent who loves their kids like crazy but feels like parenting is making them crazy, too 
  • the parent who said “I will never...” and now they have 
  • the parent who looks like they have it all together but feels like a hot mess on the inside 
  • the parent who looks like a hot mess on the outside, too 
  • the parent who asks Am I good enough? Doing enough? Doing it right? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with these children? Are they 18 yet?



With her signature blend of vulnerability, sarcasm, and insight, Howerton shares her unexpected journey from infertility to adoption to pregnancy to divorce to dealing with the shock and awe of raising teens. As a mom of a multiracial family and as a marriage and family therapist, she tackles the thorny issues parents face today, like hard conversations about racism, disciplining other people’s kids, the reality of Dad Privilege, and (never) attaining that elusive work/life balance. Rage Against the Minivan is a permission slip to let it go and allow yourself to be a “good enough” parent, focused on raising happy, kind, loving humans. 

©2020 Kristen Howerton (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Kristen is one of the clearest, wisest, smartest voices in our culture. I look to her for leadership on a dozen different cultural issues and have been looking forward to her first book. In Rage Against the Minivan, she tackles the complicated aspects of motherhood and distills them down to what is absolutely true, right, and good. Plus, she is funny and endearing, so she will forever be one of my favorite writers." (Jen Hatmaker, New York Times best-selling author of For the Love and Of Mess and Moxie)

"Kristen Howerton’s authority, brilliance, wit, and wisdom is exceeded only by her authenticity. When Kristen writes, I pay attention, because not only am I challenged and informed, I am becoming a better person in the world. This book is one part therapist, one part best friend, and such a gift to a generation of women tired of the mommy wars." (Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things)

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What listeners say about Rage Against the Minivan

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Absolute Must-Listen!

This is the FIRST audio book I have actually finished! Kristen's voice made it enjoyable and entertaining. I found myself feeling like I was in the room/car with a lifelong friend, just listening and laughing and almost crying. I have not had all of the same experiences (obviously!) yet I felt like I related on so many levels of mothering and parenthood. I have three children, though this would be a wonderful listen for expecting mothers and mothers of any number of children. I started this after my third was born and HOLY JACKPOT OF TRUTH. Again, truly a must-listen book.

1 person found this helpful

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Emphasis? Expression?

As a mom of four, three from my body and one a surprise adoption fail as they plan to return to their Bio mom tomorrow. I was drawn to this book in hopes to escape processing our pending loss. There were many parts that spoke to me reminding me to let go let God or do less and just be still. I did struggle with the language perhaps it was needed for emphasis or to simply depict the author in a real life picture. I do not know but I did feel less than encouraged by it. That said there was still lots to learn, it caused me to reflect on a lot of good things and it was helpful to read someone else’s account of bumping against society’s crazy ideas about motherhood.

1 person found this helpful

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You don't have to be a parent to RAGE

Had the honor of being one of a small cadre of men on the book launch team, so I did have advanced access to a review copy of the book. I loved it. Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. I also just finished my first listen (won’t be the last) of the Audible version which I purchased.

I don’t think that I fall into Kristen’s target audience. I’m a middle aged, white, single guy with no kids of my own. I first became aware of her and her Rage Against the Minivan blog about 5 years ago. I don’t recall the exact piece of social content that caught my eye, but it had to be something about her unique blended family. I may not “have” kids, but as a 30 year public school coach and teacher I have many of what I call my “By Choice Sons” and most of them are black or multi-racial. So Kristen’s experience raising 2 black boys in a white American family was what initially attracted me. It was her no-holds-barred perspective and snarky sense of humor that kept me coming back.

In her book, also entitled Rage Against the Minivan, she brings all of that by the van load. She has terrific insights into the adoptive process in general and especially navigating the treacherous waters of raising black sons in this society. And she does so in ways that are both moving and humorous. By far the most emotional topic Kristen explores with gut wrenching honesty is infertility and miscarriages. In one chapter I was sobbing at her account of her first miscarriage and in the next, laughing hysterically at her story of bringing her eldest two kids to the beach. Throughout, there are plenty of moments of pain and more of laugh out loud humor.

Raising kids isn’t easy. In sharing her own struggles, Kristen pulls back the curtain on the rosy veneer of the social media super moms. Her honesty is her greatest gift. I think parents will chuckle with recognition and sigh with relief as they read Rage Against the Minivan. With love and honesty, Kristen shows the way to successful parenting in this modern world. And that’s pretty much the secret sauce, love and honesty. Now, how to get the secret sauce stains off the seats of the minivan.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great perspective for modern parenting

Kristen keeps it real, and I loved hearing about her family's life. Such an easy, heart-warming but also funny read. So much wisdom. Lots of takeaways as a mom of kids in elementary school approaching their teen years. Just loved it.

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Not what I expected, but enjoyable

Story of the author's experiences with infertility, adoption, divorce, and church culture. Easy to listen.

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Multi Child Home game book

Loved this book. Could relate to so much of it, even if not all of it. Even as a man, having multiple kids and hearing so many things that have happened with my own kids was hilarious. To see from a different vantage point. Things my kids did(do) to piss me off sounds funny when it's happened to someone else. the approach and delivery was so laid back, easy going, and relaxing, you could either relate or sympathize.

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Conversation with a bestie!!!!!

If you are a mom of any kind do not hesitate to pick this up. It is like having a conversation with my bestie ❤️ Easy listen. Perfect timing of reminding me that I'm doing ok enough at this parenting thing.

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Normal mom feelings

I’m so glad you covered your experience of isolation as a mom and not having friends and also shining light on the hope to find true friends as well.

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Wonderful essays about parenthood

I loved this book!! I felt parts of it in my soul. I will listen to it again. So many pieces to help one through the hard times and to hold gratitude in life. Love love love!

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So so funny and relatable, finished it in 2 days.

LOVED this... laughed, cried, and felt so seen as a mom of 3. If you’re looking for a humorous, witty, honest, and real conversation about parenthood try this out!