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Becoming a Calm Mom: How to Manage Stress and Enjoy the First Year of Motherhood Paperback – January 1, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA); 1 edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433804042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433804045
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first, I really enjoyed this book -- and felt that it spoke to me, as a new mom. I really appreciated some of the specific strategies for being a Calm Mom in the first section. However, in the end, I was really frustrated by the book and the author. First, I would say that this book is very much geared towards married moms with husbands. It does little to address - or use language sensitive to - the different needs of single mothers or those with male or female partners.

I also found the book to be judgmental, which I have very little patience for in a book about being calm. Here's just one example: The author definitely has a opinions about the "best" way to parent -- including crying it out as the best sleep solution. In the section about being your own behavioral therapist, one of her examples is about a baby not sleeping -- and the solution to is the parents letting the baby cry it out. In a later section on sleep solutions, the recommendations are all based on the work of Dr. Jodi Mindell, who recommends crying it out. While I don't mind that Dr. Ledley has these opinions, I wish she had been more upfront about her biases and perspectives - and provided space in the book to acknowledge them.

When I started this book, I found it refreshing to find a book about parenting that wasn't specific to the method of parenting, so I was really disappointed by subtle judgement placed on what is "best." I found it counterproductive to the book's main messages. I still found some of the strategies helpful, but you need to be able to zone out on the other messages in the book that might differ from your parenting style.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great, informative, no-nonsense book for managing the stress of being a mom! I am a mother of a toddler with another on the way and I was becoming overwhelmed with the idea of caring for 2 babies. This book was just what I needed. It really gives tools that can be used not just for the first year with a baby but, beyond as well. I wish this book had been around when my toddler was an infant- I had tremendous anxiety every time my baby cried. Everyone just said "don't worry, all babies cry" which did not help to relieve the stress or anxiety that I was feeling. This book actually gives strategies to calm yourself and reduce anxiety that all mothers feel (whether they admit it or not). I have been recommending this book for all my friends (first time mothers and more experienced mothers as well) and I wanted to recommend it here as well. I love being a mom and the skills that I have learned in this book have made my time with my toddler even more enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
This book may be helpful to first time moms who have never talked to other moms. But to me, it was listing a lot of things I already have learned (have 2 kids).
It seems to have this theory that if you are calm, your kids will magically be calm and behave. I don't think my toddler has ever heard that theory. Yes, kids act worse when you're super frustrated. Yes, being able to calm down is good.
Oh, except if you are trying to get your kid to sleep. Them let them cry it out. Go in another room, cry yourself, and wait for your baby to learn that you're not coming until they cry themselves to sleep. Breathe deeply while your baby screams....
This book is also not very supportive of breastfeeding - and if you are having trouble with that (be calm) - you may not want to use this book as a resource.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just bought this book for every pregnant woman I know. It shows a practical, REALISTIC view of the first few weeks of motherhood and gives you useful strategies to cope with this trying time. I especially appreciated the description of adjusting to maternity leave and not being able to get anything done. I laughed out loud when she described being in her pajamas with nothing done at 3pm - that was me! Rarely have I found a book that was so true to my experience. Thank you Dr. Ledley!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such an amazing book. I love the authors tone throughout the book. I am reading this now as I prepare for my child's birth, but I know that I will pick it up frequently after he is here to remind myself of the tools she gives for dealing with the difficulties of being a mom. Instead of focusing on telling you how to get your baby to sleep, whether you should or should not breastfeed, whether you should or should not go back to work, how to discipline...she gives you the tools to help you make the decision that work best for you (and your partner, if this applies), and how to deal with the stress that comes along with making all these decisions and dealing with a new baby in the first year. I haven't seen another book out there like it. This is a must read for new moms, and I plan on getting this book for my friends and more and more of them are starting families.
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Format: Paperback
As a new mother, and one who likes to be overly informed, I have read dozens of parenting books. Some have helped, some have not, some I've tossed in the trash. This one is indispensible. If I had to give a new mother one book, it would be BECOMING A CALM MOM. There are so many resources out there to help with the baby - websites, books, etc - all about sleep, feeding, nursing, child development. But there's NOTHING that tells you how to deal with yourself and your fears and anxieties except this book. It acknowledges some of the uncomfortable truths about being a new mom and how it affects us psychologically, and it helps restore the self-confidence that new motherhood inevitably drains us of. After reading it, I was able to breathe deeply and relax for the first time since becoming a mom. I recommend this to EVERY new mother.
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