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Confessions of a Slacker Mom Paperback – March 26, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A welcome relief from the flood of how-to-mother-perfectly tomes, Mead-Ferro’s short and sweet book is a reminder not to take parenthood so seriously. The author, who in addition to being the mother of two young children also has a demanding career as an advertising copywriter, has drawn valuable lessons in "making do" from her grandmother, who "had none of the proper equipment by today’s standards" yet "never described motherhood as a hardship." Mead-Ferro doesn’t care for creating clever scrapbooks, accessorizing the nursery or trying to impart baby genius status to her three-year-old. Rather, she teaches her children that "making do" with their imagination is as good a route to inspiring creativity as any educational toy. She believes in letting her kids learn that the physical world is a complicated place; it’s better than smothering, isolating and "child-proofing" the world for them, she says. Rejecting the mentality that results in pre-school admission anxiety attacks and overly competitive soccer leagues for six-year-olds, Mead-Ferro both soothes and inspires as she prompts parents, and mothers in particular, to trust their own instincts rather than that of the "experts." Let the kids get messy, she says, and let them figure some things out for themselves. While Mead-Ferro’s not at all sheepish about labeling this approach similar to that of a "slacker," readers will come away with the feeling that the author is in fact a wise veteran who has experienced many of the conflicting messages women face today, and who nevertheless comes up smiling.
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"A brief, breezy take on a theme that seems to be resonating with a lot of mothers right now." -- USA Today

"Celebrates the benefits of simplicity in mothering." -- New York Daily News

"Hilarious... [A] refreshing, honest book." -- Healthy Family

"Quirky and unpretentiously honest." -- Library Journal

"The latest and funniest in a series of parenting backlash books." -- Los Angeles Times 4/25/04

"The latest and funniest in a series of parenting backlash books." -- Los Angeles Times

"This quick, entertaining read provides welcome validation for the feet-on-the-couch mom many of us long to be." -- Chicago Tribune

"Will have you nodding knowingly, chuckling out loud and maybe even shedding a tear or two." -- Arizona Republic

"[Mead-Ferro has a] wicked sense of humor." -- Washington Post

"[Mead-Ferro's] no-nonsense way of life encourages...A+" -- On-the-Town, September 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong (March 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738209945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738209944
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I was extremely disappointed with this book.
J. Aragon
She's probably right there, but many other parents know this too and don't feel compelled to write a book about it.
A reader
I agree with her that we are way too hyper as parents nowadays...too child-focused.
Earnest Nicholas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

260 of 292 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Funge on June 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
You should know before reading Muffy Mead-Ferro's short book that she has a nanny for her two children. That small nugget was tucked into the last chapter of this meandering lazy attempt at countering anything and everything in parenting help books. It's difficult to take a writer seriously when they don't put all of their credentials relating to the topic up front. If someone is going to espouse the idea that being a lazy mom is okay, you should note that you can afford to act this way since you are lucky enough to have hired help. Besides, if your children don't turn out perfect, you'll always have someone else to blame.
The idea of the book is that Muffy doesn't want to buy loads of educational toys, put headphones on her abdomen during pregnancy, get warmers for the wet wipes, etc. All the things that many modern (Yuppie) parents are lead to believe are necessary to get their children into the best pre-schools, high schools, and universities. It's a great idea (a lot of this needs to be said), but the author really falls flat when expanding on these ideas. Her rationale for not wanting to do all these things is that her parents didn't and she turned out okay. Fine, but we all know that. Most parents didn't read How-To guides and yet their children still managed to survive and thrive. Mead-Ferro's lack of explication is irritating (as is her literary eye-rolling when talking about other parents) and results in repetitive and obvious "revelations." The book is a wonderful idea but poorly executed and almost completely devoid of any innovative or interesting ideas. The lack of depth leaves only enough material for a light magazine article. A real shame.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Amara TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I agree with much the author has to say here---we DO get our kids too many toys, it WON'T kill them to have working parents or to not always be the center of our attention. However, the tone here is just plain grating! The author seems to feel that no-one in the world outside her extended family has ever really gotten parenting right---everyone else in the world is a hovering, overinvolved child-centered fool. I really did search for a reference to other people she might feel have done an okay job---in vain. One can't help but being a bit catty and saying to oneself "her kids are pretty darn young, I would really rather take advice from someone with just a TAD more experience and older kids, as it's pretty easy to put the rules in place that she has with the 6 and under crowd" I also thought about how despite her often talking about her childhood on the ranch, she mentions sort of in passing how various members of her family became State Governer, and others were lawyers. I wonder if she would feel the same about not giving her kids too much if she had grown up truly not having enough---not enough food, no toys because none could be afforded...etc.

But all this is mainly fueled by my annoyed feelings at the "better than you" tone of this book. I think the author has valid points, and I am sure she's a good mother. I just think she should have waited just a little longer into her parenting career to write this, and perhaps acknoledged that others in the world may have had the same ideas she did!
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By maria1971 on January 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author of this book is certainly not a "slacker" in the sense of "lazy". "Slack-er" as in `less slack', or more laid-back, maybe, but certainly NOT a slacker - she's an working mother of two (albeit, with outside help), so it's extremely unlikely `lazy' is even in her dictionary.

So what's this book about? A quick summary:

1.Don't spend money on un-necessary stuff, e.g. too many toys.

2.Why it's not a good idea to spoil your kids

3.Why it's not a good idea to over-protect your kids

4.Teach your kids to think for themselves

5.It's Ok to get mad as long as you express it correctly

6.Why it's important to have a life of your own

7.Listen to your instincts - kids were being brought up perfectly well, even before all the parenting books (and sites) came to be

All-in-all sensible advice, but not necessarily all that easy to apply, so if you're looking for a quick-fix solution, this is not the book for you.

If, however, you're looking for a book that will make you feel more comfortable about parenting your way (as opposed to some author's way) this may well be the one for you.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found her annecdotes thorougly entertaining, and often laughed out loud.
It should be clearly understood that this is not a "how to" parenting book, and should never be mistaken for one. Instead, it is one woman's account of trying to navigate through the incredibly tricky maze of parenting. Fortunately for us, she she presents her take on the whole thing through a wonderful sense of humor. If you can't laugh at yourself as a parent, perhaps this isn't a book for you.
I congratulate Muffy Mead-Ferro's courage to question some of today's "modern wisdom" about raising children and instead, listen to her gut about what's right for her children. And I commend her ability to "confess" about it!
I agreed with her about some things in the book and disagreed about others, but that's what makes this book so fun to read. We all have our own styles of parenting and should trust our instincts enough to follow them. Although I consider myself a slightly more experienced mother (I have kids ranging in age from 15 to 4), I gleaned some wonderful nuggets of wisdom from her childhood days on a Wyoming Ranch. These were some of my favorite parts.
I have recommended this book to many friends, and have purchased it for several gifts. It's a great read for parents of all ages.
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