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The Happiest Mom (Parenting Magazine): 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood Paperback – March 15, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Q&A with Meagan Francis

In The Happiest Mom, you share 10 secrets to enjoying motherhood. What do you think is the most important secret?

We decided to open the book with this secret: Take The Easy Way Out. Of course, good parenting requires a lot of effort--but you won't score extra points for difficulty, so there's no point making motherhood harder than it has to be. That doesn't mean you do everything by halves or don't bother trying, it means setting up your life so that you're putting effort into the things that really matter to you. Also, the tips we give throughout the rest of the book will actually help your life as a mom feel easier. For example, if you have a good support network in place, motherhood will feel easier. If you learn systems that help you stay reasonably organized and on top of your kids' homework and calendar, motherhood will feel easier. If you focus on the things that matter to you - and not necessarily the ones that matter to other people - motherhood will feel easier. If being a mom seems hard all the time, The Happiest Mom will definitely help you zero in on the areas you could take the easier way out. The end result is that you'll be happier, and so will your kids.

From the Author

Q&A with Meagan Francis

A lot of mom-oriented books focus on the struggles and frustrations of motherhood. Why did you take a different angle in this book?

When I became a mom over 13 years ago, books about parenting seemed mostly preachy or unrealistically soft-focused. I can still remember how ground-breaking the "Girlfriend's Guide" books were in the 1990's! It was the first time many new moms could remember reading anything that gave the straight dirt about what motherhood could do to your body, bank account, you name it.

The 2000's ushered in a slew of "keeping it real" books and blogs about motherhood that shone a light on the darker side. That was great, but the pendulum swung so far in that direction that it started to seem like motherhood is nothing but 24-7 misery, and worse, that there's nothing you can do about it but hang on, pour a drink, and wait for high-school graduation. It became almost uncool to admit to being a happy mom, or to share positive stories about motherhood. People thought you were either lying, or worse, bragging.

But I wanted to tell the other side of the story. Yes, motherhood is tough at times, but moms can be happy. What's more, there are small, simple things we can do every day to make our lives a little easier, a lot better, and way more satisfying. I wanted moms to know that yes, you can use the words "happy" and "mother" in the same sentence! And I knew that as a mom of five who was once pretty unhappy but who has gotten happier through the years, I had a lot of advice to share.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Weldon Owen (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616280603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616280604
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Meagan Francis, mother of five and a blogger, writer and expert on being a happier, more productive mom. I'm the author of five books, including Beyond Baby: A Week-By-Week Guide To Creating a Life You Love When Your Kids Aren't So Little, and The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood. You can find me online at www.thehappiesthome.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Meagan Francis has been blogging at The Happiest Mom since 2009, but I only discovered her a few months ago. I'm not quick to add to my already-overflowing feed reader, but the first post I read intrigued me enough to keep poking around. A quick trip through her "Favorite Posts" had me hitting not only "subscribe" but "print."

Her writing is honest, relatable, funny, give-it-to-you straight. And her blog fills a needed niche: it's not the "motherhood is so hard, let's all commiserate together" mommy blog, and not the "motherhood is the greatest delight of my life, let's go do a 47-step craft with our angelic, gifted children in our meticulously organized house" mommy blog. Instead it's this delightfully challenging yet empowering middle ground: a mommy blog that says, "yes, it's hard sometimes, but you have choices about how you feel and what you do, so do what it takes to be a happy mom!"

So when I saw that Meagan Francis had a book coming out, I wanted to read it. Obviously, I was hoping for a book-length version of her blog.

Instead, I got a book-length version of Parenting magazine.

I don't like Parenting magazine.

First the positives. The book is gorgeous. Colorful, well-designed--just really nice to look at. When I requested a copy, I suggested that I'd be happy with an e-version for my Kindle, but the author said I'd want a print copy because of how beautiful it is, and she was right. If you have any kind of appreciation for print design, you'll be impressed with The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood. And there were a couple of places I marked that Francis offered some helpful insights, like "questions to ask yourself to regain perspective," that sort of thing.
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Format: Paperback
My mom sent me this book because she thought I needed to read it. As a single mom who works full time, goes to college and has 4 kids, 3 w/ special needs, guilt tends to be a constant companion. There is always something that I could do better, sooner, or more often for my family. Sometimes, I get up in the morning just wanting to survive that day, and really, this is no way to live. I put this book in the bathroom (because it's one of the few places I know I will have a minute or two to read)! and right away this book struck my heart. There is so much joy and love that I miss out on because I try too hard to be a perfect mom, and I forget that the biggest gift I can give my kids is to be a normal human being and a happy mom. Since I started reading this book, I've tried really hard to focus on letting go of the guilt, taking the easy way out if it's not important, and doing something nice for myself every day (even something as little as taking a few minutes to read the comics in the morning). It turns out my mom was right--I did need an attitude adjustment! Now I try to wake up in the morning and think of how much I love my kids and remember that I owe it to them and myself to have a happy day!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Happiest Mom has been a go-to blog for me for around a year now. I really enjoy the perspective Meagan gives for various parenting situations, and with my 3 kids under age 5 it helped immensely to know that she is in the trenches herself. She has 5 kids of her own, she's not a parent of a single six-month-old trying to advise me to just be a bit more organized!

This book was more than just an expansion of her blog. It had cute quizzes (reminded me a bit of reading a Seventeen magazine as a teenager, so it was a fun throwback!), really specific and helpful suggestions, and straight talk about what you need to do to go out and GET your own happiness instead of expecting other people to fulfill that need for you. The best part, though, is that the things you need to do are easy, small, and doable - even with a bunch of kids running around.

A couple of very minor negatives - first, I am not a huge fan of Parenting Magazine because whenever I read it they seem to be a bit fearmongering. This book is not like that at all, but I won't be using the included free subscription. The book is worth it without that, though.

Second, I was really looking forward to reading this book and was waiting for it to appear in Kindle format, but when I tweeted the (very responsive and helpful) author to ask if/when it would be on Kindle, she said that she understands the Kindle love but the format of the book lends itself much more to hard copy. Now that I've read it, I can see why. It is set up in a pleasant, pretty, mood-improving format, and this way I'll be able to lend it more easily to friends who seem to want to add some happiness to their parenting.
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Format: Paperback
I had to laugh at myself (gently) as I read some of Francis's descriptions of ways new (and experienced) moms react to some of the everyday challenges of motherhood. This short and simple book (for what new mom has time for lengthy self-analysis?) reminds moms to be kind to themselves so they can be better (and happier) parents. My maxim: If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. This book helps you to relax and reach that happy mama place. This would be a fabulous baby shower gift!
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