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The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-Tested Strategies for Staying Smart, Sane, and Connected While Caring for Your Kids Paperback – June 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052474
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Melissa Stanton never set out to be a stay-at-home mother.

It just sort of happened as the result of a confluence of events -- her husband taking an out-of-state job, her own long commute to a high-pressure New York magazine editing job, and the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

'I woke up one day and said, `You know what? That's it. I need to live a different life,'?' she said.

Ms. Stanton, who now lives in Davidsonville, admits she didn't know quite what she was getting into when she left the workforce. But she's gained a lot of experience and is determined to pass it on to other women.

Her book, 'The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-Tested Strategies for Staying Smart, Sane, and Connected While Caring for Your Kids,' came out June 1. It packs plenty of advice for moms who may be feeling a bit isolated and under-appreciated in their new roles.

'It's so chock-full of tips (and) practical things,' said Krista Lyons-Gould, publisher of Berkeley-based Seal Press, which put out the guide.

Ms. Stanton, 43, consulted with about 100 stay-at-home mothers and surveyed more than 60 in detail to gain a broad perspective for the book.

The guide includes chapters on everything from finances and friends to sex and strategies for keeping sane.

'There's a little humor and a lot of substance,' said Ginny Meerman of Edgewater, who has four children and has been a stay-at-home mother for 18 years.

'I'm still amazed that I did it,' she said. 'The book was a lot of work, but it was really good to have done it. I hope it gets attention. I think it's a useful book.' -- Hometown Annapolis, June 19, 2008

No one ever said that staying home with kids was easy. But now, thanks to this new book by Melissa Stanton, you'll have somewhere to turn whenever you're feeling a little lonely, under-appreciated, or overwhelmed. Stanton, a magazine editor turned stay-at-home herself, understands all too well both the joys and the challenges that come with staying home with your children full time. For this book, she draws not only on her own experience, but also on the experiences of other moms, who she spoke to and surveyed at length. With information about dealing with everything from money and scheduling to friendships and marriage, Stanton has the advice you need for every situation and the sympathy and understanding you've been hoping for. No one understands a stay-at-home mom like another stay-at-home mom, which gives Stanton the insights to make this Survival Guide a valuable resource for moms everywhere. -- Mom Central, June 26, 2008


More About the Author

Melissa Stanton is the author of "My Pen Pal, Santa" (Random House), a story based on the actual after-Christmas pen pal correspondence between her daughter, Ava, then 6, and Santa Claus. (See the "For Adults Only" section of mypenpalsanta.com to learn how that communication was achieved.) While out of the workforce to care for her son and twin daughters Melissa wrote "The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane and connected while caring for your kids" (Seal Press/Perseus Books, stayathomesurvivalguide.com). Earlier in her career she was a senior editor at LIFE and People magazines. Melissa is now a website editor in Washington, D.C. She lives with her family -- and a flock of egg-laying hens -- in a rural Maryland suburb.

Customer Reviews

Definitely a necessity for any new stay at home mom!
Lauren Marks
This book has helped me realize that I'm not alone in how I'm feeling, and that I'm not a bad mom for sometimes not wanting to spend my day being a mom.
Miami mama
Highly recommend reading this book (if you can find the time to sit down with it)...great shower gift too for the new mom!
E. Nolan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Cross-post with my review of the book on [...]

I loved this book. There are a couple books I recommend without reservation, and this is one of them. I don't think you'll get much out of it if you're not a SAH parent and don't plan to be one, but if you are or have been or want to be or are planning to be a SAH mother, you will get something out of this book.

The first strength of this book is that the author had a big career, then was home for a year with her first child, went back to work more-than-full-time for a few years, and is not back at home with her (now) three kids (including a set of twins, one of whom has special needs). So she's seen the gig from a lot of different angles. There were things I took for granted about being at home before I went back, and I know I'd have a different view of being at home now if I could go back to thatom and I think the book does a good job of picking out things that are unique to the at-home gig, but also universal to at-home moms.

The second strength of this book is that it hits the correct topics. The central tension of being at home, IME, is that tug-of-war between wanting to be with your kids all the time and feeling like you're missing something by being at home. (I think the flip side is the central tension of WOH--being out in the working world, but feeling like you're missing something with your kids.) And that's one of the central themes of this book. It is not at all one of those "yes it can be tough but SAH moms are riding along on a cloud of rainbows raising the future of the world" books. It acknowledges that there are many reasons women stay home to care for their children, and that sometimes it's not because that's what they'd choose if the choice was really possible.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By W. Michael on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your husband is an active parent and you knew, going in, that being an at-home mother would be challenging, this book is probably not for you. It was interesting to read about the experiences of other at-home parents, but that was all I really got out of this book.

What I wanted was a real survival guide: how do I get a shower? how do I balance kids' needs and household chores? what do I DO each day to keep my self esteem up and take care of the kids and myself? There are a few interesting bits, but overall, the book was not worth the precious few minutes I get to read each day.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Beard on August 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is refreshing in its honesty! Finally a REAL perspective on what it's like to be at home, with kids, all day, every day...and not loving it all day, every day. I found the book totally validating - I felt like the author had a window into my actual life. It's crystal clear that Melissa Stanton has walked the walk, and her perspective will make so many of us SAHMs feel supported and understood. I keep this book right next to my well-referenced collection of parenting books by the Sears and Brazeltons out there, but the difference is that THIS author has truly lived what I am living today. I am grateful to be a SAHM for my kids, but it certainly isn't a fairytale, and Melissa Stanton GETS IT. The good days are SO GOOD, and on the not-so-good days, I can pull out this book and remember that I am not alone. Finally, I feel connected, understood and supported. Thank you, Melissa, for being totally unapologetic and unflinching in your book - it's honest and real.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Nolan on February 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a book that I think pediatrians and GYN/OBs should give away to parents or highly suggest for reading to their patients. Staying at home with a baby is NOT easy. There is a huge transition from the work world to the parent world. It can be isolating and frustrating. Sometimes Moms may feel guilty about how they feel about it, thinking they should love every minute they spend with their child....especially if they have had trouble conceiving or waited a long time to bring a child into their life through adoption. The reality is feeling negative at times and missing what you had is normal. It is ok to feel like that sometimes. What the book highlights is that you are not alone and as a stay at home parent, you should seek out other parents who stay at home because you need that support. It is a lifeline! Parenting is a 24/7 job, and sometimes you need a break, a change of scenery to be a better parent.

Highly recommend reading this book (if you can find the time to sit down with it)...great shower gift too for the new mom! It really helps you put your feelings in words...the Dads should be reading it too!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jljmr on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I love this book! I just got it and am still reading through it but I really love the way Stanton writes. Very natural, candid, anecdotal and entertaining yet getting some wonderful points across that will help so many of us moms cope with the day to day challenges and joys of parenting. I found myself nodding my head in agreement at so many of the observations she shares. This is a real world book for real world moms. I am going to bring this with me on vacation to share with my girlfriends who are fellow moms- lots of great conversation starters and wonderful coping strategies we can all use.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PW Mom on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for all women who are either considering staying home with their kids or who have been doing it for years. It is encouraging and honest without being condescending. I love staying home with my kids but it's frustrating that when I complain about something in my day it means that I don't love my kids, or that I made the wrong decision. Ms. Stanton gets that and it made me feel great about myself and the decision I've been lucky enough to make. And it's ok to not always feel thrilled to play Candy Land with a cheating toddler...It's the big picture that matters!
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