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The Happiest Mom (Parenting Magazine): 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood Paperback – March 15, 2011
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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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This book is not specific in its instructions and leans towards the offering of IDEAS for one to consider. Also, despite the sugary title, it is actually chock full of SENSIBLE suggestions for crafting one's own path towards that elusive goal of happiness.
Buy this book for yourself if you are a mom. If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for Mother's Day or a baby shower, this would make an EXCELLENT gift.
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. It is also small for the amount of content and light, so I'm unlikely to accidentally drop it on a nursing baby's head (which is one of my main reason for preferring kindle books in the first place!).
Overall I'm very pleased with this book and I think it will be one of my go-to gifts for friends who become parents.
Edited to add: It turns out that it will be available in Kindle form! The author got back to me and let me know she didn't have the right info. I still maintain I like having it in hard copy to be able to lend, though! Win-win!
Most recent customer reviews
Great easy read.