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Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, and Raise Happier Kids Paperback – April 8, 2005
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What makes Mommy Guiltinteresting on a social anthropology level is that it weaves in experiences of real moms who responded to the authors' survey on mothering issues at a range of age levels and situations. The survey questions are included in the back of the book, along with a helpful reference guide for situations ranging from how to handle tantrums in public to how to pick the right preschool. If the writing is sometimes precocious, its intent is to make mothers let go of the guilt that causes them to enjoy parenting less than they might otherwise, a sort of light-hearted literary jibe at how seriously moms can take the steady collection of dust bunnies and laundry piles over their children's (and their own) emotional well-being. One of the book's more unique features is a section on how to sustain a relationship with one's spouse, something that any parent, but particularly new or first-time parents, would find useful. Megan Halverson
Charlotte Parent: "...covers life’s most stressful parenting issues with a welcome sense of balance and humor. Moms will find loads of practical advice and strategies."
“…well written and well organized, includes an appropriate amount of humour, and is enjoyable to read.”
-- Journal of Association for Research on Mothering
“As a practical, ‘how-to’ guide, this book is very successful. It is well written and well organized, includes an appropriate amount of humor, and is enjoyable to read. One strength of the book is the inclusion of practical examples of ‘Mommy Guilt,’ alternative ways to think about them, and strategies to deal with them. I particularly like the authors’ use of a developmental approach throughout the book. This developmental approach not only assists parents in dealing with their current issues, but also provides them with a glimpse into the future when their coping strategies will need to change.”
Journal of Association for Research on Mothering
Volumes 9.1 and 10.2
Top Customer Reviews
It's simple, sane, subdued. It's the voice of reason and common sense from those in the trenches with us. The real-life examples come from the authors' lives or some of the 1,300 parents they surveyed. They show Mommy Guilt Scenarios (run late, get mad, yell at kids, feel guilty). Then they twist the lens just a hair and show Mommy Guilt-Free Scenarios (different ways to perceive and react that make more sense and less guilt). Simple. Powerful.
They list Seven Principles of the Mommy Guilt-Free Philosophy. The list looks like it should be cross-stitched, framed and hung in the kitchen next to the one about "sweeping and dusting can wait 'til tomorrow." Who really believes that? Well, they show how to apply each principle. The underlying message throughout is, "You are not alone. It's OK. You're doing a great job. Forgive yourself. Stop feeling guilty."
One mother said, "Although I love my son, I hate changing diapers. I hate giving baths. I hate messy meal times. Then I hate myself for hating these things." Does anyone really love cleaning shrapnel from poop bombs? Does anyone really love stinking like poop, pee and puke? I think not.
Here's the kicker: "The guilt trap frequently snaps shut when we second-guess ourselves." To me, this is worth the price of the book. Other things may speak to other readers, but this spoke to me. Second-guessing is what parenting guilt is all about for me.
Will this book make everything better? No. Will it make us stop yelling? Probably not. But it will show us how to better equip ourselves to handle things responsibly without being crippled by guilt.
L.A. Parent Woman Wise columnist
One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 8 "Guilt-Free Pleasure - Time with Your Spouse". It's something that is so important, and at the same time it is such a huge source of guilt for many moms. The "Wife Guilt-Free principles" in that chapter are in line with the "Mommy Guilt-free Principles" in the rest of the book and really get you thinking about what's good for your whole family, including you.
The authors have an easy style and a way of making you feel like you're just talking with a good friend over coffee. I also appreciated the humor sprinkled throughout. Mommy Guilt gives you support and reassurance, so you can really enjoy being a parent instead of being overwhelmed by the small stuff.
Moms are often targeted by different sources to feel guilty ~~ if they spend more time cleaning the house than with the kids, they feel guilty that they're short-changing the kids. If they work outside the home, they feel guilty for not being there with their kids or they feel guilty that they're enjoying work. Moms feel guilty over disciplining their kids. Moms feel guilty, period. It must be one of those requirements of motherhood ~~ you will feel guilt. At one time or another.
These authors not only tell you to relax ~~ your feelings are valid ~~ but they also offer you suggestions that they have gleamed from their friends, experiences and from talking with other moms. This book is chock full of experiences ~~ from moms dealing with potty training, breast-feeding to raising teenagers, to having a blended family and so on. Their advice are practical and common sensical. They also interject humor as well ~~ life doesn't need to be so serious, so lighten up!
The seven principles of the Mommy-Guilt Free philosophy couldn't have come at a better time for me personally. They are really simple and I would list the basic principles here ~~ but you really need to get a copy of this book for yourself to read more in-depth of what these authors are talking about. It's that good!
Some of the basic principles are: You must be willing to let some things go. Parenting is not a competitive sport.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good book for a parent struggling with how to parent "correctly". Helped me with ideas on how to treat situations that every parent runs into.Published on January 5, 2014 by marcie lorentz
Every new mom should read and believe the words and enjoy raising kids knowing you are doing a great job. We are too hard on ourselvesPublished on November 25, 2013 by Rebecka
This book has some good advice but I wanted more meat and less stories. If you like anecdotes, this is a great help-book.Published on May 30, 2013 by A. S. Price
this is sort of a "how to", you know the kind that tells you what you already know, and makes you think you can actually implement the ideas. Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by NLB all-access customer
The Authors, Pflock and Renner pack this book with more than you can imagine. There is a lot of info on parenting, sleeping habits, stress-free housekeeping, family schedules,... Read morePublished on March 14, 2009 by Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT
I return to this book again and again. It's one of those books that will be a fixture on my bookshelf through all of my parenting years! Read morePublished on June 27, 2007 by Anjali Enjeti
This book does a great job of addressing the biggest situations in everyday life that tend to induce mommy-guilt - from mealtime to bedtime, and every single moment in between. Read morePublished on February 21, 2006 by Sarah K. Masterson
"Mommy Guilt" takes an in-depth look at the emotion that plagues almost all mothers at least some of the time. Read morePublished on January 13, 2006 by Amy Tiemann
The authors' reassuring tone, sound advice and dozens of real-life examples make Mommy Guilt a terrific resource for parents. Read morePublished on January 9, 2006 by Martha M. Bullen