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You're a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either): 14 Secrets to Finding Happiness Between Super Mom and Slacker Mom Paperback – April 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jen Singer is the creator of MommaSaid.net, Her work has appeared in American Baby, Family Circle, The New York Times, Parenting, Parents, and Woman's Day. She writes the Good Grief! blog about parenting tweens for Good Housekeeping.com. She lives in Kinnelon, New Jersey with her sons, her husband, and what appears to be a bucket of worms.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Super Mom is Faking It

You want to trip her as she glides by you at Back-to-School Night, looking like she just stepped off the cover of Family Fun magazine. In one hand, she holds a plate of homemade apple-shaped cookies. In the other, she has four hundred signup sheets for the school fundraiser, of which she is (naturally) the chair.

And then there's you, windblown, disheveled, and late (as usual), not to mention empty-handed because Hubby ate all your brownies last night. Once again, you're faced with the fact that this mom-a Super Mom, if there ever was one-has raised the mothering bar so impossibly high that your anxiety is skyrocketing along with it.No wonder you want to check her into the bake sale table like a hockey player during playoffs.

She is most definitely a Super Mom, and you're . . . what? Desperate to be like her. After all, she helped her son whittle a bar of Ivory soap into a museum-quality sculpture of Abraham Lincoln for a Cub Scouts project, while you let your son shave a few slices off his bar of soap and call it SpongeBob. Her son's project looks like it belongs in the Smithsonian with velvet ropes surrounding it.Your son's looks like an eight-year-old made it while watching the Mets game on TV, which is, of course, exactly what happened. If only, like her, you, too, had a Fine Arts degree. Then you wouldn't feel so inadequate when it comes time for you . . . er, your son . . . to do his school projects.

Able to Leap Tall Preschoolers in a Single Bound
You'd swear there's some sort of bat-signal that summons this woman at just the right moment, her hair glistening in the school gym lights, a cooler of chilled Gatorade bottles in multiple refreshing ?avors at her feet as she trades inside jokes with the basketball coach, and then corners the principal for yet another pow-wow about her child's potential.

Meanwhile, you scrape the peanut butter off your sweatshirt and root through your purse for some lipstick, all the while mumbling under your breath, "Please don't sit next to me. Please don't sit next to me."

You don't want to hear about her latest project: her "craft room," an entire 16'x20'room dedicated to scrapbooking, sewing, needlepoint, and making homemade Halloween costumes that look like they belong on the cover of Martha Stewart Kids.

You, on the other hand, have nothing more than a "craft drawer," and that's only if you consider the following "crafty": plastic googly eyes, some kid-sized scissors that don't cut much of anything, and a dried-out glue stick covered in gold glitter. The last whimsical craft you tried to make-an egg-carton dragon- wound up in the toy box, crushed by a Tonka truck and stuck to Barbie's hair with a half-chewed gumdrop.

You long to be like Super Mom, because she seems to be what everyone thinks is a good mom these days-the kind of mom who puts her kids and their travel soccer games, piano lessons, Kumon tutoring, and elaborate dioramas of the White House made from sugar cubes before her own needs. The kind of mom who gives her kids the very best, so that one day she can put a Harvard sticker on the back window of her SUV and drive off to play bridge with the ladies at the club, where she'll brag about her children's scholarships, and, I dunno, the craft wing she'll add onto the house.

But do you want to pay $12,000 a year to send your four-year-old to a Chinese immersion school to "give her a leg up on her future?" Do you want to skip the swim team's trip to the water park so you can use the time to improve your kids' backstroke splits while everyone else is "wasting the day" in the wave pool? Do you want to be so busy running the town council, the home and school association, and the Mighty Mites hockey fundraiser that most nights you don't have time to eat dinner with your family? Will that make you happy? Better yet, will it really make you a better mother?

She's a Cross Between a Smooth Politician and a High-Pro?le Celebrity
But Super Mom isn't all that she appears to be. After all, it takes an enormous amount of energy to be the perfect mother-and even more energy to make it appear that way to everyone else.

In fact, here's a secret that Super Mom doesn't want you to know: She's really not perfect-just extremely adept at propaganda. She uses many of the same techniques that governments (for example, Hitler's Nazis) and Fortune 500 companies (like Enron) use to get their message out. You'll feel much better about how you measure up next to Super Mom when you realize it's all just smoke and mirrors.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402211147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402211140
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was picking up a book to help me understand my son and his emotions better when I saw this book. I flipped through a few pages and laughed out loud at each page I read. How refreshing!! I told myself I would look at a few more pages and if I laughed more I would get it. After five minutes I couldn't put it down and I was drawing stares from others b/c I was laughing. Instead of a book telling me what I need to do better, this one told me "we all understand and we've been there". It helped me see things in a less tense way and laugh at myself. I have four little ones under 6 yrs, including a newborn, and I went home and read a book for me that made me feel better about ME. What a refreshing concept!
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What a great book! Jen helps me to laugh. She also helps me to reiterate to my husband that "smackdown" is not an appropriate bonding experience for him and the boys. For me to realize it is okay for my child to have a Birthday party at home with the family is not going to traumatize my child....me maybe but not my child. That hospitals should hand this book out with the hospital discharge goodies.
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I ordered myself this book during a bout of postpartum depression. I was really struggling, I truly was doing a great job mothering my new daughter, but when you are feeling blue, it helps to have someone tell you that you are doing "ok" and that is what the book does. If you need to laugh at yourself (or others) and a pat on the back, get this book.
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We all know nobody's perfect, yet there are a few moms at school who seem to be. They're always perfectly dressed, perfectly organized and perfectly prepared for every volunteer opportunity. Of course, we all know slacker moms, too. They're the ones with stuff spewing out of their minivans in the school parking lot while they look for their kids' school shoes with a minute till the bell rings. But what about the rest of us? Jen Singer's wonderful, witty and wry new book "Your'e a Good Mom" reassures us that the "mom in the middle" is just fine, thanks. Buy this book, get your favorite beverage, and let Jen re-energize you for your most important job -- being a mom.
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This book is NOT a self help book. It is a pat on the back for all of us who do so much for our kids...and realize that we're not perfect. Sometimes things go "ka-ka" and we handle it with style....Jen says "what else is there to do"? Jen Singer leads us in laughing at ourselves as well as giving us a pat on the back for getting through it all. Well written and rings true. A real slice out of our lives. No matter who you are, if you are a mom, you'll not only enjoy this book, but recognize yourself amongst the pages....whether you care to admit it or not!! If you take it along to read while you are waiting those ENDLESS hours at "whatever" practice, you know you are a "Good Mom".
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I ordered this book for myself for Mother's Day and this is by far the #1 "Mommy Book" I have read yet (and I have read a lot). This book does not teach you how to be a mother, rather teaches you how to be a SANE mother. As I am writing this review, I am waiting on two of Jen's other books to come in. She is genius and puts a positive & realistic prospective on being a parent and helps the reader realize, that you are not the only person who is excited to go to the dentist because it's private time... and these feelings are NORMAL and okay. Also, the book made me understand that those perfect mothers at PTA may not be all the perfect and loving your children IS enough! Genius! I wanted to share her book with my friends but I randomly go back to it and read a chapter here or there so I just cannot give it up!
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I really loved this book so much! I let a few of my friends borrow this book. I felt as if I was such a crappy mom before this book, and the whole time I read it I just felt better and better. My favorite part was the "google rash" now & then. It describes me to a T. There is also a part in there about how she took her son to a PT to get his gross motor skills tested, and I just laughed because I just went through that EXACT thing with my son! I laughed so hard. :) I have also read the Pre-school years book of Jen's and loved that one also! She is a fantastic author, and good to relate to.
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I'll admit up front that I'm bias ... Jen is a friend of mine. And as a friend, I've had the good fortune to see and hear Jen's humor over the years -- on the soccer field, in the pub, at weddings. And I've long thought, and this book just proves it, that Jen is a rightful heir to the following of Erma Bombeck. Why? Because they find the humor in the every day. They are willing to mock themselves while showing us the absurd we take for granted as normal. And they both make me laugh despite the fact I'm neither a housewife nor a mom.
Paraphrasing a favorite commercial of my youth ... buy it, you'll like it. And Jen, keep 'em coming.You're a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either)
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