Book Review: A Happy Book From the Happiest Mom
What does it say about me that I am always somewhat surprised when I hear that other mothers face similar challenges to mine, or that they react a lot like I do to tantrums and time-outs? Motherhood to me has been an amazingly soul-expanding experience, a journey through the jungle of my emotions on a parallel course with the development of my children in their own jungles. I have yet to adequately cover with words the depth and breadth of the experience, and haven't really even dared try to list the myriad challenges I face in any given day, much less the ways I've learned to address them. But recently I read a book that does just that. The book is called "The Happiest Mom," by Meagan Francis, written in partnership with Parenting Magazine.
Of the nonfiction, self-help variety, the book contains "10 secrets to enjoying motherhood," things like "trust your gut," "take the easy way out," and "keep it real." Meagan approaches these secrets with little preamble and lots of humor. Each secret, or recommendation, gets a chapter; with ten chapters then, the book is a fairly quick read. Each chapter contains a description of the recommendation and how it addresses a common challenge of motherhood, as well as:
- a quiz, to help moms diagnose how prone they are to that particular challenge,
- a "blue page," for lack of a better name, with specific how-to tips,
- mom-to-mom vignettes, with comments from other moms,
- did-you-know snapshot statistics, and
- easy-jump-start ways to implement her advice.
In general, the secrets themselves are perhaps not new; we've probably all heard them in one form or another from our mothers, friends, or other books. An Amazon search of "mom self-help" books, in fact, yielded 770 results. Other secrets I already knew, and have been told time-and-time again how to resolve; Meagan's solutions are common sense, some may say even obvious, but the implementation of some of her tips somehow remains easier said than done, at least for me.
But some of them, like "finding your tribe (i.e., identifying and solidifying your friendships), I did not understand the importance of until I read Meagan's open-heart, often-humorous descriptions. Some of the things she wrote clarified things in my life I hadn't even thought of as unclear. Overall, I, like Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, "found myself underlining passages and laughing out loud in recognition."
Bottom line: I give this book 3.3 stars out of 4, in thanks for the clarification and validation it offers, and in recognition of the fact that some may find it overly simplistic. If you would like a copy of the book, check out our giveaway here or go to TheHappiestMom.com.
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