As moms who made their careers within the book publishing industry, we at Fairfield Families read. We read a lot. To that end, we’d like to offer reviews of books we’ve loved and appreciated since becoming moms, books that taught something about motherhood, made us laugh, or simply entertained us during those very few solitary, quiet moments of our day.
Also, if there is a book you’d recommend to your fellow Fairfield moms, please let us know by submitting a comment! We’d love to have your input !
The Happiest Mom
10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood
Megan Francis and the Editors of Parenting Magazine
Reading The Happiest Mom is like actually having the time to chat with your best girlfriend and getting all the positive parenting support and advice you need, while laughing the whole way through. While most parenting books add to your overwhelming “to do” list, the ten simple secrets outlined in this one help you manage and shrink your burdens, while enjoying yourself and your kids as you go. Relief swept through me as I read the title of the first secret, “Take The Easy Way Out”, where I learned to stop making motherhood harder than it has to be by putting my effort into things that really matter to me, not to other moms. “Find Your Tribe” helped me identify the friends that really nurtured and supported me, relationships that have since flourished beyond my expectations. “Make Your Bed” gave me some brilliant ideas to conquer the clutter that was growing in my house as fast my kids, and “Love Your Love Life” reminded me that my relationship with my husband is key to being a good mom and must be nurtured as well. Best of all, this book is full of practical, easy tips to accomplish these goals and more. Because, what they say is true, if mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy…
When Did I Get Like This?
The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer & Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be
by Amy Wilson
If there is one event that can cause an intelligent, confident, capable woman to feel as if she is falling apart at the seams, it is simply this: becoming a mother. Happily though, When Did I Get Like This? is here to remind us of the following: We have unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we are attempting to live up to what are oftentimes ridiculous standards, and most entertainingly, and the real reason to read Amy Wilson’s memoir, a mother’s efforts to do-it-all and do-it-perfectly, can be HILARIOUS.
They are especially hilarious in Amy Wilson’s words. The vignettes of her escapades in motherhood are seam-splitting, too, but in good way! You’ll feel her pain and certainly, her frustration, but laugh, really laugh, in glaring recognition of her obsessions and her futile efforts to be a no-less-than-perfect mom. Her baring honesty and openness will make you feel as if you’re having a much needed and very fun night out with your best girlfriend.
Amy hits perfectly on many of the most absurd standards and challenges of modern motherhood. The birth clinic, pregnancy pains, birth plan, first nursing attempts, mommy and me classes, sibling rivalries, and sleeping (or rather NOT) stories. My personal favorite chapters involve her efforts to place her firstborn into one of the ludicrously competitive Manhattan preschools. Another must read is entitled “Penny the Pig”; the classic story of putting way too much effort into a mom project for little or no reward. Haven’t we all been there?
If you’re a mom who can do with a little sanity check, you won’t find a better read than When Did I Get Like This?
by Jennifer Kolari, MSW, RSW
I chose to read Connected Parenting because of its irresistible promise of developing deep, enduring bonds with my children. Drawing on twenty years as a child therapist, Jennifer Kolari teaches how to parent with empathy, rather than discipline with anger. So powerful are her techniques, she has helped thousands of parents transform their relationships with the most challenging of children. For those with easier kids with whom a close attachment already exists, I can personally attest that her strategies work like a dream, helping to maintain that close relationship while instilling noticeable confidence and positive self-esteem.
Kolari explains how all children crave the unconditional attention and understanding they received as infants. Unknowingly, I was giving my own son too much responsibility, causing him to feel insecure and anxious. Connected Parenting taught me to rebuild his sense of security through “baby play”, a heartwarming, affectionate practice that we now enjoy every day.
Also pivotal is her CALM strategy, a simple practice to empathic relating through “mirroring” your child’s feelings, instantly inspiring understanding and soon eliminating problem behaviors. I credit CALM with deflating tantrums and unbelievably, successful potty training, after a year of failed attempts. However, please note that these techniques promise to work right into the teen years for teen troubles as well.
I consider this one of the most helpful of parenting books and a “must-read” for any parent who dreams of bringing out the best in her children and developing loving bonds that last a lifetime…and really, are there any parents who don’t?