Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Is There a Manual for That?

In the past few months, while finishing my book for publication, waiting for the launch, and publicizing it, I've fielded a number of comments and questions about the book's general philosophy.

Some media outlets have called it a "parenting manual." Or people have joked, "I didn't think there was such a thing as a manual for raising kids!"

These people are under the mistaken impression that my book gives advice on raising children. But that's not what my book is about. At all.

The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos isn't about taking care of kids---it's about taking care of moms. True, I did include a "bonus chapter" of simple, at-home kid activities ("that won't break the bank or drive you crazy") at the end. But, as every stay-at-home mom knows, go-to ways to entertain kids are for the sanity of moms more than they are related to raising children.

For the most part, my book is a gentle and encouraging but firm guide to taking better care of yourself as an at-home mom: for learning better skills for adjusting to mothering, getting good sleep, eating healthier (which may include losing the baby weight), exercising regularly, feeling less stressed, nurturing your romantic and friend relationships, maintaining some semblance of a social life, appreciating and living in the moment, and basically having as much fun and experiencing as much joy as you can during your at-home mothering days.

My greatest hope for this book is that it comforts, inspires and cheers any at-home mom out there who struggles to take as good care of herself as she does of her children (which, by the way, I've noticed is pretty much every mom). That it gives moms a laugh now and then. That it props up any moms who need specific guidance in how to begin an exercise program, or how to follow a better diet, or how to live more easily on one income, or how to keep the house clean without going crazy or getting cranky. Even more importantly, how to cope with the inevitable stress and lousy moods that are as much a part of mothering as are the joys and thrills.

And there is certainly a manual for that. It's right here. I just wrote it.

[*Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot to tell you that last night at about 9 p.m., my book publicist texted me to tell me that the book was, at that moment, ranked as #28 on Amazon for sales among all books in the Motherhood category. NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT, PEOPLE. I want it known that this was above Tori Spelling. Woot!]

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