Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Report: You're A Good Mom

(and your kids aren't so bad either)... 14 Secrets to Finding Happiness Between Super Mom and Slacker Mom by Jen Singer

My Mom gave me this book for Christmas and I just finished it this week (takes me forever to get through books these days, I used to be able to knock them out in a few nights or less).  It was a comical read, but hit home on some of the more debatable issues facing Parents today, and I can't say that I agreed with 100% of where she landed on the issues, but she touched on some big ones that I can imagine are top of mind for most Mom's, so at the very least it was interesting to get her take on it, since judging by the universe of Mom', folks are fairly split on a lot of them.  Her Secrets are as follows:

Part One: Don't try to keep up with Super Mom
1) Super Mom is faking it
2) You're too big to sit the tea party table
3) Don't answer the phone when the class Mom calls
4) You didn't invent motherhood
5) You're kid's birthday party isn't your coming-out celebration
6) If there's no white space left on your family calendar, you've got too much going on
7) Don't let the youth sports cartel run your life

Part Two: Slacker Mom isn't as cool as she appears to be
8) Your kid shouldn't be wearing a t-shirt that reads "Future Trophy Wife"
9) Don't wait on Daddy like he's a houseguest
10) Desperate Housewives wasn't written for preschoolers
11) Watch Access Hollywood for Britney Spears Updates, not parenting tips
12) Don't treat fine restaurants like McDonald's Play Place
13) If you think you're a cool Mom, your kids think you are a pushover
14) Don't share your kids quality time with your Blackberry

I think the ones that hit home for me were centered around how we should support each other as Mother's and not judge, we should assume positive intent and assume we are all doing the best we can with the cards we were dealt and in turn with the cards we are playing. Sure there are going to be those Mom's that just appear to have it all together, but behind the curtain you have no idea what is going on, could be a big ol' mess, or could be someone has their priorities a bit off kilter, or it could be that you really do have a super Mom walking the planet.

Another big one that resonated with me was "Don't ignore you -- or you won't recognize yourself when the kids are gone" this one is slippery and day to day I find myself crossing back and forth over this line. I can't seem to strike a balance here, but I am working on it. I want to be there for every milestone, for every free throw made (assuming they basketball), for every performance, for crying out loud, I had a child and I intended to be there for all the moments that mattered, but I think that is the critical piece we as Mom's need to figure out, what are those moments that matter, because we can't be there for every single waking moment of their lives. They have to figure some things out on their own. 

And Just say No to too much, too soon, this one is also a bit tricky. It requires you to know what "too much" is, or rather "too soon". But the jist she is trying to get across is, you shouldn't have more plans to document on your calendar than you do space for said plans. Like a wise Country Band once said "Let them me Little, they are only that way for awhile".  One school of thought: It has gotten a tiny bit out of control. School is so competitive these days, parents are hiring tutors to ensure their kids get a 5.0 GPA and those tutors are working odd hours so those same kids can be involved in several extra curricular activities on top of playing three sports.  When do these kids get a break to be kids? Or have fun? Adulthood is coming whether they like it or not, they sure as heck will have enough responsibility once it gets here, why push it all on them so soon. The other school of thought centers more on the fact that the groundwork we lay early on paves the way for our future, so work hard now to enjoy it later, or to set yourself up for success down the road.  I have to admit that I do happen to agree with that sentiment, but I can't imagine it is mission critical to apply it while my children are 2 and 4 years old, we have some time for that, don't ya think?

It is a good read, its funny and it gets you thinking about where you fall on the Super Mom vs Slacker Mom spectrum, at the very least, it gives you some time to refresh those Mommy skills in a light-hearted setting.

1 comment:

Ash said...

I think this book really agrees with my overall parenting/motherhood philosophy: I'm not trying to be a super mom, I'm just trying to survive.
Thanks for sharing!