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Thursday, April 10, 2014

book - No More Perfect Moms

No More Perfect Moms - Learn to love your real life 
by Jill Savage

I had a gift card for and wanted to find a new motherhood book to review for the blog when I stumbled upon this book. If you know anything about me as a mommy blogger, it's that I promote full honesty, no shame or judgment about our motherhood experiences, and not striving to be perfect. There is beauty in the chaos! 

So when I read this title about not being perfect mothers and saw a kid's feet with mismatched socks on... voila, I bought it. And I'm glad I did! It was a short, easy, great read. It's an honest, funny account about the ups and downs of being a mom. 

It's not personal
She wrote about how it's not personal when our kids act out or seem like they are "out to get us." Kids want what they want and they want it now. That has nothing to do with us as individuals or mothers. It's natural for them to behave this way.

I loved on page 56 where Savage wrote,  

"Children will push their boundaries because independence is their ultimate goal (and as parents, that should be our ultimate goal, too). It's normal." 

She continued to write, "A child's desire to be independent isn't about you. Teenagers want to leave home because they are longing for freedom. They may make you feel that their real reason is to get away from you, but it's to get away from anything that looks restrictive or requires accountability. You represent boundaries, so they naturally desire to break away. But their desire to break away can feel like a personal rejection if you don't recognize where it's coming from."  (page 56)

Savage said typically when we take kids' behaviors personally three things happen: we lost control, become angry and lose focus. Nobody wins when this happens. 

Be a YES Mom!
This was my favorite part about the whole book... becoming a YES mom! On page 58, Savage wrote about how moms are oftentimes quick to say NO, you can't do that, you cannot blow bubbles in the house (something I literally said a week before reading this example in the book), no you can't play with that, no, no, no. 

She explained that it's normal for us to say no a lot, due to a few reasons that she listed:
  • We don't want the hassle, it may inconvenience us.
  • We lack flexibility. We have a schedule to keep, things to do, can't deter from that.
  • We are protective. "Our children's natural instinct is to explore and pursue independence. Our natural instinct as parents is to protect. Sometimes those two instincts conflict. To be a 'yes' mom, we have to balance our desire to protect and their need to explore." (page 59)
So why not say YES more? What would it hurt to blow bubbles inside on a rainy day when you can't get outside? Why can't they use that wooden spoon that you cook with, in their own little kitchens to explore and copy you? Why can't they use the couch pillows to build up their fort? 

Sometimes you have real reasons. Other times it's just a natural instinct to say no... try being a YES mom more! 

Mommy Manners
On pages 118 and 119, Savage shared some Mommy Manners, things that we should do when collaborating with other moms. I love these tips. Do you follow all of these? What happens when other moms don't follow them around you?
  • When at someone else's house, attempt to put away toys your kids played with.
  • If you are in a quiet setting with a fussing infant, try to excuse yourself to another location so the others can enjoy what is happening.
  • If your child has a dirty diaper at another's house, try not to leave it there, instead keep trash bags or plastic bags in your diaper bag to carry it out with you.
  • Always RSVP promptly to invitations your children receive.
  • Offer to hold the door for a mom carrying children, holding kids' hands, pushing stroller, etc. 
  • When your kids' friends have a sleepover at your house, have all of the other kids' clothes, bag, shoes, etc. ready to go at the door at the time you agreed the other parent would pick them up.
  • ETC. 
What other manners would you add to the list?

Expect the Unexpected
On page 124, Savage explained why it's important to expect the unexpected, prepare for things you are not planning will happen. It's only inevitable with kids that something will come up.

"Learning to live with kids requires making major adjustments in our realistic expectations. We have to learn to expect the unexpected, find flexibility, and increase the margin. Instead of getting frustrated, let's stop expecting a fantasy and instead embrace reality," Savage wrote.

If we can accept that we as moms can only really control ourselves, not our kids' every move, not our partners, not other moms' assumptions, etc. then we will be less angry or frustrated. 

I remember this day at the beach in these pictures. It was last summer, just before August turned into September. I was feeling like we had not made it to the beach as much as we needed to (which is crazy, because we live at the beach in the summer!). So I packed us up, in the dreary, cloudy, foggy Maine day, picked up my sister to take a walk with us, and off we went to the sand. 

The kids were great for the walk. We'd packed some buckets and shovels, just in case. We got to the end of the beach and the kids were itching to get out and play. I did not have swim clothes for them... just thought, "hey, we can play in the sand and not get totally wet, right?" haha Hilarious as I even write that out. 

The kids got soaked... and had a BLAST! We had to walk the entire beach back to the car to clean them up and change clothes (luckily I'm always prepared with extra clothes in the car, expecting the unexpected is the nature of being a mom I've already learned!). But this was so fun! It's a great memory I have of the end of our summer.

Facing the unexpected doesn't have to be all scary and messy. Sometimes it's fun (and messy with sand...). 

Overall, a great resource!
I encourage you to read this book, if not for the amazingly helpful and honest mom tips that are freeing, in helping you to realize you aren't alone and that you don't have to have everything figured out, then for the Scripture passages throughout the book, brief quotes that are inspiring to read and apply to your mommy life. 



For more information:
under the tab for No More Perfect Moms you can sign up for a 31-day email challenge
under the tab for No More Perfect Kids you can sign up for a 13-day email challenge
*These are great! I've started them recently and love receiving the short emails every day with suggestions on how to stay focused as a great (but not perfect) mother!

JUST RELEASED : No More Perfect Kids book! 

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