I finally finished the “What Happy Working Mothers Know” book and yes, it felt like it took forever. I would have normally given up on a book that takes me this long to get through but I told my readers that I would read this and see what ‘words of wisdom’ that I could impart upon you all.
So what did I find out? While I was able to pull a few well-placed nuggets of wisdom in the book, I thought that most of the book was filled with too much information that I’m not really able to apply to my busy working mom life. If there’s one thing that I got from this book it was this – to tell authors who are planning future books for working moms about what NOT to do in your book.
No busy mom really has the time to read over 200 pages of details about our psychological breakdown, take all those tests and write out the answers to a ‘ten question exercise’ in the hopes that we’ll truly discover who we really are. I barely have time to do the laundry, meet my work deadlines and get stuff together for my son’s holiday party at school to spend the time needed to really dig deep down and find myself.
Let’s be honest, we’d all buy the book if it was about 25 pages and was short enough to read while waiting for the doctor to get your child’s flu shot. And if we could get just a psychologist to tell us just how many times a day can I yell at my child without causing him emotional damage then I think we can all call it day.
As an early holiday gift to my readers, here is my version of the ‘Happy Working Mom’ book and how to find your happy-balance in 25 pages or less.
Chapter 1: I Know You Hear Me
In this chapter, we’ll all learn how to stop repeating “Eat your breakfast, get dressed, brush your teeth” more then 200 times in one morning. I’d include tips from my hypnotherapist so that we can all learn Jedi mind tricks to make sure that our kids do what is asked of them with just ONE request and that request is made in a normal, non-yelling voice.
Chapter 2: How to Make Your Kids Room Clean by the Time You Get Upstairs
While this chapter will include more Jedi mind tricks, most of this chapter will give us a list of techniques that were used and approved by Supernanny for us to try on our kids. If none of these tips work then a fold-out garbage bag will be attached to the back of the book so that you can gather up all the toys, clothes and other odd pieces of collected items on the floor with several tried and true threats to how you will throw everything away.
Chapter 3: Feelings Have Nothing to Do With Doing Your Homework
This chapter will address the whining from your kids that include the “I don’t feel like doing my homework” and the “If you loved me, you wouldn’t make me do this.” In my household, my son Jake takes more time complaining about doing his homework then it does for him to do it. This section of the book will tell us how to create a ‘homework area’ (something that we can get from our favorite inspiration Supernanny!) as well as several snappy comebacks to avoid the inevitable fight that ensues that makes homework time take longer then it needs to.
Chapter 4: No, You Can’t Have Skittles for Dinner But I Still Love You
Our last and final chapter discusses how is it that your child is too full to finish his vegetables at dinner but somehow can find room to eat 3 mini-bags of Skittles from his Halloween candy. This is the part where we’ll have a nutritionist provide us with food that is healthy without your kids knowing it and of course, everything can be made in your microwave. None of our recipes will take more then 10 minutes to prepare and each comes with it own comeback to answer your kid when he asks “what the heck is this?” And all answers will be followed by the phrase, “And I do this because I love you …”
I’ve always lived by the understanding that problems with kids can be answered by three simple things – is he hungry, tired or bored? That process always seemed to work when Jake was a toddler but now that he’s gotten older, I’m finding that these simple questions may not be able to help me with my more complex and growing child. It seems that the time is ripe for a new kind of book that gives us practical solutions to helping us with our kids while not taking 6 months to read.
As we get closer to the new year and look for those new ‘Happy Working Mom’ books to come out, I certainly hope that there will be an author who will take these words of advice to heart and give us something that we can really use to help improve our lives.
To wrap this up, I’d like to share with you one of the wisdom nuggets from the book that I just read and hope that you all take this to heart as you look to the new year and a new way to look at your life:
“You now know that your happiness is the most important element to your children’s happiness and that your kids don’t suffer as a result of you working, providing that your work makes you happy. When things get tough, reach out for support because no one can do it all alone. And be authentic. The only person you can be successfully is you and you will be your best when you are happy.”