Meagan Francis on Motherhood and Happiness

I'm normally a Nook kind of girl. And my first question to author Meagan Francis via Twitter after seeing one of her national television interviews promoting The Happiest Mom was to ask how long I would have to wait to download a copy.

Which-side note here- was just an awesome example of the immediacy of social media. I think Meagan was still at the studio when she tweeted back. And that's when I looked at The Husband and was all, "See? I am having An Actual Conversation with a real published author who WAS JUST ON TV. How cool am I?"

About a week later I found myself at Barnes and Noble and decided to just buy a hard copy of The Happiest Mom. What sold me? The cover. See that So Cute it Makes You Happy Just to Look At It book at the top of this blog post? ? Yeah...trust me. I've had the book for about a month now and I still find myself smiling involuntarily when I happen to see that pretty mix of happy on my desk.

What's even better is that it's not a book full of empty promises or Let Me Tell You Why My Way is Better empty promises wrapped in a pretty package. The Happiest Mom is more like a rational girlfriend who dishes advice that makes sense without making you feel like she is being preachy or judgmental because SHE GETS WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM.

I'm a mother of one. I am in constant awe of moms of More Than One and sometimes find myself wondering how my own mother never had to get fitted in a white coat raising five girls. And I will gladly admit here that part of the reason I still have only one (she's almost four years old now) is because I constantly find myself torn between feelings of inadequacy (How can I handle more kids if I can't keep it together with one?) and frustration (How can I handle more kids if I can barely keep it together with one?) Bottom line? I love my kid but I can't honestly say I'm happier as a mom than I was Before Baby. How can I be? I have so much to do!

My to-do list is living (and breathing) document on my smart phone, and I am not exaggerating when I say that if I don't type in Remember to Breath after Wash Laundry, Put Laundry in Dryer, Take Laundry Out of Dryer, and Fold Laundry, I don't remember to do it. I am overly anxious and freak out when the slightest thing doesn't go according to plan. And I am always frantically running around trying to remember where I left my bank card. (Last time I lost it when I decided to mark my place in The Happiest Mom. Yeah, I know. The Husband told me my life would be so much easier if I just took five seconds now to get off the couch and put the card back in my wallet instead an hour of driving to the bank and back home to get a another replacement, too. He also told me to breathe, take some time for myself, and stop wishing my stress away. I told him to shove it.)

Then Megan told me (in her book) that part of one of her secrets to being a happier mom is to take time now to do that extra step, like putting the laundry away right after folding it instead of leaving it in a pile on top of your dresser and leaving a bigger mess for later. She also suggests breathing, taking some time for myself, and to think of happiness as a skill that would be a benefit to everyone in my family if I mastered (Think Go with the Flow). And I nodded my head and declared her a genius for thinking up such original advice.

That's when The Husband told me to shove it.

The Happiest Mom is full of gems and broken up into ten chapters in which Meagan shares her secrets to staying sane (and smiling) while raising her own brood of five. Love Your Life, Make Your Bed, and Aim Low, Go Slow are just a few examples of the discussion topics Meagan leads with a rare but welcome blend of authority and warmth. Never once does Meagan suggest she knows all leaving you with the feeling that she is telling you why her way is better and yours is not. Instead, she shares the happiness skills she has learned along the way (like figuring out your Must Do's on your To-Do list and saying To Hell with The Rest) and offers suggestions on how to incorporate them into your own life and what works for you.

Buy it. Read it. Love it.

And then send a tweet to Meagan Francis or leave a comment on her blog letting her know how happy you are.

I did.

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Ready for the good stuff? You know...the part where I tell you to leave a comment sharing the one change you'd like to make in your life to become a happier mom and I tell you that two winners will be selected next week to receive copies of The Happiest Mom? Yeah...that part.

Make sure I can get in touch with you via twitter, facebook, or email if you win! Contest will close at midnight, EST, on Wednesday, May 4.