The Happiest Mom (Giveaway!)

3 May 2011, 45 Comments »

Meagan Francis has five kids, writes every day at her site The Happiest Mom, somehow mustered the time and energy to publish her fourth book–The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood*–and still manages to live her own philosophy, which is that “happy” and “mom” are not mutually exclusive terms.

Here’s the thing: there are plenty of people out there who will volunteer ideas about the kind of parent you should be–mommyblogs, your own mom, the lady in line behind you at the grocery store–but the message of this book is that being happy equals being your best self, not someone else’s version of what you should be.

We all get caught up in that comparison game at some time or another, and that’s why Meagan’s advice was especially helpful: because she’s not telling you what to do or how to be, she’s just asking the questions that will help you figure out those things for yourself. (The book is full of quizzes, and even the answer keys aren’t about right or wrong but about discovering what makes you tick, and what makes you meltdown.)

Reading the book, I had my share of major lightbulb moments, but more often than that I found myself simply smiling and nodding at the familiar scenarios. I consider myself a pretty happy mom (scattered and time-crunched and usually behind on the laundry, but happy!), and yet I still found a lot to love about the book, particularly because sometimes all I really need is a reminder that I’m doing okay, that I know what I’m doing after all, even though sometimes it feels like I don’t. Besides, a book about being happier shouldn’t make you feel bad or less-than, it should make you feel, uh…happier,  right? This book does that, whatever kind of mom you are and hope to be.

I want you to give someone (yourself?) the gift of happiness this Mother’s Day, and Meagan is helping me do that by offering three(!) books to Nice Things Now readers who leave a comment on this post. Simply tell me what makes you a happy mom (or what made your mom a happy mom, or how you plan to make a mom happy this Mother’s Day) and you’ll be entered to win. (Winners will be chosen by random draw.)

Normally I’d make the entry deadline one week from today, but because it will be way more fun to award the prizes on Mother’s Day (next Sunday!), you have until midnight on Saturday to leave a comment.

(I know it’s tempting, not to mention very optimistic of you, to wait until Sunday to see if you won a copy, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of the pre-Mother’s Day sale price of only $8.22 on Amazon (that’s a 45% discount!). Worst-case scenario is that you end up with two copies, but then that’s not really a worst-case scenario, is it?)

*Amazon affiliate link.

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45 Comments

  1. Cass says:

    When I actually do turn off the rest of the noise and I get to just be Lexi’s Mom it’s incredible. Her little hand reaching up to mine or hearing her say new words…it all just makes me very very happy.

    • agirlandaboy says:

      Yes, turning off the rest of the noise is so important (and so hard sometimes!).

  2. mjb says:

    Such a good reminder for this first-time mom!

  3. I think I manage to be a happy mom by doing what works for our family and not comparing myself to other moms. Their lives are not mine, their kids are not mine, and vice-versa! Not always easy, but I’m always much happier when I manage to remember that. :-)

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m a mom to three girls ages 5, 2 and 1. The thing that makes me happiest is our Friday tradition. We all make homemade pizza for dinner, get pajamas on and indulge in popcorn and milkshakes, then grab our sleeping bags and crash on the living room floor while watching a movie. It’s our reward for making it through another work (and school) week.

    • agirlandaboy says:

      I love these smaller traditions. “Tradition” isn’t just for the holidays!

  5. Morgan says:

    I’m not a mother yet, but I know the thing that made my mother happy was work. She loves her job and while she wanted to be a SAHM, she realized she was a much happier person with a full time job, and I respect her for knowing herself. It made her happier at home, too, and that’s good for everyone.

  6. Gina G. says:

    Being a happy mom is an ongoing work-in-process, but I think I do ok most days. I’ll be making my mama happy this Mother’s Day by joining a huge family celebration (with dad’s homemade spaghetti!) with 2 sets of grandparents, my parents, all 4 of my siblings and their husbands/fiances and 7 grandchildren!

  7. I am making my mom happy this Mother’s Day by taking her to see the new Disney movie about big cats. She loves all big cats, and we are going to go with just the two of us. I think she will enjoy some time together. It’s been a hectic month for our family, so some down time will be greatly appreciated.

  8. Rebecca says:

    A happy toddler?

  9. Jen says:

    My secret to being a happy mom….a VERY supportive hubby and God’s grace! :) Thanks for doing the give-a-way! Finger crossed…I would love to read this book (and share it)!

  10. Dawn K. says:

    What makes me a happy mom is remembering that I’m perfectly imperfect. My house won’t always be clean, the food not always healthy, but the heart is always full of love.

    • agirlandaboy says:

      Right on. One of Meagan’s tips is acknowledging that you’re going to make mistakes, and the best thing you can do is learn to be okay with that.

  11. Colleen says:

    Before I was a mom, I was a special education teacher. A massive part of my mom-happiness comes from recognizing every day how lucky I am to have gotten pregnant & given birth to a healthy baby. The biggest challenges we face are *nothing* compared to what many other parents are managing.

  12. Jessica says:

    Oh, I am a happy mom because I get to stay home (and work) with my baby, while having the morning to go play with him. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom when I had kids, but that wasn’t an option for us right now. But I am happy that I can provide and be there for him. I try not to judge others for their choices. Except when they just put on movie after movie while they play on their phone all day long. I tend to get a bit angry about that!

  13. Lisa S says:

    What makes me a happy mom: Simply being a mother. After a half decade of infertility, we stopped trying — which, of course, is when we got the surprise of our lives. Parenting has been hectic and messy and exhausting so far, but I am so happy to do it.

  14. when I stop and take time to enjoy my kiddos and do life with them instead of around them, that makes me a very happy mom…I’m glad to say that’s happening more and more these days!

  15. Tammy says:

    What makes me a happy mom is knowing that I am doing what matters most to me….being a mom. I enjoy nurturing my kids, even now that they are older. I love it when they just want to be hugged or reassured. I was a teacher and due to disability I am now a stay at home mom. I think this is a blessing in disguise! And I’m often able to help out with other kids in the neighborhood if they’ve missed the bus or get sick during the day. That makes me happy !

  16. Jessica W says:

    What makes me a happy mom is the mere fact that I get to be one. My miracle daughter was born 3 years ago this month!

    Would love to win the book. Sounds great! Thanks.

  17. deborah says:

    It makes me a happy mom when I stop and notice the little things-the hugs, the funny sayings, the fun toys around the house, playing outside, jumping on the trampoline-and keep a good sense of humor!

  18. Jessica W says:

    What makes me a happy mom is the mere fact that I get to be one. My miracle daughter was born 3 years ago this month!

    Would love to win the book. Sounds wonderful!

  19. Jessica W says:

    What makes me a happy mom is the mere fact that I get to be one. My miracle daughter was born 3 years ago this month!

    Would love to win the book. Sounds wonderful!

  20. deborah says:

    It makes me a happy mom when I stop and notice the little things-hugs, funny sayings, fun toys throughout the house, playing outside, jumping on the trampoline-and keep a good sense of humor!

  21. Tara says:

    What makes me a happy Mom is having a loving, supportive husband and a wonderful baby boy! I love my boys!

  22. Lawana says:

    It makes me happy when after a long day of thinking I’ve made a mess of things and been a not so great mom that my girls still give me giant hugs and tell me how much they love me. Mistakes and all. :)

  23. Lauren E. says:

    What makes me a happy mom is when I make my son laugh. I seriously live for that.

  24. It’s easy to say what makes me a happy mom. My kids! I’m happy every time one of them tells me “I love you Mommy”, I’m proud as all get out when strangers comment on how beautiful my family is, or how blessed I am, or how well behaved my children are. On Mother’s Day, EVERY YEAR (never fails) they move me to tears when they bring me the beautiful gifts they have hand made me. Being a Mom makes me happy!

  25. Chelsea says:

    Having the honor of knowing another human being so intimately from the first moment he was born. Being able to experience all of his growth-watching and helping him to become the person that he is.

  26. Debbie says:

    What makes me a happy mom is to remember that I am the best mom for my kids and not to compare myself to others.

  27. Debbie says:

    What makes me a happy mom is to remember that I am the best mom for my kids and not to compare myself to other moms.

  28. Jackie says:

    What makes me happiest is really just for my son and husband to be in good moods. I can take almost anything if both of them are smiling and happy, but even the most wonderful day can get wrecked if one or both of them is in a snit.

  29. JenniferW says:

    I had a happy mom moment when I watched my beautiful three year old daughter talk to my two month son in a voice that used to make me laugh with it’s absurd precious intonation, until I heard myself one day and realized she was just emulating me. It reminded me that she DOES listen (sometimes!) and to hear her love on him so sweetly I thought, just maybe I’m not screwing it all up. They are my life, these fabulous kids.

  30. Maura says:

    My children have just recently taken to kissing me spontaneously. Nothing could make me happier.

  31. Sara says:

    One of the ways I make myself happy is by setting the bar low. Really low. I make a list on Sunday or Monday, of the things I want to accomplish during the week. My favorite things? Darks – wash, dry, fold, put away, then whites, towels and sheets, baby clothes, etc. This allows me to cross off something for every step of the process (accomplishment!) and also remind myself to finish the job. Otherwise the clothes sit in the bin for weeks, or worse, they don’t get folded at all and I have to start all over again. Maybe not the most brilliant way to be happy, but it helps me feel good which makes me happy.

  32. Kate S says:

    Most of my “happy mom” moments come when I stop worrying about my to-do list and let myself fall into some absurd activity with my toddler. Let’s line up all the spoons on the coffee table! Lie down in the hallway! Stomp around like monsters! (My downstairs neighbor probably does not appreciate my happy-mom moments)

  33. Angela says:

    When my son gives me a hug and a kiss and tells me that I am his favorite person, it makes me think that I might not be as bad at this mom gig as I sometimes feel I am!

  34. Any time when I am living in the moment with either or both of my daughters!

  35. Victoria says:

    I’m not a mom, but I’m lucky enough to have my own amazing mom. Unfortunately, she lives on the other side of the country. For Mother’s Day I’m sending her a bouquet of her favorite flowers (yellow roses) and a gift certificate for a fancy pants massage. I’d love to send her a copy of Meagan Francis’ book, too!

  36. Prerna says:

    What makes me a happy mom is watching my daughter grow, showing her things that I’d taken for granted-falling leaves, chirping birds, and basically being mom to her hugs, sticky hands, baby talk and everything else in between.

  37. Mindy Harris says:

    what makes me a happy mom?
    naptime. :-)

  38. midj says:

    The thing that makes me the most happy is when I can do something for someone else when they least expect it. I have a neighbor up the street who just had #5 and I think this book would be just perfect for her.

  39. amy says:

    what makes me happiest right now is watching my 2 1/2 year old son give his week old sister hugs and kisses! Oh these postpartum hormones!

  40. amy says:

    Seeing my 2 1/2 year old giving his week old baby sister a kiss and telling her he loves her!

  41. [...] of the things I love about the book (which I also loved about Meagan Francis’s Happiest Mom) is that it doesn’t direct so much as suggest; instead of telling readers what to do,  it [...]

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