Becoming a Stay at Home Mom is not easy. So many other parents want to give you advice. If you are like me, you are probably tired of parenting books that take pride in telling you how to parent your children, when all they really do is somehow make you feel slightly inadequate about your own parenting technique. (Note: this post contains affiliate links)
What you really want is a book which will help you — the mom — not go insane. Enter The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos.
Drawing upon her expertise as a clinical psychologist and experience as a stay-at-home-mom suddenly thrust into the deep end, Shannon Hyland-Tassava, has written a useful and reader-friendly Mama Manual. While she doesn’t sugar coat how difficult being a first-time (or second- or third-time) SAHM is, her easy writing style makes living (mostly) harmoniously with the kids seem possible, and — dare I say it? — fun.
The majority of the book is devoted to Mama Self-Care. Hyland-Tassava eases us with baby steps back into a personal routine, focusing on practical solutions to help moms reclaim their own good habits of nutrition, fitness, non-child related hobbies and (ahem!) hygiene. Hyland-Tassava also devotes chapters to the importance of “building your tribe,” house cleaning (not glamorous but necessary!), budgeting on one income and what she would say to herself as a first time mom (such as “don’t stress about the sleep so much!”). The last section, “What Do You Do All Day?” may be of particular interest to this blog’s readers; it features easy-peasy kid activities to help you out when you are stuck for ideas.
What I appreciate most about Hyland-Tassava’s writing is that she speaks in a friendly, non-judgemental voice. She never suggests that if you follow a different path than the one she lays out that you have failed. On the contrary, she continually reminds moms that perfection is not the goal, that it’s okay if getting your hair brushed before the school bus is your big accomplishment of the day and it’s definitely okay if you choose not to scrub the toilets during nap time (Thank goodness!).
The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos is a wonderful book for SAHMs, and, in fact, I would also recommend its practical advice for moms who work outside the home. Hyland-Tassava also writes one of my favorite blogs, Mama in Wonderland, so pop on on over there and she what she has to say.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book (which I am passing on to a friend!), but all opinions are my own.