The Happiest Mom Book Giveaway

I’d like Meagan to come live next door to me. Really.

It’s my pleasure to introduce Meagan Francis, writer, mom of five and author of the new book, The Happiest Mom: 10 secrets to enjoying motherhood. Are you a little too hard on yourself? Do you grumble often about being a mom? Well, grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell. Meagan is warm, funny and has loads encouragement for you as a mom in HM. As an experienced mom, I was a little hesitant when I started reading it because what could she tell me that I don’t know? Oh.My.Was.I.Wrong! Meagan has a heart for moms and fabulous ideas to enjoy your family today. Below is a brief interview I had with her:

Comparing and measuring ourselves with other moms is a large contributor to our own guilt. What simple steps can a mom do to stop this behavior?

I think there are two things we can do: first, stop putting other moms up on pedestals. It’s great to admire somebody or think she’s a great role model, but nobody is perfect and nobody has it all together. When we’re trying to emulate somebody’s good qualities we also have to keep in mind that she has not-so-good qualities too, even if we never see them. Otherwise we’ll always feel discouraged and demoralized by our own failings, which are really just part of being human. 

The second thing we can do is not take part in cutting other moms down. Even reading judgmental blog posts makes me feel uncomfortable, because I start to wonder what people would say about me to their friends or blog readers if they saw me out with my kids or could peep into my windows. And when you feel judged–even potentially judged!–it starts that whole cycle of defensive judgment on your own part. It’s a losing game, because none of us are all right and very few of us are all wrong.

The more we extend grace to others the easier it is to extend it to ourselves. And the more we extend grace to ourselves the easier it is to extend it to others.

I love that you talk about the blame game and how it deflects responsibility away from ourselves. If a mom recognizes that she plays the game, what can she do differently today?

Knee-jerk blame is my number-one indicator that something is off in my own life or priorities and I’m trying to shift the focus away from me. Or sometimes it’s myself I’m blaming even when whatever went wrong wasn’t really my fault. Either way it usually comes from having unreasonable expectations of myself or others. 

One way to figure out if I’m unfairly finger-pointing is to ask myself questions like “Does this really matter?” “What role did I play in this?” “Am I being fair? “How could this go differently next time?” “What’s the real issue here?”

I think in any situation where you’re feeling uncomfortable, guilty, or angry, asking yourself questions like these before you react can help you get to the heart of the issue and gain perspective.

What changes have you made in your mothering, after writing your book?

Writing about being a happier mom almost daily for two years has been great for me, because I find myself living out my life as a mother so much more intentionally now. I still have bad days, and I still get angry, overwhelmed and sometimes react unreasonably. But because I’ve become so much more mindful, it’s a lot easier for me to re-route those feelings now. I can much more quickly hit the “pause” button, examine what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and come up with a plan to improve my mood. The great thing is once my mood lifts, so does the rest of the household’s. Day by day I realize more and more how true it is that our feelings are contagious and that a parent’s emotional state really can set the tone for the entire household. That’s a big responsibility, and it’s one I take even more seriously since writing the book.
So if you’d like to enter to win a FREE copy of The Happiest Mom, please leave your comment below by Wednesday, midnight (PST). I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

Here’s HOW to WIN:

1. Leave a comment telling me how you can be a happier mom today.

2. Follow me on twitter and leave a comment telling me you did. (@JanUdlock)

{If you’re already a follower, leave a comment. You guys get one too!}

3. Facebook about the giveaway, and leave a comment, telling me you did.

This counts as three entries and three chances to win. And as always, thank you again, dear mom, for stopping by.

42 responses to “The Happiest Mom Book Giveaway”

  1. Liz

    Thanks for the interview, Jan and Meagan! I saw mention of your book in Parenting Magazine, Meagan, and this post reinforces that I want to read it! How did you manage to write a book with five kids? I’d love to hear your time management tips related to writing while being a parent. Which brings me to my goal for being a happier mom today, Jan! Today I’m going to be realistic about what can get done in one day’s time. Often I put together a huge list and when we don’t get those things done, I feel discouraged which impacts everyone — my kids, my husband and me.

  2. Greg DeLozier

    Nice interview. Thanks for sharing. I may well pick up the book.

    You be surprised how the same lessons apply in corporate life. The whole “blame game” thing is something we try very hard to deal with when dealing with large teams and risky technology. So we read books about it, and how to deal with conflict and risk. You’d be surprised how often I read something in a book like that, and bring it home, and it helps me be a better parent.

    So much to learn.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. Again, nice work.

  3. Liz Farrar

    I can be a happier mom by doing something by myself today! I think I’m going to read a book somewhere. Also, I went to sleep at 8:15 last night… so that helped. :)

  4. Liz Farrar

    Now following you on Twitter. You can follow me @lizcrewzn. :)

  5. Liz

    Posted to Facebook — entry #2

  6. Liz

    RT on Twitter (I think!) — entry #3…have I mentioned I really want to win the book? :)

  7. cheryl bledsoe

    I take time every day to cuddle and talk with my kids. I love hearing what is important to them. That makes me a happy mom.

  8. Stephanie

    Thank you for the interview, Jan and Megan!

    Megan, your statement about extending grace to other moms and to ourselves really hit home with me. It’s long been a frustration of mine that moms are so judgmental to each other, and I try really hard to keep from being judgmental to others. But I never really considered that I was doing the same to myself. So thank you for pointing that out so eloquently. I’m going to try to be more present and less hard on myself today. If our kids feel loved and safe, then we are doing our job well.

    Thanks again! I can’t wait to read the book.

  9. Stephanie

    I’m heading to post a link on Facebook right now, Jan!

  10. Stephanie

    Meagan! I’m sorry, I just realized I misspelled your name in my comment. I apologize!

  11. Leann

    Sign me up too! :-) Great interview, Jan.

  12. Melanie

    I’m a happier mom by giving myself & my kids a break. And lots of laughter. I try to think before I react “Is this really important? Will it matter next week or next year?” and react appropriately. I also make it a priority to get enough sleep — because a tired mommy is a cranky mommy!

  13. Karen Greenberg

    I’d love to win this book!

    I could be a happier mom by slowing down a little bit and enjoying my children, even when I think what they are doing is “silly.” So many times I get caught up in what I need to get done, that I don’t think about what is important to them. When I later realize I hurt their feelings by not paying attention, the guilt sets in.

    nerakG1974@gmail.com

  14. Karen Greenberg

    I posted this on both my personal and blog Facebook pages. Here is the link to my blog Facebook page so you can see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karens-Healthy-Lifestyle/204037172947970

    nerakG1974@gmail.com

  15. Hands Free Mama

    I can’t wait to buy Megan’s book. I welcome all the tips I can get for being a happier mom!

    Six months ago, I started a journey to let go of the daily distraction that robs me of valuable moments with my family that I will never get back. I call it letting go..to grasp what really matters. And in the process, I have become a happier mom. I am sharing my tactics for letting go of distraction with other parents, and that has made me incredibly happy, too. It’s great to have company through life’s joys and trials!

    Thank you for sharing your insights, ladies!

  16. Pattie

    Being grateful for all the little things that go right in my day as a mom, instead of hyper-focusing on the few things that go wrong. :)

  17. Pattie

    I just followed you on Twitter (my handle is pattierwr)

  18. Pattie

    I also just posted this on facebook :)

  19. Andrea Penny

    By pausing to think first. And asking myself if this really matters enough to get upset about. It does wonders for keeping calm!

  20. Andrea Penny

    @ThePennyRoachs now following you on Twitter!

  21. Andrea Penny

    Shared on Facebook :)

  22. Maureen

    I can be (and am!) a happier mom today by taking the time to exercise. The ellipse machine hasn’t got a lot of use from me lately, but the thirty minutes I did today made me smile. Taking care of myself to take care of my kids….

  23. S

    I am on board with non-judgemental, non-defensive mothering.

  24. Cynthia

    I could trust that I’m a great Mom, raising a happy boy…I could give up compairing myself to my neighbor, my friend, my sister-in-law…I could leave the dishes and laundry and just play blocks…I could take 20 minutes a day for myself and take a walk, alone.

  25. Debbie

    I can be a happier mom by taking care of myself and remembering to get enough sleep so I can deal with the everyday stresses with more patience.

  26. Lisa @ Write, Pray, Love

    I am doing my best not to let my sadness get the best of me as I stare down Empty Nest, still a few years away but looming a little too close for my liking. I don’t want to sad away these last years and not enjoy everything they can be. I am blessed with beautiful relationships with all five of our children, for which I am immensely grateful. I just don’t want these years of mothering children to be behind me.

    In a recent blog entry written as a letter to my mother who passed away five years ago, I asked her how she felt when I was about to be grown up, if she wanted to run after me and beg me to slow down so she could hold me a little while longer. That is how I feel. It isn’t that I don’t want my children to move on and do and be everything they dream; it’s just that I don’t want to be left with my hands in my apron pockets staring after them.

    Honestly, I just want to keep being a mommy.

  27. Lindsey Whitney

    I can be a happier mom by trying to get enough sleep at night.

  28. Lindsey Whitney

    Twitter follow!

  29. Lynn Nelson

    I’d be a bit happier if I could figure out how to do it all………

  30. Lynn Nelson

    I follow you on Twitter :)

  31. Lynn Nelson

    Just shared the giveaway on FB (www.facebook.com/lmn02)

  32. Chaunie

    I’m a happier mom today because of the picnic in the sunshine we had for lunch and a double-stroller walk that tuckered out my girls and built my triceps! :)

  33. Erin

    I know so many moms who get caught up in the day to day grind of being a mom that they forget to enjoy the process. This book would help with that.

  34. Amy Allen

    Sounds like a book I could really use, especially being a brand new sahm of 3 gorgeous kids. Thanks for the opportunity!

  35. Jenny Martin

    Ooh–this sounds like a great book–I have recently begun following Megan–and I like that she reminds me that nothing (like email and FB) are more important than my kids!

  36. Jenny Martin

    follow on twitter
    jennymartin116

  37. Jenny Martin

    posted on fb
    jennymorrillmartin

  38. Sarah Jones

    I can’t wait to read this book!! I have been practicing being a happier mother by following Megan’s recent advice and staying in the moment instead of being distracted by somehing else I could be doing- asking myself is there something *better* I could be doing, and realizing that when I’m with my kids, the answer is usually no.

  39. melissa strohl

    i would love to win your book i try not to lose my cool with my 3 sons and what ive read on your site it sounds like my life hope you have a great day

  40. Esvee

    Happier mom today because I’ve learnt that my baby has even less control over her emotions than I do.

  41. S

    Facebook-check!

  42. mep

    Being a happier mom? One thing I can do today to be a happier mom is to resist the urge to judge myself as a mom based upon my lowest moment today (freak out after boys splashed bathwater everywhere). I’m going to focus on the cuddling up and reading our new Golden Book Treasury before bed. I’d love to win and read Meagan’s book!

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