Sometimes, I get so tired of reading parenting books.
One author says you should constantly wear your baby. One author says you should let the baby cry until he finally passes out. One says you should anticipate discipline issues and train your child before they happen. One says you should handle everything with grace. Sometimes it is SERIOUSLY tough to figure out what to do as a parent. With each book I read, I devise new theories and new methods. Miraculously, the methods work for day or two and I run off spouting all my new-found wisdom on whoever will listen. Inevitably, something goes wrong. Someone gets sick and all reason flies out the window. I get “too busy” and end up sitting my kids in front of Wonderpets for two hours instead of “training them up in the way they should go”. Its hard being a parent (did I say that already?)
When I saw the cover of Tracey Lanter Eyster’s book, Be the Mom, it looked like a lot of fun. “I want to be THAT mom!”, I thought. The day is beautiful, the kids are well dressed (getting my kids dressed at all is an accomplishment around here!), and there isn’t a “to-do” list in sight. I decided to give it a try. After all, reading books might be what I do best.
At first glance, this books looks like it’s going to be heavy in the theory department. The subtitle reads, “Overcome attitude traps”. Sounds pretty abstract. However Chapter One confirmed that this lady was in the thick of it, just like the rest of us. There were good days and bad days, and the things she was suggesting were designed to tip the scale in favor of the good days. In every chapter, there is a discussion about the importance of attitude-adjustment, but there are also practical things you can do to pull yourself out of whatever mom-trap is currently afflicting you.
Some of the “Mom Traps” include:
- Just-A-Mom Trap (or, what I do isn’t important)
- Martyr Mom Trap (or, my needs aren’t worth caring for)
- Busy Mom Trap (or, I can and WILL do it all)
- Tomorrow Mom Trap (or, I’ll wait for another day to do it)
Practically speaking, you need a plan…
I love the suggestions Tracey gives on page sixteen, such as:
- Get dressed, wearing something that makes you feel good
- Try to maintain a routine
- Don’t skip meals
- Include some kind of physical activity every day
- Teach quiet time
My Favorite Quotes
- An overwhelming to-do list causes a mom to be more focused on tasks rather than relationships. I’m not saying we should cast aside our responsibilities in order to play with your children. I am saying we need to establish priorities and find balance so that we can accomplish both.
- Family comes first, and social media needs to be put on hold, not your spouse and children! Your most important fans and followers are those you live with. (p70)
- I fear the Busy Mom trap causes us to thrive off one-upping others and receiving the admiration from people around us who think we’re successful in life because we’re so busy. (p70)
- As you move from site to site [online], you may find yourself measuring your worth and value by comparing your life to someone else’s. We need not look for how we measure up against each other, but for how we can support one another as women and as moms. Share, don’t compare. (p87)
The Trap I’m in Right Now
The Busy Mom Trap. When I read the following paragraph, I was seriously convicted:
“As I search my own behavior patterns, I catch myself thriving off the accolades of others: “Wow, look at you! You can do it all.” Or I get far too excited over a list marred by check marks… Proof, right there in black and white, that I’m a successful, involved mom.”
What About You?
What trap do you struggle with? Leave me a comment and let me know!
More Stuff to Check Out:
Be the Mom Review by Day by Day in Our World
Be the Mom Review by Jennifer Dyer (she was also mentioned in the book!)