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Book Review – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms

Cross-posted on my new My Opinion Matters blog!

I received Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Wendy Walker about a month and a half ago. And I had great intentions to read it from cover to cover right away…but a few things got in the way (you know, besides kids! heh)

The first thing was that I was actually embarrassed to read it in public. I mean…does this mean that I think *I’M* a power mom? Does it mean I want to strive to become one? (Yes, I know…the book was sent to me, I didn’t purchase it – but the people watching me read it don’t know that! …and yes, I’m always watched when I read. LOL!) No matter, I (mostly) got over myself and brought it out with me anyway.

The second thing is that the by-line is 101 Stories Celebrating the Power of Choice for Stay-at-Home and Work-from Home Moms. I had thought, “Sweet! I work from home…this should be right up my alley.” Ya. Not really.  At least, not at first. I had a really hard time getting into it because all of the first stories are about these SAHMs whose lives are all rainbows and flowers. “It’s the best decision I ever made!” yadda yadda yadda. Seriously? Not ONE of you thinks “OMG, get this kid AWAY from me??” It just didn’t seem real.

I ended up putting the book down for a while (mostly because I started reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. WOW!) …anyway…when I picked it back up, I figured I’d just skip around looking for stories I could relate to. (THIS is what I love about the Chicken Soup series! If you don’t relate to a story, skip it … you’ll soon find one you can get into.)

I found the work from home chapters and dug right in. YES! This is the stuff. There was one mom in particular who hit the nail on the head when she wrote about everyone envisioning that you’re playing with your kids all day when you work from home…and that it couldn’t be further from the truth. She also totally got the having to hide in your office stage when your kids are at the age when they are horrific if you show your face (and then you get dirty looks from your nanny).

As I read more though, I started to get an uneasy feeling again. And it didn’t hit me right away, but when it did, boy was it big. All of the stories that were written by non-corporate moms (writers and such) were telling their stories, but – at least to me – it felt like a big advertisement for their stuff! Don’t get me wrong – in the same position, I’d probably do the same thing. And I still enjoyed some of the stories…and might even check out some of the products/novels. But it still didn’t seem quite right.

Official Press Release

COS COB, Conn. Get up at 5:00 AM.  Make breakfast.  Get kids ready for school.  Drop off.  Check email.  Bake cupcakes for class party.  Plan PTA meeting.  Pick up kids.  Drive to soccer/ballet/Scouts.  Sound familiar? Every mom is a master juggler and a powerful multitasker – a “power mom” – and for her, life is a constant balancing act. These moms juggle the competing demands of children, husbands or single life, home maintenance, fitness, full or part-time work, pets, and volunteering, while struggling to maintain their own identities and carve out a little “me” time.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get some support from other power-moms-in-the-trenches?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, March 2009, 978-1-935096-31-3, $14.95) offers stories, laughs, and encouragement for moms everywhere.  The book celebrates hard-working moms, with 101 stories written by “power moms” for each other, sharing their common experiences as new moms, experienced moms, or empty nesters who are finally getting a chance to reflect on their marathons. Stories by regular moms and celebrity moms such as Liz Lange, Melora Hardin, Jane Green, and Lynne Spears all sound the same themes – “power moms” juggle all day long, and they do it beautifully.

In her story “A Mother’s Intuition,” Britney Spears’ mother Lynne Spears writes about the sixth sense every mom possesses. “It’s our job as moms to act on that sixth sense we have, the one that tells us something is not as it seems,” she writes, recalling one of Britney’s first pageants – a pageant she reluctantly agreed to let her daughter do.  “The pageant lived up to my fears, and then some. The mothers were appalling backstage, fussing over their daughters and backstabbing the other contestants. I put her in the wrong dress (it didn’t even fit properly) and the wrong kind of socks. Britney ended up placing near the bottom, and the poor little thing was in tears.  When I ignored [my mother’s intuition], the result was tears and a very unpleasant day,” says Spears.

On the flip side, mother and bestselling author Jodi Picoult talks about a different kind of day: The day of a working mom.  In “The Second Shift,” she recalls her struggle transitioning from a nine-to-five writing schedule with a nanny to help with kids, to no nanny, no nine-to-five, writing only when her husband Tim came home after six.  “Some things you just can’t do with three kids who are awake,” writes Picoult.  “You can’t drink a cup of hot coffee – someone’s always tugging on your leg. You can shop for groceries, but it becomes an Olympian event.”

But once she embraced her role as a full-time mom, Picoult noticed an interesting shift.  “I stare at my computer, where I am supposed to be mulling over the plot and characters of a new novel,” she writes.  “But I find myself thinking instead of my own children, characters who have taken the story of my own life and have given it twists stranger and far sweeter than in any fiction.”

In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms, you’ll also read about:

  • How Terri Major-Kincade gave up her medical practice for a more fulfilling career as a stay-at-home mom
  • How Liz Lange raised her children while building a maternity clothing empire
  • How bestselling author Jane Green left an unhappy marriage and devoted herself to her kids and writing career
  • How Patti Woods learned to let go and nurture independence in her son
  • How Wendy Walker wrote her first novel from the backseat of her minivan

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Wendy Walker) released in March 2009. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, publishes all the latest titles in the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series which are distributed through Simon and Schuster, Inc. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 112 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous trademark to high quality licensees through IMG, the world’s premier licensing agent. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, is working with TV networks on several TV shows and is developing a major Internet presence dedicated to life improvement, emotional support and inspiration.  In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. For more information visit: www.chickensoup.com.

Book Review – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More

twins-and-moreI just finished reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Susan Heim.

How can you not like a book when it starts out with a quote from Aerosmith? *grin*

Seriously, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More is a wonderful book. I could relate to so many of the stories. (Ya…I was totally right there with the woman who had a nervous breakdown that she wouldn’t be able to tell her twins apart once she removed the hospital IDs … until her husband gently reminder her that all she had to do was remove their diapers. Yep – boy/girl twins LOL!) I laughed out loud at some of the stories; shed a tear for a few others. But mostly, I found myself nodding in agreement with what I was reading, thinking “oh ya – I remember that” or “oh man – I can totally see that happening soon!” I have to admit that I did skip over some of the stories – I simply couldn’t relate at all – but with so many different ones, that’s bound to happen.

This book is perfect for busy moms. The stories are short and sweet and I could usually get through at least one before being interrupted. If you are a Taxi-mom like me, Twins and More is great for waiting in the car for the kids’ activities to finish up; read a story or two and you’re set!

For more information about Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More visit: www.chickensoup.com.

Blog Tour: Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

twins-and-moreI’m so excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Susan Heim!

I am fortunate enough to be asked to review this book (look for my review at some point this month – we’ll see when I can get my act together 🙂 )

Synopsis
Chicken Soup for the Soul
is back with 101 heartwarming stories about the joys – and adventures- that twins and multiples bring.
With multiples expert, mommy blogger, and mother-of-twins Susan Heim at the helm, these stories celebrate the special bond between twins, the challenges and joys that come with raising multiples, and all the laughs and wisdom gained along the way.

Official Press Release
COS COB, Conn. – These days, it’s hard not to see twins or multiple children smiling back at us from every television screen and glossy magazine. From Jon & Kate Plus 8 to Angelina Jolie, twins and multiples are bounding into our lives from all corners. In fact, according to The Nemours Foundation, between 1980 and 2004 the number of twin births increased by 70 percent. And during the same time span, the number of births involving three or more babies quadrupled.

More people than ever are fascinated by multiples and what it takes to raise them. In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, 978-1-935-09632-0, March 10, 2009, Paperback, $14.95), Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Susan M. Heim offer a collection of heartwarming and hilarious stories from parents of “twins and more,” and from multiples themselves, filled with time-tested advice from those who have “been there, done that.” Twins mom and CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien lends her hearty recommendation to this book as well, saying “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More is funny and moving, insightful and inspiring. Life with twins is a chaotic, wonderful, joyful experience – and this book captures it perfectly.”

“Twins and multiples are seen as a blessing today, despite their often well-deserved reputation for ‘double trouble’ and ‘multiple mischief,’” says Heim, who is also the author of It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2007). “Who isn’t moved by the sight of twin babies snuggled together in a crib, holding hands as they begin their life together?”

From sections like “Sleep Deprivation” to “Grandparenting Twins” to “A Different Path to Parenthood,” Twins and More includes 101 stories that speak to the twin and multiple experience, and how parents got there. This book also explores the “twin connection” – which is fascinating to witness.

“The bond between twins is amazing. They were meant to share their life together,” writes Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More contributor Joanne C. King of her twin daughters. “They share a friendship that will span a lifetime.” As any parent of multiples knows, twinship is an adventure for the entire family.

Inside Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More, you’ll also read about:

  • A frustrated mother of triplet girls who got great advice from the cable repairman: Toilet train them one at
  • a time by setting up a competition that included stickers and mommy’s “potty dance”
  • A mother of newborn twins, desperate for “nap time,” who tossed an expensive ham over the fence to keep the neighbor’s barking dog from waking her twins
  • Toddler twins who escaped from the bath and led their mother on a naked chase around the neighborhood, until one of the twins crouched on the neighbor’s lawn and used it as a toilet
  • International singing twins who convinced villagers in Papua New Guinea that multiples are a blessing, not a cultural curse
  • The new mother who was so sleep-deprived that she panicked over how she would tell her twins apart after their hospital bracelets were removed, forgetting that they were a boy and a girl

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Susan Heim) releases March 10, 2009.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, publishes all the latest titles in the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series which are distributed through Simon and Schuster, Inc. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 112 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also
licenses the right to use its famous trademark to high quality licensees through IMG, the world’s premier licensing agent. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, is working with TV networks on several TV shows and is developing a major Internet presence dedicated to life improvement, emotional support and inspiration. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century.

For more information visit: www.chickensoup.com.