Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms

I love my mom.

I really, really love my mom.

She has been my rock during our whole mission of getting Missy healthy. (Who is doing great, by the way!) While I was in the worst part of my stress-induced funk, she thoughtfully dropped off a bunch of her books for me. As I rummaged through the bag, I realized that my mom’s next calling will never, ever be President of the “Up with People Book Club.”

No lie, this is what was in the bag:

Isaac’s Storm: The Deadliest Hurricane in History.
Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
Gang Leader for a Day: Inside the Ghettos of Chicago
Looking like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps
The Shadow of the Wind: An Epic Story of Murder, Madness, and Doomed Love
Girl in Translation: Chinese Immigrant Girl Who Works in a NY Sweatshop

Sooooooo, when the opportunity to review Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms came along, I figured that would be a better read for my fragile state of mind!

And fortunately, I was right.

I am not usually a big fan of parenting books because they tend to make me feel that I am really screwing up my kids. I bribe. I yell. I lie. I take two-hour trips to Target to BE BY MYSELF. But this little handbook isn’t judgey or preachy. Each chapter is two or three pages — perfect for my short attention span — and is organized so you can jump around to the topic where you need a little insight.

I even received some validation that I am doing okay on a few things:
56. Being a “Cool” Mom Isn’t What your Child Needs.  
My kids don’t think I am cool. I didn’t know that “One Direction” was the hottest, most dreamy boy band in the world. I didn’t read Hunger Games. I dance like Marcia Brady.  And could care less that everyone at the amusement park could see giant, blue, cotton underwear through my water-logged shorts. My kids and I aren’t BFFs. I’m the boss. KK?

1. There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Mom
I am too old, too tired and too flabby to put a show on for anyone that I have my crap together. But when it comes to my kids, it’s even more important that they know I am “perfectly imperfect.” I have been trying really hard to own and apologize for my tantrums and bad ideas.

“When we make space for imperfection and mistakes, we give our kids a chance to deepen themselves and to become more true to themselves as real as they grow up. Abandoning perfectionism is a relief for us, and them.” ~author Kristine Carlson

48. When All Else Fails, Laugh
Junior had a soccer game over Memorial Day weekend. The pollen count was really high and he was miserable with horrible allergies. Missy was having a rough go of it health-wise, but we convinced her to come to the game so we could cheer him on as one big happy family. (ha!)

It was hot and Missy sulked in her chair. Junior was really struggling to run on the field. After the first quarter, he came out in tears, hacking and hyperventilating. He couldn’t catch his breath and dropped to his hands and knees, gagging. Tom and I knelt beside him, trying to calm him down. In the corner of my eye, I see Missy suddenly collapse to the ground. Tom goes to pick her up and she starts screaming that it hurts, so he steps back.

Both kids are lying lifeless on the sidelines sobbing — it looks like a frickin’ Civil War reenactment. We finally calm them down and load them into the minivan. Outside, Tom and I looked at each other in disbelief then burst into maniacal laughter – tears were running down my face. We had the uncontrollable church giggles. Bad. I could barely collect myself to drive the kids home. I felt like 1000 pounds were lifted from my shoulders from that choice of bursting into chuckles over tears.

41. Celebrate Other Mothers
“One of the greatest gifts you can give another woman is to notice and tell her what a great mother she is.” ~author Kristine Carlson

Mom, thank you so much for always being my soft place to land and for teaching me the importance of “just doing the best that you can do.” (PS. You were right: Girl in Translation was the much-needed slap upside the head to realize how good I have it!)

If you’d like to win a copy of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms, leave a comment below. Winner will be drawn Sunday, July 8 by 7 PM CT.

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions and stories are all mine. No one else could make this stuff up.

More about the book:
In the first new Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book in nine years, Kristine Carlson shows how moms can live with less stress and more happiness.

Check out the first chapter on The Don’t Sweat Moms’ website for free and connect community through:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.mom-mom-mom.com/2012/07/06/dont-sweat-the-small-stuff-for-moms/


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  1. Liz Leonard

    Yesterday, after a repulsive, hot day at a family cabin….we RAN OUT OF GAS on I294 when it was like 100 degrees out. My husband, who apparently doesn’t ever look at the gas gage while driving, managed to coast through 2 busy lanes of traffic onto the slim shoulder. Luckily behind us was a triangle of grass so we could get out and wait 40 min for AAA. 7 year old cried that he was really hot……you don’t say?? Dumping bottled water over his head was the best I could do. 9 year old cried – had to pee SO bad, but didn’t want passing cars to see his penis. REALLY??? Attempted to pee about 4 times – no luck…stage fright was to severe. 2 older girls (12, 13) peed while I held up towels to block view of their butts, etc. Other girl (11) just pouted and was mad that I took a few pictures b/c I was acting like it was fun. Oh yeah…I’m having a blast! Ater we got our 2 gallons of gas, made it to O’hare oasis and filled up and were back on the road with the a/c blasting and slurpees in the kids’ hands – I realized it wasn’t that big of a deal! Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!! Although I was mad when I found the half finished slurpees in my car this morning……….

  2. GiGi

    Great entry… love the books from your Mom! My Mom wants me to read 50 Shades of Gray so we can discuss afterwards. I won’t on principle alone. Great to hear life is back to normal (ha) on your end!

  3. TRacey

    This book sounds Mah-velous! From one who gets stressed out by parenting books and who will forever embarrass her children. Here here!

  4. Mark Wisnewski

    #1 I am not a mom

    #2 I have been married once, for over 29 years to the same woman, only 1 at a time

    #3 We have two daughters, 19 and 23, who at times still don’t think either of us are cool, just the opposite

    #4 I am ALWAYS either smiling or laughing so F’in hard after I read your posts, I love them all, thank you

    #5 GiGi, really! Shades of grey book club with mom? eewwwww…LOL

  5. Gerri Hyde

    I enjoy reading all mom-mom-mom postings. I bought “Don’t sweat the small stuff” for my father-in-law, I’m sure he never opened the book, he sweated everything until the day he died.

  6. Terrance

    I had the BEST Mom ever!!! Anyone who met her thought she was amazing. I joke with my kids all the time that if only I had more of NANA in me they would be the happiest kids ever.
    Unfortunately for my kids, I am more like my father than I had realized. A.K.A. the disciplinarian.
    I find the irony to be humorous.
    Mom-Mom-Mom, never gives herself enough credit!!!
    When I have witnessed her parenting methods, it was like watching my own mom in action.
    Her children are blessed to have her in their lives. She definitely knows laughter is the best medicine.
    And family comes first!
    She is authentic to herself and all the ones in her life. I am one of her biggest fans!!!!!!!!!
    I think her Mother taught her well!! Also a big fan of Mom Mom Mom’s MOM

  7. Arnebya

    My mom and I don’t have the best relationship. I have vowed that my kids will not feel this way about me when they’re adults. While they’re still growing, I couldn’t possibly care less whether I’m the cool mom or not. In fact, my daughter asked last night when she’ll get to use the computer privately. I seriously couldn’t think of anything else other than when did she start smoking crack and why didn’t I notice (and then I burst out laughing because it ain’t gonna happen and I don’t care if that’s an uncool rule).

    So glad Missy’s feeling better. And thanks for the book suggestions; I’ve been looking for a new book for a week.

  8. Mary Wiener

    Those look like the titles of many of the books that our middle schoolers read…and we wonder why they can be so depressed…

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