The Best Pick Up Line Ever

Back in the day, a fella I was flirting with asked, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Dustin Hoffman?”

Never had a chance to ask if he was referring to Tootsie or The Graduate. Either way, I didn’t have a make-out session with him.

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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:

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