April 15, 2011

The Happiest Mom: I know her!

I've known Meagan Francis for several years now thanks to The Chicago Moms blog way back when. The moment I met Meagan I found her to be the source of the most beautiful light. Especially since at the time I felt quite alone among the Chicago peeps with my crunchy ways. But Meagan? She had homebirths and a whole bunch of boys and then a girl, like me, too. Hanging out with her is so easy. I love that.

Last summer Meagan and I had a chance to hang out for a couple days and she shared with me a top secret sneak peek at her new book The Happiest Mom. Earlier this year we roomed together in Grand Rapids and could have easily stayed up all night yapping away. (Actually I think we probably did.) And then we ordered room service for breakfast and gabbed until check out.

I'm so excited to see her again in New Orleans this weekend for Mom 2.0 and Meagan is also a featured speaker in my Listen To Your Mother show. Whew.

So, now that you have some sort of introduction, I'd like to share a little Q&A about Meagan to celebrate the launch of The Happiest Mom. (Available in book stores and online now!)

Me: Have you always been a happy, glass-half-full kind of person or is it something that you had to work on?

Meagan: Except for a melancholy phase in Junior High, I've always been an optimist. But actually, the optimist in me can sometimes lead to overestimating what I can pull off and has led to a lot of motherhood angst. After all, just because it's possible that I could  juggle a heavy work load, keeping up our home, and raising good kids all at once doesn't mean it's healthy to actually try to do it all at once. I have to continuously reign myself in so that my optimism doesn't get in the way of common sense and lead to burnout.


And of course, I've struggled with sadness and down feelings just like everyone else, particularly during the year after my second child was born. I have always known that I'd rather be happy, though, and have tried to choose happiness whenever I can.


Me: I know you use a more attachment parenting approach while at the same time hating the label. How does your parenting style make you the happiest mom?

Meagan: I think the parts of attachment parenting that work for me also make me happy because they feel right. For example, I knew from the moment I brought my first son home from the hospital that there was no way I could put him in a crib to sleep. It just felt foreign to me. That doesn't mean co-sleeping is all sunshine and roses, but then, neither is crib-sleeping. I chose the style that worked for us fully knowing that there would be some obstacles along the way.


Same thing with extended nursing. It's not like I get up every day and sing "I can't wait to nurse my hair-pulling two-year-old today!" In fact, sometimes I want to duct-tape her arms to her sides (oh wait, did I say that out loud?)


But overall, I am happy with my decisions because I know they come from somewhere deep inside me, and feel really right--not like what somebody else thinks is right.


Me: How does it make you crazy. (Oh, is that just me?) :)

Meagan: Heh...well, in addition to feet in my face at night occasionally and the hair-pulling-while-nursing thing, I think there's this expectation that if you choose a parenting style outside the mainstream, you aren't ever allowed to complain about it. I mean, just because I've chosen something and am overall happy with it doesn't mean there aren't days I wish I could just put my kid in a crib at 7:00 and be done for the night the way a lot of my friends are able to. I just tell myself, I can always change thing up if I need to, or if the feeling lasts. For example, I've been feeling pretty frustrated with nursing Clara for a month or so, mostly because I think night-nursing is getting in the way of either of us getting a good night's sleep. So I am working on making changes. It's not like once you've made some counter-cultural choice that's it, you're locked in. The beauty of motherhood is that you can really make it your own. Wait, did I answer the question? 

Meagan with her lovely (and handsome!) family



Me: What is the first thing to come to your mind that has you thinking I wish someone had told me... ?

Meagan: I wish somebody had told me that I was the right mom for my kids. That I didn't have to mold myself into somebody else. That most of what I needed to know about being a mom was inside me the whole time.
 

Me: I tend to be disappointed by (what I see as) failures instead of the really awesome mom moments. I think we all should brag a little more about times we rock this motherhood. Can you share something you think you've done well as a mom, something you're proud of?

Meagan: You are so right. One thing I think I am really excellent at in general is apologizing, admitting I'm wrong and starting over--especially since I came from a family where parents would never ever apologize to their kids or admit failure or wrongness in any way. It takes guts to do it and it hasn't always come easily! I used to really dig in my heels to try to assert my authority and "rightness." But you know, I mess up too, and I think it's a great gift to show my kids that adults aren't perfect and that when you screw up, the loving adult thing to do is to apologize and ask for a do-over.


Me: Just for fun, what was your favorite baby carrier during your babywearing days?

Meagan: I always loved a simple unpadded ring or pouch sling (like the Maya wrap or pouch) when they were little, and graduated to an Ergo by the time they were four or five months old because I felt like it gave me more freedom of movement. Oh, how I loved that Ergo!


Get to know (and grow to love) Meagan even more at her blog thehappiestmom.com.


Win! I've got two copies of The Happiest Mom to giveaway. It would be awesome if you'd like The Happiest Mom on Facebook and leave a comment here to enter (but really, only a comment here is necessary to win!) Two comments will be chosen at random next Tuesday night after 11:59 PM. 

74 comments:

  1. My cousin's wife is expecting in a couple of weeks and I would love to win a copy to give her!

    sneakythecat at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. meagan sounds like a great lady. i like her views...i love trying to choose happy, too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh how fun.

    I hope you have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This book sounds awesome. I would love to win it, but even if I don't I probably pick up a copy for myself.

    vphonegirl

    ReplyDelete
  5. This book sounds awesome. I know that I am a happy mom, but to be the happiest mom...now, that would be awesome. I would love to friend you on facebook, but I gave up facebook for lent :( I think I will like you on here instead.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome interview, I must get my hands on this book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to read her book!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  8. She sounds awesome and reminds me a whole lot of you!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to win this book. sounds great! hope you are having a fun time

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how much you both have in common!! And, I would totally think winning that book would be fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I so enjoyed this post.
    I just started telling "everyone" that I'm expecting, and the kind of advice in this post is just what I need:-).

    ReplyDelete
  12. I read Megan's blog, and when she posted her pre-order on amazon, I book marked that page on my computer. I voted for her everyday on the Happiness blogger competition, and I would love to win her book!

    Love both of your work! It's not surprising to me that you are friends :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. She does sound like a happy mom! Very special!
    I want this book too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I could use some more happy in my mom-ness and would love to read that book.

    rudylover_1999 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  15. this sounds like an amazing book! i would love to win one, but if i don't win, i will go buy one for myself and one for my friend who just asked me how to keep her sanity as a mom. =)

    ReplyDelete
  16. The book and her view of motherhood sound like the very thing I need!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would love to win a copy of the book! I already "like" The Happiest Mom on Facebook, does that count? :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I always share a good book so if I win one you can be confident the book will be read and passed on and on...

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would love to read this book. As the mom of two young girls, I think that Meagans outlook on mother hood and all it entails is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would LOVE to win her book!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Would love to read this book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. She sounds like my type of Mama :-) I "liked" on facebook, thanks for this great interview :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love her sunny outlook. I loved that she pointed out that number one, you're rarely locked into any parenting decision. And that two, it's okay to have off days, even if you love your decision.

    I'm already steeling myself for comments from my mother when I have children. We disagree vastly on parenting ideas and even now she loves to say things like, "I told you that you wouldn't love those stairs." Um, actually Mom, I love that they are keeping me in shape, because I go up and down them a million times a day!

    Sorry about the mini rant.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'd love to win! :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can't wait to read this book! As a new mommy, I could use so positive guidance! Very much looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fun, I wish I lived close enough to come see listen to your mother! I saw Megan on a morning tv show and from reading her blog I was like, I know her! LOL
    Hugs,
    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sounds like a great book. A book I'd like to get my hands on. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would love to have this book. Sometimes I wonder how happy a mom I am going to be. Not to be emo... call it the pregnancy hormones!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ooo! Sounds like a fab book! We could all use a little extra happiness in our days!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I would "like" her on facebook but I don't have a facebook! But I'd still love the book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I must have this book. LOVE both of your blogs!

    ReplyDelete
  32. "But overall, I am happy with my decisions because I know they come from somewhere deep inside me, and feel really right--not like what somebody else thinks is right."

    I could have written this myself!

    hugs from Brazil!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I totally very much like the happiest mom wherever she is!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just found the happiest mom a few weeks ago and love her already! I'd love the book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh my heart is skipping beats from reading the Q&A...it was amazing to read exactly how my heart feels! I HAVE to read her book. Thanks for "introducing" us!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Would love to win the book. Thanks!
    sandyt77 (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wonderful post! I can relate to so many things she discussed. I'd love to read this book.
    Thank you for sharing the interview ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  38. she sounds great! I would love to read her book!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This sounds like a fabulous book. Would love to hear more of what she has to say! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. LOL about the duct tape! Great interview!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love her comment about being the best mom for her kids. That about sums it up for me. I've made lots of choices that are the best for my family. They may not be the best for others, but they are for us.

    ReplyDelete
  42. ooh, enter me! i fanned her on FB too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Steph, you have inspired me since I found your blog! You gave me the emotional "permission" to be the mama that my heart told me to be instead of the mom that was socially expected of me to be. Thank you!!!
    And thank you for introducing your friend! Keep spreading the mama love ladies!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh yay! I just love her already after just reading this Q & A! She seems so... real. :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. This book sounds like a great read. I just liked her on FB too. :-)

    laurie.bullard(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Can't wait to read her book! Also liked The Happiest Mom on FB, too.

    debbie.chum(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. TODAY, I am struggling with being a "happy" mom. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Tasha
    iamtasha723@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. She sure sounds like a gem! I would love to win a copy of her book!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This sounds like a great book! I love people who choose optimism and happiness :) It's so refreshing. I would LOVE a copy!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  51. What a wonderful interview, I would love to win this book!

    marixsa at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm captivated by you attachment mamas...I'm also captivated by the idea of chooosing happiness...

    ReplyDelete
  53. oh, so many of meagan's posts have totally inspired me, especially on days when i think "i just can't do it anymore." it's about choosing happiness.

    thanks for sharing the thoughtful questions and responses!

    also? i can't WAIT to hear her speak at LTYM

    ReplyDelete
  54. I really like Meagan. Would love to win her book, but will be sure to buy it if I don't. :)

    Have fun in NOLA!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Sounds great. I would love for my children to remember me as a happy mom, though I fear that isn't the case {more often that I'd like to admit}

    jennifer @ beautifulcalling.ca

    ReplyDelete
  56. I definitely need to work on choosing happiness! She sounds like an amazing woman. Definitely going to be checking out her blog!

    ReplyDelete
  57. not only do i like this on facebook, i subscribed and added it to my starred links. love this.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I just read a review of her book yesterday! Would love to read it (esp. if I win) (but even if I don't)! :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. I would love to win a book! I liked her, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. LOVED this interview... her perspective is refreshing!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Great interview! I was just reading a Parenting magazine that came in the mail yesterday and she was in it, well her book was! I folded the page down because I wanted to google some more info about her book. I would love to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Meagan said: I wish somebody had told me that I was the right mom for my kids. That I didn't have to mold myself into somebody else. That most of what I needed to know about being a mom was inside me the whole time.


    THIS! I wish all mommas understood this and definitely something I needed to hear as well.

    ReplyDelete
  63. This sounds like something every mom should read...including me! I promise to read it and then share it if I am lucky enough to win a copy :)

    And what great insights in her interview. I think I'd stay up all night talking to her too!

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  64. This sounds like a great read--love, love love the duct taping the arms while nursing---so honest and exactly what I'm going through with my 23 month old crazy nurser!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I totally want to read this book. I liked her on facebook as well.

    ReplyDelete
  66. It sounds like a fab book.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sounds like Meagan has some valueable information that I could really use as a mom! Here is hoping I win!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Just went over to facebook... I'd not thought about looking there for Happiest Mom - looks like I'm not THE big facebook user haha...
    I love reading along your blog and have the print out in my purse to get the book ordered next month :-) but who knows maybe ONE DAY I'm a lucky chicken to win something...

    ReplyDelete
  69. I'm already a fan on facebook. With baby number 2 on the way and a quite challenging (but happy) developmentally delayed 2 year old, I'd love to read this book! I was planning on buying it, but, hey, if I can win it, it would be awesome! Thanks for a great blog by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. This sounds like a marvelous read!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Meagan sounds wonderful! Love hearing someone confident in who they are, but admitting it isn't perfect or easy all of the time!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'd love to win. {crossing fingers}
    And- hiya- I also have a house of boys, and one girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. I would love to read this book.
    Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  74. What a fun interview! I love how she talks about having the freedom to be honest that things aren't all rainbows + roses. It's nice when people acknowledge that you can simultaneously be content with your parenting style and also have days when you just want to throw in the towel and go back to bed!

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is gonna totally make my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...