Shannon Hyland-Tassava is a long-time Surrender, Dorothy reader, and so of course I was eager to review her new book, The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual, even though I was only a SAHM for three months on maternity leave. I admit to seeking a voyeuristic peek at what life is like for those not hitting the nine-to-five.
Shannon's a clincial psychologist, writer and wellness coach. I don't think she ceases to be any of those things just because she's currently at home, and that experience informs this book -- it is not only a guide for structuring your days at home with wee ones, but also for refocusing your mind on the new tasks at hand. Everyone's different, but some people adjust easier to going from lots of structure and lots of feedback to ... none. Even though there were days when my daughter was younger when I truly longed to be a SAHM, I know it would've been hard for me to adjust to fewer measurable goals.
There were two major takeaways from this book for me. One was how to reframe negative self-talk into positive. Example: Instead of focusing on the lack of feedback in your new job, recognize there is also no set-in-stone job description -- instead, you get to write one for yourself! (Makes being a SAHM even more tempting, doesn't it?)
The second takeaway was much more practical: How to break down cleaning your house so you don't spend three hours every weekend doing it. I loved Shannon's day-by-day guide. The only problem I'm having is that I have moved "vacuum" on my to-do list every day for a week because of work fires. However, this probably works a lot better when you have more control over your daylight hours.