The Must-Have Mom Manual

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-04-07
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
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Whether it is bottle- or breast-feeding, cribs or co-sleeping, getting back to the office or staying home with the kids, best friends Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett, the team behind the popular book and radio showThe Mommy Chronicles, rarely choose the same option. Lucky for us, inThe Must-Have Mom Manual, they discuss the pros and cons of every aspect of child raising, from pacifiers to potty training, bedtimes to birthday parties, day care to Disney World. Their philosophy is simple: There is no one right way to be a mom. Sara and Stephanie just want to make every mother's life easier. So, with a healthy dose of humor, they share their parenting triumphs and disasters, marital challenges, public meltdowns, and all the knowledge they've gained as authors and radio show hosts, with hundreds of tips for moms everywhere. 10 things not to feel guilty aboutbecause everymother feels bad about something Answers for new moms about leaving the house with baby for the first time, postpartum depression, accepting help, car seats, and dining out with baby Sticky parenting decisionsincluding the consensus on little white lies, family nudity, "correcting" homework, and leaving your child in the car (just for a second) Managing your household and how to conquer the clutter with special strategies for organizing every room in your home Products for moms, the best mom-gear, cleaning productsincluding technology, gadgets, stores, and places to take the kids Marriage 911, sleep or sex?, how to keep the home fires burningplus four people who can sabotage your sex life Covering "all things Mommy," Sara and Stephanie are real mothers delivering real insights, with real laughs, as they tackle and celebrate the challenges and drama of motherhood in the best, easiest, most mom-friendly guide to life with kids today.



Thanks so much for picking up The Must-Have Mom Manual! We're glad you found this book and hope you will be too. We're Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett, two moms just like you-moms who change diapers and drive carpool and get up for 3:00 a.m. feedings (at least when our children were babies-now the only reason we get up at 3:00 a.m. is if someone wet the bed). We may be authors and radio show hosts, but we live and breathe this mom stuff. We're not the moms you see on the magazines at the checkout aisle, with their round-the-clock nannies and fat bank accounts.  

We've tried our best to compile the most useful information you need as a mom all in one convenient place. What you'll find on the pages ahead encompasses more than a year of research for our radio show and our book, input from the countless mothers we've met at book signings, conferences, and the bus stop, and, of course, our own experience as parents.  

But before you plunge in, we thought it was important to tell you a little bit about the two of us. We're best friends who happened to find ourselves pregnant at the same time. Our first children, both daughters, were born just three weeks apart, which led us to write our first book together, The Mommy Chronicles: Conversations Sharing the Comedy and Drama of Pregnancy and New Motherhood. Although our timelines for becoming moms were the same, virtually everything else about our lives as mothers was completely different.  

Because we took such divergent paths down the motherhood road, we're going to give you two completely different perspectives along the way. Well, at least most of the time. Every now and then we do agree. But oddly enough, it's our differences that have brought us closer. We've learned that we don't have to be the same kind of mom to be good ones. We've always respected each other's choices even when they were the complete opposite of our own. Too many friendships have ended due to mothers judging one another. The two of us are proof that a working mom and stay-at-home mom can be best friends. That a breast-feeding mom and bottle-feeding mom can be best friends. What has worked for one of us often just wouldn't have for the other because we're different people. That's the simple message we have always strived to share with other mothers: there's no one right way to be a good mom.  

So the last thing we would ever want to do is to tell someone how to be a mom. That's not what this book is. (Besides, we've screwed up way too much stuff ourselves to preach to anyone else!) There is no one-size-fits-all formula for motherhood. This book is about making your life easier as a mom and paring down a lot of the information modern mothers have to weed through. If you're planning a trip to Disney World, we've got the best resources for you so you don't have to slog through a hundred websites at 10:00 p.m. when the kids are finally asleep in bed. Moms have more information thrown at them than ever and less time than ever to process it all. We've tried to combine all the important stuff you need in one handy resource. We figure we might as well keep sharing the knowledge we've gained as radio show hosts and moms. You can learn from our mistakes and our triumphs and, we hope, have more time to enjoy actually being a mom instead of spending it trying to find out where to order party favors. To do that, all you have to do is turn to page 172, for example.  

How to Use This Book  

So now you're probably wondering, "How the heck do I use this book?" Well, funny you should ask.  

The Must-Have Mom Manual is divided into large sections, such as "Life with Your Baby" or "Marriage," which in turn are divided into chapters. Refer to the table of contents for chapters on the specific topics you're interested in. In some chapters you'll hear from both of us,

Excerpted from The Must-Have Mom Manual: Two Mothers, Two Perspectives, One Book That Tells You Everything You Need to Know by Stephanie Triplett, Sara Ellington
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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