Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beyond Baby

For many moms, especially in the early days, our identities are tied to the little ones. We all know women whose names we never quite caught, who were "Bobby's mom" or "Jenny's mom" throughout all our interactions.

Time passes, and all of a sudden we're looking at children who can fix their own breakfast or cross the street unaided. We've moved beyond baby. For many moms this time is unsettling.

Enter Meagan  Francis,  blogger at The Happiest Home. She's written a practical, step by step book that leads moms into life "beyond baby". The book includes a journal and provides specific actions - baby steps - to take each week during the 40 week course. Of course, we all know 40 weeks is the length of a pregnancy, but it's also roughly the length of the school year and as many of us only think about life beyond baby when the first or last child enters school, I think the choice has a nice dual meaning.

The book is broken out into five eight-week segments: Your World, Your Home, Your Relationships, Your Self, and Your Dreams.

It turns out I'm already well on my way to regaining my personhood. I have already pondered the topics and fulfilled many of the challenges in the early segments "Your World" and "Your Relationships".  Do I think this diminished the value of the book? Heck no! There is a surprising feeling of validation to see choices you've made be recommended in print. I am sad to admit that many of the topics and challenges in the Your Home section aren't exactly relevant/useful to one who rarely has a home to call my own, one where I'm allowed to buy a new couch or paint the walls.

For me, the issues raised in the last two sections were the most useful and relevant for my stage in life.The short term is so immediate. Taking a long view of where I want to be in the future, and how (if?) it aligns with how I am living my life now, was a tough but rewarding exercise. I think my favorite week was #34, almost at the end, where she challenges us to "Align your calendar with your values." Too often the week is filled with the to do list and a little too much Facebook time.This was a great reminder for me that life is short and we must strive every week, at the least, to live according to our values else we find we have no values at all.


Kristen @ Motherese said...

I loved Beyond Baby too! I think Meagan has identified a niche with a distinct set of concerns and did a great job creating a step-by-step plan to help address them. I also loved the advice about the calendar. Now to get these projects started!

Meagan said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review, Lynne! I'm so so glad you and others are finding Beyond Baby valuable!