Anyone who’s been reading Motherese for awhile knows that I love big projects. I’ve revamped my style with Big Little Wolf. I’ve launched a Happiness Project. More recently, I’ve sworn off sugar (she writes as she snacks on a leftover muffin…ahem).
Anyone who’s been here awhile also knows that I’m a big fan of Meagan Francis and her blog, The Happiest Home. Not only do I admire her ability to strike a tone that’s both realistic and upbeat in her parenting writing, but I also think she’s an awfully nice person (a trait I value above any other). Meagan was a teacher and mentor to me as I started my freelance writing career. She pushed me to submit my writing for publication and made me believe that I could do work I love and even get paid for it. She’s also been supportive of my work researching and writing about women in history, inviting me to start a Historical Motherhood series on her blog.
So it is with great excitement that I read Meagan’s new ebook, Beyond Baby, a forty week guide to “creating a life you love when your kids aren’t so little.” Designed for moms interested in expanding their horizons, whether their youngest is still in diapers or is headed off to college, Meagan offers her readers a game plan to help them reconnect with the women they were before they became mothers and to chart a mindful, meaningful path into the future. Walking readers through weekly projects that range from the deep (Week 35: Excavate an old dream) and necessary (Week 18: Make an appointment with your health) to the fun (Week 22: Give your cosmetics a makeover) and practical (Week 12: Overhaul your junk drawer), Meagan is a kind, motivating guide through this rewarding journey toward a new season of life.
With a lovely, clean design by the multi-talented Sarah Powers, the book is organized into five sections, each with a particular focus. Part One is “all about helping you dip your toe back in the outside world…and how you’ll fill your ever-growing free time as you move out of the intense period of new motherhood.” Part Two narrows the focus onto the home and invites moms to “reclaim [their] surroundings” as changing tables give way to sports practices and music lessons. Part Three centers on the Self, addressing the fact that sacrifice comes with being a mom of little kids and encouraging focus on one’s own needs. Part Four is about “strengthening the important relationships in your life, whether they’re crumbling or just a little confusing.” And Part Five urges readers to dream big and start taking small steps to make those dreams come true. Each project includes a challenge checklist to keep readers on task. Meagan is big into honesty, accountability, and assessment. At the end of each section, she asks readers to review and reflect on which changes worked for them and which ones didn’t so that the work they’ve done sticks and feels tailor-made.
I’m so excited about Beyond Baby and the invitation it offers to “look ‘up and out'” that I’ve decided to try it out myself. While I’ve already tried out a few of the projects since receiving my copy (you should see the inside of my car!), I can’t wait to put the whole program into effect. Stay tuned for updates.
Feeling “beyond baby” yourself and looking for a guide for how to “fill the hours, find inspiration, and capitalize on the energy that you once directed toward caring for tiny children?” Grab your own copy and join me!