Are You Ready to Move Beyond Baby? Join Me!

May 01

COVER-3DAnyone 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!

Disclosure: Meagan provided me with a free review copy of her book, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Such a thoughtful review – and I got a mention! Thanks Kristen! I really hope your readers love the idea and the process, and it’s been so much fun having your support in the development of the book. xo, Sarah


Kristen May 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm

The pleasure has been all mine. It’s always fun to support people you really believe in! :)


slamdunks May 2, 2014 at 12:20 am

Best wishes to Meagan and Sarah with their work.

And there is nothing wrong with having a car full of future project gems!


Kristen May 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Slam!


Jessica May 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

Sounds Wonderful! Can’t wait to read your updates! xo


Kristen May 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Thanks, Jessica! :)


Amanda May 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Oh, this is wonderful! “up and out” sounds divine.


Kristen May 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Bringing my middle kiddo to kindergarten orientation today. Feeling perhaps a bit more up and out that I want right now. [Soft sob.] xo


Meagan Francis May 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

Kristen, thank you for this wonderful write up- I so appreciate it and love that you’re finding this book relevant to your life. Can’t wait to follow along on your Beyond Baby journey!


Kristen May 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

You’re so welcome! It’s my pleasure! xo


Andrea May 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

This is the funniest line I’ve ever read in my entire life “… how you’ll fill your ever-growing free time…” Does that mean after they’re in high school and drive themselves to practices and auditions and games and performances and no longer need an audience for every math problem and clothing change and don’t want their dorky parents anywhere near them anyway? Or after they’ve all gone away to college and you’re no longer required to split yourself into three people on a daily basis? That aside, sounds like a great way to focus on what’s important to you (other than your kids)!


Kristen May 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I hear you! As I’m learning as my kids get older, there doesn’t seem to be any particular end to the demands on my time. That being said, I definitely feel like I’m more “me” now than I did when my kids were babies and not sleeping through the night. Not slogging through my days like a zombie makes me feel like I have more time than I did.

Loved your piece at Literary Mama this week, by the way. Always glad to be reminded of our shared love for motherhood and writing and the places they mix: We need to sit down some time and have a long talk about Tillie Olsen. (Do you ever feel, as I do, that she’s the least appreciated 20th century writer relative to her importance?) Needless to say, she weighs heavily in the research for my book.


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