The Empowered Mama
The Empowered Mama is a book about self-care as a mother, out on the 23rd November on Amazon but available to pre-order now. It’s written by Lisa Druxman, the creator of the DVD Workout Mama Wants Her Body Back and author of Lean Mommy. I received a review copy of this book through NetGalley, which connects influencers with book publishers. Here’s the blurb:
Moms who work are trying to juggle the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker while also being professional, competent businesswomen. They never feel they get enough done, but they rarely acknowledge that they are wife, mother, lover, friend, cook, nurse, housekeeper, businessperson, driver, volunteer, dog walker, and more. Many moms feel like they can’t take time to replenish their bodies or minds. There’s just not enough time and it seems selfish to take time when families and work still demand more. The Empowered Mama is a practical and interactive workbook full of simple, powerful tools to help moms reconnect with themselves on the journey through motherhood.A quote that starts off the philosophy of this book is “Your children will follow your example, not your advice.” If we want the best for our kids, we have to look after ourselves and focus on our well-being too. We have to show them the life they can lead – not tell them we want them to do better than we did. It’s hard though, because who has time for self-care these days? My days went from having tons of free time for me to read, work out and spend hours in the kitchen, to being jam-packed. Packed full of a crying baby, of doctors appointments, of swim classes and education. My nights are broken and interrupted and sleep deprivation is pervasive – changing the flow of energy you have as a person. Mealtimes became a stressful thing that I needed to get out of the way, not a joy that I took time in. Frozen meals and takeouts were a habit I picked up with a newborn – one that became harder to break the longer I left it. The mental load increases, even when the physical strain isn’t there. So, when I picked up this book and read the introduction about how I want my son to learn from me, I realized I embody the negative things mentioned. I eat fast food, but I want him to eat healthily. I don’t exercise enough, but I want him to be fit. When he’s growing up, if I carry on with my lifestyle, I don’t want him to emulate me. So I need to snap out of it now and get into good habits that he can watch and learn from. Easier said than done though! The book is workbook style, split up into small chapters with a goal. It gives exercises and tasks that you can work at in your own time. In Chapter One, for example, I’m given the imagery of myself as a cellphone. My batteries are definitely flashing red. The answers are simple – take more breaks. I look through the list and I analyze what fits well for me. Stretching. Walking. Breathing. Aromatherapy. Relaxing Music. These are things I can do. Small, obtainable goals. I reviewed an early pre-release review copy in digital format but the edition that releases on the 23rd November on Amazon in paperback. It includes lovely colours and images, but most importantly, it is a workbook so it contains oodles of sections you can write in. Physically writing down how I’m feeling, what I did and how this affected me really helps me. As you can probably tell from the fact that I’m a blogger, I find writing cathartic. I also loved the little commitment certificates, where you sign your name to an act. It’s a promise only to yourself, but there’s something that binds me to it when I’ve seen it written down and signed my name on it. There are daily and monthly challenges and I found this book a great motivational exercise. If anyone else out there feels like they need a little structure, The Empowered is definitely perfect for that. Blogging mums will find the section on time management very useful! Although this book is written in regards to managing your household tasks and spending more time with your kids, a lot of it is very good practical advice that can be applied to work, especially working from home in a field such as blogging where your time is structured by yourself. I’ve given it four stars as I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it to any parents out there who feel like they could use a little improvement, self-care or motivation in their lives. Not all of it was useful to me and a few things didn’t resonate, but it’s definitely wide enough in scope that I imagine almost any parent out there could take something positive away from reading it. Although it is a motivational book, it is one that is extremely practical. I dislike motivational speeches that are just “You can change your life if you believe in yourself!”, but I appreciate motivation in the form of “You can do these small steps to make a minor adjustment in your life that can have larger positive outcomes.” It does contain a few larger ideas, but most of it is very much in the realm of realistic steps. It is an American written book, so you will see the word “mom” a lot and a few Americanisms, but it is perfectly easy to relate too in the UK too. I’m still searching to find myself in this new world that is motherhood and constantly looking for ways in which to improve my life – and the life of my family. In that regard, this book definitely gave me plenty to think about and some things I’m positive I can work on.