I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott | Atria Books | Book Review

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

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Book Summary:

“Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

I Miss You When I Blink is a collection of memoir-style essays. Like with any collection of short stories or essays, I connected with some more than others. I found Philpott’s writing witty and approachable and she had so many accurate descriptions of life as a middle-aged white mother who is balancing career, family and the forever pull of wondering if what we have done with our time has been worthwhile.

There is a great balance of humor and I appreciated that she was able to acknowledge her privilege while also talking about some of her own struggles in life. I found reading this book to be a similar experience to an evening catching up with old friends. If you like memoirs and short stories, this might be the right fit for you too.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg PhD | Book Discussion & Review

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids

by Carla Naumburg, PhD

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids

Book Summary:

“Ever lose it with your kid? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Parenting is stressful, children are insane, and you’re only human. Carla Naumburg, PhD, a clinical social worker, was so at a loss with her daughters that she found herself Googling “how to stop yelling at my kids” during a particularly grueling evening. That moment led to this book—a short, empathic, insight-packed, and tip-filled program for how to manage your triggers, stop the meltdowns, and become a calmer, happier parent with calmer, happier kids.

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids not only explains why we explode at our children but also teaches us everything we need to know to decrease stress and increase patience, even in the most challenging family moments.

Based on recent research and evidence-based practices, and written in the warm, funny, instantly relatable tone of a parent who’s been there, the book guides even the most harried parents toward a new way of engaging with their children. Readers will come away feeling less ashamed and more empowered to get their sh*t together, instead of losing it.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

I remember so clearly the kind of parent I was going to be before I had kids…and then I became a parent. Our kids are kind, funny, curious, loving and they can totally make me lose my sh*t. We have two boys who are two years apart in age and parenting can feel like a total rollercoaster ride. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to be a perfect parent.

“When it comes to parenting, being awesome and screwing up are not mutually exclusive.” -Carla Naumburg

My Own Experience:

I can recall with such vivid memories how completely overwhelmed I was when our first son was a baby because the physically demanding aspects of parenting an infant who cried a lot and slept, umm, not a lot were 24/7. I was exhausted. As the years went by and we added a second child, not only did parenting feel physically hard but it became emotionally hard. This is also when we entered the stage of “losing our sh*t”.

You think it won’t happen to you, but then it does. Have you ever tried strapping a screeching toddler into a car seat while they are whacking you in the face while also making their entire body as straight and stiff as a board? Have you ever wanted to take a 3-minute shower without referring two children who are fighting over a toy neither one has previously played with in years? Have you ever been on a last minute work phone call and had to say “I am going to have to call you back” because you can’t hear anyone over the screeching of your children in the background of the car, who you previously explained to that you needed to make this important phone call? There are thousands of more examples, but this is just an example of how you may get to the “losing your sh*t” zone of parenting.

What This Book is About:

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids is a relatable and approachable discussion and action guide relating to the stresses of modern-day parenting. Naumburg starts with defining why parents can sometimes lose it, and then goes into the different steps of how you work towards losing it less.

The Most Important Steps:

TRIGGERS: Understand your triggers…we all have them even though they may be very different.

AWARENESS. Know what pushes your buttons and own it.

REFLECT. Having some insight into the WHY can help you have a plan.

REDUCE TRIGGERS: Work on reducing triggers. This makes you feel less out of control and enables you to be more proactive when you get into moments of frustration.

COMPASSION. Have compassion both with yourself and with your children…and really, the world around you. When you can look at something from a more empathetic viewpoint, it is easier to own the situation and then move forward. You always have another chance to have a more positive interaction.

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. In a fast-paced world, parents are juggling more things than ever before. Finding ways to take care of yourself actually makes YOU a better parent. Find your village and support system and choose wisely when saying YES…the fewer overcommitments the fewer triggers you might have. Unitask when you are able…multitasking usually causes nothing to get done well and often results in massive frustration levels for all.

Approachable, Proactive & Real:

I found this book to be approachable and real, yet also great at calling out what our issues might be so we can be more proactive about them in the future. There was a great balance of reflection and action no matter what your situation or triggers. Naumburg strives for progress, not perfection which feels attainable when you are in the thick of it.

Naumburg discusses with great detail how to catch yourself when you are in or about to enter a “losing it” moment and has reachable suggestions such as “notice, pause and do literally anything else”. I loved the section on compassion, both with ourselves and with our children. When we lose it, which will still happen sometimes, no matter how many things we put in place to stop it, the most important thing we can do is own it.

Reconnecting with ourselves can help guide us to why we might have reacted that way and provide us an opportunity to think about practical things we can put in place to help it from happening again…such as scheduling self-care, reaching out to our support system, etc.

Another step in compassion is reconnecting with our children. Getting calm and apologizing is one of the most powerful parts we can do, not only to repair and respect our relationships with our kids but also to help them see how powerful talking through moments can be for both parties.

Final Thoughts:

I found so many parts of this book helpful and highly recommend it to any parent who is looking for proactive and attainable advice. Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Coffee Talk Wednesday | beach reads, podcasts, having “The Talk”, foot peels & more…

Gen The Bookworm

Checking In:

Hello! How is your week going? This is our last week before school vacation. After spring break the rest of the school year always flies by. It’s hard to believe but summer will be here before we know it. There are SO many amazing summer books that are coming out this year and I can’t wait to share more about them soon.

2019 beach books

Mrs. Everything:

So far I have read the ARC of Mrs. Everything and it was amazing!! Jennifer Weiner has always been one of my very favorite authors and this might be my favorite of hers yet. You can read my Goodreads review of Mrs. Everything HERE.

Vacation Reading:

I am planning on reading The Summer Guests and Life and Other Inconveniences next week because I think they will be the perfect vacation reading…We are heading down to Florida to visit family and I can’t wait!

Currently Watching & Having “The Talk”…

My friend Kari and I were laughing so hard we were crying when we watched this The Birds and the Bees | Parents Explain YouTube video yesterday afternoon…we are obviously very mature parents. 😉

In all seriousness, we are reaching the age of definitely needing to have this conversation with our older son and a friend recommended the book, It’s Not the Stork! as a guide for having a positive and proactive conversation.

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I also always had access to a bunch of books about puberty and body changes as an older kid and pre-teen and I found them so helpful. I appreciated that it was never an uncomfortable thing to talk or learn about while I was growing up and I want to provide that same thing for our kids…but it is really is tough to know the right way to start the conversation!

Our kids definitely know how babies get OUT, but we haven’t had the whole how they get in there conversation quite yet. Any tips, websites or other book suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Currently Listening to…

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I have been loving Laura Tremaine’s new podcast 10 Things To Tell You. I have always loved hearing Tremaine discuss books but she is so open and insightful about so many other topics as well. I listened to her podcast episode this morning discussing “Who did you expect to be?” and I just loved it. I found her relatable, real and funny and I think you would enjoy it too.

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I am also so excited that the Committed Podcast is back for season two! I love Jo Piazza as an author (Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win was one of my top books from 2019) but she is also an amazing podcast host and interviewer. The stories she shares are real and raw and also so inspiring.

Currently using…

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If you haven’t tried these foot peel masks yet, you are MISSING OUT…especially with summer (and sandals) weather on its way.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about these things a few years ago but now I am a full convert. You soak your feet in these little booties for an hour and a half or so, and then you wait. At first, you think nothing is happening…and wonder if you just wasted your time and money….but then it starts!

All the dead skin peels off your feet and if you are lucky, it even falls off in little sheets, which may sound disgusting but I found it quite intriguing…don’t knock it until you try it! And you don’t have to just take my word for it, there are 1000s of reviews out there that even include photos like this article HERE…which I know you are curious about and it also has some great tips.

I recommend taking a bath a few times the days after you do the peel for maximum results and peeling. I have tried many kinds, including Baby Foot and they all work similarly, but THESE ONES are just cheaper and work amazingly well.

Currently loving:

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 5.13.27 PM.pngSpeaking of summer and sandals, have you tried the rubber Birkenstocks yet? They make the BEST pool sandals they feel like a flip flop with a little more support like regular Birkenstocks but without the fear of getting them super wet like the original soft cork footbed. I have been wearing them around the house in anticipation of vacation and it makes me so very happy.


Alright, that was quite the random Coffee Talk Wednesday but I hoped you enjoy it! Do you have anything you are currently loving? I would love to hear! <3