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Happy Housewives, Darla ShineAbout 2 years ago, I was walking through Barnes & Noble, and the discount table had a book on it that caught my eye. It was called Happy Housewives: I Was a Whining, Miserable, Desperate Housewife–But I Finally Snapped Out of It…You Can, Too!  It made me laugh a little bit, but piqued my interest enough to pick it up and read the back cover.  And then the inside of the book jacket. And finally, skim the table of contents and introduction before deciding I would not only buy this hardback book for myself, but I would also get a copy for my sister! I won’t reveal the exact price of the book, but I was able to secure both copies for less than five dollars.

The book was available in three different covers, so I purchased the appropriate brunette cover for my sister, and the blonde cover for myself. I considered buying a third copy for my mom, but she has always appeared to me to have her stuff together and to be happy with her life, and I didn’t feel she would benefit from this book the way my sister and I might.

I admit, I did read this book two years ago, and I loved it. But after that one rainy Sunday afternoon spent reading, the book went back on the shelf with my stack of other lifestyle books that until recently were tiredly waiting on the top shelf, under a thin blanket of dust, for my life to get a little bit different. Other titles such as Katie Brown’s Weekends, Pottery Barn Storage and Display, and Change Your Life Without Getting Out of Bed.

With the launch of my new career as a stay at home wife and mom, I am “doing my homework” and researching how to make the most out of my newfound free time, continue to develop my mental game, get my house to look the way I want it to look (my main resolution for this year), stay fit and stylish, and “find myself” in the absence of the easy definition of a job title. In other words, I’m hell-bent on not becoming a lazy, fat, sweatpants wearing blob who can no longer carry on a conversation with my previous work colleagues or husband, who no longer knows what is in fashion, and who goes days at a time without leaving the house or at least getting dressed out of pajamas.

Darla Shine’s book was a treat. Some people are offended by her opinions as well as the way she delivers them. I found both her opinions and her straightforward delivery to be refreshing, relevant, and pleasantly aligned with my own. I agree with her assessment of the non-working wife’s responsibilities, the importance of not nagging your husband, and the level of contentment that comes from mastering one’s home. The joyful work of creating my home is something I look forward to and am already eagerly beginning to participate in.

For me, Darla’s book was accessible and full of much-needed reminders that I could relate to. I don’t want my husband to see our home out of control. I agree with her that after working together for so many years, the last thing I want is for my husband to think I can’t handle it! I respect his dedication and success at his job, and I want the same from him as I create the home that I desire, and he is eager to come home to.

The first book I read this year was Belly Laughs. I know this book is nothing new, and lots of pregnant and not pregnant people have read it in the past 7 years since it was first published. Even if it’s not brand new, I love this book. When my sister was pregnant with Tabby (my 3-year-old niece), I sent her this book. I remember laughing so hard previewing it in the store that there was no way I was leaving without it. I mailed her the book (this was before my love affair with Amazon, when I used to buy books and mail them), and she enjoyed it. A few months ago, I received a huge package from her, including tons of maternity clothes, magazines, and this book! It was touching to receive the book back that I had sent to her years before.

On to the book! This is a quick read. I woke up at 4:00 AM one day this week because I needed to eat. That happens a lot since I hit 18 weeks. As I ate my toast and drank a huge glass of milk, I started reading this book. By 6:30 AM, I was finished with it. I had gone through a half box of tissues because I was crying with laughter. I was home alone since John had to go to work early that day, and kept laughing out loud in our silent apartment. I recommend this book for anyone pregnant for the first time, who isn’t still grossed out by talking about bodily functions… goodness knows, she’ll get over that fast enough!

While I loved a lot of the hilarious stories she shared, one of my most comforting takeaways from this book was the thought that “even playmates get fat when they are pregnant.”  That may not be what her goal was, but I found a lot of relief in her retelling of her eating habits and weight gain. Pregnancy is not easy. I am enjoying it immensely, however, do not be fooled: this is not easy! For someone who has strived for fitness and an active lifestyle since I was old enough to know the word Triathlon, I struggle with letting go of my body shape and letting it do what it needs to do to make this baby. I know it’s a great lesson; everyone tells me it’s just training for when I have children and have no control over anything. Control is just an illusion anyway, right? My thighs are teaching me that lesson right now.

The baby is kicking around. It knows I’m talking about it. Yeah, you’re making my thighs fat and jiggly. But that’s okay. After you come out, Mama will take you running until she feels great about her shape again! Note to self: register for running stroller.

Inspiration

She designed a life she loved! -Kobi Yamada

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Inspiration

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are probably right. -Henry Ford