We’ve all seen those moms who seem to be able to “do it all.” From working a full time job and managing a household of several to keeping a marriage together and still finding time for themselves, these women laugh in the face of life’s challenges and never seem to bat an eyelash.
Author and inspirational humorist Elizabeth Lyons has been perceived by some as one such woman. She’s raising five children (Grace, 11; twins Jack and Henry, 9; George, 6; and Nina, 2), has a product line out for moms with too few hands, maintains a website, How to Raise Twins, and still finds time to write helpful and hilarious books on staying sane in this crazy world we call motherhood.
In her most recent publication, You Cannot Be Serious: and 32 Other Rules That Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom, Lyons spills the truth about how she manages it all, or at least how she appears to. At the seemingly absurd recommendation of a friend, she decided to share her “rules” that help her get through life with five children, a husband, and her many jobs as a mother and a writer. Lyon’s goal is to give busy moms a little ammunition in their pockets to pull out the next time they are feeling the urge to run screaming down the street in their pajamas and slippers, hair flying wildly behind them.
Rule 8: Chaos Builds Character -- "In parenting, chaos is part of the territory. The fact of the matter is that you birth chaos right after the placenta."
Rule 12: Cleanliness is Overrated -- "If my happiness were dependent upon the house being clean even half the time, I'd have to sell something illegal in order to pay the cleaning service."
Rule 21: Know What Inspires You -- "Learning why something touches your heart can provide great insight into an activity that perhaps you'd enjoy getting involved with on some level."
Whether she’s urging moms to identify their freak flags or reminding us all to remember what’s really important, all of Lyons’ rules are extremely relatable, especially when coupled with the hilarious anecdotes that she tells to illustrate the point: working side by side with her 60-year-old Italian plumber who is fond of shouting expletives; trying to get her kids to find the silver lining in a two day trek in Lulu, the family minivan; and learning lessons from her 10-year-old on how to use her own cell phone.
In dishing her advice, Lyons seems to be talking to the every-mom. Reading this book was like visiting with an old girlfriend, and I quickly realized that even the mom who seems to be able to keep it all together has kids that misbehave, a house that is bursting at the seams with toys and clutter, and also the occasional meltdown from time to time. It’s inevitable. But by testing out and implementing the rules in this book that work for her, every mom can learn to stay sane, even in the hairiest situations. How? By believing that she can.
You CANNOT Be Serious: and 32 Other Rules That Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom. Elizabeth Lyons. Finn-Phyllis Press, Inc. 198 pages.
Follow Leigh Ann's blog to find out how she is putting Lyons' rules to the test!