It's All About You: Live the Life You Crave by Mary GouletIt's All About You: Live the Life You Crave by Mary Goulet

It's All About You: Live the Life You Crave

byMary Goulet, Heather Reider

Hardcover | October 9, 2007

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It's All About You is a book that provides moms with real advice on how to balance love, family, work, money, health, and every other issue that life brings. And to bring back passion to the life that you crave.

Get more time, get more organized, get more money, get more energy, and get more joy out of your life.

Being a mother is amazing, although motherhood is not always easy. Getting the kids off to day care and school every weekday morning, juggling all of your to-dos while trying to fit in time for the gym, and always wondering what you'll make for dinner can be overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting. And these are just some of the daily challenges moms everywhere face. Wouldn't it be great to have a more peaceful and streamlined home life? Wouldn't it be great if all of these things that you love doing could be made more enjoyable? Wouldn't it be nice to have a life and be the loving Mom that you always wanted to be? It's All About You is a book that looks to do just that—provide moms with real advice on how to balance love, family, work, money, health, and every other issue that life brings. And to bring back passion to the life that you crave.

Mary Goulet and Heather Reider are the founders of MomsTown, Inc., and the online radio hosts of The Mary & Heather Show. Now, in response to the hundreds of thousands of moms who ask for a plan on how to get their lives back—from having a healthy sex life to finding more time and earning more money—Mary and Heather have assembled all the real advice from their personal experiences as mothers as well as from other moms and specialists. Their message is simple: Moms shouldn't hide behind motherhood and wifedom. Instead, they should get out there and live the lives they crave!

It's All About You is filled with caring, helpful support for the overextended mom, with insightful suggestions on how to find the perfect balance between living a richer, fuller life and being the best mother you can possibly be. Mary and Heather—witty, fun, and honest—know what it's like trying to have it all. And they've found the way to be successful at it! Not only do they share their experiences of their busy lives as mothers and wives, but also of starting their business together and sharing secrets from the MomsTown Big Break, an opportunity that any entrepreneurial-minded mom can¹t miss.

It's All About You covers time management, organization, money, sex, meals, and business—issues that busy mothers struggle with, often alone or with little help or support. With inspiring examples, true stories, and sound advice and plans, Mary and Heather make all moms feel empowered about themselves and their opportunities.
Title:It's All About You: Live the Life You CraveFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:October 9, 2007Publisher:Free PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416545093

ISBN - 13:9781416545095

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Chapter 1 In Search of the Unique You It's a wonderful feeling to know you're unique, that you have unique ideas, a unique look, a unique family, and a unique perspective on the world. It's an amazing gift that we give when we add our unique twist to any situation. On a grand scale, it's knowing that you make a difference, that who you are is important to your kids, family, friends, community, and the world at large. Let's start with the title of this book, It's All About You. We gave the book this title because taking care of you is important, because you take care of everyone else. We struggled with this title because we know women often feel guilty focusing time and attention on themselves. We know this because we struggle with the feeling as well. We think when we take time for ourselves, we're taking time away from our families. And no one wants to do that. In truth, when we take time to do something good for ourselves, everyone around us benefits. It all starts with you. Think about what's going on in the world today -- famine, war, single moms living in poverty, and a divorce rate that is through the roof. All of those things tear at your soul. In order for you to make a difference, you have to feel good about your life. It might seem like a stretch that getting organized might help the famine in Africa, but getting organized with your finances might free up $20 to write a check, and getting your schedule organized might free up time to volunteer. Along the same line, when you organize your closet, you may find a warm coat to donate. It's the little gestures in life that have a big impact. You must believe you make a difference. Be the change you want to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi We are Mary and Heather, hosts of our own talk radio show, founders of MomsTown.com, and publishers of MomsTown Magazine. We are both wives and mothers. Mary stays busy with two girls, and Heather keeps on the move with three boys. Three years ago we met online and discovered we lived in the same zip code. Fate? We think so. At the time, each of us had a struggling home-based business and we were going into debt faster than we were making a profit. After a brief phone call, we decided to meet for coffee, and before we'd finished sipping the steamed milk off our lattes, we knew -- the connection between us was unique. We were both moms who wanted to lead vibrant, purposeful lives. We wanted to be good moms and wives and to build fantastic careers. And we knew we weren't alone. We had sisters and loads of girlfriends with the same craving -- women who wanted to do exciting things and create possibilities. You will find in these pages the inspiration, motivation, and practical tips and resources to help you discover -- or, in many cases, rediscover -- the creative, indepen-dent, vibrant, and confident you. We are in the fortunate position of communicating with lots of women every day. In fact, the theme that we have the power to create opportunity came from one of our radio listeners. She sent us an e-mail asking us, "How did you get the fantastic job of hosting MomsTown Radio?" We responded, "We made it up." At first the question struck us as funny, because apparently our listener thought MomsTown was some big conglomerate and we were hired by some suit and received a weekly paycheck. Truth is, Mary hired Heather and Heather hired Mary. We created our own opportunity -- and you can too. Are we geniuses? Not really. (But don't tell our kids!) We're two women talking about the big issues that most women -- and moms in particular -- deal with every day. Like most women (and unlike most men), we've had to reinvent ourselves to be able to juggle marriage, motherhood, and moneymaking. In our past lives, Heather had a decade-long career as an on-air television reporter, and Mary was a Wall Street bond salesperson, a professional singer, and a licensed holistic health practitioner. Our own ideas and experiences were just a springboard for MomsTown. Nobody is as smart as everybody. -- William Taylor and Polly LaBarre in Mavericks at Work Bright women are out there at the other end of the Internet, women like you. These are the women we hear from every day who are transforming themselves as businesswomen, artists, students, entrepreneurs. They are getting their lives back into balance, creating fulfilling lives, and offering their suggestions for helping others. And that's exactly what we were hoping might happen in our forum for women. When we started MomsTown, our offices were in one of our guest rooms, and our husbands thought we were just dabbling in a hobby. Our computers were stationed on the bed and a phone cord stretched across the floor. We had to keep the window open (even when it was raining), because we were bootlegging the Internet connection from the downstairs home computer. Now, thanks to a business that includes a radio show, website, and magazine, we've gone legit. You might even say we've arrived. We'd say we have a lot more possibility. We decided to join forces, and we have ended up with more than double the creativity, energy, and success either of us had alone. Too often, women are afraid to ask for help, afraid to admit that they can't do it all by themselves. We overcame that fear, and so can you. In many of the upcoming chapters you'll find a recurring theme: decide what you want and be bold about asking for it. By believing in possibilities, you create opportunities. For example, when we decided to merge our two businesses, we knew if we were going to crash and burn, we might as well do it together, Thelma & Louise style. Three years later, we haven't crashed. We haven't burned. (Okay, maybe there was a time or two when we got a little scorched.) We're still working to help moms carve out a little extra income, a little extra time, a little extra energy, a little extra joy. It's rewarding work, and we're having a great time doing it. None of this exempts us from the Monday-through-Friday morning looniness that is getting children out the door for school. We still spend our first waking hours wrestling children out of their beds and into their school clothes, making PB&Js, and carpooling. After that it's running errands, prepping dinner, and, oh yeah, working while the kids are busy at school learning and having fun. Then we pick them up, chauffeur them where they need to go, and never stop moving until our heads hit the pillows. * * * This book is full of the issues we busy moms face every day that either create or stand in the way of our potential. We've taken topics from our show and from e-mails we've received from women around the world. We've put in our two cents, and we've included interviews with experts we consider the best in their fields. I'm a woman. I'm a mom. I want my own identity. I want to spend time with my friends. I want to feel in love. I'm worried about getting older. I could use more sleep. I would love to work out more. Perhaps I could take up a sport or a hobby, but when? I'm always short on time, short on energy, and I wonder every day what I will make for dinner. -- Everymom We're all trying to keep up, and too often we feel as though we're the only ones being left behind while everyone else is getting it all. Each of us is searching for the secret of how to achieve balance between work and home and how to find something that defines us. Life is like a conveyor belt of chocolates. Remember the I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy and Ethel were working in a chocolate factory? Apparently, even back in 1952, these two moms decided they needed to do more than just keep house. Their job was to pack chocolates in boxes, but the conveyor belt was moving so fast that they couldn't keep up. The result is something everyone should see. We'll never forget the image of them stuffing chocolates into their mouths, down their shirts, and in their apron pockets, all the while chocolates flying everywhere. Moms often feel overwhelmed by the speed of their own conveyor belts. To avoid a meltdown, sometimes they have to slow the belt down, and sometimes they have to let a few chocolates get past them and fall to the ground. That's okay. We stress out when we think that we have to grab every morsel in life. But the truth is that life will keep delivering the sweet stuff to us. There also will be bittersweets along the way, but this book gives you strategies to maximize the happy moments. We're here to help you catch your breath and start living a life that's rich to you. Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes." -- Clare Boothe Luce Tips and Takes from MomsTown Every day our inboxes are filled with e-mails from women around the world. They are active in our online community and anxious to share with one another. Women from all over America are quoted in this book. We will share with you their Tips and Takes. Regularly, we receive fresh and practical Tips about overcoming fears, making money from home, losing the last ten pounds, looking and feeling younger, getting organized, and making dinner. We'll also share with you their Takes on issues we all face -- how to handle a lagging libido (it's amazing how many of us would rather sleep than have sex), how to stand up to an educational system that seems to be sapping our kids of their creativity, and how to find more time in the day to do the things we love to do. The outpouring from our community has been overwhelming. The women at MomsTown are working moms and stay-at-home moms. They are happily married moms and single moms, and moms in troubled marriages. They are articulate, funny, and ambitious. Each woman is unique and has her own Take on the twenty-first-century issues with which we're dealing. Our community is open to all; the only thing we ask is that women check the Chick Factor at the log-in. Our community is about supporting one another, helping each other, and you're invited. We believe that as you read the chapters of this book, you will say, "That's me." Or "That's my girlfriend, or sister, or mom!" The Town Sites At that first coffee when we met and in the meetings that followed, it was clear that we wanted to create a community for women everywhere. We wanted women to have a place to pool knowledge and resources, to share stories and secrets. We knew that women wanted to connect virtually and meet locally. We are giving them the platform to do both. MomsTown is a welcoming place, where women can come for encouragement and practical advice -- both giving and getting. In addition to our very active message board, we have hundreds of local MomsTown chapters, which we call Town Sites. There are Town Sites in every state, every province of Canada, in Europe and Australia, and the numbers continue to grow every day. The Town Sites are vital because they're local and grassroots. They are women getting together over coffee, just the way we did three years ago, to share possibilities and to share dreams. This puts us on the frontlines of the campaign for reclaiming and reinventing women's lives -- and we're delighted to be here. One gal Down Under called in to our show. She lives in a town with a population of sixty (yes, ten more than fifty, which probably qualifies it as a village rather than a town). She said she just had to call to say how relieved she was that there were other women out there who felt the way she did about wanting to be a fabulous mother, but also wanting to be more than a mother and fabulous at other stuff too. Is Money an Issue? One topic that arises regularly in the MomsTown discussions is money. Money is a major issue in women's lives. It affects how we live day in and day out. It affects our relationships and it affects our self-worth. Many of us moms started out in the working world; we held down a job and took home a paycheck, money we had earned. Whether it was big-n-fat or puny, it was our own. We were paid for work completed -- a simple thing, really, but to us it was validating. Then we got married and became moms, and all of a sudden, we found ourselves in unfamiliar economic terrain -- financial terra incognita. Women's battle for financial equality has barely been joined, much less won. Society still traditionally assigns to woman the role of money-handler rather than moneymaker, and our assigned specialty is far more likely to be home economics than financial economics. -- Paula Nelson We found dividing our time between home and career exhausting. To spend more waking hours with our children, many of us segued into different jobs or careers, most likely with a smaller salary and a more flexible schedule. (Realistically, how many women do you know who happily took on more job responsibility, working longer hours, as a new parent?) Or maybe we took a hiatus from the workforce entirely to become stay-at-home moms, at least at the start. Both of us did that, and we found that there's nothing that can bruise an ego like going from being a got-my-own-money kind of woman to feeling obliged to ask your husband for dough. Financial terra incognita started looking a lot like the Land of Begging, and we didn't like the scenery. With financial dependency on our husbands' incomes, money became an awkward, unpleasant topic and a source of tension and contention at home. Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. -- Bob Thaves We discovered that many other women were having the same experience. Maybe you got defensive about spending money on yourself, money you had not "earned." Or maybe you didn't spend it at all. If you ever felt guilty about "splurging" on yourself, we're playing your song. What happened here? With our very understandable choice to work less outside the house in order to be available to our children, the balance of economic power between us and our spouses and between us and the outside world tilted. It's a problem the world over. Some husbands dole out money according to what they think you ought to need. Or perhaps you're still working a full-time job outside the home and you share your paycheck but he's not sharing the load. Either way, finances are a sticky issue in households, and we're about to shed new light on the age-old money fight. We call the money issues that come with marriage and motherhood the Money Shadow. That Money Shadow is the dark cloud that money can cast over a marriage. Lurking in that shadow are some biggies. We'll help you to nail 'em down and bring these taboo topics out of the closet. We're excited to share with our readers how Man Math and Lady Luck (the different ways men and women think and feel about money) play a prominent role in a woman's financial life. It's the kind of revelation that makes women breathe a huge sigh of relief: suddenly it all makes sense. We'll give you three money strategies that will change the way you think and talk (which is great for us, since we so often talk without thinking) about money, and your relationships around money. These revelations have helped us and our community of women to put more cash in the bank and to defuse a volatile issue at home. Why do we want to share our secrets with women the world over? Because we're all in this together. An inherent truth is that we need each other. Women need girlfriends, mothers, sisters, cousins, and aunts. It's been our experience that women need each other so much, they'll even reach out online trying to find someone who understands their wants, needs, hopes, and dreams. What about Sex? I know nothing about sex because I was always married. -- Zsa Zsa Gabor Another truth is that motherhood often sends both energy and libido into a major free fall. We've got Tips to help readers deal with both. We're not afraid to admit there are times we'd rather sleep than have sex, but if we did that every night, we'd be well rested but single. When we were at a meeting talking about how to get an energy boost, Heather mentioned Red Bull. Someone said, "That stuff isn't good for you." Heather joked, "I know. I only drink it at night! It keeps my husband happy." Hmm, that's a great slogan: Red Bull: Saving the Sex Lives of Married Couples. But sex should be more than something that keeps your husband happy: it should make you happy too. You can make your own recipe from the best strategies we've come up with ourselves, and the gems that other women have contributed. Trust us -- there are some real red-hot mamas out there. What about Food? We share emotional stories about how moms in the same boat have figured out some quick, easy ways to boost the health factor of the foods their families eat and have triumphed over the fatty stuff -- without fad diet pills and plans. Don't take us wrong: this is not a diet book; we don't even include a diet chapter. It is a wake-up call that gets us all to start thinking about how we're feeding ourselves and our families. We can't talk about bodies without talking about food. Food is another big issue for us moms who inherit a chef's hat (or a BlackBerry full of takeout phone numbers) once we have kids. Suddenly you go from nights out dining on foie gras (okay, maybe not foie gras, but at least grown-up food), to digging into bowl after bowl of mac 'n cheese made with fluorescent orange powder. Suddenly it's normal for us to eat snacks that come out of little plastic baggies. All this, um, stuff can take a toll on our bodies and our moods, but often these quick fixes are all we have time to give our kids and ourselves. Body image is also something we all struggle with. Mention trying on bathing suits in any gathering of women, and you've got an instant support group. Girlfriends laugh with us in the best of times and hold us up through the worst of times. All too frequently, though, we let friendships wither because we are too busy with our day-to-day insanity. Friends need -- and deserve -- our attention, but we tend to give friendships a lower priority than our family. This is a mistake: when things fall apart, friends are what keep you going. It is important to explore the issues of friendship among women -- how to reach out to make a friend if you feel isolated, how to sustain a friendship, and what to do with those high-maintenance pals who always need help but are never there when you need them. Quickies Here's the reality: we know, no matter what it is you're doing right now or what you have on your to-do list, you don't have much time. So, throughout this book you'll find Quickies. Quickies are those moments when we skip the foreplay and the flowery talk and we just get it done. Quickies make you feel great, and they relieve stress in little time and with little effort. A Quickie is manageable. It's a small chunk of time that we can all find in a day. Even if that means getting up fifteen minutes earlier than normal or staying up fifteen minutes later. Or maybe you can do a Quickie in those fifteen minutes between appointments, those fifteen minutes between dropping one son at swimming and picking the other up at soccer. Wherever you are, you can have a Quickie: at home, in the car, at the office. We are living proof that anyone can live a better life with a few tiny tweaks. We're not saying, "Look at us, we do it all." In fact, it's exactly the opposite. You'll discover in this book that no one can do it all and that's okay! But that doesn't mean you can't have it all. To listen to people who tell us we can't have something is to cut our dreams off at the knees. If we believe we can't have something, we won't have it. It's as simple as that. We at MomsTown refuse to listen to the kind of chatter that whittles away at our aspirations, and we hope you will too. We need more moms dreaming about a better world if we want to live in a better world. Sure, there are realities that we must face. That's why we're turning to each other to get help with the obstacles that hold us back. We know this to be true: when moms unite, we are a force to be reckoned with. Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. -- Gloria Steinem And that means having enough blue-sky time to figure out what that means. To you -- not to your kids, not to your husband. So you see, it really is All About You -- a person you have chosen to be. The ultimate act of your life will be choosing what is right for you. You are the only person who can decide those issues, and isn't that exciting? Let's get started. I dwell in Possibility. -- Emily Dickinson Copyright © by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 In Search of the Unique You

Chapter 2 Identity Theft

Chapter 3 Resetting Your Clock

Chapter 4 Frozen in Chaos

Chapter 5 A River Runs Through It

Chapter 6 Man Math, Lady Luck, and Money Talks

Chapter 7 Great Sex after Kids

Chapter 8 Girlfriends, Hookers, and Chicks

Chapter 9 Feel and Look Younger Now

Chapter 10 Hold Your Family Close

Chapter 11 "What's for Dinner?"

Chapter 12 Mom and Ms. Success

Chapter 13 The MomsTown Big Break

Chapter 14 Evolving into the Unique You

Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"Smart, spicy, and simple, this book is a must-read for women looking to be productive moms and wives while leading creative and purposeful lives - which is to say, pretty much all mothers. If the goal seems unattainable, it won't after you've read the many pearls of wisdom and motivational tips on how to catch your breath, make a change, and get you want." -- Scholastic