Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Meagan Francis celebrates Mother's Day...plus a book giveaway!

**Giveaway is now closed**

What makes Meagan Francis the happiest mom? In "The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood" (Parenting Magazine) she shares her tips with mothers everywhere. She even has an accompanying website! Who wouldn't be happy if they were Meagan Francis, after all? She lives in a town where decorated carousel horses have been on display in the past and painted barnyard animal statues are currently hanging around. As a mother of five kids, she derives inspiration for her articles on parenting and family. Through writing, speaking, and sharing what she has learned, she's always working to help other women–particularly mothers–lead happy, creative, and fulfilled lives.

Meagan comes to CLC to talk about being a mom, as well as about her own mom, just in time for Mother's Day. She also has two copies of "The Happiest Mom" to give to some lucky readers in the US or Canada.

You can find her on Facebook with pages for herself and her book, as well as Twitter.

1. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I think it's watching my kids turn into these really cool, smart, unique individuals. I just love little babies and loved the time I spent snuggling and rocking and holding my kids when they were infants, but watching them grow up is even more rewarding.

2. What is the most challenging thing about motherhood?

It can be really hard to find quiet space/time to think things through. Especially with young children, there can be so much noise and activity bustling all around you that it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to hit the “pause” button so I have a moment to think before I react.

3. What do you do as a mom that is the most similar to what your mom did when you were a kid?

I find myself moralizing to my kids a lot, which is something I remember my mom doing that really annoyed me. I’d be recounting a funny story from school or complaining about a friend and she’d say “Oh yeah? And how do you think SHE felt when you did that?” Now I hear myself doing that all the time, particularly with my teenage son, and I cringe sometimes. I can’t help myself, though. I tend to see their entire lives as a series of learning moments, especially the older they get and the more I realize they are looking to me for guidance on what it means to be a kind, responsible, successful human being.

4. Share something funny that your kid(s) said or did recently.

My five-year-old is like the Energizer Bunny—always in motion. The other day, as usual, he was doing some kind of flip-somersault and came down hard on his neck. He jumped up, dusted himself off, and said “Oh well, guess now I can’t have babies!” I have no idea where he got that, but it cracked me up. Five-year-olds say a lot of hilarious stuff.

5. Share some advice you'd like to give to new or soon-to-be moms.

Just be yourself. You’re not going to do everything right as a mom, but if you stay true to yourself and your values, you’ll do the important things right for you and your family.

6. Do you have any Mother's Day traditions?

My husband brings me breakfast in bed and all the kids come in one by one to do favors for me. Then I generally lie around reading home and garden magazines all day. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most rewarding J

7. Who is your favorite TV mom?

I loved Claire Huxtable. She was smart, funny, no-nonsense, really, really loved her kids…and really, really took the job of shaping them into responsible, caring adults seriously. But she looked like she had a great time doing it, didn’t she? I don’t remember ever seeing her play the martyr mom.

8. Who is your favorite mom from a fictional novel?

I often find myself wondering “What would Ma Ingalls do?” I know she was a real person, but the Little House books are semi-fictionalized accounts of Laura’s life. I love the way Laura Ingalls Wilder drew Caroline Ingalls’ character: smart, strong, resourceful; tough but also tender.

9. What is your favorite activity to share with your kids?

I love listening to music with my kids—it’s so gratifying when they like the same kinds of things I do. Playing board games and road tripping are other favorites. We’ve logged a lot of time behind the wheel, checking out tourist attractions in our region.

10. What is your favorite memory that you share with your mom?

My parents divorced when I was very little, and my mom was busy running a daycare out of the home from the time I was about 7 on. She was tired, and we didn’t have a lot of money or time for outside activities. But almost every night we’d snuggle up on the sofa after taking our baths and watch TV together or just talk. She always smelled like Oil of Olay. I really treasure those memories and I think it’s probably why I prefer now to spend quiet evenings at home with my kids rather than drive them all over town to a lot of outside activities.

She was also great at making little things seem really special. For example, we never had a ton of money at Christmas but we had these rituals we did every single year, with the same music, same decorations, etc; and it made the entire season seem magical.

Thanks to Meagan for sharing her thoughts on motherhood and for providing the books for our giveaway.

How to win "The Happiest Mom":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Who is your favorite TV mom?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 8th (Mother's Day) at midnight EST.

More by Meagan Francis:


StereoQueenBee said...

Posted on Facebook and Twitter (stereoqueenbee) My favorite TV mom is the mom on My So-Called Life. I also follow the blog. (queenofcrunk at gmail.com)

PoCoKat said...

Carol Brady is my favorite TV mom

pocokat AT gmail DOT com

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower

pocokat AT gmail DOT com

PoCoKat said...

Belong to Chick Lit Central on FB

pocokat AT gmail DOT com

Linda Kish said...

Carol Brady

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Kirsten McElroy said...

I want to become a mother, so this book sounds EXACTLY what I need to read! I'm crossing my fingers that I get a chance to add it to my collection.


Sherry said...

Loralie from Gilmore Girls:)

I am a follower

joined well actually just upgraded on FB


Kat said...

I have to agree with Sherry... definitely my favourite tv mom is Loralai Gilmore. But growing up I'd probably say it was the mom from Wonder Years or Mrs. Keaton.


Kat said...

I am a follower of the blog.


Kat said...

Posted on Facebook.


Kat said...

I am a member of the new CLC. :)


Kim W. said...

1. Fave TV mom -- Lorelei Gilmore off The Gilmore Girls! (Mrs. Huxtable on The Cosby Show was pretty cool too!).
2. I'm a follower of this blog
3. I posted this contest on Facebook
4. I'm a member of the upgraded Facebook CLC group!


Laura Kay said...

hmmm favorite tv mom...would have to be Cindy Walsh from 90210, she always was nice.

I am in the fb group and I follow the blog. I'm gonna jump on my blog and note that I'm following your blog and great giveaway!

Laura Kay

Heather said...

I also LOVE Loralai from Gilmore Girls!!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

karenk said...

my favourite tv mom...mrs cleaver :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

momtodc said...

I follow with GFC and my favorite TV mom is Norma Arnold from The Wonder Years. She was a devoted wife and mother but every once in a while we'd get a glimpse into who she was as a woman.


JHS said...

GFC follower
FB member

My favorite tv mom was Sada Thompson on the old ABC series "Family." I just loved that show . . . it starred James Broderick (father of Matthew), Ms. Thompson (a renowned Broadway actress), Meredith Baxter, and Kristy MacNichol. Probably dated by today's standards, but it was the 70's and, in its time, it totally rocked.


jhsmail at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

i really liked Carol Brady, I loved that show growing up int he 70's !! we watched it every Friday night! posting this on facebook!
ashersmamaw at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like Claire Huxtable and Caroline Ingalls.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...


nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net