There is no manual when you become a parent. Sure, there are those pregnancy books and discipline books '?? but what about books were you can relate to other people'??s experiences like when your child pukes in your hair or stories about how difficult it can be to open a stroller. Well, that book is FINALLY here with Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between, an honest, open and funny look at parenting and life authored by the vivacious Soleil Moon Frye.
To kick-off the release of her book, Soleil sat down with MomTrends at Sprinkles Cupcakes to discuss marriage, parenting, her work as Target'??s Mommy Ambassador, cupcakes before dinner and much more! Soleil, who starred as Punky Brewster in one of my favorite 80s shows, chatted about she found a way to embrace her '??happy chaos'? when she started sharing her life and it'??s ups and down through social media like Facebook and Twitter and through her own site moonfrye.com. Through social media, a community grew where other parents related to her stories and shared that they were going through similar moments of happy chaos. She really wanted to share the messiness and ups and downs in her life where she found that other moms were just as open to share their stories '?? showing that parenting isn'??t perfect but that we all do the best we can. She believes it is important to share and not judge each other since we are all in this parenting thing together. By being honest about life and parenting she discovered a kinship and new prospective on how to embrace parenting with no guilt.
At our chat, Soleil spoke of how moms strive perfection, which inevitability makes us crazy. Instead, she believes that we should embrace the inevitable madness of raising kids with '??happy chaos,'? which Soleil says is a sign of families operating at their best. This is when, according to Soleil '??we can accept that there will be mistakes, messes, tears and skinned knees.'? By embracing the fits and mishaps, your kids will be happier and so will you.
Throughout the book, she shares this refreshing philosophy by recounting honest stories from her life including tales from her time as Punky with her 80s crushes and her pregnancy and everything in between. This refreshingly honest book feels like your best girlfriend is talking to you as she is recounting her hilarious stories about parenting and life in general. I had some major laugh our loud moments throughout the book including reading about the time when her kids ate cupcakes before breakfast when they went on to eat their entire breakfast without a hitch or the time or when she spilled ice coffee on her daughter or when she was painting her nails and it landed all over her couch cushions.
At the heart of this entertaining book for modern moms is Soleil'??s message that as parents we should stop trying to control our children so much and embrace that life with kids is going to be crazy and unexpected. But that by embracing it we become less hard on ourselves for trying to be perfect '?? which she says has allowed her to become more free and inevitability a better parent.
Soleil'??s Tips to Embrace Happy Chaos:
- Work at Night. She finds inspiration at night and works crazy hours from 9pm to 2am. She said this helps her to focus on her kids during the day.
- Working at Home. Soleil always wanted to work from home '?? so she carves out time for them and focuses on fun traditions when she is with them like ice cream time, healthy cooking and walks around her neighborhood.
- Healthy Eating. Soleil goes to the farmer'??s market and to teach her children about cooking, organic food and eating well. Her and her girls do a ton of cooking and baking where they make popsicles, pasta with olive oil and colorful salads. She believes that children will enjoy food and cooking more if they are involved in making it. She also thinks that it is ok to have an occasional cookie or cupcake before dinner and that some freedom is ok for children.
- Confident parents make confident children. When Soleil has to leave for something related to work she tells her children that she is going to work to do what she loves rather than apologizing or feeling bad. She believes this will help her kids she a confident mom who is pursuing a passion that she loves, which will translate to how her kids will view work.
- Going from one to two kids. You lighten up a bit and gain perspective in a unique way. She also said that around this time you start to find your way and it'??s important to let go of control. The key to embrace the inevitable changes.
- Have a budget. Soleil teaches her kids how to spend by giving them a budget ($5-10) when they go in a store so that they learn what things cost as well as to learn about money and the value of items.
- Technology with kids. Soleil tries to put down the phones and shut off the computer on the weekends and during dinner.
- Have family traditions. Soleil has family suppers on Sunday and loves going out for occasional special treats like ice cream or Shirley Temples with her girls. Her family also loves to bake, design together and mix fabrics for her clothing line.
- Mom time tips. Soleil said this is something that she needs to work on '?? especially for an occasional manicure or a massage. She is also trying to find time for her and her husband with date nights and alone time after her girls go to bed. She also loves girl time and going out to lunch together and said that breaks help her refuel and become a better mom.
Serena Norr is a NYC-based writer/editor, soup-maker, and more importantly, a mama to two girls. You can read more soup recipes on her blog: seriouslysoupy.com.
MomTrends was not paid for this post. I was given a goodie bag, along with the book to review.