About This Book

Wendy Walker, author of Four Wives and The Queen of Suburbia, has become the go-to media expert on women leaving the workforce to raise their families and run their homes. This book contains 101 great stories from mothers who have made the choice to stay home, or work from home, while raising their families and becoming active members of their communities. Stories from grateful husbands and children are also a fun read. These multi-tasking, high-performing women have become today's Power Moms. Every stay-at-home and work-from-home mom will view this book as having been written just for her. Perfect for book groups, it will also contain a reader guide.

Reissued as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stay-at-Home Moms in March 2012. Same great stories, new title and cover.

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A Survival Guide for Power Moms: Five ways to thrive in the trenches

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Wendy Walker

What does it take to be a "power mom?" A multi-tasking minivan? Inspired by contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms, here are five ways real-life power moms (and even one power dad) manage to juggle it all:

1. Face reality. "Some things you just can’t do with three kids who are awake. You can’t drink a cup of hot coffee — someone’s always tugging on your leg. You can shop for groceries, but it becomes an Olympian event," as veteran mom and bestselling author Jodi Picoult recognizes. Sometimes your expectations of what you can accomplish with kids running around need to be adjusted. It may be a matter of putting in extra time after your kids go to bed to achieve your goals for the day, or reworking your schedule to meet their needs before your own. While power moms make it look easy, they know their limits and consider them before diving into major tasks.

2. Make a mommy space. Author Wendy Walker’s search for the perfect place to work on her writing took her from the coffeehouse to the comfort of her crumb-strewn minivan. When she has difficulty focusing on her work at home, she still heads out to her minivan to find the quiet she needs, even though "there are times when I find myself nestled in among the Goldfish," she writes. Make yourself a sanctuary where you can focus and get away, no matter how odd the location.

3. Ditch the Filofax and be spontaneous! "Cook, clean, feed. Drive, drop, prepare. Sort, stack, fold. The to-list is endless and the stakes are high," says power dad Bob Dickson, who found the familiar rhythm of his wife’s demanding schedule bordering on monotony when he agreed to play Mr. Mom for the week. Moms sometimes become a slave to the clock, making sure every moment of their time is properly scheduled and every moment effectively utilized. Once a week, break free from the rigors and strain of your daily schedule and skip the laundry, eat lunch out with the kids or have a tea party out on the patio.

4. Be your own boss. Many power moms opt to trade the cubicle for at-home careers that allow them more time with the kids. "As a freelance writer, I never got rich," says Sally Friedman. "But I got ‘income’ of a different sort. I bore witness to the minor and major milestones of [my children’s] lives, from listening as a proud first grader read her first book aloud, to watching a stage-struck child perform in a major production called ‘Melissa the Martian.’" Do you have a skill or hobby that can become a work-at-home pursuit? If so, it may provide more schedule flexibility.

5. Go with the flow. When Chicken Soup for the Soul editor and publisher Amy Newmark married a great cook, she was happy to let him take the cooking reins. One day, her daughter came home from school excited to report something new she learned: "Did you know that in some families the mommy cooks?" When she remarried years later to a man who could hardly make an ice cube, she took the proactive step — and became a cook herself. "It turns out that it was fun and easy! I realized that what I really hated was following recipes — if I can just make up my own recipe, I’m happy, and the food is really good." If there’s one skill power moms hone, it’s flexibility, so remind yourself that life is full of unexpected turns that may require you to pick up something new here and there.

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