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Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting [NOOK Book]


'Perfectionism is the arch enemy of mothers everywhere. Dr. Dunnewold gives us a wise and user-friendly book that helps us to say 'Enough!' to non-productive guilty, worry, and self-doubt--and 'Yes!' to the simple ways we can learn to take better care of ourselves and our kids.'

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Mother Dance

'A reality check for parents, loaded with sensible advice and useful mantras, this book shows how jumping off the runaway ...

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Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box: Cut Yourself Some Slack (and Raise Great Kids) in the Age of Extreme Parenting

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'Perfectionism is the arch enemy of mothers everywhere. Dr. Dunnewold gives us a wise and user-friendly book that helps us to say 'Enough!' to non-productive guilty, worry, and self-doubt--and 'Yes!' to the simple ways we can learn to take better care of ourselves and our kids.'

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Mother Dance

'A reality check for parents, loaded with sensible advice and useful mantras, this book shows how jumping off the runaway train of Perfect Parenting is not only better for you, but teaches your child valuable lessons about real people living real lives. We're doing a Perfectly Good Job, and we are not alone!'

Christie Mellor , author of The Three-Martini Playdate and

The Three-Martini Family Vacation

"Finally, a book for mothers that does not blame or judge, but offers insight, guidance, and a healthy dose of compassion."

Andrea J. Buchanan , author of Mother Shock

Your Exit Strategy from the Pressure Cooker of Perfect Parenting

So . . . you missed T-ball tryouts, forgot to buy allergy-free organic snacks for today's playdate, got wait-listed for the top preschool, and now you feel like the worst mother in the world . . . again. Millions of moms are drowning in the pressure cooker of modern momhood and want out of the race. The good news: Your exit strategy has arrived.

If you're feeling overstressed, overtired, or overscheduled, noted psychologist Ann Dunnewold can help you rewrite the rules of motherhood by introducing a new, healthier paradigm--one that replaces the dysfunctional myth of the June Cleaver mom. Dr . Dunnewold will teach you:

  • How to follow your gut, not guilt; rely on your values instead of unrealistic expectations

  • To start connecting instead of competing with other moms

  • How to stop your tendency to 'overperfect,' 'overprotect,' or 'overproduce'

  • The 9 Dirty Secrets of Motherhood and why they're perfectly normal!

Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box finally gives you the green light and the guidance to cut yourself--and your family--some much-needed slack. Imperfect parents rejoice!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757398988
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 667 KB

Meet the Author

Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the issues of women and mothers today. She is a nationally recognized expert on postpartum depression and anxiety, and has appeared on the Today Show and in national magazines such as Fit Pregnancy, Parents and Dallas Child. Dr. Dunnewold has appeared as a consultant in two videos produced by Family Experience Productions, both of which air in hospital systems over the Lamaze/Newborn Channel. The author is a mother of two nearly grown daughters and has survived the endless push to perfection in parenting.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpts from Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box

ôI Have Everything I've Ever Wanted, So Why Am I So Miserable?ö Recognizing Mommy Thinking Traps: What We Think

The lament rings out every day in therapists' offices everywhere, morning until night:

_ ôAll I ever wanted was to be a mommy and stay home with my kids.ö

_ ôI worked hard on my education, getting my career off the ground, even trained to be an occupational therapist so I'd have a flexible work schedule for my children.ö

_ ôEver since I was a little girl, what was most important to me was having a family.ö

_ ôWe spent thousands of dollars for fertility treatments, to have a baby. And now that I have these twins I wonder: What was I thinking?ö

_ ôWiping snotty noses and poopy bottoms as a higher calling? Could we have some honesty, please? ö

Statements like these are routinely followed by some version of ôand now I am miserable.ö Along with their misery, these women are riddled with guilt and anxiety, explosive with irritability or outright anger. This is not what they expected motherhood to beùand they're ready to trade it in.

Take Liz, for example. Liz had a mom who raged. It was not quite to the level of wire hangers, but her mom seemed to think that a bellow at 40 decibels was the most effective strategy for corralling Liz and her two sisters, all two years apart. Throughout her childhood, this mantra ran through Liz's head: ôWhen I am a mom, I will never raise my voice. öTo Liz, this was the perfect mother standard: show no harmful emotion, be always loving even when provoked. After she married, Liz gave birth to twins. She managed to make it through the first two years of her sons' lives speaking in the calm, quiet tones she equated with being a loving mother. Then husband Joe took a new job, traveling away from home several nights a week. Her desperately needed break at the end of each day evaporated. She had to bathe, feed, and soothe both boys to sleepùalone!

Trevor and Travis were barreling into the terrible twos, and with hurricane force adopted the time-honored goal of testing parents. At times, they could work each other into a frenzy, moving from giggling to hysteria and tears with lightning speed. Then Liz unexpectedly became pregnant again. She was instantly laid out with nausea from dawn to dusk.

One particularly trying day, Trevor had awakened Travis and Liz from their nap about forty minutes earlier than usual. Crankiness ensued. It was time to begin the evening bath, stories, and bed routine, and Liz felt like she had stepped off the Tilt-a-Whirl. Her stomach swam while Trevor chased Travis in circles, shrieking and giggling. Liz could hear the rising crescendo of Travis's laughter. After calmly chastising the boys twenty-two times to ôCalm down, time for bed,ö Liz snapped. She bellowed, ôCut it out! Stop now!ö

The twins stopped. They stared at Liz for a beat, then promptly burst into tears. ôNo, no,ö shouted Trevor. ôI want my daddy!ö He ran off to their room, with Travis wailing behind him. Liz sank to the couch in tears, certain she had emotionally scarred her sweet boys. How could she have failed so miserably?

Mommy Thinking Traps

Travel inside your own head to look at the mommy beliefs that plague you, like that milk dust collecting on your shiny glass refrigerator shelves. A drop of milk spills down the edge of the bottle, you set the bottle in the fridge, the milk dries: voilà, milk dust. This happens a couple times. (No one in your house actually wipes the bottom of the milk jug, do they? If they do, I want to come live at your house.) Soon there is a crusty white layer all over the shelves. It spreads mysteriously from shelf to shelf, even when the milk is returned to the same place.

This is just like the mommy assumptions running through your head. You think you are dismissing all those TV headlines about how to be a better mom. You never actually tune in to ads that promote mothers and children happily lounging in a bed with pristine white sheets, right? At the softball sidelines, you ignore the conversation about who has a pitching coach, or which third-grade teacher's students achieve the best test scores, or what is the latest trendy birthday party. You want to rise above that. Like Kate Reddy discussing her friend Angela in I Don't Know How She Does It, ôI can feel Angela's maternal ambition getting into me like a flu bug. You try to fight it, you try to stick with your hunch that your child will be perfectly okay without being force fed facts like some poor little foie gras gosling.ö In the end those influences seep into every waking moment.

Mommy thinking traps come in two varieties. The first is what we think about parenthood. Current societal beliefs are full of mandates about how to be good mothers, guaranteeing success for our children. Simply living in society, rather than on a deserted island with no magazines, TV headlines, or mothers-in-law, means you are exposed to themùad nauseam. The first step in letting go of these perfect motherhood or childhood mandates means acknowledging them. Call them as you see them. ôOh, wait,ö Liz said. ôDo I really think a constantly calm mother is essential, or is that society's idea?ö You reject these unrealistic beliefs when thinking straight. You realize that moms yell, kids provoke, and children still turn out great. But these beliefs fan the flames of your guilt and anxiety when you're stressed. You react on a gut level under stress, and parenting of infants, small children, or teens is stressful. These rampant beliefs about parenting and children seem to offer The Answer for the perfect childhood. They are littered with implied shoulds about how perfect parents behave.

The second type of mommy thinking trap zeros in on how we think, not what we think. This trap comes from what cognitive therapists call irrational thinking: absolutes, black-or-white thinking, awfulizing. These are described in detail in the next chapter, along with guidelines on catching yourself on the verge of these traps. Even if you can let go of the content of beliefs outlined in this chapter, you still need to defeat the thinking patterns, or the process that leads to guilt and anxiety. It is not just how we process but what we believe that makes us feel ônot good enough.ö Both steps are key to feeling better.

Which Mommy Traps Grab You?

Mommy thinking traps perpetuate the three types of over parenting: over perfecting, overprotecting, and overproducing. You're more vulnerable to some beliefs than others, depending on your tendency to perfect your life with your children, protect your children from the realities of life, or focus on producing a super child. You know you'll never be perfect, but you throw all your energy and income into producing a child genius through learning experiences, tutors or coaches, and structured playtime: that is overproducing.

You may succumb to perfect mother mandates, making sure your child's outfits, your home, or the birthday parties you throw are magazine perfect: that is over perfecting. Or the idea of harm that can come to your child drives most of your life, whether that is emotional harm from your own moods and missteps, a harsh teacher, physical playground dangers, or additives in food: that is overprotection. These are just examples of over parenting, and each mom has her own recipe for anxiety and guilt. You might have a sprinkling of over perfecting, overprotecting, and overproducing, or your over parenting may fall into just one category.

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    Hood to all

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