Read an Excerpt
The Hot Mom's Handbook
Moms Have More Fun!
By Jessica Denay
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Jessica Denay
All rights reserved.
B.C. (BEFORE CHILD)
Motherhood gives us depth, compassion, and a level of love and awareness so heartfelt it is indescribable. When our children are born, so is this other person known as "Mom"—this ever-caring, protective, beck-and-call being. As mothers, we now have these souls we are responsible for. They come to us, or they come through us. We help mold them, teach them, and yet they are their own person, with their own destiny and connection to the world. It's important as moms, while we help shape and nurture our children's world, that we also keep nurturing and creating our own spirit.
All too often we try so hard to fit the mold of "good parent" or "perfect mom," it becomes easy to lose our self in the process. Believe me, I know. Like most moms, it wasn't long before my main focus and point of existence seemed to be my son's comfort and happiness. My day revolved around errands and his activities. I completely lost myself in this routine. Where was that confident, fun loving person I was B.C. (Before Child)? Did being a good mom mean that my spirit had to suffer? I kept thinking, this isn't supposed to be my life!
I was your classic over-achiever from a good family and nice small town. My life was textbook until about age twenty-four. I got pregnant with a man I hadn't been dating very long. We got married and we got divorced and there I was, to my shock and horror, twenty-six and a single mom. How could this happen to me? I was a "good girl." Where was my house, my husband, the dog and the 2.5 kids? I somehow believed that not having that "life" was the reason I was stuck in the Groundhog Day rut. It took me a long time to figure out that it wasn't my situation, but my perception of it and the distorted perception of motherhood. It sounds cliché but I realized if I wanted people to perceive me differently I had to change the way I perceived myself and my life. The moment my attitude changed is the moment everything changed.
The truth is, you can't be the best mom when you are holding back your true self, when you are filled with self-doubt or frustration. It is crucial to foster your spirit and your sexuality. You have to stay true to yourself and indulge GUILT FREE in the little things that make you happy. This no doubt makes you a more effective mother. The very first step to becoming a Hot Mom is to grab back your identity and discover or rediscover who you are!
YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE "A MOM!"
People would often tell me, "Wow! You don't look like a mom!" I used to think, why not? What does a "mom" look like? We are so conditioned by a preconceived image of what a mom should be. For years, we've been trained to feel it's wrong if we want to stay hot as a mom. We've been taught to believe that it somehow works against our abilities as a mother. This couldn't be further from the truth! It's completely normal to want to maintain elements of your former self: your sexiness, your desirability, YOU. It's so engrained within us that we have accepted and even promoted the idea that once a woman becomes a mom, she shouldn't be sexy or stylish anymore. I can't think of anything more ridiculous! But unfortunately, it's easy to fall into this trap because society leads us into this belief with such ease: A good mother has no time to care for herself, and you're a mother now ...
Keeping the former parts of you alive actually enhances your abilities as a mother, lover, and friend.
It's time to be more than a mom. It's time to be every bit of everything that you are. It's time to be who you want to be and not who anyone else thinks you should be. It's time to be bold, to be smart, to be true to your inner self. It's time to embrace and nurture who you are because there is absolutely no one in the whole world like you—own that. Be you and be proud. Love that you bake cookies for school parties or love that you buy them. Love that you can dress a screaming three-year-old, make breakfast and pack four lunches in less than twenty minutes. Don't make light of any accomplishment! It's time for you to love who you are as a person and as a parent. As moms it's in our nature to constantly put everyone and everything else first. We rarely stop to do anything for ourselves. It's time to embrace YOU. You have the right to choose what type of woman you want to be after you have children.
CULTIVATE YOUR SPIRIT AND CREATIVITY.
My son is the biggest, most amazing part of my life ... but he is not my entire life. I say that in the healthiest, most loving way possible. It is so easy to get swallowed up in your kid's world. Cultivating your spirit and creativity is just as important as cultivating theirs. The best example you can set for your children is to have a life outside of them. This will give them the confidence to have a life outside of you. So, when you're with your kids, be with them. But when you are not, be you! Talk about the things that you are doing and make sure you are doing enough things worth talking about. You can drop your kids at dance class, but don't forget to go dancing now and then with your girlfriends.
Remember life is about balance, and creating harmony is crucial for the well-being of your children. Our kids can be our greatest inspiration for creating harmony. When you weave your spirit into motherhood, the possibilities are endless.
* * *
"From the second my son Troy was born, everything took on a different shade. Many things became gray, falling quickly into the background, and some things became more obvious and crystal clear. Some things that used to seem so important to me now felt silly. To realize I had this little being in my arms, that I was responsible for guiding his life was so awe-inspiring that words can't even describe the feeling. The next year I was completely devoted to the commitment of mirroring the best of him and imprinting the best of my husband and myself. I chose not to work, except a bit here and there, besides I was only feeling inspired to be a mother to my son. I really didn't feel I had any other type of creativity flowing through me. That was pretty scary after being a musician and singer-songwriter my whole life. There were times I thought 'Okay, now what? I was a musician for twenty-years and now I am a mother. This is who I am now! Will I ever be a musician again? Will I ever even want to be?' Then I started recharging my creativity in ways I had never experienced. From day one, beautiful melodies would pop in my head that I would just start singing to Troy. Funny songs too, about what I imagined he was thinking. Cool beats and fun lyrics all in my head, coming from my heart. I started to keep a small recorder next to the rocking chair ... and there I was still rocking ... just in a different way!
Now looking back sixteen months and a new CD later, I realize I was doing what I had always done but in such a profoundly different way I almost didn't trust it. It was so effortless and so inspired. I wasn't used to the writing and recording process of a CD (which had never been an easy or particularly fun process) coming to me so easily. This has been the best writing and recording experience of my entire life and many have told me it is their favorite record of mine. Being a mom unleashed a new found artistic freedom unlike any other. Because I was so connected and present with my baby, I organically tapped into another side of my creativity by entering into that innocent world of exploration and wonder. Funny how my newest incarnation of trying to be the best mom I could be and being so happy with that job, produced the most inspired music of my entire career."
—Meredith Brooks, Grammy-nominated artist
* * *
Motherhood broadens us and adds strength to our character. It gives us an entirely new perspective on life. Our children open and expand our world in so many ways. In order to provide them the best possible life, you must be the best possible YOU. And you owe it to your children to create the brightest light within yourself so you can have more to give them. Only you know what best raises and stirs your spirit. The first step to becoming a Hot Mom is to find your core. Let motherhood enhance you. It is then and only then that your mothering can take flight.
Are you happy with who you are now? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
What do you do to cultivate your spirit and creativity? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
Is there balance in your life? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
Commit to discovering or rediscovering YOU.
Commit to following your dreams and passions so you can be the best mom you can be.
Commit to creating balance and harmony between your needs and your child's.CHAPTER 2
I AM ONE HOT MOM!
I know, I know. Your body isn't the same after having one kid or five kids. Of course not! Your body has performed one of the most awe-inspiring human feats. With supermodels in every magazine and on every billboard, it's tough to maintain a healthy self-image, even before your body has been stretched and reshaped and kicked from the inside. It has taken me a long time, but I've realized it's more important how you perceive yourself than how others perceive you. Unfortunately, most women have a false self-image.
Living in Los Angeles, I have met some of the most beautiful women in the world, and guess what? They have asked me if their butt looks too fat in their jeans, complained that their arms are too long, nose is too big, or ears too stuck out. I've heard it all and thought, "Are you kidding me? You are walking perfection! How on earth can you feel this way?"
So you're probably wondering, what does this have to do with me as a mother? EVERYTHING. Your children learn their relationship with their bodies, their self-image—they learn it all from you. So if you don't like who you are, how can you expect them to like who they are?
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
My son has two crazy cowlicks and no matter what gel or mousse I use, by the end of the day his hair goes in a hundred different directions. I find it adorable. I purposely keep his hair long because I love it so much. It's unique to him and it always makes me smile. My hair also has a mind of its own, however I don't always find it so cute when it won't cooperate.
One day, my son saw me struggling to flatten a piece of my hair. He came up next to me and started flattening his own hair. He kept getting more and more frustrated when it wouldn't hold in place. I told him I loved his hair "just the way it is." After I said this, he turned to me and said, "Mom, I love your hair just the way it is." Wow. His words hit me hard.
We owe it to our children to fall in love with ourselves, just as we are. Commit to loving what you were given and loving what you've done with it. It's time to love the shape of your hips, the gap between your teeth, the fact that no one in the whole wide world looks like you and never will. Love your uniqueness, your imperfections. Love being thirty-one, forty-five, fifty-seven or eighty. Love the age you are and the wisdom you have gained. Know, and I mean really know, how beautiful and unique you are.
FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF.
Your primary relationship is with yourself and all of your other relationships reflect this. The more you learn to love and appreciate who you are, the more love and appreciation you will receive. How you feel about yourself determines the quality of your life, your relationships, your healing, and your capacity to succeed. The bond you form with yourself is one of the biggest spiritual challenges you'll face. As much and as deeply as you love your children, it is equally important to fall madly, unabashedly in love with yourself! Love yourself with every ounce of your being and you will teach your children to love themselves the same way.
ALWAYS FIND THE FANTASTIC.
Take a few minutes and think about what makes you fantastic. It may be difficult at first because we often feel awkward stating anything positive about ourselves. But the more you apply the principals and exercises in this handbook, the more your confidence will build and the easier it will be to acknowledge the things you love about yourself. Try keeping a list in your purse or by your bed of all the things that you love about you. Write what you can for now but if you add one thing each week you will find something so freeing about acknowledging your incredible self! It's also good to acknowledge and write down the fantastic things about the people closest to you. The more you focus on the beauty of other people, the more you will start to discover your own beauty and strengths. Find the fantastic in your friends, family, and children, and be sure to share with them what you find.
IT'S ALL ATTITUDE.
For those of you who are reading this and thinking, "I'm not hot" ... think again. Being a Hot Mom has nothing to do with age, race, size, or situation. It has everything to do with attitude. You just have to believe it. It's all in your confidence and perception of yourself. It starts in your mind. It's how you CHOOSE to view yourself. Perception manifests reality.
Repeat the Hot Mom mantra, "I am one Hot Mom!"
There is enormous power in affirmations and mantras.
Something asserted as being true. A positive statement proclaiming the goal the speaker or thinker wishes to achieve is already happening.
An expression or idea that is repeated. A sacred word or chant to facilitate spiritual power.
You become what you believe and what you believe affects how you feel and how you treat yourself, your children, your husband, your friends, etc. Put this book down and shout "I AM ONE HOT MOM!" Go on. Say it with attitude. "I AM ONE HOT MOM! I AM ONE HOT MOM! I AM ONE HOT MOM!" Yell at the top of your lungs, "I AM ONE HOT MOM!" Sing it. Inform all of your friends and family (and maybe even a few strangers) that they are in the presence of a Hot Mom. Say it every day, every hour, for as long as it takes until you truly believe it. Insist your friends introduce you as Billy's Hot Mom. Write Hot Mom in lipstick on your mirror. Have business cards made that say Jennifer, Hot Mom of (list your kids). If this seems silly, good! Hot Moms are silly. We're allowed to have fun. Hot Moms don't take the world or themselves too seriously.
Call it your mantra. Call it your affirmation. Call it whatever you want, just start today and start calling yourself a Hot Mom. You can use this positive self-talk in all areas of your life. It's unbelievably effective. Try it and you'll see. If your mind starts chattering back at you, with thoughts like "No, that's not going to happen" or "Nah, not me," squash those negative messages immediately. Replace them with only positive reassurance. After all, YOU ARE ONE HOT MOM!
Do you LOVE who you are? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
What are your assets? What are the most fantastic things about you? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
What can you start telling yourself today to remind yourself that you are a Hot Mom? ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________
Excerpted from The Hot Mom's Handbook by Jessica Denay. Copyright © 2014 Jessica Denay. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.