Monday, October 12, 2009

Stay Home, Stay Happy

Today Rachel Campos-Duffy filled in as a special guest co-host on The View, (Elisabeth is out on maternity leave & Sherri was sick today). You may remember Rachel from the Real World San Francisco. Rachel is now the mother of five children under the age of 10 (& has one on the way); she is married to Sean Duffy (Real World Boston). Sean is running for Congress representing Wisconsin, and both are devoted Republicans who met on Real World Road Rules All-Stars.

Rachel just wrote what she calls a “love letter” to stay-at-home-moms. The letter is actually a book, Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood, which was published at the end of August by the Penguin Group. Rachel wrote the book after she was notified in 2003 that she was not going to be one of the co-hosts on The View after guest hosting. In 1999 and again in 2003, Rachel made on-air attempts to join the hosting line-up of The View, but each time she was not chosen for the position. Rather than be deterred by what some might call failure, Rachel instead found inspiration.

Rachel presents a new way of looking at stay at-home motherhood that will transform the way readers view their days, their family, and their home. The book is said to be a warm, inspiring, and practical handbook for at-home moms. Rachel made sure to include “common sense and practical ideas that we all need to be reminded of,” she said in a recent interview. “I wanted to edify women who have chosen to be at home with their families,” she said. The world at large can often be oblivious to what transpires in a home, including the ongoing efforts of stay-at-home mothers. Rachel said, “There’s just not a lot of validation, but it’s never been a better time to be an at-home mom.”

Rachel writes that “Being an at-home parent does not make you a better parent. What it does afford you is more opportunities to become the best parent you can be.” With that striving can come a simultaneous need for a reality check, as at-home parents have opportunities to fall short of their own expectations because they have more opportunities to interact with their children, she explains. “But that also means that there are more occasions to reconcile and plenty of time to learn about and from one another in the process,” she writes. “It is a book that isn’t about whether to be an at-home mother or not. It’s a book where if you’ve chosen to be an at-home mom or it chooses you — like happened to me — how to do it joyfully so you and your kids look back on the time with really warm memories.”

For one thing, men as husbands and fathers are more open to partnership in the home than they were decades ago, she explained. Technological advances, like the Internet, make it easier for at-home parents to reach outside of their homes, beyond what once was often an isolated experience for women, she continued. Ultimately, Rachel hopes that her book will motivate and remind at-home moms to recognize and indulge in the pleasurable and satisfying aspects of their work. “There is a way to do it and be joyful,” she said.

With practical advice and candid, engaging stories from her own life and other moms who are making it all work, mothers will learn about:

* Embracing the choice to stay home with joy and confidence
* Taking care of yourself, guilt-free
* How rekindling your relationship with your husband benefits the whole family
* Reveling in the chance to explore new passions and creative outlets

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