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Becoming A Calm Mom: How to Manage Stress and Enjoy the First Year [Paperback]

Deborah Roth Ledley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2008 1433804042 978-1433804045 1
Becoming a Calm Mom balances scientifically sound techniques from an experienced cognitive-behavioral therapist with friendly advice from fellow new moms to help moms successfully overcome the self-doubt that so often arrives along with their first bundle of joy. Author Deborah Roth Ledley is a mother of two and a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders and works with new mothers. In this book she introduces six simple strategies to handle the inevitable stress we all experience during the first year of motherhood. The Calm Mom Toolbox includes strategies for healthy thinking, behavior, communication, and decision-making, as well as relaxation skills and approaches to nurturing existing and new relationships. Rather than simply giving advice, Becoming a Calm Mom teaches skills to help new moms function better, and gain more enjoyment from this exciting stage of life.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all moms April 17 2009
As a mother of twin girls, I was definitely NOT a calm mom when I had my girls. After reading this book and working hard to put the strategies into practice, I can honestly say that I am now a calm mom about 75% of the time. The book is written in a way that is easy to understand, and there are multiple examples of how to use each strategy. This book has truly made parenting a much better experience for me, and I highly recommend it to ALL moms, new or old!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Strategies for Moms June 26 2009
Using the strategies in this book helps with overcome the "learning curve" of being a new mom. By analyzing your ways of thinking and behaviours you learn to handle things in a much calmer way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book April 19 2009
This is a great book for all moms! It is fun to read and really helps new and experienced moms alike. This book would make a great gift as well. Buy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good strategies, but frustrated by biases and narrow view Jan. 17 2012
By Beth - Published on
At first, I really enjoyed this book -- and felt that it spoke to me, as a new mom. I really appreciated some of the specific strategies for being a Calm Mom in the first section. However, in the end, I was really frustrated by the book and the author. First, I would say that this book is very much geared towards married moms with husbands. It does little to address - or use language sensitive to - the different needs of single mothers or those with male or female partners.

I also found the book to be judgmental, which I have very little patience for in a book about being calm. Here's just one example: The author definitely has a opinions about the "best" way to parent -- including crying it out as the best sleep solution. In the section about being your own behavioral therapist, one of her examples is about a baby not sleeping -- and the solution to is the parents letting the baby cry it out. In a later section on sleep solutions, the recommendations are all based on the work of Dr. Jodi Mindell, who recommends crying it out. While I don't mind that Dr. Ledley has these opinions, I wish she had been more upfront about her biases and perspectives - and provided space in the book to acknowledge them.

When I started this book, I found it refreshing to find a book about parenting that wasn't specific to the method of parenting, so I was really disappointed by subtle judgement placed on what is "best." I found it counterproductive to the book's main messages. I still found some of the strategies helpful, but you need to be able to zone out on the other messages in the book that might differ from your parenting style.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for managing stress in the first year and beyond Dec 14 2008
By Speech Path - Published on
This is a great, informative, no-nonsense book for managing the stress of being a mom! I am a mother of a toddler with another on the way and I was becoming overwhelmed with the idea of caring for 2 babies. This book was just what I needed. It really gives tools that can be used not just for the first year with a baby but, beyond as well. I wish this book had been around when my toddler was an infant- I had tremendous anxiety every time my baby cried. Everyone just said "don't worry, all babies cry" which did not help to relieve the stress or anxiety that I was feeling. This book actually gives strategies to calm yourself and reduce anxiety that all mothers feel (whether they admit it or not). I have been recommending this book for all my friends (first time mothers and more experienced mothers as well) and I wanted to recommend it here as well. I love being a mom and the skills that I have learned in this book have made my time with my toddler even more enjoyable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Resource! Sept. 27 2009
By Kelly M. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just bought this book for every pregnant woman I know. It shows a practical, REALISTIC view of the first few weeks of motherhood and gives you useful strategies to cope with this trying time. I especially appreciated the description of adjusting to maternity leave and not being able to get anything done. I laughed out loud when she described being in her pajamas with nothing done at 3pm - that was me! Rarely have I found a book that was so true to my experience. Thank you Dr. Ledley!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be calm, but let them cry it out. May 11 2013
By Janna Boltz - Published on
This book may be helpful to first time moms who have never talked to other moms. But to me, it was listing a lot of things I already have learned (have 2 kids).
It seems to have this theory that if you are calm, your kids will magically be calm and behave. I don't think my toddler has ever heard that theory. Yes, kids act worse when you're super frustrated. Yes, being able to calm down is good.
Oh, except if you are trying to get your kid to sleep. Them let them cry it out. Go in another room, cry yourself, and wait for your baby to learn that you're not coming until they cry themselves to sleep. Breathe deeply while your baby screams....
This book is also not very supportive of breastfeeding - and if you are having trouble with that (be calm) - you may not want to use this book as a resource.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all new moms Jan. 27 2009
By R. Steiner - Published on
This book is a must read for all new moms. As someone who has struggled with anxiety in the past, I have been very conscious of being a calm mom. This book really helped me put my goals into focus and gave me easy strategies that didn't overwhelm me. This book is written in a way that all moms can relate to, and gives concrete examples of everyday situations. I have found a mixture of the 6 strategies discussed in the book that work for me, and I truly believe I am well on my way to being a calm mom!
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