Maryann Bucknum Brinley

167 Cooper Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-1810

973-202-5909 (cell)

The Secrets of Happy Parenting

More than 16 years ago, I wrote a book about the secrets of happy parenting. My children, Zach and Maggie, were still children then but the world was just as complicated for parents trying to be happy. In fact, I have researched and written a lot about pregnancy and parenting issues – once from the perch of the director of the Infants and Children’s Laboratory at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Zach is a father of two now. His son, Finn, is 2 ½ and my granddaughter Charlotte just turned 1. Now, Maggie is pregnant with her first, a daughter who will be born sometime around Dec. 4. I am deeply in love with this role of grandmother. So as I look back at parenting and my daughter Maggie looks forward, I have decided to launch a blog, retooling some of those secrets I shared way back when and, at times, examining parenting from two different generational points. Maggie, a wonderful writer as you will discover, is a nurse at New York University’s Langone Hospital.

Happy Parents Know That Attitude Is So Important

Maryann Bucknum Brinley - Monday, January 20, 2014

Almost everyone pays lip service to the importance of mothers. I know you believe that mothers are important but do you act on your beliefs? Probably not. Most of us try to tackle mothering along with a never-ending to do list. 

I like to think of a marathon runner when I’m searching for an example of someone with a great attitude, who is focused on just one thing: finishing the race!

Look at the similarities between a runner and a mother: Both often begin working in the predawn hours, exerting their bodies to a degree that is beyond normal capacity. Both get sweaty and fatigued and are sometimes in pain. Yet both runner and mother persevere to finish what they set out to do.

The big difference is that during a race, marathon runners draw crowds of supporters as they run along. Thousands of people watch and cheer them on. Marathon runners believe in what they are doing. Moms rarely get such positive attention for their hard work.

All mothers run a constant marathon. So, give yourself the credit and respect you deserve. This is your race. Are you in shape? Are you psyched? Do you believe you can do it?

Maggie and Evangeline are getting to know each other during their first months of marathon mothering!

Years ago, newspaper columnist Joan Beck created this job description for mothers:

Wanted: Athlete in top condition to safeguard tireless toddler. Needs quick reflexes, boundless energy, infinite patience. ESP helpful. Knowledge of first aid helpful. Must be able to drive, cook, phone, work despite distractions. Workday: 15 hours. Will consider pediatric nurse with Olympic background. Training in psychology desirable. Should be able to referee and must be unflappable. Tolerance is chief requirement.

Give yourself a standing ovation! And remember: time off from a demanding routine becomes the equivalent of money in your emotional bank account. These are funds you will certainly borrow on a day when life gets you down and you feel overwhelmed.

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