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New book explores secrets to being happy mom

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Mom with the smile on

Motherhood is hard, but it can be happy, too. A new book by Meagan Francis offers a blueprint for being The Happiest Mom.

happy mom

The kids are hungry, homework needs to be done, there is a mountain of laundry to do...and what's that smell?

There's no doubt that motherhood is hard, but it can be happy, too. No, really, we mean it. In fact, moms can enjoy it -- despite the inevitable ups and downs.

How? A new book by Meagan Francis explains how to shed the things that can make motherhood unhappy. The Happiest Mom says life as a mother can be downright joyful.

Recently, SheKnows spoke with Francis about her book. Here's what she had to say about being that happy mama.

The support system

Francis lays out ten "secrets" to being a happier mom in her book, but she says that among the most important is creating a support system. What is that exactly? "Friends, family, and other people you can lean on for help or just talk to when you can't stand to have one more conversation that revolves around Zhu Zhu Pets or fairy princesses," says Francis.

The support system is important because as moms, we need someone who gets it. "Often we think we can and should be able to handle everything all by ourselves, so we don't ask for help or seek out other people who can share the load a little," says Francis.

Be flexible

Look, we all know that your days of doing a perfect split are long gone -- but that's not the type of flexible that Francis is talking about. She says that happy moms roll with the punches, even when the going gets really tough. "Things aren't always going to go the way we want them to, but if we can plan for a variety of possible outcomes in each situation we won't be thrown when, say, the toddler doesn't make it through the grocery store without having a meltdown," says Francis.

Be the mom you are

Remember mom's advice about being yourself? Well, it applies to mothering too. Sure, you could try to be like that fab mom who volunteers in the classroom, bakes for the bake sale and runs the Girl Scout troop -- all at once. But if that's not who you are, then it's almost guaranteed to make you supremely unhappy. "We can't all be good at and enjoy the same things. Some of us are artsy moms, some are get-down-on-the-floor-and-play moms, some moms are super nurturing, some are great cooks. We all have something we're really great at," says Francis.

Instead, embrace who you are as a woman, and a mom. "It's when we try to compare ourselves to other moms -- and even become more like them -- that we start to become most dissatisfied with who we really are," says Francis.

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