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One Tough Mother: Its Time to Step Up and Be the Mom    by Julie Barnhill order for
One Tough Mother
by Julie Barnhill
Order:  USA  Can
Revell, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

If you are a parent who longs for the good old days when parents were the bosses and child rearing wasn't a democracy, then Julie Barnhill knows exactly where you are coming from. The author has discovered that in many homes, the children are in charge, not the parents. And in One Tough Mother, she lays a foundation for those who want to step up and take back the parenting role.

Barnhill discusses the top ten non-negotiables for being One Tough Mother:

Be the Boss (without Apology!) - don't abdicate, delegate, or relegate this responsibility to others (or the child).
Delight in Your Perfectly Ordinary Child - stop being obsessed with your child being exceptional and enjoy who they are.
Stop Tinkering with the Inane - trust your instincts and stop over-thinking the details.
Say No Like You Mean It.
Get a Hobby Other Than Your Kid.
Love Them Like Crazy - be demonstrative and involved.
Remember It's All Worth It - create an environment of humor and security.
Leave Nothing Unspoken - tell your children how much you treasure them.
Face Your Giants - your parents, doctors, school personnel, other moms who might make you cower.
Never Give Up - avoid fear and realize that failure only occurs when you quit.

The author discusses each of these topics in a heartfelt, conversational manner. The information is good, and anecdotes help readers understand the topics in order to put them into action in their own lives. However, the conversational style of writing is often too familiar and cutesy and can become a chore to read and sort through. There's a lot of excess chatter to sift through to get to the meat of the lessons.

One Tough Mother is a great book for those who want to improve their parenting and 'step up and be the mom.' It would also be a good choice for group discussion. Although the writing can be difficult to sift through at times, the overall message is well worth the effort. There are some invaluable lessons for moms who have long stayed in the background, yet want to love and nurture their children more thoroughly.

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