There's helpful news -and possibly inspiration-available to women who are trying to juggle the roles of individual, wife and mother.
A new book, described as a household handbook like no other, is said to offer a blend of encouraging chats and step-by-step game plans that address everything from phasing out clutter to revitalizing a marriage.
The book, "Woman First, Family Always" by Kathryn Sansone (Meredith Books, $24.95), is built on the principle that no woman can care for her family unless she cares for herself.
"You are important as a woman and an individual, not simply as a mother and wife. During 18 years of marriage, with children, I've learned that if a woman gives up an aspect of herself-either the woman in her, the mother or the wife-the other two facets will suffer," said Sansone.
In each section, she provides gentle reflections and eye-opening techniques for keeping the peace, maintaining order, and bringing more fun into a family's routine.
The book also offers tips on coping and thriving within three roles:
• Self. Sansone, a mother of 10, describes ways to hibernate for a few hours, exercise regularly, delegate tasks, ask for plenty of help, and even develop a personal style and beauty regimen.
• Wife. Financial pressures, disagreements over how to handle the kids, and the aging process itself can all contribute to stress in a marriage. Readers will find rejuvenating ideas for creating a true partnership in marriage, no matter how much is going on in their lives. She even offers tips for making the bedroom a sanctuary.
• Mother. A child is subject to more outside influences than ever before. Fortunately, the author provides parents with ways to be heard over peer pressure, media personalities and seductive advertising. From resolving sibling squabbles to navigating a school system, fighting childhood obesity and nurturing a genuine spirit of love and happiness at home, her advice for raising well-grounded, well-mannered children is intended to reassure and inspire.
Kathryn Sansone was recently recruited by America Online to serve as a real-life Chief of Everything Officer (CEO) for the company's Life Management program. She has also been featured in a range of media outlets including O Magazine and Inside Edition, and has appeared on Oprah. Sansone, her husband, Jim, and their 10 children live in St. Louis, Missouri.