Here's a "secret": Motherhood doesn't need to be a chore.
Rather, it's a job that can (and should) be treasured and enjoyed, according to parenting expert Linda Eyre and her daughter, Shawni Eyre Pothier.
The two recently co-wrote a book about the joys and struggles of motherhood. It's called "A Mother's Book of Secrets: Keys to Making Motherhood Memorable, Meaningful, and Magnificent" and contains beautiful thoughts on the challenges and joys of being a mother and woman (Deseret Book, $19.95).
There are five sections in the book and a total of 40 "secrets" told by either Eyre or Pothier. The writing is simple, yet highly personalized, and you will find yourself able to easily digest and internalize the advice.
Both mother and daughter said they hoped their book would remind women about the importance of their roles as parents and nurturers.
"I think what we wanted, more than anything, was to commiserate with mothers and let them know how hard it was, but at the same time, to remind them this is the most important thing they will ever do and the most fun they will ever have," said Eyre, of Salt Lake City.
Throughout the book, you will read stories and examples of how Eyre and Pothier have tried to find joy and balance in their roles as mothers. Some "secrets" they discuss include talking over dinner, creating traditions and helping children to set goals.
They also discuss ways mothers can find joy in their lives. One secret Pothier said she has is to take time each night to look at her children while they sleep.
It helps her to keep perspective on the importance of what she is doing, said Pothier, who has five children and lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with her husband, David Pothier.
"For some reason, no matter how bad the day is, if I do that at night, I am just totally rejuvenated for the next day," said Pothier.
Another "secret" she has is for mothers to take the time to analyze and assess what they are doing. Some questions could include: Where am I going? What is my long-range goal? How do I make this work?
Eyre, who has nine grown children and is a nationally recognized author and parenting expert, said she encourages moms to take time to find something in their lives they are passionate about such as photography, cooking, or other activities.
"You need things you feel passionate about, so you can fulfill yourself," said Eyre. "If you show your children how you feel about things, they can have that passion, as well."
In person, both Eyre and Pothier are sweet-natured and articulate. They said they were hopeful mothers would look at their book as a source of inspiration and comfort.
"We want to empower moms," said Pothier. "We just want this book to bring across the joy of motherhood and to let people know they are experts in their own right with their own children."
Both Pothier and Eyre have joined with a Web site called "The Power of Moms," where women can discuss tips or secrets with other moms who are online. The link is: www.powerofmoms.com.
"A Mother's Book of Secrets" is available online, in Deseret Book stores and in most Utah Borders and Barnes & Noble stores.