Over 8 years ago, I strolled with my newborn through the book aisles at Chapters. Blurry-eyed and over-caffeinated, I spied The Mother of All Parenting by Ann Douglas. After flipping through a few pages, I bought it and read it within a few days. The advice from parents and herself were invaluable to me as a new mom.
Ann’s latest book, Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows and Everything in Between is out this week. It covers things I wish I had known when my youngest was born. If you have ever wondered how to help your family and yourself through the confusing waters of labels, IEPs and more, get a copy today.
I had the opportunity to chat with Ann about the journey of why she is the best person to write this resource. Bonus, I had a chance to be interviewed for the book too. Talk about full circle!
Why did you feel this was the right time to write this book?
While I could see the need for a book like this one a decade ago, back when I really needed it, it wasn’t the right time for me to write the book. I needed to get some distance from the struggles that my four children were experiencing at the time in order to be able to do justice to the issues involved. It would have been too difficult to write this book at the same time that I was living out the experiences.
As it turned out, there was an advantage to writing the book now as opposed to writing it then. Waiting a decade to write the book has made it possible for me to write it from the vantage point of a family that has struggled, but that is thriving today. It feels good to be able to write this book from a place of hope and healing.
Is the book better read from cover to cover?
This is the kind of book that you can dive in and out of—a necessity, given its audience. If you’re a parent of a child who is struggling, you may want to zero in on the specific sections of the book that are most likely to be of greatest help to you right now—and then go back and fill in the gaps later on. Fortunately, I had a great editor, who helped me to organize the book in the most parent-friendly manner possible. She also ensured that the book has a detailed table of contents and a really comprehensive index—essential tools for stressed and exhausted parents.
What can parents experience when attending your workshops?
As you can see from my website, I will be speaking at a variety of different types of events – and to a variety of different types of groups – throughout 2015. In some cases, I’ll be delivering intimate workshops for a very small group of people. In other cases, I’ll be delivering a keynote address in a large theatre or auditorium. And I’ll also be delivering some workshops online. Regardless of the format or the audience, I hope to provide parents with practical strategies that will allow them to start making life better for themselves and their families, starting right now, while offering a couple of key messages of support and reassurance: “You’re doing the best that you can in a difficult situation” and “You are not alone.” Parents need to know that having a child who is struggling doesn’t make them a bad parent – just as being a child who is struggling doesn’t make their child a bad child.
What advice do you have for parents at the beginning of the storm?
Parents need to know that things can get better – a whole lot better, in fact. All four of my children have vastly exceeded my hopes and dreams for them, which feels pretty wonderful. Here’s a link to an article I wrote about how one of my children is now thriving in the world after struggling during his younger years.
And here’s another article about another one of my kids – how he is thriving as a young adult after having a really tough time when he was younger.
They also need to know that there is help available (although it isn’t always easy to access) and that seeking support from other people who truly understand is critical to weathering the storm.
What is next for you?
I am going to be spending a lot of time talking about this book. I am going to be speaking at a lot of mental health and educational conferences across the country during the months ahead. And I’ll be continuing to team up with non-profit mental health and educational organizations that are working to make the world a better place for families.
I’m also going to continue to be continuing to update the books in my The Mother of All book series. Third editions of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Baby Books are due out this year, and I’ll be diving into the revisions for The Mother of All Toddler Books and The Mother of All Parenting Books after that.
And, last but not least, I’ll be working really hard at maintaining my own mental health and physical health. This requires a conscious effort on my part every single day, but it is so worth it.
Thank you Ann for taking the time to chat and putting together an amazing book for parents!
The book is available at major bookstores and online.
I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader. Leave a comment by February 5th, 5pm PST about what your biggest parenting challenge is these days for the chance to win. Winner will be chosen by random.org. Canadian only.