I am a notoriously bad keeper of happy secrets. One of my most favorite things is surprising people, but it’s SO hard for me to keep my lips sealed when I’m really excited about something.
Which is why it’s been torturous keeping this secret from you, my most loyal cheerleaders…
…I’m writing a book!
Yup, I’m finally taking the advice that so many of you have given me over the past year and putting my words in a real live, honest-to-God book. I’m so freakin excited about it that I’m likely to jump out of my own skin at any moment.
The book (which still needs a title) is about the ups and downs of new motherhood, showing the hard and the good, the really difficult and the amazingly wonderful. It’s not your typical parenting advice book–you won’t find information about what diaper rash cream to use or how to swaddle your baby–it’s designed to fill in the gaps of knowledge for new moms, discussing things like finding mom friends, striking a balance between your baby and the rest of your life, adjusting to your new identity as a mother, etc.
It’s written in much the same style that the rest of OMTA is, but in more manageable lengths (shorter snippets with some full length essays mixed in.) The intent is not for it to be digested all at once, but rather to be picked up and flipped to a random page on a day when the reader needs some encouragement.
I am the main writer, but I’m also partnering with another mom who has three grown children and is a long-time labor and delivery nurse/International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is a wonderful person and has a wealth of knowledge that is so important to this undertaking. Her experience raising children to adulthood provides some balance and perspective to my stories of brand new motherhood and her medical background helps bring sound advice to topics like breastfeeding, bonding with your baby, feeding schedules, etc. The style is relatable and conversational as opposed to textbook-ish and clinical. We want it to feel less like a doctor talking to you across an exam room and more like a friend chatting with you over a glass of wine.
Is it a HUGE and possibly insane undertaking for a woman who can barely find time to shower? Yes. Is it unbelievably daunting? Absolutely. I’ve started more than one novel that has never seen the light of day, so I’m no stranger to how overwhelming and time consuming the book-writing process can be. But something about this just feels different. I enjoyed novel writing, but often felt out of my element; the words didn’t come as easily and I was constantly stressing over plot holes and doing research. It was also mostly self-serving; I wrote for me, not for anyone else’s benefit.
I really believe that this book is a calling–it makes zero sense to tackle it at this moment in my life, but I know it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now. My sincere hope (and that of my partner) is that it will benefit new mothers who are struggling with such a huge life adjustment and are not necessarily looking for the right answers, but for someone who understands what they’re going through. It makes me smile thinking of it sitting on a nightstand waiting for the mother who needs it at 3:30 AM when she’s up with her crying baby and is at her wit’s end. Or the mother who is trapped in the house with an infant she doesn’t understand and feels desperately lonely. Those women–the future readers of this book–are the reason I know it will get written; they are the motivation that will keep me going when I feel like I couldn’t possibly write one more word.
So, cheers to new beginnings. And to you, my amazing readers, because you’re the reason I have the courage to accept this crazy calling. Your support and encouragement of my writing keeps me going every single day. I hope you’ll come on this adventure with me, because I need you riding shotgun.
With love and gratitude,