Dear readers, I am so, so thankful for you all. Really. I felt so alone early in our parenting journey, but you have helped me to feel understood and supported, and your knowledge and generosity have helped me to grow as a person. I wanted to give a tangible thank you, and since books are pretty much my favorite things in the whole universe (well, you know--along with chocolate and coffee), I thought about the writers who have given so unreservedly of their experience, wisdom and love. Their words lodged deep in my heart and have helped me in so many ways. So, to thank all of you, we are giving away some of my all-time favorites! Each book will have its own post, and you may enter for any or all of them. To enter, simply comment and tell me why you would like to have this book. :)
Mommy Overwhelm by Laura Schuerwegan
When I first started blogging, I never expected anyone other than a few friends and family to read it (and not many of them!). Most of my posts got about 14 views (most of them mine, finding new typos that I had missed) but one day I saw to my shock that a post had a several hundred views. Authentic Parenting had shared it, and as we chatted, Laura invited me to guest post a three part series. It was greatly thanks to her (and Hermana Linda, of Why Not Train a Child?) that I decided to start a Facebook page. Being a faith blogger as well as a gentle parent kind of puts me in a weird category sometimes, and I knew that my religious views could be an obstacle for pages that focus on parenting, so I am especially grateful for Laura's acceptance.
So many wonderful moms get blindsided by depression. I have always been a genuinely happy person, and with all the challenges of pregnancy and birth never felt particularly depressed. A couple of years ago, though, the mommy-overwhelm began to creep up on me. Every day felt like running in sand. Things seemed to take so much more effort than they should. My anxiety spiked and I started having panic attacks. When you are in the middle of that version of normal, all of your energy goes into coping. One of the hardest things is reaching out to others when you already feel so fragile. Although the book does not replace a medical professional, Laura has so much empathy, encouragement and practical advice to help you heal. I particularly loved that there were so many little things that I could do, ideas that I wouldn't have come up with on my own, that were manageable and easy enough not to add to the burden of things that I should do but couldn't. I recommend this book to any mama who struggles sometimes with Mommy Overwhelm!
You can win your own copy of Mommy Overwhelm! To enter, leave a comment on this blog post telling why you would like to read it. If you comment anonymously, please make sure that you either leave your email address (myemail at whatever dot com) or sign up for notifications for replies so that I can notify you if you win. For additional entries, if you are following the Authentic Parenting blog or Facebook page, leave an additional comment for each one. I will choose a random winner on February 15, 2014. Please check out the Authentic Parenting website and the Authentic Parenting FB page--you will find some wonderful things there!