UPDATE: Bumped to the top so more people can enter!
Interview Time! And a giveaway (read on!)
Today joining us is Marla Taviano, a Christian author and a mom, and a great Facebook friend of mine!
She's written this:
Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time. Isn't that cute? And I thought I'd ask her some questions. So here's what we're going to do. I'll be purple, and Marla can be green. Because I love purple. And it's my blog. Here we go:
Okay, Marla. Parenting books are a dime a dozen. What makes yours special? (I like to antagonize the people I interview right off the bat!)
I don't know about you, but I just don't have the time or energy to read non-fiction these days unless it's super-helpful or super-funny. When you read my stuff, I can promise you that it'll feel more like a face-to-face chat than a book-to-face read. Hopefully, you'll find my writing down-to-earth, real, honest, and even pretty funny in quite a few spots. Don't think you won't be convicted as you read it though--I've snuck a lot of that kind of thing in there too.
I love funny! I think more pastors should be funny. God's funny. Have you ever seen a wombat?
Okay, back to parenting. You talk about something called "non-denominational motherhood" in your book. What in the world is that?
I joke that Mommyhood has more denominations than the Protestant church. We all have our own little "doctrinal statements," and we're each convinced that ours is the best. We tend to judge and criticize moms who do things differently than we do, and if we're honest, a lot of that has to do with us being insecure. We compare ourselves to each other constantly--it's a sickness really. I speak to a lot of moms' groups on this topic, and it always strikes a big nerve. The good news--there's hope for us!
What quick words of encouragement do you have for new moms?
Hang in there, Girl, it gets easier! It really does! Of course, motherhood never gets EASY, but you really do start to figure things out. You gain confidence in yourself. Your baby (eventually) starts sleeping through the night. Spend lots of time crying out to God (especially during middle-of-the-night feedings). Remember, you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. And one thing you'll take away from this book is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You're right. It does get easier. For a while. And then it gets harder again when you get a teenager who has a better figure than yours and guys are starting to notice. AAAHHHH! But I digress. Here's a question I get asked a lot, and I still haven't found a great answer for. So maybe you have one: how do you balance being a good mom and writing and speaking? I was going nuts last week trying to figure it out. So figure it out for me.
Oh, please don't ask me the balance question! I have no idea! I spend nearly every day of my life wondering, "Are my priorities right? Am I doing what everyone needs me to do? Am I making the right choices? Am I spending too much time on x and too little time on y and z?" Again, prayer is the key. I start my morning on my face (literally) before God and ask Him to order my day for me. I'm lost when I don't take time to put my day/life in God's hands.
When do you feel most guilty as a mom? We talk a lot about guilt here, and they say that guilt is women's number one emotion. So I figure, Marla, that if you're not feeling guilty yet, you can if you think about it. So build yourself up to it. What makes you feel guilty?
Guilt? Ooh, I don't want to talk about guilt either! You know, I really have to just start each day fresh with God. Ask Him for a clean slate. Ask my kiddos and hubby to forgive me if I've hurt them. They're pretty good about not holding grudges. I can't beat myself up. It just makes things worse. And you know what? If I truly believe that Christ died as payment for my sins, I have to accept that forgiveness and grace and move on. To wallow in my past failures and mistakes is to discount Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Serious stuff, but that's how I see it.
Oh, isn't that the truth? Why is it that we have an easier time forgiving others than we do forgiving ourselves? We'll never be perfect mothers. But even our kids don't expect that. They just want us to be real and to love them.
Okay, here's another question I get asked a lot. Marla, since you've written a book on motherhood, you must have it all together, eh? (I had to throw the 'eh' in there. I'm Canadian!).
You know, I always said I'd never write a book on parenthood. The book I wrote right before Diapers was about sex (you know about those kind of books, Sheila!). And you know what the good thing is about writing on that topic? No one knows if you're practicing what you preach! My readers aren't allowed in my bedroom! But parenting on the other hand, well, you can just take a look at my kids and see how I'm doing in that arena. If I've got a 2-year-old melting down in the Target aisle, that's right out there for everyone to see. The good thing is that I don't write from my expertise and togetherness. I write from my weaknesses. You wouldn't get as much encouragement from a perfect writer as you'll get from me, The Flub-Up Queen.
My next book, Expecting, is a fun 40-week devotional for pregnant women. It releases January 6. You can pre-order it on my website for $10 (including shipping), and you can get my other 3 books for $20 (total, including shipping) there too.
That is a deal! And I have another one for all you ladies reading this! Just leave a comment and you could WIN a copy of One Diaper at a Time!
And if you want to read more by Marla, you can find her website here.
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.