Welcome to Scribbler’s, Natasha
Thank you, Bobbi, for asking me to join in.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about your book; Dance of Parenting and what inspired it?
The book’s genesis probably started ages ago, given my interest in the interplay between parents and children. And I’ve always been attracted to the idea of writing. One weekend I was at a conference with a lot of professional, mostly female, coaches. When people heard about my blogsite, OMG parenting, they started telling me a lot of stories about their own experiences as a parent. I was struck by some common themes about the challenges in being a mom. Some I had ready solutions for, some I had to pay attention to myself. But it was definitely time to write. I wanted to contribute something that would ease parenting, motherhood in particular.
What makes Dance of Parenting different or unique than other self-help parenting books on the market?
The Dance of Parenting can be used by a parent ‘from toddlerhood to teendom’, as one reader put it. Its focus is primarily on the parent, because parents love their children and want to do the best by them. Also, all parents get stuck at times; we can’t believe we keep saying THAT again, or keep going round and round in the same argument, or have everyone else telling us what to do but it isn’t working. Then we don’t know how to get un-stuck in a conscious way, not by numbing out. Love is not enough, I have learned. Because we need skills, practices, to get us back into the love (I call it the parenting love zone) when things get off. And that’s what this book focuses on. Simply. Manageably. Lovingly. And it’s small enough to fit in a regular sized purse (that was actually a goal of mine).
Do all parents possess the L.O.V.E. capacities?
I believe so. Some may be more challenged by tapping into them based on temperament or history. But these L.O.V.E. capacities are what make us human.
What is the OM moment you refer to?
There is no one OM Moment. This is my phrase for a brain chill plus. The plus is what brings in the OM. It is highly subjective. But there are certain things it is NOT and certain things it is, all discussed in Chapter 12. It is essential in fast paced, modern day living. It’s something that, once you learn it, it’s great and fun to pass along to your digital era children. My favorite example of it is in my blog about a photo that did it for me one crazy morning.
Would you say this book is good for the newer parent or the more seasoned?
That’s a good question. I originally imagined it for more seasoned parents. But now I have grandparents gifting it for shower presents because they liked it so much! So it seems even grandparents get something out of it that they want to pass along. Since it’s not necessarily a book you read from beginning to end in one sitting - it’s more likely to stay on your nightstand and you read it as needed – I imagine now that anyone can use it at any point in parenting. The self-assessment in the beginning and the first few chapters would be a great read even during pregnancy.
Would you share an excerpt from Dance of Parenting?’
Ok. I just opened the book and here’s what I got –
“. . . Central to this dance is the attunement between parent and child. I was with one mom whose car had stalled. Her son ran around on the nearby grass, while others focused on the car. She became worried that he might run into the busy street and asked him to come closer. He didn’t want to. She took him by the hand. He screamed at the top of his lungs. I looked up and there she stood, still, quietly holding his hand while he screamed. Eventually, he stopped. They hugged and he stayed at her side. I was struck by the peace, the acceptance, the “this is okay, it just is what it is” feeling in her as she gently held his hand, looking straight ahead. I thought to myself, a mom in the love zone. How beautiful!
Love, even when it comes naturally, is not something that grows without attention, without nurturing. Just like a dance, it takes practice. Author Ursula K. Le Guin says, “love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
The Dance of Parenting is about nurturing ourselves with practices that grow our L.O.V.E. capacities. We grow and change because we are engaged in parenting. We are challenged by the world our children are groing up in, by how they are different from us, by our own need to evolve. There is so much that can pull us out of step during our dance in the parenting love zone. If we want to nurture our developing, ever changing children, we must become aware of our L.O.V.E. practices.”
What has surprised you most about being published?
First it was not having a writing focus in the evening. Then it was that I didn’t feel much like writing for a while! Then it was, oh, I have to care about telling people about the book.
What does your writing process look like; do you write daily? have a word count you aim for? Do you write at the same time in the same place?
Initially my writing process was what I call ‘burst working.’ When I felt like it, I’d write and get a decent amount done. Then I joined a mastermind group, Lauren L’Amour’s Get it Done Group. I learned a lot about my barriers to getting this book done! I started writing at least fifteen minutes an evening (because I work during the day), and once during the weekend, and that is ultimately what got this book done, all the way through the edits. Sometimes I wrote more than fifteen minutes. It didn’t matter where I wrote, I just wrote. Of course, my computer was with me but that was the only constant along with the at least fifteen minutes a day.
The key is to know your barriers. Having other people to ‘talk with’ (this is online), and discussion about success and the cheerleading simply changed me. And it was painless to change.
What was your biggest obstacle in getting from first draft to publication?
There were a couple! Believing in it was one. And then making it through the edit process was another.
Do you outline or are you a panster?
I am a mapper. With large pieces of paper taped to the wall, I mapped several times during the writing.
If you were to give only one tip to an aspiring writer what would it be?
Absolutely just start.
A few Fun Facts about Natasha:
I am a parent. And, I have been looking into the faces of babies, parents, and grandparents for over 20 years in my work as a clinical and public health nurse. I have felt the joys, hopes, disappointments, traumas, grief, fears, concerns, laughter and love of parents and children. I have heard their thoughts, their expectations, their discipline struggles…. I have seen their actions and the effects of those actions. I have interacted with the myriad of professionals who weave in and out of family life. Because of this and being a parent, I have a great appreciation for the range of experience that exists within and between each parent and child.
I know parenting can be one of life’s greatest joys. Absolutely! I also know it can be downright overwhelming at times. I have the distinct advantage of being exposed to cutting edge scientific thought. I want to share that with you because it really does help in working through the challenges associated with modern day parenting! Not to worry, all that scientific thinking will be posted here in ways that will mean something even if you aren’t scientifically bent.
And then, who can ever get enough of good ol’ wisdom; we need it so much when the going gets, well, not so smooth.
So here we go, linking science and spirit for all of us modern parents. It’s a lively time out there; one that none of us has been through before. I hope that OMGparenting.com will be part of how you enhance your joy in parenting, revitalize your understanding and hope, and acquire new (or renewed) direction in your experience as a parent.