Mother of all Meltdowns Q&A with the authors

22 Jul

As part of The Mother of All Meltdowns book tour, we want to get to know some of our favorite authors a little better.  Their stories are amazing but after reading them, we felt like we needed a bit more.  So I did what anyone would do…bribery!  In exchange for them letting me stalk a little, I’d promote them on our blog.  Win-Win!

mother banner

If you’ve been living in a cave and have missed out on the fuss, 30 authors (including yours truly) got together under the watchful eye of Crystal at Mommifried and created a book about our best (and worst) parenting meltdowns.  Come on, you know you’ve had at least one too!  We were all brave enough to share ours with the world (aka blogosphere) and the book has been blowing up ever since.  Read our reviews here.

We enjoyed all of the stories; some of which made us laugh and several that brought tears to our eyes.    A few of my personal favorites are below.  Enjoy the author Q&A and feel free to leave your own questions in the comments.

Stephanie Farley of Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes found on Page 143

crayon marks and tiger stripes

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I didn’t!  A very sweet friend of mine did.  We were going on our morning walk with children snuggly tucked in the strollers, and I told her I wanted to rename my blog (formerly known as Faith and Fitness: Living Healthy for Him).  I didn’t want to just blog about faith and fitness.  I wanted to be a mommy blogger.  We discussed how I wanted to continue to write about faith and fitness, but I also wanted to talk about marriage, parenting, healthy living and overcoming negative body image, which happened to be one of my epic meltdowns.  So my friend Emilee says “what about Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes?”  They are both markings:  One representing the fact that I am a mother (crayon marks) and the other representing stretch marks (You’ve heard of stretch marks being called tiger stripes, right?)  When she said it, I KNEW that was it.  After all, I am a mom and I have a lot of tiger stripes! And my blog’s slogan just seemed so appropriate: I am Mommy.  Hear me Roar!!!


Why did you want to become a writer?

I actually started my blog as a therapy. It was much cheaper than going to an actual therapist! After the birth of my son, I fell victim to extreme negative body image and postpartum depression.  I wrote through my struggles and slowly, through my faith, I began to heal.  Now I write to encourage women and hopefully deter them from experiencing negative body image.  I want them to see their bodies as a beautiful gift, and for those of us that are moms, I want to encourage them to love their post baby bodies.  Tiger stripes are something to be proud of.  Their body did something only a woman’s body can do!  Create life!! So we need to embrace that.  That is why I write.


work desk at the brew #MOAM

This is where Stephanie wrote her book!

You wouldn’t have had a meltdown without having a baby.  And you wouldn’t have a baby without having your hubby.  How did you meet?

We met in a cantina on the planet of Dantooine.  (I would be really impressed if anyone understood that!)  We actually met online through an online role playing game called Star Wars Galaxies. Before you go thinking I am some weirdo, I got the game when I was 18 (10 years ago!) and went off to college to keep in touch with my brother who is a big time gamer.  I just happened to meet (in real life) a guy named Aaron who also played the game and we became really good friends.  He introduced me to Dr. Smartypants, who would later become my husband.  To make a long story short, my husband moved from Texas to Missouri to date me after we had been friends for 2 ½ years.  We dated for a year and half, and he proposed!  We have been married for 6 years and have an amazing marriage.  Did I ever think I would meet my soul mate online? No.  Was I looking for someone online?  No.  Did I think it would be through a Star Wars game, of all things?  Absolutely not.  But God knew what He was doing! I have an amazing marriage and the most wonderful little boy!


Looking back to the day of the “incident” you talk about in the book; if you had all the time in the world to speak to the girls standing outside of the restroom laughing (with you, not at you!); what very important tidbit of advice would you tell them about parenting?

I keep telling myself they were laughing with me, but I’m not entirely convinced… I would tell them that when they become mothers, there is going to be an unnecessary war that goes on in the mothering realm.  I like to refer to it as the “mommy war.”   Mommies often compare themselves to others.  Some think they aren’t measuring up.  Some think that their way is the ONLY way.  Why do mommies fight this battle with one another?  Why do some mommies have to feel that the way they are doing things is superior?  Acting this way only makes other mommies hurt.  I would advise these future moms to stay away from that mentality.  Moms don’t need to be judged by other moms.  We need to support each other.  There seems to be a war over everything: between stay at home moms vs. working moms, silky mamas vs. crunchy mamas, breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, cosleeping vs. the crib…it’s ridiculous! Do what you believe is best for your child.  Believe in yourself as a mother.  Encourage other moms and for goodness sake, don’t judge!


How has being a mother changed you for the better?

There is phrase I learned at a marriage seminar my husband and I went to and it went like this “What kind of legacy do you want to leave on your children?”  Our children watch every move we make, hear everything we say, and see all our actions.  They watch how mom and dad treat each other.  They hear how mom and dad talk to one another.  They see how we act in any given situation.  And they are going to mirror us.  We have more influence on our children than anyone else.  Has mothering changed me for the better?  Yes.  It has molded me into the person I want to be because my little redheaded mirror is always watching me, reflecting my actions and I want to leave a legacy with my children that will bless them.


How has your faith been the cornerstone of your parenting?

As much as I want to be in control of everything, I have realized I am not  and never will be.  I am a Christian and believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. So I pray…A lot!  I want my children to know Christ, but I want it to be their decision, not something they are forced into.  That is the scariest thing for me.  My husband and I have prioritized our life this way: God first, marriage second, children third.  This is the cornerstone of our parenting.  By putting God first, we are relying on Him to give us guidance as we live every aspect of our lives.  Second to that is our marriage.  By focusing on our marriage, speaking each other’s love language, having a selfless type love, and having God infused into our marriage, we tend to be on the same page about most things, and this greatly reflects on the way we parent our children.  By putting them in this order, we are going to leave “a legacy” with our children.  If I have a daughter, she will know how a husband should treat his wife.  And my son will know how to treat his wife.  When children grow up, they tend to have their parents tendencies that they grew up watching.  That is why we put God first, our marriage second and our children third.  It all seems to fall in to place this way.  Parenting is no easy task.  And we are not perfect.  And marriage is WORK. We struggle just like any other couple.  But prioritizing this way works for us.  I am so blessed to have a healthy marriage and healthy happy kid who, despite his meltdowns, blesses me every single day!


Pay it forward, besides your own obviously, what story from the book sticks out in your mind/favorite/made you laugh/cry?

I could sooooo relate to Lisa Witherspoon’s story “Not According to Plan.”  My birthing story was the farthest away from my plan as it could get.    I cried an “ugly cry” too during my labor.  And let’s face it, with children, does anything ever really go according to plan?


And lastly, do you poop? (sorry couldn’t resist!)

Yes, and I can guarantee you that I am never in the bathroom alone, even if I lock the door. “MOMMY, YOU POOOPING IN THERE???” I swear, children are born with some kind of detection system for when mom is in the bathroom….


Melissa Swedoski of Home on Deranged found on Page 155


How did you come up with the name of your blog?  Hilarious title by the way!

My husband, Thomas, actually came up with the name. When we started talking about building a blog, we wanted it to be funny and slightly irreverent, since we tend to be that way.


Why did you want to become a writer?

I’ve loved writing since I was a kid. I’d make up little stories (but not with illustrations because I can’t draw stick figures!) and then make little books. The desire grew as I made my way through school, and then bloomed in college, when I had the world’s most fabulous English professor. He really encouraged me to pursue the dream. He was the first person to tell me that I “like to go against the grain.” It never occurred to me before then.


melissa's work desk

This is where Melissa wrote her book!

You wouldn’t have had a meltdown without having a baby.  And you wouldn’t have a baby without having your hubby.  How did you meet?

Thomas and I met when we were both working at the daily newspaper in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. He was over in the advertising side, while I was on the news side. There was six or seven of us that went to lunch together almost every day, and a friendship grew. Somewhere along the way, it grew into more.


You mentioned in your story “what would Carol Brady” do.  Looking back to the day of the “incident” you talk about in the book; how would she have handled it?  What do you wish was different?

Well Carol wouldn’t have forgotten the diaper bag in the first place, I’m sure. She would have calmly glided through the grocery store, opted to buy baby food and a spoon, and then made it all better. I wish I had been a little more clear headed, but it’s amazing how you lose your logical abilities after having children. I have to laugh at some of the silly things I’ve done since earning the title of  “mommy”.


Have you ever thought of inventing or constructing a new “easier” bottle?

Heavens, yes, I’ve thought about how to make bottles easier. But the thing is, the baby is the one who has to deal with my drive to make my life easier. I’m glad we used the particular brand we chose, even if it has seven pieces!


My hubby, Just Plane Dad, is also laid back and calm, like yours appears.  This drives me nuts but also grounds me.  What advice would you give Dads when dealing with their wives meltdowns?

First off, don’t tell them to “calm down.” Egad-that drives me nuts! I have a right to be going crazy bonkers if I want. Engage eye contact, because that lets me know he’s listening, but also makes me float back down to earth. And for pity sake, don’t try to give me a solution before I’m done. I will go even crazier.


Have you ever forgotten the diaper bag again? (tee hee sorry couldn’t resist!)

{laughing} I have forgotten the diaper bag, but fortunately remembered before we pulled out of our driveway. What I have forgotten is to put more diapers in the bag after using the last two; refilling the wipes container after depleting it; the extra pacifiers; the water cups; to refill the snack bowls. Thankfully, I usually only forget one or two of these things and not all of them at the same time!


Pay it forward, besides your own obviously, what story from the book sticks out in your mind/favorite/made you laugh/cry?

Kristi’s story, “Soccer Tots: It’s Not for Everybody,” really pierced me. Not just because I can’t imagine the struggle of being the mom of a special needs child, but also because I’ve been guilty of saying, “What’s wrong with you?” myself. Not to my kids, thankfully, but to others. And it never occurred to me that something was wrong with me. We put so much pressure on our kids, on ourselves and our expectations of how others should be, that her story was a strong and healthy reminder that perhaps our way of doing things isn’t the only way.


Melissa also wanted to add-“Thank you for the interview.  It’s been a great pleasure to be on this project, partly because of all the lovely bloggers I’ve gotten to meet and/or know better, and partly because seeing the reactions of women who now don’t feel quite so alone or ashamed in their motherhood efforts made it all worthwhile.”


Dana Hemelt of Kiss my List found on Page 31

kiss my list

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

Kiss my List is a play on my love of lists and my slightly irreverent attitude. As in, if you don’t like it, you can kiss my list. I couldn’t come up with anything better, so it stuck.


Why did you want to become a writer?

I never did. I’ve been blogging for less than a year, and I still don’t refer to myself as a writer. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it was never an aspiration or goal. Once I started writing for Kiss my List, though, I realized how much I enjoyed it. I tend to talk first and think later, so writing is a way for me to express myself with the benefit of editing and forethought. I’m less likely to put my foot in my mouth when I write.


dana's work space

This is where Dana wrote her book!

You wouldn’t have had a meltdown without having a baby.  And you wouldn’t have a baby without having your hubby.  How did you meet?

We met the summer after freshman year in college, when we were both on the Orientation staff.  I actually just wrote a post about our first date, which was on Halloween. He took me to the movies, and the rest is history. Twenty three years of it. Jeez!


Looking back to the day of the “incident” you talk about in the book; if you had all the time in the world to redo your reaction, what would you change?  Now that you have hindsight, what very important tidbit of advice would you tell the other couple when they were going through the same thing?

I would have probably tried to ignore my daughter’s ridiculous comment. But I know my child; she would not have relented. Her tantrums just needed to run their course. My advice to a parent whose child is ruining Disney World? Pull over, sit on a bench, and let the kid cry it out. Disney can be overwhelming for children, and they are bound to lose it at some point.


We know your daughter’s answer but What is your “worst day ever”?  If you don’t mind sharing.

My worst day ever – hmmmm. This is going to be a huge downer, but it was probably the day of my college roommate’s funeral. She was twenty-four and took her own life. Devastating.


You are one of our groups fashionista’s, what is the perfect outfit to wear during a book tour interview?

Ha! I’m a fashionista in my head, not in reality. But here’s what I would wear: dana's interview outfit

Have you used your degree to get you through any particular sticky parenting situations?  Or don’t they teach that in books?

Nope! It’s a whole different ball game when it’s your own kids. My focus was clinical, and parenting is so subjective. When I’m faced with a sticky parenting situation, I talk with my husband and other moms. Then I go with my own instincts. I suppose they are influenced by my psychology background, though.


Pay it forward, besides your own obviously, what story from the book sticks out in your mind/favorite/made you laugh/cry?

Kristin Daukas‘ story hit home for me, because it’s where I am now. My story took place when my daughter was seven, and now she is fifteen. Kristin’s story is about her own teenage daughter. To quote Kristin, “It is my job to raise three independent, self-reliant, strong women, and nothing or no one will stand in my way. Not even them.” Amen, sister.


Thank you all for spending time with me today; I loved getting to know you.  To read about some of the other author’s in The Mother of All Meltdown’s, please visit Mommy Has Issues.

Follow our book on FaceBookGoogle+and Twitter to keep up with all of our craziness and to find out how it’s doing in the ranks.  Come on, I know you’re curious.  Stop by and visit The Mother of All Meltdown’s on its own website.  Yes, it’s already acting live a diva!


Visit our Author Page and be sure to grab a couple of copies; they make the perfect gift.  Thank you for supporting our writing.  We appreciate it.

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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