Be the brains

Happy Wednesday!

I want to share a goal of mine. I’m in training! I’m drafting a new parenting book and today I’m asking you to keep me on track.

And also I’m excited because I think this story that I share today could also be helpful for you, even if your struggles are different than mine.

First: I’m in training!

Longtime listeners to the podcast, and readers of this letter, might know that I have a chronic illness. A tendon disorder, that keeps me from doing a lot of things that you probably consider perfectly normal and everyday events, such as chopping vegetables, or folding laundry.

But there would be no podcast, there would be no We Turned Out Okay at all, without the tendon disorder. And that is because of something a friend said to me when I was at my worst, with just 5% use practical use of my hands. I had truly hit rock bottom. I felt like such a burden, and so useless, to those who were responsible for taking care of me; meaning my husband, Ben, and our two boys.

It should have been the other way around, I should have been taking care of them! And instead I could hardly wash my own hair or pour my own coffee.

When a friend suggested that this didn’t have to only be negative, that instead it could be positive, it opened up a whole new avenue. She said “okay, you can’t do all the normal parenting things. Or all the normal housekeeping things. So what CAN you do?”

I’m forever indebted to her for her words. With them, and with the support of my husband and children, I began to think more positively and to wonder, how can I contribute, even if I can’t use my hands?

At home, this meant that I needed to “be the brains.”

So I became the mastermind behind our weekly schedule, which included what people would shop for, and what food would be prepared. It also coordinated things like laundry and keeping the house reasonably clean.

And we did it! We still use the system today, and it’s still supremely helpful.

(To find out more about that, watch this documentary made about me and our family situation, by longtime family friend and amazing young person Bryn Gregory.)

The other way that I tried to make use of my time was in finding… a mission, for lack of a better word. I knew that I had been a good teacher, and that I had a love of connecting with little kids and a reputation as something of a “child whisperer”… What might I do with those skills?

The outcome of it all was this podcast, website, and resource for you.

I couldn’t have done it without the chronic illness. Isn’t that nuts?

And yet it is true.

So, how am I in training now?

First of all I am in physical therapy again. My body develops scar tissue at the tendon points, much more easily than a typical body. And I’m in PT right now to break up scar tissue in a somewhat embarrassing place: the connection point from my hamstring to my hip. AKA my butt!

I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to know that I had to return to physical therapy. But the benefits have been great, and I have hope that, just like all the other times, I will get better from this round of scar tissue and tendon problems.

Maybe not 100% better – that is a dream I have yet to realize – but better enough to continue doing the things I love, and to support my family as they do the things that they love.

Better enough to continue to “be the brains.”

But I’m in training another way as well, and it’s the goal I have for this other training that I am so excited to share with you today!

I am drafting Your Child Explained Volume 2, and I want to finish the first draft – meaning I want to have a readable-from-start-to-finish version of this book – by June 1.

On June first I want to be able to get this book to my editor.

So that she can make it better, and I can accomplish my next goal, which is to get the book out in the world for you by mid-August.

This book is about educating our kids, and how we parents can best contribute to their educations. It seems fitting to get it out at the beginning of the school year, so you can feel better as the world shifts around you and September comes, and you’re trying to get used to new routines and help your kids through their days, while remaining sane and happy inside for yourself.

So I have created a new goal, and that is to each week in this space to share with you how I’m doing with my training…

Eeep! I am excited and nervous about sharing this goal!

If the end of the marathon is launching the book in mid August, my first goal, my first marker, is to get this draft finished and ready for my editor by June 1.

I need you to help keep me accountable! Will you do that? Write to me by clicking here to go to my contact page.


Second: How can you “be the brains” in your family?

Also, this week I want you to think about how my story of becoming “the brains” could be useful for you.

You may not have a tendon disorder or the health struggles that I have gone through.

But you still may be feeling overwhelmed, or stuck, or anxious. Think of me as that friend who says “okay, this is not where you want to be right now… These are not the feelings you want to have. What is one thing that you CAN do about that?”

Please hit reply and share your answer, or any questions that come up for you around this idea.

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/on YouTube/in the Facebook group… And for the picture of the week!

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!

What’s up on the podcast this week:
I answer listener Megan’s questions about how to help her two-year-old daughter, who is stressing Megan out with her seriously picky eating.
Click to listen!

What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:
Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“My child literally won’t eat anything.” and it is available at the link just above! Or,
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday at 10:30 a.m. EST, I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… This week I share a single phrase that you can use to help your child stop the picky eating. Click here to join the Facebook group : )

Picture of the week:

It’s our finished office!
The soundproofing boards are up, and covered in favorite images.
It is an uncluttered and very positive space. I love being in this office and creating stuff for you.


PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.