I'm about to head out to spend some quality time with the parental units before a hometown booksigning, so I'm letting my Girlfriends Cyber Circuit guest do all the hard work and thinking today. Alana Morales is the author of Domestically Challenged. No, it's not a biography of me. It's a guide for new at-home moms, with practical advice on helping them adjust to their new lifestyle. It explodes the myth of the "Super Mom," offers hints on keeping kids entertained without hiring a circus, and gives other info on making life as an at-home mom easier.
I had some questions for Alana:
What inspired you to write this book?
When I began as an at home mom, I was lost. I had no idea how to take care of a house and kids full time. I checked out every book on being a stay at home mom and was really disappointed. The books were either too outdated or too spiritual. I didn't need to hear about my journey through motherhood - I needed to know how to stay ahead of the never ending mess while keeping the kids entertained and taking care of myself. I was whining to my husband about it and he told me to go write my own book. So I did.
How did you come up with your advice for the book?
I thought about all the tips and hints that I picked up from my research and from trial and error (and error and error) and I also asked other moms about what helped them.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
Caffeine! I have kids, so I don't get to write at the same time every day. The biggest thing is making good use of the time I have available to me. I also discovered that I work really well at my local Barnes & Noble. I'm not sure if it was the fact that there are so many books there that I felt inspired or the fact that I liked the music they play in the cafe. Then again, it may just be the fact that I can't hear my kids.
Do you have any domestic advice for someone who doesn't have kids (just some unruly houseplants) but who works at home and who still can't keep a neat house?
Have a plan. Don't try to do everything all at once - its too overwhelming. Tackle a little bit each day and eventually you will stay on top of the mess. Since you work at home, you also need to make sure you have separation. It is so easy for work and home to mesh together. Make sure you have work hours as a guideline and try to keep the work stuff contained in its own area. This helps prevent it from taking over your entire house.
(Looks like I have some work to do!)
Have you had any feedback on your book from other moms?
I have. 99% of the moms who read the description tell me "Finally!!" or "That's exactly how I feel!" Everything I am hearing is very positive, which is encouraging.
What are you working on now?
I don't have anything else in the wings right now. I am mainly focusing on promotion. I am doing my own promo, so it takes a lot of time.
Is there anything else you'd like to say about this book or the process of writing it?
I just hope that I achieved my ultimate goal, which is to help moms who don't fit the typical mold of an at home mom. I want them to realize that it's ok to not have a house like Martha Stewart or cook like Rachel Ray. They can still be a great mom, despite their perceived domestic shortcomings. And chances are, whatever domestic blunder they've done, I've topped it.
For more info on Alana, her book, or her online radio show, visit her web site.
I'd be inspired to clean house today, but I have to pack and get in the car so Mom and I can go see Antonio Banderas doing ballroom dancing (YUM!) this afternoon. Ooh, and today's date is my height. Isn't that special? (Well, close enough, as there isn't a May 3 3/4.)