What is your Background?
I’m a clinical social worker, and I’ve worked in a variety of settings, including a college counseling center and an inpatient psychiatric unit. Once my daughters were born, I became obsessed with parenting (both personally and professionally). I had no idea it would be SO DAMN HARD, and I wanted to understand more about why it’s so hard, and how we can make it easier. I’ve worked as a parent coach as well, and now I’m focused on writing full time.
What first motivated you to begin writing?
I wrote my first “book” when I was six years old (spoiler alert: it was terrible but adorable). I’ve been a writer my entire life, from my angsty teenage journals to professional articles, and most recently, profane parenting books.
Were you discovering the topics in your books feedback and information you were craving and looking for as a Parent?
Oh, absolutely, especially with this most recent book. I wrote this book to be helpful to parents, including myself! In the process of researching, thinking through, and writing this book, my own parenting style changed a lot. I had been losing it with my kids far more often than I was comfortable with, and that has really changed. (Don’t get me wrong, I still lose it sometimes. Every parent does. But it’s happening a whole lot less often than it used to.)
Could you tell us about your three parenting books?
(Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family (New Harbinger, 2015) and Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters (Parallax, 2014), and the bestselling How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids (Workman, 2019).
Sure! In these books, you can really see the evolution of my parenting thinking. Parenting in the Present Moment was my first attempt to figure out what the hell I was doing. It was earnest and thoughtful and filled with way more information than any one parent could integrate at once. I was just so desperate to figure it all out! And then as my girls got older, I was focused on sharing my new insights with them. Finally, though, I settled into parenting, and was able to approach it with humor and compassion and an awareness that I have to take care of myself if I’m going to have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting this parenting gig right. And that’s when How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids Came Out.
Your Current Book was a Bestseller How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids (Workman, 2019) and resonated with Parents, why do you think Parents felt so passionate about this Book?
I am so happy this book has been resonating with parents! First, I think the book is focused on a fundamental challenge of parenting that so many of us are dealing with on a daily basis. (In our defense, parents have been losing their shit with their kids since the beginning of time. But still, it sucks.) In addition, this book has a really different voice and style than most parenting books. It’s funnier and snarkier and more profane, but it’s also honest and compassionate and helpful! I wrote this book when my daughters were young (they still are – they’re 11 and 9) and I was still in the thick of losing it, so I tried really hard not to offer any suggestions or ideas that I couldn’t implement in my own life. So, it’s super realistic about what we parents can do and what we can’t.
How do you feel you have evolved as a Parent?
There have been so many changes over the years, but the biggest and most important one has to do with compassion. I am SO much more compassionate with myself for my mistakes and missteps. I used to beat myself up every time I screwed up. I would say things to myself that I would never say to another person. And that sort of brutal self-talk made me crankier, more stressed, and far more likely to lose my shit with my kids. After spending a lot of time learning about and practicing (that’s the key – you have to practice!) self-compassion, I no longer berate myself when I lose it. I remember that parenting is hard for everyone and I don’t have to be a perfect parent to be a good one. And that makes parenting a lot easier and more fun. (I have a lot more about self-compassion in the book!)
What is next for you?
Thanks for asking. I’m always thinking about what’s next in the HOW TO STOP LOSING YOUR SH*T series, but right now I’m actually writing my first middle-grade novel!
Contact Information :
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Carla Naumburg, PhD