Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Are You a Frazzled New Mom? Try HALTS

Photo © Pixabay
When I had my first child, I was completely overwhelmed by the constant demands of my bundle of joy. All of a sudden, I had no time to myself and constantly felt like I was coming up short as a mom. When you get that frazzled feeling like nothing is going right, sometimes it's helpful to take a break. New moms should remember to HALTS.

  • H - Are you hungry? Eat a snack.
  • A - Are you angry? Ask for help.
  • L - Are you lonely? Call a friend.
  • T - Are you tired? Take a nap.
  • S - Have you showered? Wash your hair.
When I was breastfeeding, I was constantly hungry so "H" helped me to remember to have a snack in between nursing. I was often angry at my husband, so "A" helped me calm down and ask him for more help.

The experience of being a stay-at-home mom for the fist time also felt pretty lonely, so "L" helped me remember to call a friend or try to meet another mom for coffee. I was also pretty tired for the fist six months, but "T" helped me to try to sneak in a nap if I could.

Showering with a newborn seems like an impossible task at times, but "S" helped me remember I always felt better if I could manage 10 minutes to wash my hair. Sometimes I would just park my son in his playpen and turn on the water so I couldn't hear him crying.

Full disclosure: I didn't make up the acronym HALT, I just added an "S" for new moms. HALTS won't cover everything, but it certainly takes care of the basics.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Read it Again!

Photo © Pixabay
Sometimes, I get discouraged by the endless stream of rejections from agents and publishers. Why I am trying to write children's picture books again? Not for fame or fortune, certainly.

Trying to get published feels like the worst parts of dating rolled into one. No sparks, just variations of the "It's not you, it's me" standard rejection. Or worse, radio silence after you pour out your heart and soul in a query.

Last week, I remembered the reason that I started writing picture books in the first place: my adorable children. Or to be more precise, my *occasionally* adorable children.

At bedtime, I snuggled with my four-year-old for the evening ritual of the bedtime story. Instead of pulling a book off the shelf, I read him my latest draft, warning him that it didn't have pictures yet.

After I finished, he said the most heart-warming words in the English language to a writer: "Read it again!"

So perhaps an audience of one is all I need.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.