Monday, April 22, 2013

Author Interview with Rebecca Rode

I'm so happy to have Rebecca Rode here today! She is promoting her new book, How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces. She was kind enough to let me interview her for my blog. But first, here's a little bit about her book.

Book Description
"How can I have inner peace as a mother when I feel so stressed and scattered?" For mothers who feel they are constantly juggling multiple demands, How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces is packed with uplifting stories, poems, quotes, and scriptures that instill fresh perspective on the work of a mother.  

Sounds like my kind of book. The description immediately intrigued me, and I knew I wanted to find out more about Rebecca's inspiration for writing the book. I had a fantastic time interviewing her, and I'm so glad I get to share it with everyone here.

What was the inspiration for your book?
A couple years ago, I was going through a family crisis of sorts, and I just wasn't handling all my demands very well. I felt emotionally drained and void of emotion. I didn't enjoy being a mom anymore, you know? So I went to the library looking for a book to solve my problems. I wanted a book about having peace--not just for anyone, but for moms specifically--with fun stories and quotes and short chapters. And I couldn't find it! When I realized it didn't exist, I decided to do some research. That was the birth of my book, How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces. The book was as much for me as anyone else.
 

Your book focuses on finding inner peace as a mother. I remember as a new mom of twins, I sometimes felt anything but peaceful! A lot of my friends have told me they felt the same way after their first baby was born. If you could give one piece of advice to new mothers, what would it be?
Oh, wow. I admire you so much for doing the twin thing, first of all. I can't imagine my kids coming in a package deal. :) But to answer your question, I think all moms, new and otherwise, take themselves way too seriously. We need to learn to relax and enjoy the moment more, which usually requires us to drop a few of those less important things. When my daughter was born, I was so nervous about her growth charts and development that I stressed myself out. It's important to remember that, inexperienced or not, we are the best parents for our children, and we should feel more confident in that role.
 

You talk about 7 different puzzle pieces to finding peace in your book. Which piece do you think is the most difficult to fit into place, so to speak?
Great question. I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, Purpose was by far the most difficult. That's why I put it first. I talked to a lot of moms for my research, and they were all incredible women. But even they struggled with this one! That surprised me a lot. Why do we put others on pedestals and beat ourselves up? Why do we take responsibility for things that other people do? Why do we stuff our schedules so full and then complain that we're too busy? It just comes with the territory, I guess, but they're all things that prevent us from having peace in our lives.

Sometimes it's really hard, in the craziness of daily life, to find--and hold onto--peace. What do you personally do each day to try and retain your inner peace?
For me, stepping back and remembering the purpose of motherhood is essential. It's so hard to do, though. When your house is destroyed and you need to get dinner started, but your two year-old just wants a snuggle session, it can be really hard to remember that. But really, my family is my purpose right now. Everything I do--cooking, cleaning, chore enforcement, homework duty, driving (and driving and driving)--is for my family. And if those secondary things get in the way, then something needs to be changed.

Sometimes I get to the end of the day and feel like a completely horrible mom. I've lost my temper, the house is a disaster, the kids would only eat crackers for dinner, and I'm overwhelmed. I think a lot of really great mothers often feel like awful ones. What suggestions do you have for combating bad mom feelings?
Oh, I know exactly what you're talking about! That was the motivation behind the chapter entitled "How to Win When You Just Can't Win," about mom guilt. When I'm cleaning the house, I feel guilty because I'm not playing with my kids. But when I'm playing with my kids, I feel guilty because the house is a mess! It's a catch-22. We can't do everything at once, and certainly not perfectly. Everyone has bad days (or weeks or years). I've learned to recognize what I'm doing right, figure out if there's something I can change, and start again fresh. The book has several ideas of how to do that.

Everyone knows that stressful as it is, being a parent is the best job in the whole world. What is your favorite part of being a mom?
My payoff is when I see my kids doing the right thing when they don't know they're being watched. A teacher will tell me about something profound my daughter said, or my son will help a crying child who has fallen down. Someone once said, "Behind every good child is a mom who's pretty sure she's messing it up." I think that's so true. My kids aren't perfect, and I'm certainly not, but at moments like that, I realize that I must be doing something right. I guess that's all that really matters.

Thank you so much, Rebecca! The book sounds absolutely fantastic, and I cannot wait to read it.

Author Bio


Rebecca Rode won awards for her writing in high school and college, eventually publishing an acclaimed personal essay about Romanian orphans in BYU's literary publication, Inscape. She received a Bachelor's degree in Child Development and a Minor in English in 2004. She also wrote for Schooled Magazine for two years. In 2011, Rebecca became a contributor Deseret News in Salt Lake City and KSL.com, a Utah broadcasting network website. How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces, a guide for frazzled mothers, is her first book. Rebecca and her husband are raising their three children in Utah County. 

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1 comment:

rodewayoflife said...

Thanks so much, Lindzee! It was a pleasure getting to know you. :)