It has been a busy year! Between running after my newly-minted preschooler, excitedly settling into life as a fully remote worker, and remodeling our kitchen, you would think I would have time for little else.
I thought the same. Then my brain starting talking. Do you remember all of those books that you and mini-you have been reading about how she was made?, it asked.
Do you remember how those books felt just a little too advanced when she was a baby?, it continued.
Do you remember loving, but not feeling seen in all of your “welcome to the family” books that talk about Daddy and “we welcome” and “we love” and “we”, “we”, “we”?, it pushed.
Yup, you definitely have a point.
We read a lot in this house. I have shelves and shelves of books. Mini-me now also has shelves and shelves of books. Many of her books were gifted; others were my own impulse buys.
One of my goals as a single mother by choice is for my child to never experience a big reveal moment, where she learns about who her biological father is. In fact, she was only a few days old when I first told her about her bio-dad. Not that she remembers that, of course.
In a more recent effort to explain the topic to her, I bought and read to her a bunch of single mother by choice books that are specifically tailored for kids.1 However, they did feel like a bit too much for mini-me when she was younger. Nothing she could have grasped when she was a baby or even a toddler, for sure. She’s just starting to get it now as a preschooler.
Then I thought about all of the “welcome baby” books that we were gifted, mostly during my baby shower.2 We love those too, but they are all written from that perspective of a 2-parent (usually heterosexual) household. While beautiful, they are mildly awkward for us.
Do something!, whispers my brain.
OMG brain, listen here. I am so busy with everything else. Remember work? And those side-dev projects that I keep meaning to work on? [Cue hysterical laughter from every developer reading this.] And the fact that I’m solo-parenting that aforementioned mini-me? When am I supposed to find time to write a book?!?!
So, naturally, I wrote a book.
Yup. Seriously, this nerdy programmer who went to a school that barely has an English department wrote a book. It came to me weirdly quickly in a fit that was about half inspiration and half frustration.
Sweet Little You is a picture book, primarily geared to ages 0-2, that welcomes a new baby to their single-parent family. My goal is for any single-parent family to see themselves in this book, mostly because really want there to be a “welcome baby” book option for families like ours.
I’ve already had it edited and had a few people informally read it and give comments. And I’ve taken a couple of online classes on how self-publish because (a) that feels like the best route for me because I want to retain full creative control and (b) I have no idea what I’m doing and really needed classes on this.
Right now, I’m in the process of looking for an illustrator, which is more anxiety-inducing than I imagined it would be. More on that in a future post, mostly because I have quite a bit to say about this process. For now, consider this to be my “coming out as a writer” post.
- In particular, we enjoy reading For Mommy So Loved You and Mommy and Me How I Came to Be.
- I really love Welcome Little One, despite the “we’s”.