Sunday, October 28, 2007

They had me at Jacqueline Mitchard

A Hane's representative contacted me recently to ask if I'd mention their new site for moms: The rep hooked me when she mentioned Jackie Mitchard, who is one of my favorite authors and columnists and a huge inspiration to me as a mom.

If you're not familiar with Jackie, she's got seven children and has managed to pursue her writing dreams at the same time, with much success. Not long ago I read her memoir, The Rest of Us, and gave it away here. She's really my hero! has lots of organizational tips, pre-made packing lists, a crafts section and online games. The "Parent News" section will feature a monthly article written by a high-profile mom. In October (i.e., now), author and mom Jackie Mitchard talks about Halloween. For November, Travel Channel co-host Tracy Gallagher will write about family travel, and in December, actress Holly Robinson Peete writes about getting through the holidays with joy, cheer and sanity.

The rep also sent me a bunch of Hanes goodies, and I have to admit I was surprised. I hadn't realized that they make more than sweats and underwear. Their kid's clothes are cute and cozy.
So, without further ado, here's a Q&A with Jackie that the Hane's folks fowarded on to me. (See how I call her Jackie now? It's like we're buddies, only, you know, we're not.)

On issues concerning moms these days…
We’re all wondering about rationing TV and computer time, and about the hours of homework and huge numbers of books our kids carry all day long. It seems that our children are little executives with day books and lunch dates, and that the blissful unplanned space of childhood is being squeezed out of existence. We worry that media idols are encouraging the idea that it’s okay to grow up too fast and become a parent too young.

On advice for parents…

Stay calm and do more listening than talking in a crisis. Most things that you fear come to pass if you have the patience to wait out a child’s “phase” rather than rush to panic. This goes for anything from tantrums to tattoos.

On how the Internet is affecting parenting…
It’s [the Internet] very important to ME. I can look up anything from a series of symptoms and find out if my child needs rest and juice or antibiotics. I can get ideas for creative projects and play. I can talk with other moms about their own experiences and issues with toddlers and teens, which is very reassuring.

On favorite sites…, Amazon, eToys,, MomSense, About and Mom’s CafĂ© on MySpace.

On what’s going on and coming up…
Writing and working with to help spread the word about the brand’s new site just for moms and kids! My novel, “Still Summer” about four friends fighting to survive after a pleasure cruise turns into a nightmare was just published, as well as my second dyoung adult novel, “All We Know of Heaven.” I’ll be writing two more young adult mysteries and I HOPE they’ll become an enduring series! I continue to raise funds for MS, which affects the life of my best friend from childhood and teaching a fiction seminary this spring in Fiji!