New motherhood, especially if you’re a first-time mom, is overwhelming. Newborns are demanding and it’s easy to get swirled up in the tornado that is early parenthood.
To cope, new mom and Kent resident Emeri Montgomery wrote a book.
After having her first child at age 40, Montgomery found herself in completely unchartered territory; she had no previous experience with children, she says.
Blogging about that experience seemed “so informal,” says Montgomery, who works as an editor for Microsoft. So, instead, she wrote “The Tiny Human Hotel” as a way of overcoming the struggle of a first-time mom who is a Type-A personality.
She also wanted to give her daughter, Amaya Grace, something tangible that she could take away from her first year of life. (The book’s main character Grace is based on her.)
I talked to Emeri Montgomery about “The Tiny Human Hotel,” and what she wants kids and adults to take away from it.
Aside from the obvious lack of diversity in children's books, why did you choose to base the character on your daughter?
Having my daughter see herself in characters is very important for me. Not only for the lack of diversity, but also so that she look to Grace and say later in life, “Wow. That little girl's behavior is not proper. I want to make sure that I am a good girl.”
What do you hope that she — and other kids — take away from the story?
The book is meant to teach kids a valuable lesson on respect, empathy and treating people with kindness. It takes a while for little Grace to see the error of her ways, but she does come along.
What is one thing that you were surprised to learn about during the early days of motherhood?
I am a control freak by nature —a type-A, PowerPoint planner. Having a baby threw that all out of the window.
Going with the flow and adjusting along the way is crucial to survival. Tiny humans operate on their own schedule. You are in their world.
Despite the sleepless nights, feeling of "am I doing this right" and constantly having my phone in my hand searching for every possible scenario, I got this.
Motherhood is a blessing that I never thought in my 40 years of life that I would have. So, I will just roll with the punches and enjoy each step.
What do you hope parents take away from your book?
Being a parent is often a thankless job. You give so much of yourself and your kids expect so much. However, you can't lose yourself enough to know that you still worthy and deserving of appreciation and respect.
Your children mirror you. Correct bad behavior, reinforce gratitude and value patience. Don't be so hard on yourself. Just keep trying your best and eventually, your kids will appreciate all your efforts in the end.
If you want to pick up the book for your own tiny humans, Emeri Montgomery will be doing a book signing on Saturday, April 28, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Half Price Books in Tukwila.