Author Elizabeth Swenson shares what inspired her to write the book You Got This, Mama. Read along to learn more about the book’s journey from a new mom scrapbook to a published handbook for new moms all over the world.
Mom to Mom
When I was pregnant with my second baby, I got the amazing news that my best friend was pregnant too. She would be having her first baby three months after I had my second. I knew immediately what I wanted to make her for her baby shower gift: a survival guide.
When I had my first baby, the initial six months were full of insecurity and anxiety. I was overwhelmed by how much I loved and wanted to protect this tiny human. They were also full of constant questions: Is this normal? Is this okay? What does this mean? I wanted to put my friend’s heart and mind at rest.
Yup, that’s normal. Ya, sometimes it’s that color. By the way, you are perfect and you are amazing at this mom thing.
When my second baby finally arrived, I wrote everything down, all the schedule details, the colors of poop, the ways I got him to stop crying, the ways I got myself to stop crying, everything I thought would help her.
Made with Love
I wanted to make it pretty, of course, so I wrote it all up with watercolor inspirational quotes and floral washi tape. It ended up being perfect. It was full of love, full of truth, full of help—and really stinking cute. I wrapped it up with a few of my favorite items and presented her with my gift of love.
That would have been the end of the story right there, except I got pregnant four years later. As I prepared for our new little family member, with my four- and five-year-old kiddos running around the house, I realized I had forgotten everything about babies.
I asked my friend if she still had my little baby survival guide. I remembered I had put some really good stuff in it. She, of course, still had it, and when I got it home and read what I had written to my friend, I cried. I looked at my husband and I said, “Every mom should have this. It’s so loving and encouraging, and so helpful!”
The Need to Share
That was that spark of an idea that wouldn’t quite leave me alone. A math teacher by trade, the idea of turning my little love-filled scrapbook into a real book seemed totally insane. But the idea wouldn’t stop bugging me.
I kept thinking about other moms and how much it would fill my heart to share all this love and truth with them. I started researching publishers when I went to bed at night. As my pregnancy neared the end, I thought about all the time I would have during my maternity leave without my kids, time by myself, I could finally get this little idea off my chest.
Unfortunately, I forgot how intense the urge to nest was and so instead of sending my idea to a publisher, I took a toothbrush to our refrigerator and re-organized every closet in our house. We had our third little angel on December 10, and on the first day home with him by myself, while he slept, I sent in my book idea.
I finally felt at peace, knowing I had done my part and the rest was up to the universe. Well, turns out the universe acts fast, and within minutes, I had a response from the publisher. My little mom book of love would get to more people than I could have ever imagined.
You Got This, Mama is now available for pre-order.