For working moms, life is a delicate balancing act between maintaining a career and caring for children. One innovative OB/GYN and mother decided to channel her own experiences in a way that benefits others—by writing children’s books.
“During residency, when I came home from an 80-hour workweek delivering babies and caring for women, I was absolutely exhausted,” recalls Tera Howard, M.D., author of the book and obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Women and Infants Center. “I wanted to read to my then-2-year-old, but I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. I constantly wondered if there were short, educational, and inspirational books that I could read to my child.”
To fill the need, Howard penned a book called “Mommy, What’s That?”, which teaches youngsters about body parts and shows them how to use each part positively.
Mommy, Where Are You?
Now, Howard’s newest book directly addresses the topic of working moms. “Mommy, Where Are You?” chronicles discussions between children and working mothers. Kids ask moms where they are during the day and the mothers share inspiring answers. The message for children is that moms are making a difference in other people’s lives while at work. For moms the message is that it’s okay to be away from your children, to pursue your passions, and to serve as role models in encouraging children to pursue their passions.
The book, which is illustrated by Howard’s high school friend Addy McNew, showcases a number of diverse careers.
For Howard, her book is a true labor of love that she hopes will inspire other mothers. “My mother was a working mother,” Howard says. “I am a working mother. I’m surrounded by working mothers. We all know what it feels like to be away from our children for our work, and frequently that feeling is guilt or sadness or longing. In some small way, I hope my book helps to replace that guilt with feelings of hope and inspiration.”
Where to Buy
“Mommy, Where Are You?” and “Mommy, What’s That?” are available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Howard plans to continue to expand upon the series, creating more inspiring and educational children’s books that are short yet impactful. “It is important to me that the books be short,” Howard says, “because a mother’s most precious commodity is time.”