Editor’s Note: As our parenting section continues to expand its content, we want to give you a chance to get to know our writers on a more personal level as they share their insights on parenting, their lives before parenthood and much more. Our previous interview was with Julie Prince.
This week, we interview Faith Moore. In addition to being a writer and stay-at-home mom, she is a former New York City school teacher. Read more of her articles by clicking here.
Have you always been a writer?
Let’s just say this: At age 12, I wrote my first novel. It was terrible. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I didn’t know that. I wrote a lot as a kid. Both of my parents are writers, and I always knew that was going to be a big part of my life. My dad, Andrew Klavan, actually writes for PJ Media too!
When were you able to transform that passion into a career?
Just recently. Before becoming a mom, I was an elementary school teacher in New York for 10 years. After I had my son, I decided to get back to writing. It gave me an opportunity to channel all that I was learning and experiencing about parenting into writing.
What parenting advice have you received that you’re glad you didn’t listen to?
Before I became a mom, there were all of these people out there that seemed to know so much more than I did. When I had my son, I suddenly realized that each baby is different. I am different. And at the end of the day, you are the expert on your own baby. While well-intentioned, people want to tell you that their way is best. That’s the moment I realized I had something to say about parenting, and I wanted to talk back to the world. So I try to write in my own voice, which tends to be pretty snarky and tongue-in-cheek. But mostly I’m just trying to be honest.
Was there a popular “universal parenting truth” that you fell victim to?
Yes. The biggest one for me was breastfeeding. I really fell prey to the “breast is best” people. I tried and tried, and had an illness when my son was little that made it such a challenge. I even pumped from my hospital bed when I should have been working on getting healthy. (The first piece I ever wrote for PJ Media was about this. You can read it here.) So I switched to formula, and it was the best decision I made. It all comes down to what works best for your own baby. If that’s breastfeeding, then that’s breastfeeding. It just wasn’t for me.
So give us an example of a parenting strategy that worked for you and your family.
I think the thing that impacts us most on a daily basis is structure. It’s probably the teacher in me, but I work hard to create structure and routine in our day. I think it makes children feel safe to know where their boundaries are. My son is only 16 months old, but he knows the routine for the day and what is expected of him. I think it leads to fewer tantrums and crankiness.
I can’t wait for the coming years. I didn’t like the newborn phase. That was really hard. I’m really excited for when we can cook together, do art projects, explore science experiments and develop the manual dexterity and patience to appreciate those things.
What are the go-to blogs you follow regularly that are a must for other parents?
Get to Know Faith Better:
- I can’t live without: New York City. I have lived a lot of places, but NYC is in my blood. I can’t wait to move back there next year.
- If I had one week and an endless budget, I’d escape with my family to: London. I spent 7 years there as a child and don’t get to go back as often as I’d like. I miss it. Of course, while I was there I’d visit Paris and Rome. Is that cheating?
- The book I can’t put down right now is: Anything about the Tudors (the dynasty, not the TV show). You caught me. I’m a total geek.
- One piece of advice I’d give my teenage self would be: Listen to your parents. They are always, always right.
- Parenting is: the hardest, most rewarding, scariest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever done.
Faith Moore is a writer and stay-at-home mom. She holds a master’s degree in childhood education from Bank Street College of Education. Before becoming a mother, Faith taught elementary school for nearly a decade in New York City. She lives with her husband and one-year-old son. Follow her on Twitter @FaithKMoore.