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Introducing Other Life Lessons

You learn a lot after having a baby.

Like how that white couch was a terrible idea.

And that you were a horrible child who should’ve appreciated everything your parents did.

And how there’s a whole new level of tired you didn’t know existed.

You also learn what your core values are. The sometimes-fuzzy fundamentals of what you believe seem to come into sharp focus when you need to teach a blank-sheet baby the dos and dont's of life. A lot of life lessons are a given. It’s nice to share, you should eat your veggies, don’t slap your cousin for pete’s sake, etc.

But it’s the other life lessons a lot of us seem to avoid.

Night after night we tuck our kids into bed and share a bedtime book. More often than not, it’s a warm, fuzzy, watercolour-style story of sunshine and rainbows. And yet the next day our kids wake up the to the real world – the beautiful parts, yes, but the unpleasant bits too. It’s there that the other life lessons live. The lessons that aren’t covered by bedtime stories. Things like sometimes life’s not fair, sometimes Mom has to go to work and sometimes (just sometimes) will lose someone we love. But it wasn’t until my creative partner Niki and I both had stubborn toddlers that we decided to do something about it.

We decided that if we couldn’t find the children's books that embraced these “other life lessons” then, well, we would create them ourselves.

We were told this isn’t the way you do it. If you want to teach a child a lesson in a book, you need to “be covert” or “extremely subtle”. But…why? We don’t give kids enough credit. They are intelligent enough to understand a simple, straightforward answer to an honest question. And if those answers create even more questions then that’s fantastic. That’s how kids learn, how they become comfortable with discussing uncomfortable things. Often, it’s the adults that don’t want to explain the tough stuff. It’s easier to just stick with the warm, fluffy side of life.

And that's how Other Life Lessons was born.

Our goal with these books is to help kids embrace life.The ups and downs, the joy and disappointment. We want to help parents introduce their kids to those other life lessons in a way that's appropriate but clear and honest. It wasn't until we talked to other parents about our first book series that we realized we weren't alone in our thinking. We would simply name our three book titles Why Mommy Works, Sometimes Someone Dies, and Life's Not Fair and the reaction was incredible. Parents got it and, more importantly, they enthusiastically appreciated it. 

Maybe it's because they were tired of all the over-the-top fluffy books. Maybe they want a book that reflects the way they were raised. Maybe they, like Niki and I, have learned they rather teach their kids about the other life lessons themselves, instead of letting life do the teaching one day the hard way. 

You learn a lot after having a baby.

But you learn even more raising one.

 


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