I opted to focus on our connection and my expression of love for him as a way to live with no regrets. No matter what happens, I want him to know how much he is loved and how valuable he is to the world. – Shannon McFarlane
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Tell us a little about yourself, your family and your parenthood journey thus far.
I’m a recovering Type A, logical woman who is learning how to let go of expectations and value love over reason. My son has helped move that along tremendously through several medical crises and two conditions that require regular care and emergency response. It’s been a long road of deepening my connection with him.
What has been your biggest parenting struggle – how did you overcome it?
It’s probably fear. I’m afraid to lose him. I’m not sure if that’s something that ever goes away as a parent, and every time he goes back to the hospital it comes up again in a big way. I opted to focus on our connection and my expression of love for him as a way to live with no regrets. No matter what happens, I want him to know how much he is loved and how valuable he is to the world.
What does your Intentional Bookshelf look like?
Right now it’s a mess. It includes some of my favorites from childhood as well as many new titles. He prefers stories of cats, trucks, and owls. Mike Mulligan is one we visit nearly every day, and we both adore the books about Wonton the cat.
How do you use children’s books to be a better parent?
We read every day for at least an hour. He doesn’t enjoy interactive reading – he wants to listen to the story and tells me to keep reading when I stop to ask him questions or talk about what is happening in the book. Books have been valuable for us on his medical journey because familiar stories in the hospital can bring a little bit of home.
Why do you enjoy reading to or with your child?
I love to read. That was my favorite activity as a kid and as an adult I read about 200 nonfiction books each year. Reading helps us understand the world and learn about how it works. It helps us visit places we haven’t been. It helps us see life from different perspectives.
Where is your favorite place to buy children’s books?
King’s Books (a little seller in Tacoma). If you’re local to Tacoma Washington, you can check out them out, here.
What is YOUR favorite book?
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
We have to ask this question – if your child’s bookshelf was on fire, what 3 books would you save?
I live with a firefighter, so there would be no touching the bookshelf. None of our books is irreplaceable. He does have a signed copy of How to Be a Cat that is valuable and I’m sure he’d like to save Won Ton and Won Ton and Chopstick.
Connect with Shannon McFarlane
I think we can all agree, there are so many ways to parent – and we want to hear your unique style! Share your intentional parenting journey with us here to be featured on the Addison Reads blog.
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