Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog is about ALL types of things! Join children’s book author, creative writer, blogger and podcaster, Alison Paul Klakowicz, on her journey to inspire! By way of guest interviews, travel, food, books, all things North Carolina, life as a military spouse and more!
I’ve been witnessing (and caught up in) a pandemic within a pandemic, and what I’m calling Coronavirus & Mom Guilt— an effort that started out with the best of heart, but is escalating out of control.
Mom’s are frantically trying to figure out a new normal on the coattails of school closures due to the Coronavirus— and coming up with ways to keep their children engaged in educational ways.
Moms are uploading websites and google documents with wholesome and academic stimuli to keep their kid’s minds busy, their routines on schedule and trying wholeheartedly to support one another.
I will admit a few days ago— shoot this morning— I was completely on board to provide live streaming story time events, worksheets, etc. to help anyone out there looking for something to do in the boredom of being home bound with kiddos. I’m still willing to do so.
BUT I want to set the record straight by saying that I DO NOT WANT TO STRESS YOU OUT! You do not have to do anything right this minute except keep yourself and your family safe and at home.
I’m already seeing where this is taking a toll on many moms who are not ready to jump in feet first and take the educational reigns. These are the same women who are still trying to process the overload of information coming out minute by minute about a worldwide crisis.
They are trying desperately to keep it together and not show their children the fear, and anxiety slowly creeping in. They are just trying to take it one baby step at a time— and are not signing up for a Spartan race without training for it.
Ladies, we are stressing one another the flip out.
Take deep breaths.
We are all very different in how we process our feelings and emotions. Not all of us are helicopter parents or Tiger moms. We don’t enjoy micromanaging or overly scheduled homes. Some of us need a little time to relax. Ponder. Prepare for the days, weeks or months of what is to come.
It is COMPLETELY fine if you feel more comfortable with having a level of control in creating an orderly household and productive home. I’m surely not shaming you super women out there. I commend you. And I will be happy to provide instructional materials from my children’s book and other educational tools I’ve created.
But personally, I’m going to take some time off from routine and the busyness of our norms. And I want you to know it is completely okay if you do the same!
Wash your hands.
Try not to stress.
Whatever is cathartic.
But make sure to tell your kids you love them daily.
Help make them as comfortable as possible.
It’s stressful on their little hearts and minds too.
Pam Fries, an award-winning artist and illustrator, has published a lovely children’s picture booktitled Something’s Eating the Garden.
The gorgeously illustrated book features an amazing garden adventure with a child and Papa. Papa discovers that something is eating his garden and the child tries to solve the mystery by guessing who the creature culprit could be.
The sweet (and curious) child imagines different animals— like an elephant, giraffe, pig or even a crocodile— nibbling on the garden plants.
But to no avail none are the guilty party!
With each turn of the page, the reader is greeted by whimsical, bright and beautiful, full-page illustrations.
It is a delight to the senses and will help create a curiosity of the outdoors, animal life and vegetables for every young child! A wonderful educational tool, for sure.
The Washington State author Pam Fries, published the book soon after the passing of her husband who the character “Papa” was based around. They were together for 40 years, and the book gave her purpose and a place to remember the legacy of her husband.
She has 5 beautiful grandchildren, a dog and many chickens!
Pam enjoys speaking to schools and Women’s groups, creating breath taking art— and working in the garden.
Jeremy Fiebig is the son of a preacher man who grew up in Missouri following in his father’s footsteps of an inherent love of the performing arts.
Jeremy and I recently spoke on Hodge Podge Podcast about his life devoted to the performing arts.
We talk everything from sweet tea, Shakespeare and life as a theater arts professor at Fayetteville State University.
He gives the 411 on what’s coming to the stage of Sweet Tea Shakespeare— Fayetteville, North Carolina’s beloved and wonderfully talented theater group— and their new podcast on Anchor (which is AMAZING)!
Listen to our informative and fun conversation here on Hodge Podge Podcast:
I recently spent a couple of hours volunteering with this amazing organization and was overcome by the respect and attentiveness given to each individual who walked through the door.
Seth’s Wish started in 2014 when Seth Wofford (Lindsey and Noah Wofford’s son), then age 9, met a man named Steve who lived behind his school whom the family visited for months, and carried on countless conversations. Seth made a wish to be able to help Steve and others like him.
Seth’s Wish earned a 501(c)3 status in October 2015 and its founders along with managing director Stacy Graybill along with volunteers have been working hard to carry out their vision.
Unfortunatly, Steve— the inspiration behind the agency— passed away in 2017, but the organization continues to serve others in honor of him, and the impact he had on Seth’s heart.
The organization strives to create an inclusive community for individuals facing homelessness, poverty and food insecurity by providing basic needs such as delicious hot meals, hygiene needs, clothing and so much more in order to help these individuals thrive.
During my time volunteering, I spent some time talking with folks who frequent Seth’s Wish. The overall mindset was that they would be lost without this safe haven.
Lindsey Wofford, founder, and Stacy Graybill, managing director, spoke with me recently on Hodge Podge Podcast about their mission to help feed and care for those struggling in our community.
I just want to thank each indie bookstore, Barnes and Noble, school, library and other venue that has allowed me to visit for story-time and author events.
It is so crucial for authors to receive this exposure and welcome. I have worked extremely hard to cultivate an educational, fun and engaging program.
I would be so grateful to anyone out there with a young child, grandchild or elementary school aged child who would like for me to visit their school, local bookstore, library or other family friendly venue to reach out to me or the venue and request me to visit!!!
This would help me so much and I would be forever in your debt— and THANKFUL.