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  • Shawn Hosford

Happiness as a Parent

When I wrote The Invisible Parenting Handbook I hoped it would serve two purposes. One was to make good on the promise I made our daughter -— that when she was old enough the handbook I always spoke of when enforcing rules would become visible. The second purpose was to systematize those rules under 5 simple tenets that guided Mark’s and my parenting process. I hoped that if I broke things down into small, easy chunks it would be more digestible to those caught up in the craziness of being a Mom or Dad.


Once the book was complete, the next step was to market it. This proved to be a task too large for me to undertake.


In the long run, I am satisfied I spent the time, energy, and money to complete this yearning. It helped me reflect on the past — on all of the things Mark and I felt important when parenting Carly.


My quiet Sunday morning had me reflecting on the book because of all the recent changes in Carly’s life. Over the past several weeks she moved into a new home, completed her first volleyball coaching season, and was hired for a new position at the Tribal College where she works. This new position at Fort Peck Community College comes with much more responsibility and an ability to affect larger outcomes for many more young people in Northeastern Montana. She negotiated her new salary and moved to a different office.


As I watch Carly progress from two states away, I think about all the people, experiences, and parenting moments that brought her to this remarkable place. I also think about who she was born to be even before all those external influences.


For me, the ripest reward of parenting is being able to lean back and enjoy watching Carly lean into and learn through her life’s moments. If you have been reading my posts you will know what I think of time — how it is our greatest gift and the most important thing we spend everyday.

As Carly emerged from grad school with an MA in Journalism and Media Studies she could have picked many paths, even those with pathways toward money or status. Because of her white privilege and paid off student loans she was able to reach for something so much more important — the gift of doing worthy work that she enjoys in a community she loves.


I am overflowing with gratitude as her mom. In the quietness of my days I know she has figured out what really matters as she walks through this world. This security and trust in her is more than I knew to ask for as a parent.


Sunday’s quiet moment had me reflecting on the chapters of my book, Self-Soothing all the way through to Exploring the World. I even grabbed a copy to make sure I was remembering correctly. As I leafed through my book, I read snippets and was reminded what a lovely and simple book it is.


Perhaps the overwhelming task of marketing had me forget my words. Maybe it was the amount of self-published books, or maybe it was the mean-spirited review of an expert that influenced my own dismissiveness of my writing. No matter what put me in the position, I will let theses barriers fade away as I appreciate and acknowledge the worthiness of my words.


I rejoiced this morning in our daughter, Carly, a wonderful human, raised by the spirit and action behind my words. I am so very thankful for both.


If you know of someone who is interested in this encouraging parenting advice, please let me know and I will send them my book.


If you are a parent, is there one piece of parenting advice you can share with others? If you are a parent, are you pleased and thankful for your offspring’s journey and life? If you are not a parent can you help youth in your life find an interesting and worthy path?

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