Anyone who follows Otteroo fan Jill Krause on Baby Rabies or Happy Loud Life knows that she is funny, straight-forward and smart. She’s using her wit and knowledge in a new pregnancy book to get you ready for parenthood. The book, 50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First-Time Mom's Pregnancy Guide, is now available at major booksellers.
As the mom of four kids, you’re obviously an expert at getting ready for a new baby, but why do you think Rockridge Press approached you to write a book?
It was so random. It was literally the way people tell you it will never happen. I just opened my email one day to an email from a publisher saying, "Hey, we want you to write a book." It's never supposed to be that easy.
Had they read your blog?
Yes, they had already come up with the concept for what they wanted this book to be about, and then a basic outline or a general idea. They then had to search for the right voice to create what they were looking for. They have a discovery team that searches the internet for different voices and different writers and bloggers and somehow they landed on me.
Did you feel comfortable writing about the topic?
I feel like it was an easy yes for me because after four babies you know what you should do before you have a baby. I felt like if there were any parenting topic that I could be an expert about, it would be pregnancy because I have done it so many times.
Also, a thing that I’m really proud of is that this book does not dance around the topic of perinatal mood disorders.
It’s obviously not the first book written on pregnancy. What makes your book different?
I think what makes this stand out is that it's geared toward the modern-day mom. We actually incorporate a lot of talk about technology and navigating the online landscape and how to merge your online life with your real life in terms of your pregnancy. We talk about apps. We talk about using technology to communicate pregnancy news.
Also, a thing that I'm really proud of is that this book does not dance around the topic of perinatal mood disorders. We really talked about having a game plan for postpartum depression and anxiety, or even while you're pregnant; just in case you become one of those one-in-seven women who has to deal with it. It's something that I'm really proud of. I fought for that. We touch on it quite a few times in the book. It's not treated with any kind of shame or stigma. It's just a matter of fact: you're going to prepare for breastfeeding, you're going to prepare your nursery, and you're going to prepare for mood disorders just in case this happens to you.
I know you just saw your book in a bookstore. How did you respond?
Like a total dork. Some of the video footage that I took, I was like, “I can't even put that into the world because you look like such a nerd.” I was bright red and talking super fast and so excited. Somebody had told me that you could go and ask a Barnes & Noble employee if you could get “autographed author” stickers and autograph your books. I felt super apprehensive, but I was like I'm going to hate myself if I don't ask. The employee was super busy and as soon as I finally conveyed to her that I wrote the book, she was so thrilled. It was really sweet and she ran and got me a Sharpie and she took me over. She helped me sign it and put a sticker on it. It was good!
Since I follow your blog, I think you’re in Michigan now. Tell us what you’re up to.
We are currently traveling the country with all four of our kids in an RV just because life was not chaotic enough with four kids. We're just taking it all in and documenting that process over on Happy Loud Life. Really just trying to take a year to 18 months to reset, connect with our kids a little bit more, connect with each other a little bit more and see parts of the country that would be really hard for us to fly four kids for a vacation. We're just trying to pack it all in.
Is this indefinite or what’s the long-term plan?
I don't know that it's indefinite. I think at some point we will want to end back up in a house. But I think our idea of what regular life will look like after this may be changing. We're definitely more open to untraditional schooling options and frequent travel. Just a matter of what our family comes to a consensus about. What is a good fit for everybody? Maybe it's settling for a few years and then picking up and moving again and always just being conscious of not getting ourselves into a situation with a big mortgage payment or something along those lines to where we can't just go. It's so nice now to be able to have the option to just pick up and go somewhere.
How do you feel like your relationship has changed with your kids?
I don't know if it's magically more connected but we are certainly spending a lot more time together; just because you can't not spend a lot of time together with this lifestyle. One thing I do know is it's easier for us to have important conversations that don't have to feel like a big production. Just things naturally come up. We have a lot of great conversations in the front of the truck or when we're at museums or wherever. Just topics that are really important to us, family values-wise. They just tend to come easier because we're all together so much.
Find out where the Krauses are headed to next (because even Jill didn’t know the answer) on Happy Loud Life.