Erin Eileen Leigh has always loved writing. A former healthcare law attorney with Stanford University, Erin moved to working from home part time after her first child was born, after having her second child her work hours dwindled down even further, but after her third child was born she decided to stay home and focus on being a stay at home mom and fulfill her lifelong dream of writing a book.
“I started writing short pieces a few years ago, but have wanted to write a book for as long as I could remember. I knew I would know the right time, and was thinking about this idea for a couple of years and it all came together during Covid,” Erin recalled. “Once all of my children were out of the infant and toddler phase, I had more time since they were ready to play a little by themselves, and I had these ideas and wanted to get them together in a book format.”
It has been said that one should write what they know, and that’s just what Erin did. As a mother of four, Erin decided to write a book to help other mothers in a real and practical way. The book, Navigating the Newborn Months and Beyond – A Mother’s Guide to Routine, Sleep, Fussiness and Self-Care, uses Erin’s own personal experiences and the research she did in raising her own children to offer tried and true tips and tricks in four areas : Setting routines, sleep, minimizing fussiness, and self-care.
“I met so many moms who had struggles during the infancy years; so many moms who felt so uncertain about what they should do with their child and unsure of themselves. I wanted to create something to give them simple tools and solutions to make their lives a little easier and help them to feel more confident,” Erin explained. “I tried to create a simple, straightforward book that an expectant mom can pick up and read easily that will give them some good ideas and approaches. Not everything works for everyone, so I give different techniques to pick and choose from.”
Erin chose these specific four areas for the book because she knew from experience that when you have a baby it’s hard to figure out your daily schedule in the beginning, so she wanted to share some simple ways to hone into what’s important to do each day. Sleep is a big one, as well, and Erin shares many different practical, simple solutions to help your baby sleep better, and even gives evidence-based research to show why they work. The third part of the book tackles ways to minimize fussiness, and included a very long list of things to try because Erin knows that what worked for her first child did n’t necessarily work for her second or third of her. The fourth, and what Erin considers the most important, piece of the book is self-care for moms. “As moms, self-care the first thing we let go, and I want so badly for moms to understand that it’s okay to take a break and take care of yourself. I want to encourage moms to take time for themselves, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day,” Erin said. “All kids are different, you don’t know what to expect. When you’re in the midst of that and stressed, you can’t get your head around what else you can do. I am hoping that this is a good guide for moms to show them different things to try. I read a lot of books about what to do when I was pregnant and a new mom, but I wanted to create something short and easy enough to really absorb.”
Erin and her family, which include her husband who is a commercial real estate developer and her four children, ages 11, 9, 7, and 5, have split their time between their Bay Area home and Lake Wildwood for the past several years. Her husband de ella grew up on a lake in Michigan, and always wanted a house on a lake. The couple looked at several areas and nothing felt quite right, then they heard about Lake Wildwood and her husband came up with two of the kids to check it out. He called Erin on that first visit and told her that he didn’t have a house yet, but he had found their place to live. Although the Lake Wildwood house is their second home for the time being, during Covid they spent much of their time here. The children attend school in the Bay Area, but the family returns to Lake Wildwood on breaks, most weekends, and all summer. Their goal is to spend as much time here as possible. “We wanted something more rural and quieter with friendly people; a place to get away from the rush of the Bay Area. We are all swimmers, and it’s been really nice place for us to be,” Erin said. “It’s a great place and we love it here so much. Once of the things I love about this place is all of the outdoor activities; all of the kids hike with us.”
Erin’s book, Navigating the Newborn Months and Beyond – A Mother’s Guide to Routine, Sleep, Fussiness and Self-Care, can be found at Barnes and Noble online, Amazon.com, and locally at Two Little Birds in Nevada City. She also has a website and blog with more parenting tips and tricks, and an online newsletter which you can find at erineileenleigh.com.