It’s November 1st.  Can hardly believe it.  It’s been such a crazy, busy, turbulent Fall.

One of my friends told me over the weekend she missed my blogs, and wished I was writing more in my blogs, and sharing more, and I told her that I couldn’t.  That things had actually been very hard for the past eight weeks….ten weeks…and that I was barely getting from one place to another, and from one event to another, and yet, because I’m so private, and protective of my family, I don’t share that.  I don’t tell people too much.  I’m proud.  And I have a public face…the author face.  So I tend to shut down when I’m in the middle of a storm.  I put my head down and just push on, push through, push to the other side.  But everytime I get to ‘the other side’, I realize it was an illusion.  I haven’t finished crossing the river or sea.  I’m just resting on a bit of sand and rock.  Still in the middle of the sea and storm.

And it has been a storm.  A family, parenting storm that’s done a number on me, and my heart, as well as rest of the family.

Why tell you now?  Because in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and the fact that so many of you read me, and follow my blog, because I’m honest, I have decided to open up a little bit about my past few months, and share with you how difficult its been promoting my new book, when it hurts to breathe…swallow…sleep.

The bottom line is that we are getting through it.

The bottom line is that I’m tough, and a fighter, and a fierce believer in faith and my God, and my God will see us through.  One way or another.  But faith doesn’t take the sting away, or the ache away, or the problem away.  It just helps you get through.

And so I’m getting through.

I write for women, and wives, and moms because I’m a woman, a wife, a mom.  And being just one of those three is challenging.  Being all three can sometimes feel impossible.  There are good moments, calm moments, moments of happiness and satisfaction and peace.  And then there are moments when you feel like you are juggling knives or fiery torches…or both.

As a mom of teenage boys, I’m sometimes overwhelmed by their maleness, and selfishness, and testosterone drive.  I tell myself that down the road when the frontal cortex is mature things will settle and calm and it’ll get better.  I just have to get them there.  Just have to get through the rough stuff and hopefully they’ll survive the crazy wild impulsiveness of 16 and 17 and 18 and reach that time.  Hopefully one day their heart and mind and self-control all gel….hopefully.  Right?

Thank goodness for my faith.  Thank goodness I have something else to believe in besides me, because I definitely am having a hard time believing in me.  I am not a good example.  No great role model.   I’m so damn sensitive and emotional.  My oldest son tells me that I’m too idealistic.  But I am determined to cling to the values I cherish.  I’m determined to shoot high, determined to fight for the family I want–a loving family, a kind family, a family of good people, generous people, people who can and will put others first.

I’m having to scrap my November events so I can be at home, keeping watch over my boys, and trying to clear some head and heart space so I can write the book that was due two weeks ago.  I hate having a book so late, and I hate disappointing readers and my friends at Manic Mommies, but the mom-thing is incredibly challenging right now, and I’ve got to pull it together and get my family through.

I appreciate all of you.  I’m grateful you enjoy my books.  I’m lucky to have you as friends and voices of reason in my life.  We women have to stick together.  We need to form our own community, because as a community, we become stronger, and happier, and more resilient, too.

You all know the real me.  It’s not author Jane.  It’s the woman and mother Jane, and while I don’t like the hard times, I know we all have them.  I know we all have struggles and challenges, disappointments and pain.  That’s just life.  But the hard times won’t break us.  The hard times just teach us how to love deeper, how to forgive more completely, and how to hope more fully.

Love to you all.  I love you, and even if I’m quiet on my blog, know that I’m here for you.  xoxoxox




  1. I had teenage girls, and totally get the juggling knives and fiery torches. But there is a tidbit of truth my mom shared with me during my teen years, that has helped me get through to where I can observed my adult daughters and feel really proud of who they are, and the journey they have lived.

    That truth is this: they chose me as their mom.

    My mom considered her children as gifts from God, for her journey as a child of God. And it was her responsibility as a mom to provide the direction needed for us to become independent children of God.

    But she also believed that as babies we were a lot closer to the angelic realms than she was as an adult child/mom. So, prior to birth, her babies may have had an intention, as an eternal soul, to partake in the human condition for a spiritual journey. In that angelic state we chose wisely regarding our life potentials as to what parental energy may be best. Then at birth we shift from that angelic clarity into a human journey. Mom and I once chuckled that the Terrible Twos were representative as the completed transition from angels to devils.

    So regardless of how horrible those teen years may be, or the disdain a child may have held for me, there was comfort that as long as I did my best, it was good enough. And if they didn’t like it, they should have chosen a different mom.

    I actually told a daughter once, “Listen, if you’re one of those that needs to be face down in the gutter before you get a clue, I’ll get you there.”

    My mom’s motto was always: “Do your best and let the Good Lord do the rest.”

    So I’ll close with a virtual HUG for you, and I’m really glad I got to meet your boys for a moment in the elevator at ECWC. They are already young men to be proud of…

  2. You will instantly know when that frontal cortex is mature, oh what a wonderful feeling it is. I can now sit down and have good mature converstations with my boys now. I love it!! You will get there, hang on.

  3. I’m sorry Jane. Hang in there! Make sure to take care of yourself. My oldest boy is about to turn 12 and he has gotten mouthy…now you scaring me about what’s to come!

  4. So beautifully written. I love it when you share and you are just Jane–not author Jane! I know you are such a strong person & whatever you are dealing with, you will get through. I wish I had wise words of wisdom – but just know you have a fan and friend in Minneapolis who loves you!! xoxo

  5. I don’t have boys but I have “survived” one girl…she is 27 and we are very close. She has “given me” two adorable grandchildren..and those screaming, stormy days are a thing of the past. Oh, we still disagree on things..but I keep my mouth closed about a lot of parenting things.. Best. I’m sure a lot of grandmas know what I mean.

    Two: I have a 17-yr-old daughter and wow…it’s all happening again. Funny thing is when the older daughter tells me she can’t believe how her little sister talks to me. LMBO. It just passes.

    Good luck in the meantime. {{{JANE}}}

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Our children can be the most wonderful, fulling “things” in our lives… they can also make us the most miserable. Hang in there!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear you’re hurting. We’re all there for you. Some of us have formed good friendships with you and really carea bout you and your family. hang on and it will get better eventually. The teenage years are the hardest to raise kids. I know because I was one of those rotten kids my parents didn’t like when I was younger. As I have grown up, I realized my stupidities and mistakes and have done my best to be a better person. My family was not close when I was younger and I did everything I could to get attention (often in the wrong ways). I regret my past, but love my present and look forward to my future. I do all I can to be the best daughter I can be to my mother now and have worked hard to be a good sister to my sisters too. There will always be a long road there, but trying is the hardest and best thing you can do with any situation. I know things will get better for you. this storm will pass and it will be a bright sunny day for you.

  8. {{hugs}} Jane! I wish I could offer some words of wisdom – or add something to what’s already been said by other’s on here! The only reason I’m commenting is to say to you – It sounds to me that you have your priorities absolutely straight and you are doing what has to be done for your children and your family! In my job, I see too many times where parents’ priorities are not straight… and the destruction that ensues. I do not know you personally that well, but I can tell just by what you have written today that you are a wonderful mother! Keep doing what you are doing and let Jesus take the wheel!

    xoxo Debbie

  9. Good luck with your family. The teenage years can be tough and some kids are tougher than others. When I was talking to my daughter about how tough her teenage years were a little while ago she asked me why she behaved like that and I told her that I was hoping she could explain it to me one day.

  10. Jane, do I hear you on the staying quiet front. I’m the exact same way, trying to weather it through so that I can get through it and make it seem like I’m handling life just as well as anyone else. The thing is, is anyone handling life 100% beautifully. Nope. And that’s what I have to keep reminding myself as I work my way through life. Much, much hugs your way.

  11. I have to thank you for sharing your heart with us today especially, but also in all your works of writing. Your honesty is one of the reasons I love your books so much, and why it is so easy to relate to your characters.

    After a long day at work, and a long afternoon doing homework with my kids, running them around to extra curricular activities, and then getting the teen attitude and sass from my eldest son, I was ashamed to think that sometimes I don’t like them very much when it’s this difficult. Of course the feeling passed quickly and we found our way to a place of kindness and calm doing our family reading tonight and I am reminded that I would move heaven and earth for them if I had to…but still, it is hard being a mother, wife and having a full time job.

    I have long thought that we have nothing to gain by hiding our personal struggles and trying to pretend that we are “super-women”! It is only by sharing our struggles with our friends that we survive the hard times. The supportive comments here from your friends and fans is evidence of this. I am grateful to have supportive women friends in my life that help me on my hardest days. And a lot of faith definitely doesn’t hurt either.

    Hang in there Jane, you are an amazing and loving parent, and you will get past this phase with your young men.

  12. Jane, we raised one son and he turned out pretty good, but there were times when he was in high school that we barely got along. Intellectually I knew the bad attitude and behaviors were part of him struggling to grow up and become his own person, but it still hurt big time.
    My heart goes out to you and I wish I could give you a big hug. Thank you for sharing. You are not in this alone. We all understand what you are going through and offer you much support and love. Some words to hang on to; “this too shall pass.”

  13. Jane,

    Thank you for sharing with us. I can’t relate to the children issues, except that I can tell you that my other friends who have kids around your age all seem to say the same thing. I hope that things calm down and get smoother for you. When I am feeling overwelmed, I either shut down as well or make myself so busy I don’t have time to deal with what is really going on. The only problem is they always catch up to you and make you deal with them.I use books for a great escape as well, and a book like “The Good Woman” helps me gain a little different perspective on things.

    Sending you hugs, prayers and good thoughts. May you find some peaceful moments.

  14. Being a mommy is tough in the best of times but I know you’re strong and you’ll make it through. And you always have us for support. It will get better.

  15. Jane, this is why we all love you on the blog. We feel that you are just like us. Moms that struggle and wonder what ever happened to those sweet little kids we knew. How we would love to make growing up for them a bit easier if they would just listen to us a little more, but right now they know more than we do.
    I feel that is why I have been sick so much more this year is due to the family stress. Like you I also feel like the storm has gone on too long and the being the ever optimist I feel that one day soon there will be sunshine again.(crossing my fingers)
    You just hang in there we are all rooting for you.

  16. Jane, I echo what everyone else has said. It does get easier. My step-son came to live with us at age 13 and went through a terrible depression which lasted right up until college. We went through some very challenging times and being his step-mother I bore the brunt but we got through it and today he is the most wonderful young man and I couldn’t love him more. Hang in there.

  17. Jane,
    I’m sorry you’ve been going through a rough patch. I think you are right that your faith is going to see you through it. I don’t have any words of wisdom to offer, not having experienced the teenage years yet.
    I will just offer you some virtual hugs!
    Many blessings to you.

  18. Hugs to you, Jane! Your blog post hit home to me.
    We are dealing with some stormy toddler years at our house w/our special needs little guy. My husband and I keep saying “he will grow out of it. He will grow out of it” and I looked at my husband just the other day and said “I know he will grow out of this stage, but you realize we may have to live through it all again in the teenage years.” (!)
    Beautiful post and everyone else had such wonderful things to say. I can only add thank you for sharing of yourself and have faith that “this too shall pass.”

  19. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am also a mom of three, and I file these type posts away for when I am at that stage. I hope you take care of yourself and your family. Doing that first will not only serve you all well, but it will make you a better writer. What makes your writing great, in addition to your talent, is the size of your heart. And I believe the heart-wrenching parenting challenges make the heart grow and mature. Hope you find that restful sand bar soon.

  20. Hugs Jane …. I am so with you on the loving and kind family.. My 16 year old moved in with his dad in March and it breaks my heart that his father encourages negative behaviour towards me and his younger brother and yes I am not cool.. and I am naive in that I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated.. and if I am not cool… too bad I would rather be kind and happy than cool

  21. Sending you love and prayers during this time. We are here to support you especially in LIFE! God will give you the strength and love you need! Trust Him and we love you! Hugs

  22. Jane, My heart breaks for you! Hang in there! My sister is having some issues with her oldest, granted they are just alike and that is part of the problem! Please always but family first that is the most important thing you can do. Even if you had a regular 9 to 5 job I would tell you that. It is the most important thing you can do. And Pray God will not let you down and He is ALWAYS there! I will be thinking of you and I will keep you and your whole family in my prayers! Love & hugs!

  23. Thanks for letting us into your life and being more open with us while still protecting your family’s privacy. And thanks for the warning about teenage boys. Mine are causing a storm already and they’re still little.

    Take care.

  24. Jane,

    You have a right to your privacy and I respect you for it. I respect you even more when you (as always) put your family first. Which is what every good parent does. Even in your pain, you put yourself out there to your readers. We love you for it and we support you no matter what. You will be missed in Savannah, of course, but since its called Manic Mommies for a reason, I have no doubt that everyone understands.

    Stay strong, beautiful lady, and know that without a doubt, I adore you and respect you in all that do.

  25. Thank you for so bravely, so eloquently sharing your struggle, one so many of us face. I wish had had some words of wisdom, but my son hasn’t reached those turbulent teen years yet. Some days are already so challenging I don’t know if either of us will make it to his double-digit years.

    As for those teen years, I remember those horrid days when I drove my mom to tears, when I broke her heart, and when I nearly destroyed our family. I thank God she was strong enough to know when to let me screw up and when to push back, that she had enough faith in the way she’d raised me to realize that somehow I’d turn out alright in the end. I think I have.

    Thought I hated her at times back then, I have the utmost respect for her now. I only hope I can be so strong when my kid hits that rebellious stage.

    Hugs to you. You’ll make it through this. We’ll be thinking of you.

  26. Hang in there Jane! Life happens 🙂 I will be praying for you.

    I don’t have any children of my own, so I don’t have any words of wisdom. I do know that you can’t be so hurt unless there is the right kind of love 🙂

  27. Hi Jane,

    I totally know what you mean. Parenting is such a roller coaster. It seems like just when you get one kid doing well, another one has an issue of some kind. My daughter graduated from high school in June and it was such a relief for her (and us) to be done with that! She is in college now and doing great! As for my son..he is a freshman, so we are just taking it one day at a time. Anyway, when I am feeling overwhelmed and worried about my kids, I usually feel a little bit better knowing that I’m not alone. It seems like everyone of my friends has had their own set of problems when it comes to having teenagers. Just are a great mom!

  28. I don’t have kids so I don’t know how it feels to be a mom and have to deal with raising kids but I do know that you should take as much time as you need to be with your family and take care of yourself and them.

    Sending positive thought your way.



  29. I love how you are so honest about you as a person, and a mom. We do the best job that we are able to do-I feel I raisied my 2 kids and they both are in collegeYnow, to be kind to others and do kind things.I feel that your doing a greaat job and taking this time to be with them and writing is your job but they come first. Sure you don’t want to disappoint your readers but we need to be more understanding and your family needs come first.I love your books and I love yur views on lifes challenges. Have a super nice weekend!

  30. The semester I took my Human Growth and Development class after our boys were already teens, I wished I could get a redo on their younger years. The good news is that when our guys reached the age of 22 (it happened with both of them) all of a sudden their dad and I were smart again and they wanted our opinions on things. So, hang in there Jane. It may not be age 22 for you, maybe sooner. We have you in our daily prayers and are praying that your sons will meet and be guided by God’s own hand through friendships and teachers as our sons were. The best gift you can give your sons is your time, listening to them, letting them talk and know that you care. Being there for them is worth it. God bless and be with you!

  31. Hey Jane,
    I’ve been having a turbulent Fall too and some days seem so dark. I have an only child and she is 16!! She and I barely speak and it hurts. I’m doing a lot of praying and trying very hard not to be so sensitive and emotional but it’s so darn hard.
    Some days I wonder if it’ll ever get better. When I read your blog it made me cry for you and for me. Thank you for sharing your difficulties, I know it’s not easy…
    God Bless.

  32. You said it perfectly. Faith does not take away the pain at all, but it helps you through. My prayers are with you – as a mother of three boys, too, and as a huge admirer of your work. Keep strong!

  33. Jane … you are amazing. Thank you for sharing this and allowing us to feel even closer to you. I have 3 boys of my own (18, 20 and 20). I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I promise it’s all worth it and will get better. xoxoxoxo

  34. Love and prayers going out to you Jane. Thank you for sharing with us. I know all of us who read your books and your blog and enjoy having you in our lives are sending you our best wishes during this time. Hugs to you. You’re right…someday those boys will grow up and mature and they will realize how lucky they are to have you as their mom. It will happen.

  35. Hi Jane. Hope things with you get better day by day. I haven’t had a lot of “trouble ” out of my boys, but OMGosh if you could have been a fly on the wall when my daughter was in her 13 to 17 year old period. I thought one of us surely would not live to see her 18th birthday. It was horrible and made me SO glad I only had one daughter. Once she turned 18 and had been away from home at college that year things changed. And for the better. Now we are close and good friends. So hang in there and do whatever you need to do for yourself and your family. Much love to you!

  36. My son is twenty three now and a very nice young man. He still has a little growing up to do but he will get there. I think college has done wonders for him. Hang in there during their teen years, it will get better.

  37. I love ALL of the Janes – friend, mom, author, champion of women. I am so sorry that it has been a difficult few months for you, and I will pray for peace, calm, support, and whatever else you need.

  38. {{Hugs}} to you Jane! I feel your pain, and I love how human you are. Having boys similar in age, challenges with parenting, doing the best I can when I parent one way, their father another (or really not at all), the burden is on me to instill the best I can in them, just like you! I admire your strengths and thank you for all you do, even though times are tough. But you are strong and I have faith and trust in you! Hang in there my friend!

  39. Oh Jane, I am so sorry to hear of your struggles! I can totally relate, though not in the sense of raising boys, but in the sense of jputting your head down and muscling through whatever life is throwing your way at 100mph. We’ve just come out the other side of a godawful custody battle with my boyfriend’s ex, as well as a real estate dispute, and my job being eliminated from the non-profit where I worked…just a bleeper of a year. The storm will pass and you and your family will be stronger as a result. Just keep swimming. Love to you all!

  40. Hi Jane – so sorry to hear you have had a rough few months. Being a parent in today’s world is very difficult. I feel fortunate that my daughters are now 32 and 35. When they were teenagers, especially from 15 to 18, we constantly battled. They were fine with their Dad, but when they interacted with me, it was like oil and water. My job at the time took me out of town for four months when my daughter was 17. I came back on the weekends, but during this time, I think she came to realize that maybe Mom wasn’t so bad after all. She and her younger sister had to help their Dad with the food shopping; cook meals, etc. and hopefully this helped her to mature just a little while I was away. A year later, I found out that my oldest was Bulimic – we had no idea, but my younger daughter made us aware of it as she was very concerned for her sister. We made an appointment with a psychologist, and all went to family counseling and we got thru it. I feel very fortunate that they both made it thru their teen years with relatively minor issues, compared to what other families faced. A few of their friends had teen pregnancies; others were involved in drugs and one of my best friends now is a woman who lost her only son four years ago, at the tender age of 17, to an accidental overdose of the prescription drug Oxycontin. Bath salts (which cause hallucinations), Oxy, Vicodin and other prescription drug abuse is very bad in our area at present. I am reading of accidental overdoses on a weekly basis. When my kids were teenagers, I know they went to parties with alcohol, but again, luckily they came through okay. I am deeply concerned for teens and young adults today. I admire you for stepping back from your professional responsibilities to focus on your family. They are far more important. I will pray that you are able to come together as a family and that your heart is able to heal.

  41. What a beautiful blog. The best one so far. I agree it is a struggle to juggle so many titles, but we all make the best of it and do all that we can. I personally feel that there is not enough hours in the day. Keep you head up Jane. Finish that book and take some time for family time. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday time.

  42. I’m so sorry that you are going through a hurtful time right now. You are a wonderful mom, and know that when everything else falls away, you love your boys and would do anything for them and they know that. It has been a lot of change for all of you this year. They will work through it and things will get better. I understand what you mean when you say that you are sensitive, and very connected to your emotions, it allows you to be hurt deeply, but those are the very things that make you such an amazing writer and a person who is able to love fully and connect with people.
    I really hope that things take a turn for the better soon…just hold tight and lean on that hunky man of yours. 🙂 Sending big hugs your way!!

  43. My heart aches for you. As a mother of 3, two boys and a girl, I can sympathize with you. My boys are 21 and 18 and my daughter is 16. Our children are 24/7 from the day they are born. They have the capacity to hurt us like no one else can. I know I have been fortunate with my children because they have not gotten involved in destructive behaviors to this point in their lives. However, their attitudes, actions, and words can cause much pain to a mother’s heart. Family is so important, take the time you need for them and yourself. I pray that the load you carry will be lightened.

  44. Your writing and books will mean even more to me now knowing more about who you really are and what your life is like right now. My faith got me through losing my husband and other lesser issues. It will get you through this also. Prayers for you.

  45. Jane after reading your post I can relate totally I am a single mother of two teenage boys 14 1/2 and 18. The pain I feel daily trying to relate and help at these ages is incredible.I am also a very emotional person and the buttons they push all of the time.(or atleast it seems that way)There are days I just want to stay in bed and second guess myself on the raising of them.I really just want to know where my sweet precious boys have gone, how they have become such monsters, and when they will return. Just know you are not alone.

  46. Jane,
    Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. Teenagers can be so challenging. I say I wish my kids could stay 8 and 4 forever. They are independent but not too independent and still love mom and dad more than anyone else! Keep being the good strong parent I know you are and you and your family will make it through whatever challenges come your way!

  47. Oh, Jane. I know you are super busy, but in case you are still reading comments, I wanted to write this. I feel your pain and sorrow and fear, as I am a Mom to an eighteen year old who made terrible choices for himself at the age of seventeen.

    Long story short, he ended up getting a year long expulsion in his junior year of high school. My daughter had her bumpy times, but I think girls mature much faster. I have no idea what is happening with your boys, but whatever it is, do not beat yourself up. You are obviously a very caring and loving Mom and you (and I!) will be okay. As my boyfriend often tells me, take a lot of deeeeeeep breaths. Thinking of you….

  48. Along with Sherri, in case you are still reading comments, I wanted to write and let you know that your blog was heartfelt and wonderful and I am so glad you shared. We all go through difficult times and in reading between the lines of other posts and your unplanned move, etc. it seemed as there was a lot going on. I feel for you and hope you know that your readers (and hopefully editors) hope you take as much time as you need for your family and if that means delays in books so be it.

    Sometimes I feel surrounded by those for whom things come easily and there are few struggles. Not always, but sometimes, and your willingness to share is inspiring and empowering. We all have struggles, espeically with teen children (I pray for strength every day as our teen years are well underway and my kids have morphed into people I sometimes do not know!)

    We are here for you and love you! Much hugs and love,

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