A Bizymoms' Exclusive Interview with Michele Howe
1. You have written ten books for women, what made you focus your books on single parenting?
My two closest friends became single moms over sixteen years ago and their challenges (and how they handled them) made me realize how difficult single parenting can be. I've watched these women handle the toughest situations with such grace that I count it a privilege to tell their stories to other single parents.
2. How did you become passionate about helping single parents when you are not a single mom yourself?
When you have people who are close to you who are enduring hardships of any sort, it hurts you too. I don't think we stand as non-interested bystanders who can observe other people's pain and struggles without agonizing with them. So while I might not be a single mom, I feel for them in the same way they feel for my particular burdens and me.
3. You are a mother of four. How do you balance work and family commitments?
I think the key word you noted is "balance" and at times one area of life necessarily requires a great deal more time and energy than another. So every day, I think all women (myself included) look at their responsibilities and make choices, then prioritize, and get busy.
4. You give courage to face difficulties and new ways to think to moms. How satisfying is it to see people building their lives?
The mentality of building a strong community of support via friends, family, work associates, neighbors, etc...is key to successfully navigating difficult times. It this giving and receiving of instruction, counsel, and practical help that can jumpstart a person into a new season or direction and it is very gratifying watching women "get it" that they really need each other throughout every phase of life.
5. In your articles on bizymoms you have given so much advice on how to handle different situations, from where do you get these ideas?
Every article, every chapter of my books has come from a real woman's actual experience. So, when I speak with a single parent, as they tell their story, they invariably want to pass on what they learned to others. It's been a never-ending cycle of hearing someone's story and then having the privilege of passing along their wisdom and ideas to others.
6. You address and help women in all ages. What is the response you get from them?
Readers have been so gracious but what I appreciate the most is when a woman writes and says, "You were writing about me...that's exactly how I felt...and now I know I'm not the only one who feels this way..." Isn't that the human experience? We feel profound comfort realizing we aren't facing our battles on our own.
7. Your books combine real life stories. Can you share some unforgettable experiences you had while writing your books?
I think that every time I sit down to tell a woman's story it's unforgettable because I relive her experience in my heart and mind and it's forever imprinted there. So, big or small, every story has this sense of making me revisit and rethink my own life and choices.
8. What are your future plans?
My current book project is a collaboration with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher A. Foetisch, and is titled, "Doing Body (and Soul) Good: Women Handling Life's Weightier Matters with Strength to be published by Hendrickson Publishers. This text addresses both the personal and situational life challenges women face and will include inspirational lifestyle vignettes as well as practical suggestions for living strong, healthy lives.