Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg
Publisher: She Writes Press, (April 27, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Divorce, Parenting, Moral Conflict, Caring for Disabled, Caregiver
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages
Rachel likes to think of herself as a nice Jewish girl, dedicated to doing what’s honorable, just as her parents raised her to do. But when her husband, David, survives a plane crash and is left with severe brain damage, she faces a choice: will she dedicate her life to caring for a man she no longer loves, or walk away?
Their marriage had been rocky at the time of the accident, and though she wants to do the right thing, Rachel doesn’t know how she is supposed to care for two kids in addition to a now irrational, incontinent, and seizure-prone grown man. And how will she manage to see her lover? But then again, what kind of selfish monster would refuse to care for her disabled husband, no matter how unhappy her marriage had been? Rachel wants to believe that she can dedicate her life to David’s needs, but knows in her heart it is impossible.
Crash tackles a pervasive dilemma in our culture: the moral conflicts individuals face when caregiving for a disabled or cognitively impaired family member.
Guest Review by Sage Nor
A heart wrenching look at the underappreciated caregivers in our lives.
Rachel Michelberg was a young mother of two when her husband, a pilot, was in a terrible accident. His plane crashed into a vineyard in California, and David Michelberg was left with severe brain damage as well as spinal damage. This kind of catastrophe would be enough to destroy almost anyone’s life, but Rachel had an added problem.
Before the crash, she and David’s marriage was already in trouble, and Rachel had begun seeing another man. Now, Rachel must care for a husband that she is not sure she feels anything for beyond duty. And, of course, caring for someone with such severe injuries is a full time job.
David is capable of speech and some memory, but he doesn’t remember his children and he is prone to fits of irrationality. Between caring for her children and health issues of her own, Rachel struggles to take care of a husband who has mentally regressed back to the state of a small child and take care of herself at the same time.
Michelberg’s writing was fantastic and she held nothing back from scrutiny. Reading this book felt like an intimate look at the life of someone suffering through a time that most of us hope we’ll never have to face and getting through it in a realistic way. Despite putting all of her flaws out for everyone in the world to see, Michelberg was so sympathetic and so easy to understand.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone that you love going through something so terrible and irreversible. ‘Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver’ changed my mind and my opinions in a lot of ways, and it’s one memoir that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come.
About the Author
Rachel Michelberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and still enjoys living there with her husband, Richard, and their two dogs, Nala and Beenie. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from San Jose State University and has performed leading roles in musicals and opera from Carmen to My Fair Lady as well as the part of the Mother Abbess (three times!) in The Sound of Music.
When Rachel isn’t working with one of her twenty voice and piano students, she loves gardening, hiking, and making her own bone broth. CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.
This giveaway is open to the U.S. only for the choice of print or eBook for each winner. It ends on May 18, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.Continue reading
Addicted Child: Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse by Richard Capriola
Publisher: Book Baby (November 24, 2020)
Category: Self-help, Parenting, Adolescence, Substance Abuse, Drug Dependency Recovery, & Non-Fiction
Available in Print and ebook, 107 pages
The Addicted Child is a resource for parents. It addresses adolescent substance abuse. Readers learn the extent of adolescent substance abuse in America, how drugs impact the teen brain, warning signs every family should know about, assessments and tests important for a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, how eating disorders and self-injury can accompany substance abuse, how to recognize street drugs being used by teens, and resources to help identify treatment options.
Parents will learn from Richard Capriola, a mental health and addictions counselor, the importance of comprehensive assessments – and what to look for in a counselor to know you’re getting the right help.
Guest Review by Sage
When you discover that your child is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it can be difficult to decide what to do next. This book, ‘The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse’ by Richard Capriola, is an excellent resource for answers to that question. Capriola is a mental health and addictions counselor who has dealt with many cases of teenagers facing substance abuse in his professional line of work.
Although this is a guide to getting help, there are lost of chapters on the ins and outs of different drugs and substances that your child may be addicted to. Things like that many of us don’t consider that serious like marijuana use or vaping can have long-lasting negative affects on not only physical, but also mental health if started at a young age.
In the book, Capriola states that drugs like amphetamines, cocaine and morphine produce a surge of dopamine in the brain that delivers a pleasurable feeling. This overrides the prefrontal cortex, or the part of our brain that assesses risky or dangerous behavior. However, the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until the age of 25, so drug use in children has a tendency to be even more dangerous than drug use for people of older ages.
The chapters of this book are filled with helpful graphs and checklists for things to assess whether or not your child is at risk for developing an addiction and, if they have already developed one, the best way to help them is to seek treatment.
This book is quick and an easy read for parents who may not have time to sit down and read a full textbook on the subject. All of the pertinent details are there and anything unneeded is left out. This is a great resource and concise. Five stars!
About the Author
Richard Capriola has been a mental health and addictions counselor for over two decades. He has been licensed in Illinois and Texas and has treated both adults and adolescents with substance abuse disorders.
Praise for the Addicted Child
Literary Titan Book Award (Gold) 2020
In this pragmatic and accessible text Rick Capriola has distilled the wisdom he accrued from decades of experience on the frontlines of substance use treatment. He provides a valuable resource to all parents attempting to find their bearings in the often confusing and frightening world of intertwined adolescent psychological and substance use problems.”-Major R. Bradshaw, Ph.D Department Of Psychiatry, Houston Methodist Hospital
“Rick has written an invaluable tool for parents. The Addicted Child helps parents understand how alcohol and drugs influence their child’s behavior, offers resources to help parents find effective treatment options, and explains which assessments are important for a diagnosis and the professionals that should be involved in making those assessments.”-Jamison Monroe, Founder and Chairman Of Newport HealthcareContinue reading
The essential guide to parenting toddlers—strategies, humor, and support for new parents
Toddlers don’t come with a manual, but here’s the next best thing. We’re Parenting a Toddler! is a comprehensive guide to parenting toddlers, with tons of practical strategies and sympathy for first-time parents.
Get sound advice and funny stories from a four-time parent who’s been in the toddler trenches, covering key situations from eating, sleeping, and tantrums, to potty training, communication, and so much more.
This book about parenting toddlers includes:
- Toddler psychology—Better understand your little one’s behavior with explanations from their perspective and developmental standpoint.
- Taking time out—Explore valuable tips for calmly and effectively parenting toddlers, including how to regulate your own emotions.
- Age-specific insights—Discover tips and insights for 1-2 year-olds as well as 2-3 year-olds for each issue, helping you confront challenges like discipline and respecting boundaries as your toddler grows.
Parenting toddlers isn’t for the weak, but you can get through the tantrums and tough times with this helpful guide.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
I wish I’d had this book when I was a first-time parent. Luckily, I had the help of my mom and her mom and they gave me good advice. Now that I’m a first-time grandparent, I’m going to recommend this book on to my son in hopes that he’ll take the time to read it.
We’re Parenting a Toddler! has everything you can think of with a little humor added with the author’s personal stories. It’s based on the author’s experiences and not any scientific data, so that needs to be kept in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. Every child is unique.
The book is divided into three sections, the first of which is about communication, discipline, structure and boundaries, and consistency. All of these are important and if you read this before a baby becomes a toddler and decide how you want to deal with your toddler, more power to you!
The second section is all about the daily routine and the third section is about things that aren’t routine, such as going on a trip with a toddler. I like the tips and insights in these sections as well as regulating your own emotions and moods. Especially helpful are the parts that explain what’s inside your toddler’s mind.
Overall, We’re Parenting a Toddler! is a good resource for parents of toddlers to keep on hand. It says it’s for first-time parents, but it’s a good reminder for parents who have a second or third child, too.
About the Author
Adrian Kulp is the founder of ‘Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-home Dad’, a parenting/lifestyle blog that offers humorous outtakes from the fatherhood perspective and serves as a resource for parents with younger children.
He’s currently the Senior Executive Producer of ‘The Ty Bentli Show’, a morning radio show that is syndicated in over 48 U.S. markets, as well another 22 in the UK. He’s the author of three books, including ‘We’re Pregnant! The First-Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook’ which, since it’s release in April of 2018 has been an Amazon best-seller in multiple categories including Fatherhood, OB/GYN and Devotionals.
Kulp is also a former comic booker for CBS, as well as VP of TV development for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison and Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing Productions.
He contributes to Parents Magazine, the Parents section of The Huffington Post, Kids in the House and also works on branded content and with the creative team for the largest online fatherhood community, ‘Life of Dad’ which boasts over 3 million followers.
Kulp recently penned the sequel to his best-seller, “We’re Parents! The New Dad’s Guide to Baby’s First Year” which debuts on August 6, 2019 and is the go-to guide for the new father!
He currently resides in Nashville with his wife, four kids and a handful of pets.
A complete guide with practical information and support for parents of children from newborn to three years old, by childcare experts at the renowned Mayo Clinic. Written by doctors who are also parents.
Updated and Revised 2nd edition.
Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Years is a trusted and essential resource for new and experienced parents alike. In this fully reviewed and updated second edition, you’ll find practical guidance on caring for the new little one in your family, from birth to age 3. Inside you’ll find evidence-based advice on giving your baby the best nutrition and introducing your toddler to solids, tips for forming healthy sleep habits, strategies for dealing with fussiness and tantrums, advice on establishing a secure bond with your child, monthly updates on your child’s growth and development, and much more.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Years is an extensive guide for parents of children from newborn to 3 years old. It’s an excellent book for first time parents as well as experienced parents. If you have a question about your baby, or if you just want to see what milestones he or she should be reaching at each age, it’s a great resource.
I’m planning on getting another copy of this for our son who is a first time parent. They often have questions, and I don’t mind answering them, but I’m sure having the information on hand will be comforting.
Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Years is definitely a resource parents should have on hand.
Parenting is stressful. Just when you’ve figured out feeding, you have to learn how to deal with colic. When your little one has outgrown that colicky phase, there’s teething. And then your precious baby is suddenly mobile and you frantically run around wondering if there’s anything you’ve forgotten to babyproof.
And someday the topic of potty training comes up. There’s always a relative or a friend who’ll say, “Oh, your little one still runs around in diapers? My grandma’s cousin’s friend was diaper-free at 18 months and could do algebra at the age of three!”
Your stress level skyrockets. Is your child developing normally? When do you start potty training? How exactly do you do it? Also, why is everyone giving contradictory advice?
The truth is that only 25% of children are diaper-free when they’re two, but 98% master potty training by the age of three. So potty training is definitely doable. Just follow a professionally written, science-based guide such as this one, and you’ll be surprised by your child’s progress!
With this book, you will:
Know for sure when your child is ready for potty training!
Gain an overview of proven potty training methods and get to know the best one – Potty Training Simplified!
Help your child feel safe and comfortable during potty training
Learn how to deal with nighttime accidents (spoiler: they’re normal even when your little one is already dry during the day)
Expertly support your child’s development while letting them do things at their own pace!
In short, this is the only potty training book you’ll ever need in your parenting career!
I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
It’s been close to 30 years since I had to do any potty training but since I have a young grandson who will be ready for potty training soon, I wanted to brush up on my knowledge so I’d be prepared for questions.
Potty Training Simplified lists the common ways of potty training, some of which are child led and others are parent led. Then it explains the author’s method of potty training. No matter which method you use, your child being ready is the most important thing. That is stressed throughout this book and is what I experienced as well.
Potty Training Simplified is short but informative. There were a couple of methods that really surprised me, and I can’t imagine using them! I think the author’s method is one of the better ones to choose from. Since this is our son’s first child, I plan on getting him a copy of this book in a few months.
About the Author
Lisa Campbell‘s Wicked trilogy is the only body of work written under this name. She continues to write novels using a pseudonym.
Ms. Campbell graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor Arts degree in English. She works part-time as an educator in the inner city schools. On the days when she is not working to inspire young minds, she likes to spend her spare time reading, plotting stories in her head, and trying out new recipes. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and young son.
How to Raise a Smart Ass is a funny, witty, rollicking ride through the joys of early parenthood. The so-titled “Best Butt Wiper in the World” delights audiences by recounting tales of ninja nurses, naughty knights, and super-duper poopers. Whether you’re a proud parent or you aspire to populate the world with tiny terrors of your own someday, this book will have you laughing out loud, or at a minimum buying lots of sanitizer. Kids are messy.
I received a free ecopy of this book from the author.
How to Raise a Smart Ass is Lucia Walinchus’ memoir about having a baby and the early years of parenting. I love her sense of humor and her ability to put things in perspective.
I’m not sure how Lucia Walinchus was able to find time to write this memoir but she did a great job at sharing the joys and trials of the first years of parenting. And she brought back memories of the challenges such as what to do with your baby while you’re in the bathroom or changing a diaper just before an explosive poop, and starting all over again. Having a boy, I also learned how to change a diaper quickly so that I didn’t get an unexpected “shower.”
Any parent or parent to be will get a kick out of How to Raise a Smartass. I hope she does more of these as her children get older.
Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.
Upcoming event: Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.
Win a copy of How To Raise a Smart Ass and/or a $25 GC to spend at My Spreadshirt Shop (5 winners – print for USA, ebook for int’l)
Ends Nov 12