Behind all the smiles and photographs that plaster social media, running a family is hard work that comes with tears, tantrums and despair.
Yet a new bible named Your Passport to Parenting is here to help mums and dads.
The guidebook promises to hand-hold through the trials and tribulations of parenting by sharing tips and tricks on how to create meaningful bonds between caregiver and child, as well as advice on teaching young people morals through stories rather than lectures.
Speaking exclusively to Uspire about the must-have manual, author Joanne Holbrook told us about her own journey of parenthood and how sharing ideas with friends saved her sanity.
Joanne said: “My journey began 14 years ago when I had my first child. I am originally South African, and my husband is in the US army. We have moved either country or US state every two years for the last 15 years. Our marriage started in Germany and we are now in Hawaii.
“When you are always the foreigner wherever you go, you have to learn to fit in and embrace your current culture fast.”
She continued: “I had to lean on women, parents, and daily cultural lessons to integrate into my new surroundings and navigate through my new parenting journey.
“What started as a need later developed into research. I became intrigued by asking people questions about how others raised their children in their culture. What parents wished they had done differently, or the one memory they were most proud of in their parenting?”
Joanne began collecting stories from all over the world and realised there was a toolbox forming around her that made her own parenting experience calm and fun.
She started sharing these anecdotes with friends and also began to write the lessons down, mainly for her daughter and son, to have access to them whenever they might need.
Soon, Joanne discovered that people were eager to give feedback about how these stories had influenced them, saying the ideas had changed their families.
Then, during a chance meeting with a book coach and a publisher who encouraged her to share her lessons with the world, Joanne decided to put pen to paper.
Not only did this give birth to Your Passport to Parenting, Joanne also shares her teachings online with courses that bring the book to life.
Joanne explained: “Watching how clients learn from each other has made me see this is my new life purpose. I bring people together and share positive goodness.
“I recently read a quote from the Dalai Lama saying, ‘Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can’t help them, don’t hurt them.’ Well, I want to help parents.”
She continued: “Over the years, I found a common thread that runs through all families in all cultures. We are more similar than we think.
“It was clear to me; those families and cultures that parented with the end in mind had a happier and more successful journey. How to do that is what I share.”
Now, Joanne helps families develop a framework that works for them and recognises that with the right tools, parents are qualified to know what is best for their children.
With this philosophy in mind, she is adamant that she does not tell parents what to do but instead simply give them a different way to look at their family.
Joanne concluded: “What I introduce is just by knowing how others do it, then taking those concepts, adapting them into your unique family, can make life easier.
“It is the difference between pouring water over a child standing on the grass and pouring over a child in a tub. If in the grass, the water will be washed away. If in the tub, the water will accumulate.”
She added: “If you started a business, you would have a vision plan, mission statement, and ten-year trajectory. Everyone involved would be on the same page about the values of the company.
“But when we have a child, we often find ourselves ticking over the day-to-day routines, wash, rinse, repeat. We risk losing lessons we want to instil in our children before they leave the nest.”
Joanne now strives to show that together parents can be stronger, and by sharing information is where they can really excel at becoming the best they can be.
To learn more, click here: Your Passport to Parenting.