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Boonsboro resident's books is full of tips on parenting

July 08, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - When Janeen Solberg was pondering possible titles for her new book on raising children, she chose "Staying Centered: The Art of Full-Time Parenting" rather than using the term stay-at-home mom.

"I made the decision to make raising my children my job but I am hardly the stay-at-home type," said the former Frederick (Md.) High School English teacher who lives in Boonsboro with her husband, Greg, and their two children, Otto, 7, and Ana, 5.

"The purpose of my book is to share insights," Solberg said. "I wrote about what I know and that was being a mom."

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Solberg said that in the book she offers advice and discusses what works for her, but she said the underlying theme is that when in doubt, listen hard to your own instincts and trust those instincts.

"The book is selling quite well," Solberg said. "PublishAmerica is a small publishing firm in Baltimore but they do pay their authors."

Seven years ago when the Solbergs were awaiting the birth of their first child, the couple arrived at the full-time parenting decision, which meant the family had to adjust to living on one income.

"My husband, who had also been a teacher at Frederick High, started moving up the career ladder," Solberg said.

He is now supervisor of career and technology education for Frederick County.

Back home in Boonsboro, Janeen Solberg tended to the needs of her first child and then two children while she was unwittingly gathering material for her book, which was published in the spring.

"I've kept journals for years and I worked on both my high school and college newspapers," Solberg said. In 1996, she took a turn writing for The View of Boonsboro, which later became The Citizen.

Now 36, Solberg said she recently marked a milestone - she has been at home for seven years, which is as long as she taught school.

"Indeed my teaching certificate has just expired, but that's OK for now," she said.

Solberg is keeping her teaching skills honed in the work she does with her own children. She also tutors girls at the San Mar Children's Home and has a storytime hour at the Turn The Page Bookstore every third Friday at 10:30 a.m. during the months when school is in session.

Turn The Page, at 18 N. Main St., is owned and operated by author Nora Roberts, who is a resident of nearby Keedysville. "I did a book signing with Nora at her shop in March," Solberg said.

The book is chock full of ideas, all collected from mothers who have been there and who share those insights with mothers who are there now.

"I learned a lot from some of the mothers I spoke with as I prepared my book and I have passed those on," she said.

In the first few months of publication, news of the book has spread and Solberg said she is being asked to speak at libraries in Washington and Frederick counties.

"I'm also hearing from Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) groups who want me to speak to them," Solberg said.

On Aug. 23 and 24, Solberg will attend an authors' fest at the Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick.

Sponsored by Waldenbooks, the event featuring about 50 local authors will be held each day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. under a large tent in the parking lot, Solberg said.

When she is not signing books or talking to groups, Solberg, a native of Elkton in Cecil County, Md., goes about the business of child-rearing. She combines that with learning more about her adopted community, walking a lot and getting to know her neighbors.

"I've even taken up pottery again and have actually sold some pieces," Solberg said.

She said she is enjoying the life she has chosen and with the tips in her new book, she is sharing that success and satisfaction with all who read "Staying Centered: The Art of Full-Time Parenting."

The 121-page paperback book is available online at PublishAmerica.com or by calling the Baltimore-based firm tollfree at 1-877-333-7422.

It also is available at Turn The Page Bookstore at 18 N. Main St. in Boonsboro, and at smaller bookstores in the area.

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