Ann Van De Water ’79 has released her debut novel, “Mommy Memoirs: A Hilarious and Heartwarming Look at the Trials and Triumphs of Being a Mom.” Described as a collection of short, read it and run stories, the book contains 83 anecdotes on Van De Water’s experience as a stay-at-home mom raising her three sons with husband Wesley Van De Water ’78.
Originally published as “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Commencement,” in 2011, Van De Water’s book was picked up by Morgan James Publishing last fall and reprinted as a paperback under the current title. It is widely available as an eBook and paperback, with an audiobook version due in May. Described as perfect for anyone who “Is a mom, wants to be a mom, knows a mom, or has a mom,” the book is perfect for Mother’s Day.
Critics and fans alike have praised Van De Water for the humor she incorporates into her stories. “The book is humorous and meant to be light-hearted,” Van De Water explains. “I love being a mom and I want to pass that joy on to my readers.”
Van De Water’s anecdotes showcase her family’s love for music, fun and most importantly, each other. “Every family puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunction,” she often says. She spares no detail as she shares everything from seeing her OB-GYN at church, to sending her sons off to college, to coming to terms with her mother’s Alzheimer’s.
The book is meant to celebrate the imperfections of all parents, and the inevitable mistakes that are made along the way. But despite the challenges and small failures associated with parenting, Van De Water says, “I wrote my stories to give women the hope they can thrive in their motherhood roles.” It is with this joy and passion for family that Van De Water shares her personal experiences, even providing personal photographs along with her narratives.
“It’s been such a blast,” Van De Water says of receiving such positive feedback from other mothers, who often recognize her from the book cover. Her goal in publishing this book was to relate to other mothers and reveal the common struggles of parenting. “We all have our own experiences, but there are moms further down the road who are willing to share their experiences. It’s important for mothers to be able to pick up the book, read a quick chapter, and think, ‘Wow, she went through this too.'”
Van De Water decided to write about her personal experiences with motherhood in large part due to her own mother’s Alzheimer’s, which she was diagnosed with at only 56 years old. With the knowledge that she herself could also be susceptible to the disease, Van De Water was inspired to write down her own stories and memories with her children. “I didn’t want our stories to be left untold,” she explains.
Van De Water began writing after her three sons left home for college, allowing her the time to explore her other interests. Since the book’s first publication, Van De Water has become a certified parenting coach, which has led to various other opportunities to delve into the topics of parenting and motherhood. Van De Water and her husband are currently serving as parenting eExperts on the website www.ParentGuru.com, run by world-renowned family psychologist John Rosemond. Van De Water is also a speaker for Mothers of Preschoolers groups, and has lead various parenting and marriage courses along with her husband.
Van De Water is a contributing author for “I Believe in Heaven,” a collection of stories that deal with death and afterlife, as well as for the anthology “New Life Within,” which contains 40 stories on motherhood and children.
She earned a B.A. in modern languages cum laude from William Smith and earned High Honors in Spanish. Van De Water was part of the Hai Timiai honor society and was active in the music department. She participated in a study abroad program to Honduras as a sophomore.
More information about Van De Water and her upcoming projects is available online.