Being a parent is arguably one of the world’s most challenging jobs. Between maintaining a clean home, taking children to school, working a job outside the home, all while providing the care and guidance of a parent can often lead parents to feel overwhelmed and possibly isolated.
That was the case for one local mom.
Leanne Kabat currently lives in Sammamish but is planning a move to Issaquah. The mother of three said she felt the same day-to-day pressures of being a mom. However, to add to her load, she was given five years to live after suffering a “brain crash” in 2006 (a term Kabat used to describe her medical event).
It was then she felt motivated to dedicate her last years with her children to being the best mother she could be.
Now, 13 years after her life expectancy diagnosis, Kabat is CEO of MamaCon, a lifestyle conference for moms in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2017, Kabat posted a Facebook campaign, Mama2Mama, volunteering to help 50 women in 50 days do anything they needed. The video was viewed more than 5,000 times and she helped 68 women. Together they shopped, cooked, cleaned, trained for 5K races and planted vegetable gardens. According to Kabat, most of the women wanted to parent better because they felt like they were constantly failing their kids, like she once did.
Inspired by her life coaching experiences through MamaCon and the women she met through the Mama2Mama campaign, Kabat released her first of four books “The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Child: Lead Your Family From Chaos to Connection.”
“I wanted to help moms feel empowered… no mama should have to mama alone,” Kabat said. “I needed these skills myself… I wanted to give my kids the best of me.”
In her book, she described parenting as being “very seasonal.”
“You can’t look at parenting at the micro level with all the minute-to-minute interactions and decisions,” she said.
Kabat said the five seasons are a way for parents to check themselves and understand what’s happening between them and their children.
Winter is a season of disconnection. It’s dark and heavy and pulls families away from each other. Spring is the beginning of rebirth. It’s a season of parents checking themselves and setting goals to create better connections with the family.
“To get to the glorious days of Summer, we need to spring clean our parenting to remove the messy, reactionary parenting behaviors and make way for fresh and new strategies that lead us to happiness, joy and connectivity,” Kabat said.
Summer signifies when the goals and systems put in place during spring have taken root and the family is able to enjoy the best of each other.
When fall sets in, it’s a season where old habits may be creeping back in that lead the family back to winter.
“It’s when a chill starts to come in. It’s a time to check yourself and each other before you slide into winter,” she said.
Kabat titled the fifth season, crossroads. Crossroads is defined as the parents’ opportunity to use the skills and strategies in the book to keep from slipping in disconnected Winter.
“It’s where you intentionally decide which route to go,” she said.
Through the skills and strategies listed in the book, Kabat wanted to remind readers that there are times for a family to be in Winter.
“As the actual seasons come and go, so do the seasons of connection,” she said. “Winter is a time for new ideas to form and relationships to grow.”
While writing the book, Kabat said she felt like it was a calling.
“I wanted to know I was creating something of value and I think the [book] is a good framework to help moms get off the floor,” she said.
“The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Child: Lead Your Family From Chaos to Connection” was officially released Feb. 20. Since the book’s release, Kabat said she’s had so many parents tell her how much the book has helped their family.
“It’s such a heart-filling experience knowing the book has helped families have longer summers and better connection,” she said.
Deborah Reber, author of “Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World,” said the book offers a “compassionate, accessible framework for building the deep and meaningful relationship every parent wants to have with their children.”
“The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Child: Lead Your Family From Chaos to Connection” is the first of four books from Kabat. She hopes to release her next book, “The 5 Seasons of Connection to Your Spouse” in September.