I love being a mother. More than pretty much anything else I’ve ever done. My daughters are hilarious and silly and loving and curious and so unbelievably earnest. They crack me up, remind me not to take myself too seriously, and to paraphrase Jack Nicholson, they make me want to be a better person.
And they make me nuts. As I don’t need to tell you, parenting is hard. Somedays it’s just ugh-I-really-don’t-want-to-pack-another-lunch hard, some days it’s if-this-child-throws-one-more-tantrum-I’m-going-to-lose-my-mind hard, and some days it’s painful and scary and confusing and knock-me-off-my-center hard.
I like to think of parenting as my own little Peace Corps – the toughest job I’ll ever love – but with a lot more poop. (Although now that the girls are well past the potty training phase, I may have to find a new tagline.)
Parenting brings out the best in me, and some days it brings out the worst. Mostly, that comes in the form of yelling. I was never a yeller before I had kids, and I don’t want to be one anymore. Through a lot of research, trial, and error, I’ve found that practicing mindfulness, sleeping, and taking care of myself helps me stay calm (or at least calmer) when things get crazy in our house or just inside my own mind.
Parenting is not only the most meaningful personal work of my life, but it has guided and shaped my professional endeavors as well. In my private practice, I provide support, education, and psychotherapy to parents, and in the rest of my free time (HA!), I write books and articles about parenting.
My most recent book, Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness With Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family, was published by New Harbinger in December, 2015. It’s based on my experience with my daughters, as well as interviews with over 30 parents who are practicing mindfulness with their own children. The reviews are in (and they’re great!), and the book is currently for sale Amazon.com and other online book sellers.
My first book, Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters, was published by Parallax Press in 2014. It explores how to stay connected, grounded, and present in the work of parenting when, let’s be honest, all you really want to do is run away. Or at least hide in the kitchen and shove chocolate chips in your mouth. The book is based on my own experience with parenting, as well as my mindfulness training and my professional social work background. You can read more about it here.
My writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Mindful Magazine, Brain, Child, and Parents.com, among other places. I have also been published in academic social work journals, including Families in Society, Smith College Studies in Social Work, Perspectives on Social Work, and Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. Finally, I was thrilled to have an essay on how I came to terms with being a Jewish mother who doesn’t cook published in The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality.
I have delivered keynote addresses and invited lectures at a variety of local, statewide, and national conferences, grand rounds, retreat centers and online events. I’ve spoken at a number of companies and organizations, including Google (on 3 separate occasions!), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the National Association of Social Workers. You can learn more about my speaking experience, style, and availability here.
I hold a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College, an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work, a PhD in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work, and an advanced certificate in mindfulness and psychotherapy. My doctoral dissertation explored the role of email communication in the therapeutic relationship. I have experience in residential, inpatient, and outpatient treatment, as well as college mental health. I also work with parents in my private practice in Newton, Massachusetts, where I live with my husband and daughters. You can learn more about working with me here.
Finally, I am a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Here is my short bio:
Carla Naumburg, PhD, is a clinical social worker, writer, and speaker. She is the author of Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family (New Harbinger, 2015) and Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters (Parallax, 2014). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Mindful Magazine, among other places. Carla is a sought-after public speaker on issues such as mindfulness, parenting, and the importance of sleep. She maintains a private practice outside of Boston, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters.
Links to many of my posts are available under the “My Writing” tab above. In addition, here are some of my favorite pieces:
- Five Reasons You’re Having a Hard Time Being Mindful (Cognoscenti, 2/16)
- Catching My Breath (Brain, Child, 8/15)
- The Lesson I Learned From My Daughter’s Night Monsters (The Washington Post, 1/15)
- IVF, Embryos, and Choices (NYTimes, 8/14)
- Planting the Seeds of Mindfulness (PsychCentral, 7/14)
- How Meditation Helped Me Decide Whether I Should Have Another Child (Kveller.com, 7/13)
- Mindful Parenting: Looking Beyond the Behaviors (PsychCentral, 7/13)
In addition, I wrote the Stress-Less Parenting series on Mindful Parenting for the Huffington Post:
- Mindful Parenting: The Myths and Truths
- How Parents Can Practice Mindfulness (Even With Our Kids Around)
- Meditation for Parents: The 20-Minute Activity We Should All Try
- How We Can Teach Our Children Mindfulness