From the time Regan Long was a child, she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. She felt that her calling to become a mother was much stronger than her desire for any career.
The now mother-of-three has released her first book on that topic.
"101 Moments of Motherhood" is a collection of 101 moments that, according to the author, will leave readers "feeling moved, feeling touched, feeling inspired, but most of all, feeling compelled to read these stories again and again."
Above is the book cover for “101 Moments of Motherhood” by local author Regan Long. Below is Long with her three children.
" '101 Moments of Motherhood' is set up in an ideal way to pick up the book and open to any page to receive some type of emotional or inspirational discovery," Long said. "But most of all, you will be reminded that we are not on this intimidating yet exhilarating, exhausting yet rejuvenating, absolutely incredible journey alone."
A product of her untraditional upbringing, Long said living with her grandparents and moving several times was a very humbling experience that exposed her to change at a young age.
"Because I didn't have your traditional upbringing and experienced some things that I would never want to relive, I am so grateful for them because it showed me exactly what I did not want to become, the paths that I did not want to take and the choices that I never wanted to make - in essence, exactly who I did want to become," Long said. "I yearned for normalcy and couldn't wait to create that, create that normal family on my own, that I was able to call mine. If it wasn't for my strong tie to God and my Catholic faith, I would not be anywhere close to where I am today. Every setback, each difficulty that has been set in my path, it has only brought me closer to God and I firmly believe that I would not appreciate family and the little things that I do today without going through the experiences I have."
Long graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education and said she found a true love working with children. Her real dream came true when she and her husband started a family of their own. In fact, Long, a second grade teacher at White Deer Elementary School, Milton, took an extended maternity leave this year to spend more time with her children while they were still young.
Long said her two passions, being a mother and writing, collided after realizing that becoming a mother was more than she could ever imagine. She began writing very heartfelt posts after having her first child.
"My daughter opened a new view of the world to me, an entire new way of feeling, of living," she said. "That feeling only multiplied after having my son and our second daughter, and I had the most incredible yearning to share my emotions with fellow mothers and mothers-to-be."
One day, Long said, after taking baby steps through the entire writing process, she received a call from her publisher saying her book was online and available.
Much like motherhood, authoring a book was a long journey for Long. She began writing the book several years ago.
Seeing it transform several times, she settled on writing about snapshots of her experiences.
"After what was a very scary pregnancy with our third child who wasn't even supposed to have made it into our arms, I was so grateful for her incredible blessing and never felt so inspired," Long said. "I finished the book shortly after she was born. She was the missing puzzle piece that I needed to create the masterpiece I envisioned."
"101 Moments of Motherhood" is about learning from mistakes made, as well as those of other experienced mothers. The book is for every woman - the young, the seasoned and everyone in between, Long said.
Long said she often is asked what she would like to accomplish as a mother. Her response, she said, always is the same.
"I want my children to feel as if they always were and always will be the most important people on this Earth to me," she said. "I want my children to know that I gave 200 percent of my entire being into being their mother. That my entire purpose in this life was to bring them into the world, love them, and to help pave their way towards happiness. If I accomplished that, then I've accomplished it all."
Long currently is working on a children's book that will keep with the "101" theme.
"I haven't quite yet decided which area of 'moments' I will tackle next but some front runners are marriage, pregnancy and moments between a father and his children," Long said. "I wrote about this in a particular moment in my book but I always say one of my favorite parts of being a mother is getting to watch my children with their father."
"101 Moments of Motherhood" is 136 pages. The cost is $23.99 for hardcover; $14.95 for softcover; and $3.99 for the Kindle edition.
It is available through Long's publisher, Authorhouse, as well as online book sites and Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St.