Lynne Burgess is a Christian writer, a mother of five and grandmother of one who has used her wealth of experience in bringing up her family to write two popular parenting books, writes Julie Houghton.
What led you to write the initial All-In Night book?
I saw a need to visit new mums in our church so I started visiting them and encouraging them with their new babies and toddlers—I visited more than 110 new mums over 10 years! We would get talking and I would share about our children and ‘All-In Night’. Christians and non-Christians would continually ask me about All-In Night so I decided to write a pamphlet which turned into a published book.
Have we lost some parenting skills with our increasingly busy and technological lifestyle?
Oh yes, most definitely. Many parents are so tired and preoccupied with work, phones etc. that children/teenagers are often left to their own devices, which makes me really sad.
What responses did you have from the first book?
My publisher organised many interviews and my friends organised All-In Night speaking events. Women who heard me speak were inspired to buy my book and try it with their families. I have quite a few testimonials on my website from parents who enjoy All-In Night with their families.
Did the books lead you to become a speaker to groups?
Yes. I love spending time with mums, encouraging them and investing into their lives—I was really nervous at first but now I love it.
How much are young mums torn by expectations of what they should do, in terms of staying at home or getting back to developing their career?
The groups I speak to are mainly ‘stay-at-home mums’ or women who work part- time. There is always the pressure of ‘should I go back to work?’ but I find many women who have babies want to stay home with them at least until they are at kinder, but unfortunately this is not always financially possible. It is hard for young mums and I often get asked that question.
I encourage them to think about what they consider to be success in life. Where they choose to invest their time and resources will likely be the area where they experience the greatest return. It is difficult to have it all, so we need to prioritise how we spend our time.
Your second book, called All-In 2Night, targets a Christian market, and is subtitled ‘Christian activities for families’. Why did you decide to write this one?
Because this is where my heart is and it was so easy to write. I was going to write my Christian book first but I volunteered in a playgroup with non-Christian mums who often asked what All-In Night was about and I wanted to get the books into their homes.
Both my books are Proverbs-based but my second book is aimed at Christian families. I also have two All-In Night Facebook pages aimed at different audiences but my Instagram page is secular.
In your books you make it clear that you don’t claim to be the perfect parent—how important is that to you in communicating with your readers?
I make this very clear when I’m speaking. We are all doing the best we can and I only try to encourage parents and this is a huge part of it. I try to give encouragement and cheer them on.
What do you think is the main piece of advice for parents struggling to do their best?
Just keep going and don’t give up. Keep encouraging your children—it’s the little acts of kindness that matter.
Visit allinnight.com for more information.