Don’t miss this one! Verlyn Tarlton, a mother of five, wife, published author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Tarlton writes with honesty, and in a in your face loving way, you can relate to her similar to your sister, or neighbor living next door. Verlyn Tarlton has found a way to connect to readers on a deeper level based on her own unique experiences. She has given Motheroftheworld.net the divine opportunity to share her knowledge and wisdom on subjects of motherhood, self-care, and finding inspiration and never giving up on your hopes and dreams.
Verlyn Tarlton is a wife, mother of five, entrepreneur, published author, speaker and native Washingtonian. As a passionate speaker, Verlyn has conducted workshops in D.C. Public Schools, and Prince George’s County Public Schools. She has also hosted seminars in King George, Virginia. She gets her love of reading, writing and teaching from her late grandfather, Professor Ethelbert Haskins. Verlyn is learning to appreciate life, give herself grace and dream BIG!
MW Who inspired you to become an author, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur?
VT This is a great question. For most of my childhood, my mother and I lived with my grandfather. My grandfather was a college professor and all he talked about was education and traveling. His idea of Christmas presents were maps and encyclopedias, always books of some sort. Day after day I saw my grandfather typing away on his manual typewriter. He had a library and he had books everywhere, on the dining room table, in the living room. He always had a book in his hand. He was always looking at maps and asking where a continent was or he wanted me to name all the continents. My grandfather also published books, as well as newsletters for different organizations. It was not until I became an adult that I realized how much my grandfather influenced me during my formative years. Even my mother said I acted like him in so many ways.
So, now as an adult I sit in my library, at my desk typing away. I have published books, and if you come to my house, you’ll see books all over the place, as well as maps. I love them all. My grandfather has been my greatest influence.
MW What is your philosophy on motherhood, business, and self-care?
VT My philosophy on motherhood. Give yourself a lot of grace. Be kind to yourself. We are called to be mothers not martyrs. Do what’s best for your family and don’t be pressured to live by another’s opinion. Give yourself a break. On business. Business can be a formal business or the everyday business of being a mom and wife. Always handle your business. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellence means you do what you say, when you say and you deliver. Excellence is an attitude. Always under-promise and over-deliver.
On self-care. As a women, I still struggle with this one. So many demands make it seem nearly impossible to think about self-care. What I have learned is, when I take time for me, I’m a nicer mommy and wife. When I get burned out, not so nice. Self-care is a must and sometimes we as women have to fight for it. This is the time to be demanding. But first we must understand that loving others does not mean not loving yourself. If we are to be effective care givers of our families, it must start from caring for ourselves. We must realize, we deserve to be cared for and not neglected. Neglecting yourself is not a sign of being a good mother. Taking care of yourself by taking time out for yourself, sets a precedent for your family. Children are always watching and learning, even when we don’t know it. As mothers we must teach them through our actions that it’s ok to take care of ourselves. One day they will have families of their own and they will already understand that self- care equals self-love.
MW So many women especially mothers and wives give up on their dreams. How have you maintained your motivation?
VT This is major. I envision myself one day speaking to an audience of thousands. The first thing I’ll say is, “It took me 30 years to become an overnight success!”
The truth of the matter is this and I hope to reach someone with this transparency. At the age of 16, the summer before entering my senior year in high school, I got pregnant. The horror and shock of it all, left me paralyzed, in my mind. All if any dreams were dead as far as I could see. By the age of seventeen, I was married and I did not know who I was and surely not what kind of man I wanted. At the time, getting married seemed like the right thing to do. At the age of sixteen, I could not process all that was happening. What I did understand was that I let my mom down, my school had put me in a leadership position and I let my teachers down.
I let my grandfather down, I let my church down. Most of all, I let myself down.
I did not see myself as a person who failed (which is an action) and could get back up again. I saw myself as a failure, (which is an attitude), and became mine for decades. I carried this attitude of failure into everything I did. I never felt good enough, smart enough or strong enough to accomplish anything of value. My world seemed like a punishment, a self-inflicted prison that I would live in for the rest of my life. I was never really motivated to be or do anything because I felt I could not because I got pregnant and was a permanent failure. I lived this way for 30 years
Not long ago, I read someone’s post about forgiveness. This post was different because it focused on forgiving “yourself”. I had never thought of this before. I had forgiven many people for many things but never myself.
One morning I sat in my quiet space and began to think and pray about forgiving myself. I went down a list of things. When it was all said and done, I ended right back where this all began, in high school. I forgave myself for getting pregnant and giving up. I sat there and cried like a baby. Literally, I could feel a shift inside of me. My life changed from that day forward. I had tried many businesses, jobs and even written books but now I felt that I could actually succeed. The motivation I lost at 16 came back. I began to dream again and believe again. My whole world opened up. Prior to this experience, I only existed, I was not motivated to do anything really. I faked my way through life, hiding my true feelings and being ashamed of myself. Finally I forgave myself. My lesson learned, fake it until you make it. No matter how you feel, never give up. No matter what it looks like, never give up. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, don’t give up. One day, somewhere, somehow your breakthrough will come. All the greatness that’s being held hostage will break free because you can’t stop a man who has a destiny. No matter what the past is, there’s always future and that’s where destiny is. Our destination is much greater than our past. One day, if you keep trying and never stop, you may not look to find your destiny but your destiny will find you.
MW Why did you create your children’s book “Swift Walker A Continental Journey?”
VT I wrote my first children’s book because of the disparity of positive books about black families, written by black authors. It’s unreal. When you go to the library you have to search high and low for stories with black characters that don’t involve slavery, some form of oppression and hardships. I wanted to give the world a story that presents a little black boy with a family intact, including his father. One that involved adventure and learning.
The plot actually started in my minivan. My family and I were traveling and I started acting silly by telling a story about a little boy who could not stop his feet from walking. Totally impromptu, but my children loved the story and just laughed. From that came the book. It was over a year later that I penned the story.
MW What is the favorite part of your job?
VT My favorite part of my job, if you can call it that, is the writing process. I love thinking thoughts and then writing them down. I enjoy literally, sitting at my computer and typing. I suppose, just like my grandfather. I love the sharing of it all. I love holding a pen or pencil and writing. I could be on my front porch or on the beach, just holding that pencil and writing is soothing.
There is an added joy I have experienced lately. That is having someone tell me that their friend read my book and it helped her in her marriage. To know that I was able to connect to someone I may never meet and make a difference is very humbling, it makes me smile. Whenever someone appreciates my work, I am blessed and I appreciate what I do to make a difference, enlighten, connect and bring value to someone’s life.
MW What do you think is your key to success?
VT Wow. Key to success. Not sure if this a key to success for everyone, as well as success is subjective. Success means different things to different people. I attribute any level of success to me being able to let go of the shame and embrace my story. Once I did this, I found my message in my mess. I believe we all have a message to share. Our message is one that needs to be heard by others. Once you find your message, you will find success.
MW How would you describe your writing style?
VT I feel my writing style is pretty simple. I write the same way I think and speak to people. I just put it on paper. I seek to have a conversation with my reader and to connect. My writing is a type of, in your face but very loving. This is done out of my love and passion for sharing.
MW What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
VT To any aspiring authors, I encourage you to read a lot and see different writing styles and genres. Keep pen and paper with you everywhere, you never know when ideas and inspiration will hit. Find and cultivate your message. Start your writing by making an outline. What are the main points you want the reader to take away, build your outline from there and then write your story using your outline. Find people that will read your book and be brutally honest, not feed your ego, or discourage you. Most of all, never give up.
MW Was there ever a turning point in your life when you had to stop writing, or change the focus of a writing project?
VT Absolutely. I started a project, that’s still sitting in a folder, on my desk today. I have to finish this novel that I started about 8 years ago. I enjoy writing quick reads because it gets to the point. Novels are long and require more creativity on the writer’s part. I have finished the novel in my head but on paper, it’s a different story. But I’ll never give up! It’s coming.
MW Why did you write the book, “The Next Wife?” What is your definition of a healthy and successful marriage?
VT I wrote “The Next Wife” because I wanted it to be a resource for other women who find themselves married to men who have ex-wives in the picture, who wants to run her home and theirs.
The book provides practical solutions to the sometimes, unavoidable drama that may occur. It also validates what women may be suffering and re-frames the issues, in order to see things more logically.
Many women suffer in silence because of the ex-wife antics and the control she may still exert. My heart goes out to them and because of my experiences I was able to relate and therefore connect on a deeper level. I suppose it was a form of redemption after all that I forged through as a “Next Wife”.
Having a healthy marriage is a book in and of itself. There are so many dynamics. Here are a few of my fundamental truths. Allow each other space to grow and fail without judgement. Know that love is an act of your will, not the giddy feelings that soon subside. Want what you have, and you’ll have what you want. Remember, the grass may be greener on the other side but know there’s more poop to scoop!