Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pam Johnson-Bennett and Kae Allen: Will the Real June Cleaver Please Stand Up?

Pam: When Kae and I first started talking about writing our book, Cookies for Dinner, I was a bit concerned about letting the whole world in on my little secret… I’m not June Cleaver (for you youngsters, Google her name). I’m actually a mom who worries too much, has OCD, obsesses over EVERYTHING and is prepared for the fact that my kids will very likely need therapy before they reach college age. I wasn’t sure I wanted friends, relatives and strangers to have such an intimate peek inside the crazy world of the Bennett household. Despite all the alarm bells going off in my head, I dove into the project anyway, hoping we’d be able to get the family rate when it came time for therapy. I never would’ve imagined that once the book was released, we’d receive so much feedback from other mothers who related to our stories. Mothers who felt they were the only crazy ones contacted us with a collective “yes, that’s me!” So, if my honesty and willingness to publicly embarrass myself in print will give you any comfort or sense of belonging, then it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I’m just grateful that no one has any pictures of the time my daughter locked me out of the house while I was in my ill-fitting swimsuit. The written description was embarrassing enough… there isn’t enough therapy in the world that would’ve helped me cope with the world having the actual visual.

Kae: The day I found out I was pregnant with Matt I headed to the bookstore and bought all the “Goofy Advice about Babydom” books on the shelves.  It didn’t take 3 days after I brought Matt home from the hospital to realize that I was no June Cleaver.  As my children got older I broke more than a few of the “Good Mom” rules.  Even though I was the kind of Mom that would lay on a blanket in the backyard for hours making pictures out of clouds, or who would sit patiently on the side of the tub while playing the “tell me questions” game when the kids were riding the potty train, I was also known to go on a rant that included more than a few expletives that added to the quarter collection in the bad word jar.  The main phrase my children heard over and over during their growing up was, “I’m going to raise you the way I see fit whether you like it or not and if I screw you up, I’ll pay for your therapy.”  One thing I learned about being a parent is you don’t have to be June Cleaver to raise happy, healthy children.  All you have to do is be yourself.  Just like you love your kids in spite of themselves, your kids will love you in spite of yourself too.

About Pam
The one thing you can’t say about Pam Johnson-Bennett is that she’s a chicken. She certainly loves a challenge! After paving a career in the then-unheard-of field of cat behavior consulting and becoming a leader in the profession, she has decided to throw caution to the wind and defy the advice of family in order to reveal the REAL Pamthe Pam who is a worrying germophobe mother of two. In her “other” life, Pam is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and best-selling author of 7 books. She is the star of the upcoming television series “Psycho Kitty” that is set to air on Discovery UK channel later in 2013. She is a former Vice-President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is the founder of the IAABC Cat Division. She is one of the most well-known experts on cat behavior and her ground-breaking “Think Like a Cat” approach to cat behavior has been featured and profiled in numerous magazines and television shows. Her books are considered the “cat bibles” when it comes to understanding felines and what makes them tick. Her parenting skills, however, are still in question. Pam and her husband have been married for 15 years and have two children. The family lives in Tennessee with a dog, cat and three goldfish.

About Kae
On thing you can say about Kae is she likes to laugh.  No matter what the situation, you can rely on her to find the humor and share it with all around.   In Kae’s professional life she has dedicated over 21 years to building her own accounting practice. In her personal life, she is the mother of three wonderful children.  She has been married to her husband, David for 26 years.  Kae’s favorite playtime passion is bowling.  She may wish for a higher average but is thrilled at the sound of crashing pins and friendly laughter.  She is the secretary of two bowling leagues and the association manager for her local bowling association.  All of Kae’s children have graduated from college and have so far avoided the need of a therapist couch.  She spent three years enjoying her empty nest having time to travel to bowling tournaments, play golf and dote over her husband and her female goldendoodle dog, Fred.  As of the writing of this book, Kae’s empty nest has filled back up with her in-laws moving in. For Kae, the best day is one that has her house filled to the brim with family, friends and, of course, lots of laughter.

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