“But who has the time to get sick with a baby? A day spent puking isn’t possible. That’s crazy.”
This passage from “Moms Can’t Get Sick” is likely relatable to anyone who has parented a small child.
Author Sarah Barstow, who runs local Moab business Rave’N Image in addition to parenting two boys, has firsthand experience with caring for little ones while battling germs herself.
“They say you should write about what you know,” Barstow said to the Moab Sun News.
She said the idea for the book came to her last year in “a fit of delirium” as she struggled to take care of sick children while ill herself.
“I was attempting ‘mind over matter,’ and trying to rest while he was sleeping,” Barstow said. “But I had a full-on feverish attack of the chills, and then pretty much forced myself to be better by the time he woke up.”
Barstow explained, “You can’t rightfully be that sick if you have to take care of a sick little one. This is one of the superhero powers that moms possess, I think: being able to put your own sickness aside for the time needed to care for your child.”
“Moms Can’t Get Sick” is about her own experience, and features Barstow and her family members as characters.
Illustrations for the book are by Moab-born artist Mandy K. J. Brown, who also paints murals, oracle cards, portraits and custom art. Her bio at the end of “Moms Can’t Get Sick” says that “creating illustrations for self-published authors comes naturally to her, as she sees it as helping to create family heirlooms.”
Barstow said she met Brown as Brown was hanging up a flyer.
“The artwork on it really spoke to me,” Barstow said. “We had a casual conversation about it; I had to ask how she felt about painting vomit and boogies.”
Barstow said she discovered that Brown had illustrated for self-published books before, and said Brown “does an incredible job of incorporating personal touches into the artwork.”
Barstow said that when she was a child, she wrote “all of the time.”
“The only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was an author,” she said. “I constantly had story ideas in my head.”
However, Barstow said, as she entered adolescence, she stopped trying to write books, though she still loved creative writing in school.
Barstow said she has another book in the works, “Moms Need a Break,” and recently came up with a third book idea.
“I’d like to have a ‘Moms’ series,” she said. “All the books are humorous commentary on the challenges of parenting. Set up like kids books – and safe to read to kids – but really geared towards parents.”
While the book is available through Amazon (where one review touts it as “a tour de force in the ever-popular snot and vomit genre”), Barstow said she encourages readers to purchase the book from a local source such as Back of Beyond Books (83 N. Main St.), Moab Made (82 N. Main St.), Canyonlands Copy Center (375 S. Main St.), as well as her own business, Rave’N Image (59 S. Main St.). Those who purchase the book from the Rave’N Image can have their copy personally inscribed by the author.
The book is also available to borrow from the Grand County Public Library (257 E. Center St.).