Gena Mann

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom of 4, former magazine photo editor turned stay at home mom, turned founder of a startup called Wolf+Friends.

What 3 words best describe your parenting experience to date?

Happy, chaos, autism

What’s one of the hardest or most surprising things about being a parent that people wouldn’t expect or don’t usually talk about?

If you begin to notice your child isn’t hitting milestones like his/her peers, it can be terrifying and isolating. You are desperate for answers and people to talk to that “get it.”

What were some of your “ this normal??” moments once you became a parent?

I had so much not normal with my first son that ended up being early signs of autism!  He didn’t point, answer to his name or make eye contact and ran around in circles all the time….I didn’t realize any of these weren’t typical as I was a first time mom and this was 15 years ago!

What’s one of your favorite parenting hacks that helps keep you sane (that other parents should know about and start doing ASAP)?

Have the big ones watch the little ones!  It’s my most favorite thing about having a big age span of kids (they are 16, 15, 11, 4)….I can now go out for short stints (like 20 minutes at the store) and leave them in charge of each other. Everyone feels super mature and independent and I don’t have to schlep 4 kids in the car if I forget to get milk. 🙂