Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Swan Mothers Book

Swan Mothers tells the story of the transformative parenting journey. Natalia’s experience, and that of the mothers whose stories are told in the book, came through raising children who were not what we expected. Some are labeled autistic, ADHD, and highly-sensitive. But EVERY child is uniquely magnificent, and every mother is on a transformative journey.

Before children, Natalia laid the groundwork for what she believed would be perfect parenting. Her children, being their magnificently unique selves, taught her that perfection did not come from following formulas and philosophies, but in honoring them, and herself, exactly how and where they were.

You will experience many A-ha! moments as you travel with us through the Seven Phases of the Hero’s Journey:

  1. Commonplace life when all is well in our world.
  2. Realizing that our children are not normal.
  3. Saying “No, thank you” to parenting by someone else’s rules. Dealing with denial, anger, and grief.
  4. Acknowledging our children as they are. Beginning research and work to make them the way they are supposed to be.
  5. The long road of therapies and treatments, focusing on curing and recovering the lost “normal” child.
  6. Physical, emotional, and financial exhaustion and collapse from parenting challenging children.
  7. Awareness that there is no child to create, there is only a child to see and love.
  8. Experiencing rebirth and seeing the world in a new way.

Cover Image

I am reading your book right now, thankful beyond measure that I finally bought it. It is by far the ‘autism book’ I relate to most. I am so delighted someone has put into words and clarified for me what my soul knows to be true. ~Lisa Zahn

I loved this book! Swan Mothers is filled with wonderful insight, compassion and understanding as the author takes us on a journey through parenting special needs children. The story is not only told through the author’s perspective as is usually the case, here other mothers, in their own words, tell their stories and these various perspectives enhance the book even more. As the mother of a special needs child, this book really hits close to home and I was both inspired and invigorated by the message of hope, acceptance and support throughout. Swan Mothers also shows various tips and techniques to handle stressful moments, highlights alternative methods of treatment and provides a pathway out of the darkness when a parent simply becomes overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable challenges. The book is written in a very easy style. I felt comforted and strengthened by all the parents’ stories. Highly recommended. This is a book that I will be returning to as I navigate my own parenting journey. ~Ksenia Rychtycka, author of Crossing the Border

Most books that I’m familiar with on parenting children with special needs take one of two approaches: “Isn’t this terribly hard? Tips & tricks to manage the kids” or “Isn’t this wonderful? Here’s all the rainbows and blessings we’ve received.” This book takes a very different path. Using the story of the Ugly Duckling as a parable, it describes the journey and struggles of the PARENTS as they come to terms with the reality that their perfect, wonderful baby or child, is not like the other ducklings, and will NEVER be like the other ducklings.
Part memoir/autobiography, part parable, part anecdotal stories about other special needs children and their parents, this book showcases the angst, grief, and struggles of the parents who are working to get to a viewpoint where they can see their kids as “Uniquely Magnificent.” To reach that delicate balance of pushing for better schools, teachers, and tools that will help the kids cope better with the world we are all living in, yet at the same time, learning to accept there’s no magic tool or technique that will make them “normal” (whatever THAT is), and that the children are already magnificent, just as they are.
~Beverly Diehl


I highly recommend this book to any parent who’s found him or herself on this challenging path.I just finished crying my way to the end of Swan Mothers. My two sons are now in their thirties. Life would have been so much easier if I had read this book when they were young!  
THANK YOU for the wisdom/support/inspiration/practical resources you offered in this book!!!! ~Mair Alight, author of Compassionate Underwear Bear Book

This is a much-needed, imaginative, kind, insightful book. It is beautifully organized, movingly written, honest and wise. ~Judith Prager, author of Owie-Cadabra’s Verbal First Aid for Kids: A somewhat magical way to help heal yourself and your friends

“Swan Mothers” is the light at the end of the tunnel for parents of children recently diagnosed with neurological differences, as well as parents who are longtime veterans of “the system.” This book is not about a cure, it is about acceptance. The author, whose own parenting journey was not what she expected, interviewed mothers of children with autism and other special needs to search for commonalities in their experience. She explains these commonalities in terms of “The Hero’s Journey,” in a framework and language that reminded me of Jungian archetypes. By choosing this framework, the author goes straight to the heart of the conscious and subconscious transformation that parents undergo after a child’s diagnosis. This was meaningful to me on a deeply personal level, as I try to make sense of the fact that I am completely different from the person I was before my son was born. The stories in this book are inspiring, heartbreaking and practical. One of my favorite sections explained how to feed nutritious food to a resistant eater. The author also included appendices with information about relaxation techniques, homeopathy, EFT and simple exercises to improve overall quality of life. There’s even a reading list at the very end loaded with titles that offer a positive view of neurological differences. If you’re looking for an uplifting book about special needs parenting, this is it! ~Mrs. Wang blogs at The Friendship Circle Blog

Beautifully written, heartfelt and wonderful. This book is a guiding light for any parent or family member who is parenting an autistic child – highly recommended. ~Sasha Allenby, author of Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT: Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future

As a mother of a magnificently unique child, I loved reading “Swan Mothers,” and found it to be both helpful and healing. My favorite part of the book is the shared stories. There is something extremely healing in shared experiences and knowing that even though at times it feels like we are alone, we aren’t. These stories moved me. I also loved how “Swan Mothers” offers a wide range of techniques and options, EFT, Homeopathy, etc. Unlike other books that are singularly focused, this book is a reference guide, suggestion book and shared experiences all rolled into one. It has something for everyone and I have no doubt it will benefit many. It’s a great read! ~L.J. Lehr

I have been wanting to read this book for a while and finally purchased it last week. I was captivated and moved from the start, the shared stories are wonderful and the author gently helps the reader to gain a trust in herself and her child all the while being open and accepting of the many different pathways we may take. I loved this book, it made me feel even more in love with and connected to my children and my family and myself. ~C M R

I believe every parent that has a Uniquely Magnificent Child should read this book.
The author gave great perspective on how a parent feels when they get the news that their child is different. I think that this book should be in Libraries, Books stores, Doctors Offices, Schools even. WONDERFUL BOOK!! ~Michelle Pacholke

Written with warmth and wisdom, Swan Mothers invites parents of not-what-I-expected children to recognize our parenting as a heroine’s journey. The author shares her own story and includes those of other families as well. The varied choices of these different families are relayed without judgment or dogma. I found comfort in this book as well as ideas, encouragement and compassion. I know I will return to re-read when I need a boost. ~Jezanna

It made me feel as if someone really understands. It was well writen and deeply moving. If your a parent of a Uniquely Magnificent Child, check it out. You won’t be sorry.:) ~always \ unique

Swan mothers is easy to read, even with the constant interruptions of young children. It is touching, authentic and inspiring. I took away some great parenting advice, though none of my children are ‘on the spectrum’ or ‘special needs’ Natalia eloquently shares her own story and the stories of other mothers as a reminder that you are not alone in your struggles, and offers practical stratagies for taking care of yourself while dealing with your child’s needs compassionately. I recommend this book, not only to those who might relate as swan mothers, but friends, family and teachers who seek to gain perspective. ~Lia Joy Rundle, Life Doula and soon-to-be author of Self-Directed Childbirth

I loved this book. I had a hard time stopping reading it or putting it down. It was a great read, entwined about the duckling swan folk tale. There are others experiences within as well as excellent references to EFT and other non traditional or should I say mainstream techniques for getting thru rough times or little bumps in the road. ~j9

This book is a real treasure! Some days raising a “differently-abled” child can seem very challenging, and I know I do not always feel up to the task. Natalia’s book, however, is a reminder that these feelings are normal. It is true what she says; when we accept our children for being perfect just as they are is when their magnificience is most present. Thank you, Natalia, for your honest portrayal of what it is like to parent a “uniquely magnificient child.” ~Marilu Schmier author of Waiting for Weston: A Mother’s Story About Raising a Multidimensional Child

I recommend this book for anyone working with children.Ms. Erehnah leads us on a journey of her and other mothers’ heart-wrenching discovery that their children have “special needs.” We follow them through eventual acceptance of those needs and progress in helping their children achieve their potential. ~Luba

I just read “Swan Mothers” and found it to be very inspired. The analogy of The Ugly Duckling tale interwoven with the Hero’s Journey was done beautifully, and brilliantly. This book is excellent for all parents, with or without special needs children. Parents with teens who are striving for independence will also gain insight from the lessons on relinquishing control and accepting our children just as they are. There is healing when we accept that we, Swan Mothers, with strong willed, confident children, are blessed by our children’s unique personalities. It’s not our parenting job to create a mold of ourselves, but to allow our children to blossom into the magnificent people they are meant to become. I also, really appreciate the author’s inclusion of many alternative, integrative holistic approaches in caring for “Uniquely Magnificent Children”. Pharmaceutical are not always the best or first choice. This book is easy to read and spoke from the author’s heart, to the heart of the reader. I encourage all mothers to read Natalia Erehnah’s book. ~Amza

Reading this book was like having a friend over for tea. Real stories, authentic feelings, love, acceptance and tools for the road, this book offers it all! I keep it close for time I feel alone in the dark, alone facing struggles; I open it randomly and always find a piece of wisdom I can apply in my present. Thank you Natalia for writing this book! ~Valerie Pelletier


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