The Story Behind ‘Stepping on Cheerios’

June 14th, 2017

Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic! Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.

Plus, enter to win Betsy’s $75 cash card giveaway! Click here to learn more and enter.

Tells us a bit about your book—what inspired you to write it?

As a pastor who writes almost weekly sermons, I’ve been writing for years. In fact, I almost got an MFA in creative writing instead of the Master of Divinity needed for me to fulfill my call to ordained ministry.

After my triplets were born and I was home instead of working in a church, I began writing for myself and other moms as a way to explore who we become when we have children. What is this new chapter? What does it mean for our identity? What does it mean to our families? Writing became a way not only to cope with constant changes in my life as a new mother of four young children, but also served to help me explore this woman who was turning the pages of her own life, and they were very new pages, whole chapters not previously experienced. As with other times in my life that I’ve grown, I had to reflect on what was happening in my life and how that connected to my relationship with God.

What is the main message of your book?

The main take away from my book, for me, is that motherhood is a wonderful experience, and it’s also hard, scary, chaotic, insanely busy, and beautifully spiritual precisely because it’s so ordinary.

As a Christian, I am aware of the everydayness of the most important symbols of our faith: bread, wine, and water.  For moms, pacifiers under beds, cheerios spilled across the floor, sticks made into launchers or sling shots, a wildflower plucked and stuck in sippy cup, or a random colored picture thumbtacked to a cork board, these are sacred moments as important to God and children as the community for which we volunteer, the job we are paid good money, and the organizations we launch.  We must practice spotting the beautiful and holy in the messy, sticky, ordinary lives we moms lead.

What was the hardest part about writing nonfiction?

Each of us has a story and a voice. I think it takes some time and quiet to listen to your own voice and not someone else’s. Some writers are very serious and their writing is almost peaceful in its expression: it’s contemplative. My life and the general state of affairs in my household is noisy, loud, and chaotic. I wanted to convey that mess and how much I need and seek God in the midst of my mom adventures. That meant sharing myself and my story with humor and even the risk of embarrassment.

What is one thing you learned while writing Stepping on Cheerios?

I learned I’m committed. Writing a book is a lengthy process. I also learned that writing continues to teach me about myself, about the scripture. And yes, it still surprises me when I come to a blank page and begin to ask myself questions about who I am and who God is.

Do you have any advice for those interested in writing nonfiction?

If you are telling your story, tell it as only you can tell it. There is a reason you are excited about this particular project. Don’t forget what joy brings you to the table.

What are you working on next?

I continue to blog at my website and stay in touch through social media at Twitter, FB, and Instagram @womenadestand. I’ve made an outline for a book that explores all the various sorts of “women trouble,” the problematic network of relationships that cause us great joy and great pain.

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Betsy Singleton Snyder

{More About Betsy Singleton Snyder}

Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of “Stepping on Cheerios,” is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).

Find out more about Betsy Singleton at