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“I was Heritage’s vice president for six years and I loved every second of it,” she says. Still, an “unrest in my spirit” grew as she found herself “staying for one more meeting, one more reception at night.”

As she wrote the chapter called “Create More Family Time,” her path became clear.

“I didn’t want to be flippant about walking out as a vice president of Heritage. It is a great honor to work there. … I wanted to make sure it was a right career decision,” she says.

But it dawned on me “that there were innumerable people who could do my job, and do it very well for Heritage and the conservative cause. But I am the only mom that [daughter] Kristin has, and it became clear to me in that moment that I needed to step aside.”

With her husband and children’s assent, Mrs. Hagelin shifted to senior communications fellow at Heritage, and now focuses on her lifelong desire to champion faith, family and traditional values.

“The family is the basic unit of society and there’s that old saying that as the family goes, so goes the nation,” she said.

“If we have strong, committed family units, it will be less likely that government will have to come in and be a nanny state, and come in and grow welfare programs.

“It’s when families fall apart that government has an opportunity to step in and control our lives,” she says.

Parents are an essential line of defense in the barrage of media aimed at their children, and it’s easy to feel paralyzed, overwhelmed or afraid of doing the wrong thing and making mistakes with our children, she says.

“The book does not promise that if you do all 30 things, you are going to have a perfect family. That would be a big fat no,” she says.

“But I do promise, that even if you take a few of the actions, that you will be closer to your child, that you will have taken steps to say ‘I am passing on my values to my children,’ and not letting Hollywood or the culture do it by default.”