The Sport of Busy

The Sport of Busy

GAMES ARE CANCELLED

Who has not silently cheered upon receipt of this text or email?  “Due to the rain, games are cancelled for this evening.” Let’s be honest, I’m a super visually emotional person, therefore, my cheering is RARELY silent! YAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!!! Please tell me you know the feeling. In summary, life is a sport of busy no matter what your game plan is.

Within seconds of receiving the text, you have moved on to thoughts of accomplishing a mental list of the eight THOUSAND things you are going to get done with this sudden free evening. No games or practices!!!! I mean, are you KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!?! Hallelujah!

By the way, you love the games and hanging with other awesome parents during the evening. It serves as social time for you with people who are living a lot of the same life circumstances. Who doesn’t love that connection! In addition, seeing your kids out there having fun and doing something they love is great. However, a bonus free night and the relaxation as a result of a peaceful, steady rain to top it off? Sign me up.

We’ve all been there. Furthermore, if you have any guilt over feeling excited about this, you need to drop that RIGHT NOW sister. Good Lord! We’re allowed to have thoughts and emotions too.

In short, life with children is busy. For the record, not just when they are in activities and have games. Incidentally, any point with kids can be summed up by one phrase…. MOTHERHOOD IS A SPORT OF BUSY.

THE SPORT OF BUSY

Consequently, I’m finding the busy just evolves over time. As babies, you are busy figuring out how to parent. Feeding your cute little bundle every few hours is exhausting. In addition, the “are we cut out for this?” or “am I doing this right?” thoughts which run through your mind all day, every day. All the what if’s, questions, and self-doubt in the first year of life. Keeping your mind busy and racing while you are physically caring for your baby.

Toddler busy. Pretty sure I don’t even need to add anything to this statement. HOLY BUSY CHILD, BATMAN!

Furthermore, we then start to sign them up for age appropriate activities. Reasons for doing so include keeping them active, meeting new friends, learning teamwork, and being a part of something. By the way, this is honorable and really a necessary part of childhood and their development. You go momma! Conversely though, you have managed to complicate your life ten-fold when you now add chauffeur and game attendee to your growing list of responsibilities including career woman, spouse, and mom.

WHO IS NOT BUSY?

I attended the Integrating Women Leaders conference recently. IWL put on a wonderful conference on Uniting Our Power. LOVED IT!! Like, legit… it was incredible. As a result, this is fair warning I’m probably going to talk a lot about it in the next few blog posts. You have been warned.

During one of the break-out sessions, I sat next to a lovely woman I had not met previously. As we began talking, we did the typical, “what do you do for a living?” and “oh, do you know so and so?”  By the way, I always promise myself I will come up with something different and then forget until mid-conversation. #foreheadsmack

Anyway, she referenced dreading these events beforehand thinking of all of the THINGS she has to do at work and will be missing. However, upon arrival she is  always beyond happy she maintained her commitment to coming. “I hate letting the word busy get in my way, who’s not busy, right?!”

So true.

Drop the mic my new friend.

Another one of the speakers, Coach Dar, spoke about our own personal development and while it is likely the most important thing for us to do for our own personal and professional growth, it’s almost always the first thing we let go when life gets BUSY. #truth

Similarly, I have skipped personal development opportunities put on by my employers because I was “just too busy.” (forehead smack) Dreaded a conference the day before even though I was elated when I signed up for it? Guilty. Why do we do this?

BUSY AS A BADGE OF HONOR

Do you wear your BUSY as a badge of honor? We talk about it. Commiserate about it. Frankly, it feels like if you have to suffer the busy, then you might as well make it a good thing. While I’m all about making lemonade out of lemons, I tend to disagree here. To clarify, I have TOTALLY worn BUSY as a badge of honor. So no, I’m not calling you out without a big heap of my own self-reflection. In this case, the busy conversation with my new friend at IWL really got me thinking.

Why do we as women do this to ourselves? Everyone’s definition of busy is different. This doesn’t make one individual’s dictionary right or wrong. Likewise, they have their own barometer. I recently heard Marcia Barnes speak on Ceilings and Curveballs at Linking Indy Women. To paraphrase, we all have curveballs in life and yours aren’t bigger or smaller than someone else’s. They are big to you and that is okay. She encourages women to take comparison out.

Similarly, I feel this applies to BUSY in our lives. Your busy life doesn’t need to be compared with someone else’s busy and wearing a silly badge prouder and larger. You are busy. They are busy. End of story.

In addition, I find the women who, on paper, seem to have the most going on, often seem to be the ones who talk the least about their busy. They appear to just embrace it, for instance. Taking time to have a good conversation with a friend. Time to volunteer, work-out, do personal development, a myriad of other things in addition to being career woman and mom. First off, they may not have it all together either. In this case though, how are they gliding through the BUSY with seeming ease?

THE WHY IN BUSY

Let’s take this a step further and put on our 3-year-old hat for a second.

Why?

Why are you so busy?

Are there things you are doing you can stop? If you answered NO too quickly, I’m going to ask the toddler question again.

Why?

If you have a good answer you can feel down in your heart and think through rationally with your brain, then good. Move forward. Conversely, if you are struggling again in either the heart or the brain for the answer…. toddler yourself again. WHY AM I DOING THIS?

Furthermore, giving yourself a break is not only in the “games are cancelled, and you have a free night” sense. It really is about giving yourself a mental break and accepting grace when we make mistakes. Yes, you need a physical break from the running around to and from practices, games, parties, and club pick-up and drop-off. But how many times have you beaten yourself up over a conversation with your child which did not end the way you wanted. You yelled. You hit the end of your patience rope. Or you have not had a sit-down family meal in over a week and there is an incredible amount of guilt over this. You forgot the field-trip permission slip and received a stern email from the teacher about the need for this form immediately. Maybe you showed up late or forgot your part of the pitch-in for the church gathering.

Forgive yourself. Give yourself the grace you would give any other mom in this situation.

A BUSY CRITIC

We are our own worst critics. If you are living a life of comparison to mom A, B, and C, you are not living your own life. Be you.

It really can be this simple.

In a life of comparison and competition, you will never be the God created person you were meant to be. God did not create each of us with our own individual talents and abilities for us to suddenly morph into Stepford wives. ICK! Everyone has their own special talents. You recognize this in other moms and compliment them on their abilities. Are you giving yourself this same grace with your own abilities? Are you focusing on the talents you bring to the table?

In this giant motherhood huddle, we need to remind ourselves we are doing our own personal best every day. Our personal best, some days, may not be knocking it out of the ball park, but rather pure survival. And you know what? THAT IS OKAY.

In short, next time you receive the text “games are cancelled for this evening,” let it serve as a trigger. This trigger is to remind YOU to give yourself the grace you deserve. You are a good mom and doing your personal best every day. Now go out there and dance in the rain.

If you want to be happy, put your effort into controlling the sail, not the wind. – Anonymous 

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Mom Guilt: Not A Life Sentence

Mom Guilt: Not A Life Sentence

MOM GUILT

If you are a mother, it would be remiss to think you’ve never been plagued by the infamous Mom Guilt. It creeps up suddenly and experience has taught me it’s most fierce in those moments you are already at the brink of a complete mental break-down. Well, hello Mom Guilt (said in my best narrator voice). But how do we break this cycle which can often feel like a life sentence?

I had my two children during what is likely considered the prime of my career climb. For certain, I was considered by social standards the “appropriate age” and in the “right years of marriage” for having children. Based on all of their statistics (who is “their” anyway?), becoming pregnant was clearly the next and most logical step. Jury is still out if we really did have children at this point in time for ourselves or because it’s what we were “supposed to do.”

I’m absolutely not downplaying my amazing blessings, nor do I regret being a mom. Generally, I’m just making the observation of social norms and how they influence our decisions on the right timing, or the correct way life should play out.

One incredible miracle came in the form of my son Jake, but after a maternity leave, I continued to work. Admittedly, there were people who looked at this in an understanding way. On the contrary, others made comments along the lines of, “well, that’s just how it is in this day and age.” Ouch. Or maybe my favorite, “hopefully you can figure out how to balance all of this.” Um, no pressure there.

THE ART OF DEFLECTION

But if we’re being honest here, I didn’t really care about the comments. I have always beat to my own drum and do not take much to heart when someone says I should or should not do something. “You are going to move from West Lafayette, IN to Boston, MA to take a non-paid internship with the Celtics? Why?” Because I think it would be really cool and I want to! That’s why. I’ll figure it out.

And guess what? I did.

“You are going to continue to work AND travel for your job with TWO kids???” By the way, sometimes it’s not even the words themselves causing the sting in these statements. Moreover, it’s the tone in which the comment is made. The body language and the look of suspicion that children could actually be cared for in this crazy environment I have created by having a career. The questioning eye of whether or not I REALLY loved my children.

Fortunately, I was able to lessen the sting because the topic was one I could share with those in my mom huddle. In particular, my fellow teammates who ran into this same sort of sideways glance on the regular. Even the sideways glance where the person thinks they are delivering a compliment, but it’s laced with something else entirely.

Yeah, we heard you.

LIFE SENTENCE

However, even embedded within those of us confident, career-driven ladies of this Earth, the social norms and the expectations of what women “should do” when they become a mother can get in there deep. Gnawing at our hearts like the proverbial dog with her bone. Likewise, breaking down even our bravest attempts to be who we are authentically. Allowing us to question how good of a mom we truly are. The curse word… BALANCE. Do we have it? Can we have it? Is it even a thing?

I went through the gamete of emotions as I’m sure you have as well. First, returning to work after each of my pregnancies. Questioning if this was the right decision for our family and unsure if I could emotionally handle it all. Guilt over being happy to have a job and a purpose. Then in the next moment, guilt over not being with my baby.

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES

Second, and likely more predominantly, the emotions of working and traveling as they grew. Ladies, kids can lay on one heck of a guilt trip. Mom Guilt at it’s finest right there! When they are itty bitty and sense of time is not a thing they comprehend, leaving for one day versus four days really makes no difference in their little minds. I’m not a psychologist. Subsequently, maybe later in life I will realize my traveling when they were babies really did have some long-lasting effect on their development as a well-adjusted human. On the other hand, I doubt it.

However, when they start to talk and can express those emotions…. Dagger to the heart when you say you are going to be gone for a few days. They may lay on the, “you are leaving AGAIN?” or “why, momma?” Tearing at those heart strings fully laced with Mom Guilt with a heaping side of self-doubt. Furthermore, the inner voice of every nay-sayer who has laid it on thick to you at a family reunion, college get-together, church gathering, pre-school pick-up or…. you get the picture. Yep, Mom Guilt.

Incidentally, this same guilt tripping, sweet faced, snuggle bug is going to be just fine. I know. It’s hard to believe in the throes of it, but hindsight for all of us is 20/20. Even the hindsight of the slobbery, booger face making you feel like a failure in the moment.

BREAK THE CYCLE

I recently took some time off of work before making a career move. In the car with my now 10 and 8-year-olds, a discussion began regarding my old job.

You have to understand, I used to take them to the office with me a lot when they had a day off of school or day care. Loaded with a Starbucks hot chocolate to mirror my coffee, an iPad, coloring books, reading books, tracing books, and enough toys to entertain for a week, we would march into the office with our stuffed backpacks like a momma duck and her ducklings. I felt an overwhelming guilt.

They are going into the office with me instead of some magical day at the Children’s Museum or the Zoo or SkyZone or the million other places I made up in my head where they would rather be for a day. “I suck, but I have to get this project done.” Or “There are too many meetings for me to re-arrange today, PLEASE just behave.”

The Mom Huddle son on phone in Mom's office

Jake imitating me on phone in my office


Consequently, life’s a funny thing. Flash forward to this car ride, six months removed from the job. Discussion of our current summer of activities (we made up bingo cards) and the boys are looking back on those days in the office fondly. “Mom, if you were working this summer, we would have added going into your office onto our summer bingo card. That would have been a fun one!” Looking at going to work as a fun thing?? In a bit of amazement at this observation, I dug more.

THE CONVERSATION

Me: So, you guys liked going into my office?

Bryce: Oh yeah, remember when we went and helped pack gift bags for March Madness? That was super fun! I packed all of the hats for the gifts and stood in the tote thing so I could reach the hats. And we got to play on the iPad in your office while you were on the phone. I got a new game. Jake, that’s when we got the racer game. Remember?

Jake: Um, sort of.

Bryce: Yes, I wanted the minion one, but you said racer would be better and it was. Oh, and Jake, remember when we would help with NBA All-Star stuff?

Jake: Yeah, that was fun. I packed Dwyane Wade’s bag. Can we do that again mom? We should go in the office and see John and everybody. Who’s in your old office? Remember when I got the LeBron James short sleeve jersey because I pretended to rip it like he did? Then everyone in the meeting thought it was so funny, so they told me to keep it?

The Mom Huddle son pretending to rip sleeves off of a LeBron jersey

Jake pretending to rip sleeve off of LeBron jersey


Shock. Utter shock. Their memory of me dragging them to the office for another juggle of mom and career woman was not one of me not being present. Rather, they enjoyed these memories and looked back with fondness. In fact, they wanted to go back!

DIFFERENT VANTAGE POINT

If we’re being honest here, some of the above was pure child labor! Call CPS!! However, I put them to work doing things they could do at their age and not only did they do it, they enjoyed it! While this was not a total surprise as I know they enjoyed it in the moment, the epiphany is the way in which they looked back on those moments. My mindset looking back at this time included guilt about what we were spending our time doing and my multi-tasking of motherhood with work. Reality, they enjoyed the time and being able to be involved. Taking part in what I was doing. Furthermore, just being with mom and feeling loved with a sense of belonging.

They can be cheerleaders if we let them, like I discussed in the Mommy’s Soul on Fire post. In a similar way, they can feel a part of your passion and a good reminder that just like our looking back lens is 20/20, so can theirs. Why not let go of the guilt?

HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE

Grace. We must give ourselves grace when the feelings of Mom Guilt creep in. I read this quote recently on LinkedIn and besides being just mind blown, I love the different vantage point of our mindset as a working mom.

Believing in the lie that [working moms] are just slated and fated to constantly be feeling miserable and guilty and like we’re failing in all the areas – I say we can reject that, and we can actually choose something better, then we can encourage other women to do the same. – Liz Forkin Bohannon

Can I get an Amen sister?!?! First, why do we have to feel we must be miserable to be a working mom? Plagued to an eternity of trying to pursue a mythical balance. Instead, we know there will be days we will kick butt and take names. And days we hit the pillow, give the day a middle finger, and then start over the next day. However, the key being, we move on. It’s a bad day, not a life sentence.

Second, allowing ourselves to view motherhood and career through the mindset of positivity means we allow ourselves to find enjoyment in both.

IN CONCLUSION: NOT A LIFE SENTENCE

Are you a better mom because you work outside the home and have an outlet? Good! Conversely, are you a better mom because you stay home with your kids and have better focus? Also good! Do you need to travel to focus on your career and come home with a renewed spirit to then be more present as a mother? Equally good!

Ironically, none of these have right or wrong answers. The answers live in you. And no, not with the internal voice of the infamous Pam, Sue, and Karen influencing your Mom Guilt. JUST YOU. This is your life. Let go of the Mom Guilt. Train yourself to not ignore the feelings but give them a good reality check. If you love your children and show them in ways which work for your family, then move on. Giving yourself the best gift I can think of for not only a career-driven mom, but really any mom. Grace.

In conclusion, go be the best version of yourself today. Even better, give yourself the same grace you give your child. I believe in you, and so do they.

 

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Mommy’s Soul on Fire! Who Are Your Cheerleaders?

Mommy’s Soul on Fire! Who Are Your Cheerleaders?

WHO ARE YOUR CHEERLEADERS?

Do your children really know what mommy is feeling and what makes you tick? In particular, what makes “Mommy’s Soul on Fire?” Stick with me here for a second. First, think about this. We live in a day and age where, arguably, everything seems to be about our kids. Are they getting enough sleep, nutrition, Vitamin D, milk, exercise? In addition, is this too much screen time, are they stimulated enough, will they be bullied, do they have friends, are they being a friend? And we haven’t even started in on the millions of pieces of advice from every Pam, Sue, and Karen (versus Tom, Dick and Harry) who give unsolicited and typically pointless advice!!

Now, let’s move back to you. Do your children really know what gives you the feels?

ON FIRE?

To clarify, I’m not necessarily talking about the feeling you get when your children are unloading the dishwasher without being asked. To be honest, my initial feeling on this kind act? Dread. Too often, even though I am a positive person in general, my mind goes to dread.

As in, they are unloading the dishwasher without being told because the ball they were throwing smacked the tv and cracked the screen. This seemingly “kind act” is to lighten the mood before we notice.

Maybe it is anxiety over the fact I have not looked at their behavior chart from school today, so what really happened before recess?

Conversely, it is just a butter up technique to schedule yet another social event with their twenty closest friends on a night you have 47 other things planned. I know… I know… there maybe needs to be an intervention to get me out of negative town.

However, even if this is truly just a kind gesture from a sweet child giving you all the feels, it’s not ALL the feels. A soaring sense of pride? Yes. A check in moment with yourself that you ARE in fact doing something right, even when it might not feel like it in the daily throes of motherhood defeat? Sure.

I’m actually talking about the moment you do something for yourself and you know it’s exactly where you are supposed to be. You know the moment…. the one where you know it’s exactly what you should be doing.

IN MY SOUL

What is this moment for you?

Is it writing? Going for a run and hitting a personal record you have been trying to hit for years? Walking out of a meeting which confirms your non-profit is finally getting off the ground? Seeing your name on the screen as the speaker for a conference? A well-deserved promotion at work? Your great idea being put into action at your job? An encouraging conversation with a fellow mom in the Target line where you know you made a difference? Landing the deal your predecessor could not and you swooped in and nailed it?

There are billions of things women are doing to make their hearts beat a little faster. Their smile spread a little wider. Maybe, let’s be honest, a little smugger (HELL YEAH GIRL!). Even a click in their heels in a jump of excitement over an accomplishment. Hello?!?!?! Mommy’s Soul on Fire!! Picture what that moment feels like for you right now. Do it. Right now. What is it? Say it out loud.

And guess what? It doesn’t have to involve our children. There I said it. Shock, awe, horror, and blasphemy fills the room!!! I’m a mother, and yes, I, for the most part, enjoy the title. I tend to think I’m a pretty decent one at times, a mediocre one some, and even suck periodically.

But here’s the thing. Your life cannot revolve entirely around the human you brought into this world or who has been placed into your care. Of course, they are a HUGE part of it. Let’s not downplay this responsibility or joy. If you are, then you’re missing my point. But are they your ONLY life? No. At the age of eighteen (or somewhere near there), I hope your expectation is you have prepared them for their own life. Afterward, what happens to you?

PURPOSE- THE FIRE

I struggled for years to find what lit my soul on fire after having children. Truth be told, running through the motions of day-to-day was fine for a while. I felt accomplished in both career and child-rearing. To be fair, maybe Mommy’s Soul WAS on Fire. But then at some point, I started to question who I was any more. Generally, I do not know anyone who has not hit this point somewhere on their journey. It was not and is not a unique feeling, yet it can be very lonely and maybe even a bit bleak. Correct, you aren’t crazy. Even surrounded by tiny humans, life can feel lonely. #weird

There will likely be moments in life where you do not have the hit-me-in-the-face, mommy’s soul on fire, personal passion. For clarity, I’m not saying you are not passionate about your children, their lives, and your life as a spouse or partner. However, in the daily throes of the kids as babies, then toddlers, eventually elementary kids, intermediary school adolescents, and finally high school hormonal beings, I can assure you…. losing yourself at least once, likely multiple times throughout, will be inevitable.

In this space, you have to have a mindset of bringing yourself back to you. Not…

MOM YOU

SPOUSE YOU

CARPOOL MOM YOU

NEGOTIATOR MOM YOU

MEAL IN MINUTES MOM YOU

BUT YOU!!

The soul on fire YOU who has a passion for something outside of your family. Particularly, an identity which is truly your own.

MOMMY’S SOUL ON FIRE

For the most part, I absolutely believe we all know this. But here’s the kicker. We have to hear it often to tell ourselves it is okay to BELIEVE it. What?!?! Yep. Too often, our self-doubt or the outside forces of guilt on what motherhood should be influence what we allow ourselves to believe we can do. Allow that to sink in for a minute. And repeat: Too often, our self-doubt or the outside forces of guilt on what motherhood should be influence what we allow ourselves to believe we can do.

What are some of the beliefs surrounding you which are not allowing you to live out your purpose? It can feel selfish, for instance, to want something for ourselves outside of family needs. This is especially true if you were raised in an environment to think family needs are fully a woman’s responsibility. (Girl, don’t get me started!) Or maybe you were raised in a more cohesive team environment where parents split the duties of a household, but you now have moms surrounding you, who completely disagree with this thought process. (Can I get a witness?!?!?) These are two examples of A MILLION different scenarios we find ourselves in as mothers.

Accordingly, if we surround ourselves with people who also believe in the importance of bringing yourself back to YOU, we have powerful teammates in the daily struggle. Who’s on your team? Who’s in your huddle? Similarly, what if you gave yourself the grace to believe it was okay to be a mother AND have a purpose? (this is where I would normally put a mind-blown emoji in a text, for the record!!)

CHEERLEADERS FOR MOMMY’S SOUL ON FIRE

Let’s look at this another way. Tell your kids what your passion is. While that statement may have been a bit like ripping off the proverbial bandaid, stick with me here.

When your child has a wonderful day and cannot wait to tell you the amazing story of how they were picked first on the playground for freeze tag, are you not happy for them? Your child makes the seventh-grade basketball team after an intense elimination process, you tell them how proud you are of their accomplishment. The countless artistic masterpieces on your fridge? You have made them feel like a young Picasso with your compliments. Success on the SAT test? Hello Ruth’s Chris, celebratory dinner out!

On the other hand, why do we not expect this same encouragement and cheerleading from our own children to ourselves? What are we teaching them about following their dreams and life’s mission if, firsthand, we are not being an example?

IN CONCLUSION

Do your kids know what lights Mommy’s Soul on Fire? Are you sharing when you have wins and losses in your life’s work? If you answered no, please for a moment, flip the script.

Instead of continuously wearing the hat of provider for your children, think of the uninhibited passion, curiosity, and unlimited potential of a child’s thinking. We could all use a little more of this type of encouragement in our lives. As in, those tiny humans hanging on you one minute while seemingly the next wanting you to drop them off a block away to not embarrass them? YES, those are the ones I’m referring to. They can or dare I say should be your biggest advocates. Subsequently, the cheerleaders you didn’t know you needed just yesterday. However, it begins by letting them in on your secret. Your dream. Your passion. What lights Mommy’s Soul on Fire and gives you a sense of purpose.

I told my sons recently I wanted to start writing. Not journal writing or notes for school writing. But rather, writing to light my own soul on fire. Writing for a purpose to share my own thoughts which I think will help people, specifically other working moms. Consequently, my sons went to school the next day and told their teachers, “Mom is now an author and writing a book.” So guess what? I now have to be an author. First off, because it DOES light my soul on fire. More importantly, because my kids said so of course!

To summarize, go be the best version of yourself today. Furthermore, let your kids know why you are shining so bright this evening! I believe in you, and so do they.

[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary- it’s an act of infinite optimism. –Gilda Radner

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The Journey Begins – Finding My Purpose

The Journey Begins – Finding My Purpose

THE JOURNEY BEGINS….

Thank you for joining me! I recently began an amazing journey to finding purpose. While this can mean a lot of things, subsequently for me it meant writing again. Although being a novice, I likely went at the whole thing a little backwards.

First, I began by starting to write a bookFrankly, this is something I have always wanted to do. Secondly came writing articles, journaling, and doing a lot of reading myself. Thirdly, and I’m finding most importantly, came a website. THAT has been a true test of my patience and tech abilities. Even so, it has been a fantastic and freeing experience to let the words flow and give myself the time and mental space to explore ideas for articles. Sharing pieces of me through both humor and story-telling. It is now finally time to put myself out there. In conclusion, the start of the The Mom Huddle blog.

WRITING- JOURNEY TO FINDING PURPOSE

The journey in writing may have come as a bit of a surprise for those who know me.

“You write?”

“Where did this come from?”

“What are you going to write ABOUT?”

“You don’t want to work in sports anymore?”

First off, calm down. Honestly, it has always been there. I have written thousands of articles in my head over the years. My lone car ride articles are truly masterpieces, for instance! Unfortunately, I just never made time to actually put them on paper or push the envelope forward in any way. Therefore, the amazing Pulitzer worthy stories locked up in this head are ready to come out! Ha! Ha! For the moment, I will begin with this blog.

PURPOSEFUL WRITING- THE MOM HUDDLE BLOG

In any case, my desire is for The Mom Huddle to serve as a sounding board and create community for moms. In this way, my writing is centered around the motherhood space I am currently living. I am not an expert on motherhood. In fact, I grade myself as probably somewhere around a C to C+ mom. #truth

We will get into my self-graded status later. Nonetheless, the point I’m trying to make is no one is perfect. After all, sharing my story includes both the good AND the bad, questioning everything I think I SHOULD know as a mom but feel I DO NOT, and the funny and embarrassing (which tend to be in the same category in my house).

Too often, we think the mom next door, the mom at the PTO meeting, or the mom showing up looking like a million bucks instead of frazzled to the core, has this whole motherhood thing under control. However, we do not know the internal battle everyone is fighting with their own insecurities. We will discuss those insecurities and the general lack of a “Mom Manual” for all of us to reference. Furthermore, in this community we can all start to realize we are more alike than different. Frankly, we’re on the same team not competing motherhood squads. The Mom Huddle is about being teammates, not competitors of who can do it better.

THE MOM HUDDLE- EXHIBIT A

Recently, my family came back from our 2019 summer vacation. In truth, I had to laugh at myself. Even though I’m starting a blog on the craziness of motherhood and how important it is to share real life, guess what was showing on social media? I managed to put all fun and incredible pictures on Facebook and Instagram of my family. Don’t get me wrong, we had an amazing time! However, to look at social media, it was all smiles, cool pictures, and family bliss. AU CONTRAIRE MON FRERE!!!! 

For example, my oldest son on a hike to a WATERFALL mad about the fact we would not turn around because we were almost to the WATERFALL and he was tired. “We live in Indiana…. seeing a legit WATERFALL is kind of a big deal.” (said I to the s**thead….) Taking a picture of Jeremy and I, Bryce captured his big brother sulking on a rock in the background. This picture did not make the social media highlight reel. Why not though? My assumption is you have all dealt with THAT child in THAT sort of moment. Such is life.

Child in background pouting on a family hike

“Happy” camper photo bomber on a family hike to a waterfall.

JOURNEY TO FINDING PURPOSE- SKY IS THE LIMIT! 

The point is, all families have their “moments.” My hope is The Mom Huddle blog provides a platform for a mom to see the craziness in another’s story. Furthermore, realize she is not alone in her thoughts and feelings. In fact, she is part of a community with more commonality than differences. My wish for women everywhere is for them to find their huddle of supportive women who build them up when they need it. On the contrary, also give them a swift kick in the rear when they need it as well. THIS is what The Mom Huddle is all about.

Yes, the blog will have some stories of tips and tricks I have tried and worked for our family. But more importantly, the focus will be on surviving and thriving in your own unique way. The old saying more than one way to skin a cat, seems to apply here. No, I’m not promoting skinning our children! On the contrary, with no “Mom Manual” we have to understand there is more than one correct answer in how we mother our children. From this standpoint, we should then be supporting each other as a tribe of women. We’re all on the same team, so let’s act like it. While motherhood is an amazing journey, it’s also full of detours, mishaps, and pull-out-your-hair moments. Through community, we can and should share and not feel alone in what can sometimes feel like a very lonely and stressful point in our lives.

BYE FOR NOW!

I look forward to sharing with you on this journey. We will see where it takes me, but I’m excited to give this a try. Maybe this will even inspire someone to take their own journey to finding purpose for themselves.

Click here to read more on my story. You can also subscribe to receive new blog notifications and updates on the book progress. Until next time, go be your personal best!

There isn’t one right way to be a woman. There isn’t one right way to be a daughter, friend, boss, wife, mother, or whatever else you categorize yourself as. Instead, there are so many different versions of each and every style on this planet, and beauty lives in that dichotomy. – Rachel Hollis

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