Week #32: Building My Tribe and Seeking Wisdom
Warning: Authentic moment coming:
So the last few months I have been giving a lot of thought to how can I engage and inspire moms to take time for themselves. How can I successfully convey that a mom being intentional about her me time is as critical to her happiness and fulfillment as it is to her brushing her teeth everyday? I can’t drive around to every mom I know and pick her up and drive her to a mommy break (although I have thought of that). I have learned just because I have created the opportunity does not mean that they will come. (Maybe I took the movie Field of Dreams too literally). I have planned a few group mommy breaks, aka MomMeHour’s, that I thought would be “no brainers” but for a myriad of reasons, bad day and time, no sitter, no interest, or general mommy flakiness (which we all have), the mommy breaks have had a low turn out.
I was expressing my frustration with a dear friend and she offered “Nicole, why not create a mommy break for other mommy bloggers?” Initially, I shrugged off the idea. If a “regular” mom can’t make one of my mommy breaks surely a mommy bloggers can’t make one. However the idea stayed with me. Since I am committed to the success of this platform by any means necessary, I thought… why not at least try. So I happen to follow some mommy bloggers who are really creating an impact on Instagram and Facebook. I do not have personal friendships with them but they inspire me and I felt that I had nothing to lose and nothing to gain if I didn’t at least extend the invite. So I sent a few of them a personal message on Instagram stating my intention and many of them answered in the affirmative. This week was a rare week of 3 mommy breaks in the same week but it was kicked off by my inaugural mommy break for mommy bloggers. Three mommy bloggers were able to join me at Lush Wine Bar on a Sunday afternoon. We shared our goals and experiences to date. We left committed to reconvening once a month and inviting mommy bloggers that we knew to join us for the next one. Although I have a wonderful tribe of sister-friends, I now know it is equally important to build my tribe of mommy bloggers so that we can support each other on reaching and exceeding our goals. I could do it alone but it will be a much more fulfilling experience if I can do it alongside others. . I left re-inspired about my mission and the possibilities for the Mommy Break Project… the best is yet to come!
Kicking off the week recharged is always great. Getting a reboot later into the work week is even better. The Neighborhood Parent Network (NPN), a non profit that connects parents to resources in Chicago, hosted their Working Moms Happy Hour, at the advertising agency Leo Burnett. It promised free wine (“SOLD”) food samples and an engaging speaker, Heidi Stevens. She shared so many nuggets throughout her talk that I felt compelled to pay it forward by sharing:
- “No one has ever said they do it alone”
- “You don’t need to be self - reliant”
- “1 in 4 working moms cry alone from the stress of trying to get it all done”
- “Hire out everything you can afford to hire out. If you receive a tax return refund, use the refund to reserve it and allocate it to have an extra set of hands throughout the year… Value ourselves enough to say ‘we deserve help’.
- “Give fewer fucks” —— “YAAAAASSSSS”
I mean throughout the talk I to just wanted throw up my hands and say “PREEAACCHHH” but I realized I was in a room with a bunch of moms I did not know, who were much more reserved than I was. How awesome is the wisdom that she was dropping? I wish I had her recorded in my phone so I could just listen to her over time, especially when I have a mommy melt down moment. The evening ended supporting a friend's “happy hour”/“networking event”, SupperClubChicks. Not only did I get re-acquainted with some other moms…the icing on top… she had a masseuse giving chair massages. I could not have asked for a better send off back home to who knows what was waiting for me in the kitchen or with bedtime. (Kids were down… and so was the cleanliness of the kitchen post dinnertime… but I will take it!)