I recently attended a women's conference called Rise LA led by the one and only Rachel Hollis. Yes, she is the one you may have seen last week on The Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee promoting her book, "Girl, Wash Your Face." Yes, she is the founder of Chic Site with million plus subscribers and yes, she has a podcast and has written many other books and the list goes on! But, it was her recent adventure in bringing 700 women together, empowering us to "stand up for our sister" and encouraging us all that we were #madeformore that has me, this mama, inspired in ways I haven't been in a very long time. Why do you ask? Well because Rach keeps it real and re-ignited a fire in my heart that I didn't realize was still there.
I am a mom of three amazing humans who challenge me every day to be a better person. They make my heart smile, teach me so much more than I sometimes think I teach them. And, let's be honest, make me run to hide in a closet at times to give myself a much-needed "Time Out!" Author note: I highly recommend giving yourself more "time outs" and your kids more "time ins," but more on that later.
Like many of you, my journey into motherhood hasn't been easy and started in a very dark place. I wrote back in September 2016 about my battles with postpartum depression. I called the blog, "A Love Letter to Moms with Postpartum Depression: I See You. I Feel You. I Am You." And, after I hit "submit" and that blog was out in the world, I received hundreds, actually thousands of comments, private messages and more from our fellow Mama Warriors who have battled with PPD. It felt very vulnerable for me, but it was worth it. I also invited some of those reading the blog to connect on Facebook at Hello Mama Today where we began to share some of our stories: the good, the bad and the dirty (I'm talking diapers, kid messes and more) and the community began to grow. It was growing organically, slowly, by connecting and serving others and then...I left the room! Yup, you read that correctly. I shared a blog post that resonated with other moms, connected them together, encouraged them to show up to be heard and supported and then this mama left. I walked away without a "goodbye" or a "see you soon" or even a "I'll be back" or anything. I told myself it was because I was too busy raising children and working on other projects (which I was) or that the group was small anyway (which it was) or that it really doesn't need me to do anything more (wait, what?!). And, there it was...the lightbulb moment!
This group wasn't and isn't just about me. It was about the moms who joined (all 56 of them!) and had something to say and something to share. It was about a special sisterhood going through motherhood and an important reminder that we are not alone in this journey. More than anything, it was and is about knowing that "we rise by lifting others" and it is because it is still burning on my heart, that I am bringing it back! (cue JT's song...you know which one).
You know what else I left behind and kept on pause for more than a year now? Contributing to this community! I signed up and then I left the room. Until now!
What do I love, what do I hope and what do I dream?
One word: Writing!
Because it is the burning desire on my heart to share more than just a story about PPD. Because thanks to Rachel Hollis and her event, I have realized that I was "made for more" and so were you! It's about the fact that it is part of my dream and my hope by sharing it with YOU is that it will give you the courage to do the same.
As mothers (and fathers too!) we have so many, many more stories to share! And, that's really what this parenting community is all about: serving others by sharing our stories.
Is it scary?
Is it crazy?
Fo sho' (as the kids say these days)
Is it healing?
And, is it also worth it?
Abso-freakin-lutely! (credit: Big, SATC)
I have taken many leaps of faith during my years of being a mom. I birthed a PR biz at the same time I birthed my last baby. I stepped up and showed up to serve non-profits and causes close to my heart. And, I have written a little about those moments including one called "Mommy's Here" and then I left the room.
But, as Jen Hatmaker said so perfectly at Rise LA, "the itty, bitty, BS committee" has tried to keep me small, paralyzed by perfection and thinking I am unworthy of building or creating.
But, that ends now. I am doing it despite those thoughts in my head because...
I LOVE writing and creating.
And, this is why my first blog post within this awesome parenting community is about facing my fear, living my truth and choosing to keep writing and creating because that is what sets my soul on fire! (Cue Alicia Keys Girl On Fire).
Hello Mama, I'm back and I was made for more!
Let's keep this conversation going right here or join us at Facebook at Hello Mama Today. We can chat about the "time outs" vs "time ins" and so much more! Be blessed, JC.