This spring has proven to be a crazy busy for us.
It’s been insanely busy, but we’ve had a whole lot of happy in that mix, and for that we are grateful.
Add a few kids into the equation, along with homework, housework, after school activities, and a husband who’s busy learning the ropes during his first year as principal of an elementary school, and you have a pretty chaotic home front.
Last month, we made it to California as a family for the first time, and then shortly after returning, I ran my first (and most likely last!) half marathon with a few girlfriends. The training was a part time job in itself.
Our family will be rejoicing for Owen’s First Communion this weekend, and, along with Mother’s Day, I’d say it’s hard to top a weekend with plans like that.
But before I move ahead into the weekend’s joyous celebration and before I head to San Francisco next week for the PBS Annual meeting, I do want to step back and share a few things I learned last week.
Last week I was in Atlanta working with Whirlpool at the Mom 2.0 Summit. And though Mom 2.0 is a social media conference connecting bloggers with brands, I learned a ton that could be worthwhile to everyone—bloggers and non-bloggers alike–especially around Mother’s Day.
Sure, we busy moms don’t really want to hear one more thing about what we need to know or do or say, but this list? Worth your time.
These super-important messages were woven throughout the conference–they’re just a few things that every mother needs to know but doesn’t always want to hear.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- 5 Things Every Mother Needs to Know but Doesn’t Want to Hear:
1. you are teaching your kids about beauty and confidence
This was the most important take-away for me, maybe because I’m the mom of a 10 and 7 year old girl, or maybe because often I look in the mirror and frown back at my reflection, focusing on the wrinkles, tired eyes, and sun spots. This message stuck with me.
Here it is: You are teaching your kids–girls especially–about beauty and confidence, and you don’t even realize it. You don’t even realize it.
The way you look at yourself in the mirror, the way you frown at yourself–or smile–speaks volumes about how your children should feel when they look at their reflection in the mirror.
A quick, must-see look at how important it is to like our reflections, to appreciate what we see, thanks to Dove:
Dove has been long known for their rockstar body image campaigns (remember the Real Beauty one?), the Girls Unstoppable one that just may feature our favorite roller skater in the whole universe? This campaign rocked. Especially during these formative, tween years, what we, as moms, do and say in front of our kids counts. Bigtime. So? Take a deep breath, and do what you can to accept that #beautyis wherever you are and whomever you are with.
You are what beauty is, no matter who you are, what you look like, or what you may think. And that’s a beautiful thing. Let’s live it.
portrait of me, by cora, 7 yo. #LOVE #beautyis
2. you are allowed to change your mind
And really? Sometimes change is good. A lot of the time, change is good.
You once really, really loved yoga and now you don’t? Stop going. Try something new.
You meet the same girls every week for a walk and are getting kinda sorta sick of it? Take a break. Find a new way of spending that hour, and see how you feel.
Getting tired of the same job, same routine, day after day after day after day? Change it. Somehow, any way you can. Try something new.
Ready to take the plunge into the wilds of Twitter or Instagram? Do it and never look back.
Have you secretly, deep down inside, wanted to start your own blog? Do it, girlfriend, and be proud of it.
3. you are not able to do it all on your own
I repeat: you are not able to do it all.
This is one I need to hear and then get tattooed on my arm so I never forget it.
You. Are. Not. Able. To. Do. It. All.
So accept it and move forward.
And if you can’t outsource something, whether it be cleaning or cutting the grass or grocery shopping, find some way of getting help.
Can’t manage all of your work? Hire someone to help, even if it’s a tiny piece.
Think about what’s really important and do that. Not all of it will get finished.
Channel your inner Elsa and Let. It. Go. Let it gooooooo.
4. you are crazy powerful
You have enormous power as mom and influencer in your home.
You have enormous power as a member of the PTA, your church, your bookclub, your neighborhood home association.
You have enormous power as a user of Facebook or a sender of email.
You have enormous power as a woman, no matter your race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
You have enormous power as woman who birthed a child, adopted a child, or loves a child.
You have enormous power as a woman no matter who you are or what you do, and? It’s time you used your voice to speak up for those who need support, those who need a hand, or those who just really need to know they’re not alone.
So take a stand. Speak up about something, even if it’s a tough subject. I loved what Kelly Wickham said about leaning in and speaking out, even when it’s not easy.
Share a hashtag like #bringbackourgirls or share photos of your red balloons for Ryan. Donate to Amanda’s Army to support a fellow mom who is starting her battle with cancer–and then share the link with others.
Talk about it at the bus stop or on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer practice. Email a link to your own mom, your mom’s group, or the moms in your neighborhood. Remind them of how good it feels to participate in something larger than themselves.
Encourage your own children to solicit soap donations for the Global Soap Project, to host a toy sale where donations go to a local shelter, or to simply start a neighborhood exercise program, getting families healthy. All it takes is one person to get the ball rolling. One person can make a big difference.
5. you are where it’s at
Another Mom 2.0 takeaway is that you, as a mom and primary caregiver for your family, are the bomb diggity. We always knew that, but now more than ever, the brands are living and breathing it, too.
Brands want to help you. They want to support you during this crazy parenting job, and they want to make your life easier.
A few cool things some rockstar companies are doing to help you:
- Whirlpool’s got some awesome coming down the road (ahem. . . cough, cough. . . ) that will help you get kids involved in kitchen chores, and their new French Door 4-Door Fridge that is seriously flexible enough to adapt to any family. You’ll love it. They’ve even got a new microwave with an automatic popcorn sensor so your popcorn won’t burn. Check out my little instagram video of it.
- FAAR, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, is working on prompts and resources to help you have difficult conversations with your kids about alcohol and drinking.
- Bing has created a Bing in the Classroom program where you can use their ad-free safe search and earn tablets for your kid’s classroom. They’re making it so easy to keep your kids safe and tech-happy, that it’s nuts.
- Fandango is on the road to creating a ton of awesome, easy to digest, content on their site that will help parents choose the best movies for their family.
- Elmer’s is doing all they can do to help parents spend time with their kids with their #letsbond campaign. It’s awesome.
- National Geographic is creating Expeditions—Family Expeditions, even–that are designed to bring families together in engaging, exciting, life-changing adventures. No planning needed on your part, mom. Just pick a destination and date! Not up for traveling? Check out the continually improving NatGeoKids site.
- The National Sleep Foundation is doing all they can to provide moms with resources they need to get the best possible rest (goodness knows we need it!), and Kidde wants moms to rest easy knowing their house is safe thanks to their new 10 year smoke alarms.
Curious and want to learn more? Follow hashtags–#fridgie or #letsbond or #natgeofamilycontest or #talkearly or #evolution or #mom2summit– to learn more.
Five biggie things I’m sharing with all of my mom readers because I heard the messages loud and clear this past weekend.
Want a bit more about Mom 2.0? Check out some of my photos here:
Or check out the entire Mom 2.0 album here.
More to come on what I learned–I cannot wait to share!
fyi: Huge and happy thanks to my friends at Whirlpool for sending me to this conference, for supporting my learning there, and for all they’re doing to help make every mom’s job that much easier. This is a sponsored post, but as always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as an educator and parent.