I had the opportunity to spend the weekend away from my family at the Big Mother House Retreat. A weekend away is a blessing and a curse. Un-interrupted meals (my dinner was hot and no one was calling for more milk or mac and cheese the moment I sat down!), time without hearing MOM every 33 seconds…but on the flip-side, missing those tiny little faces so much. I’m a working mom who travels a decent amount for work. It’s seasonal, but when I hit the road it’s usually for several trips in a row.
I’m an anxious creature. I don’t have many casual friends because I can’t do small talk and every time I open my mouth I stick my foot in it. To accept an invitation to attend a weekend away, all for myself was exciting. To accept an invitation to attend a weekend away with a bunch of strangers was incredibly daunting.
Women are mean.
I’m sorry, ladies. We are. We talk about our “friends” the moment they walk away, we judge each other silently (or not even silently). And then there are the mommy cliques- the exclusion of the mom who isn’t quite as cool as our other friends.
We have some of the hardest jobs out there. Being a woman is tough. Being a working woman- mom or not- it’s hard. Being a mom is the most challenging and yet my favorite job. Doing it alone? Ten times harder.
I decided to go to the Reality Moms Big Mother House Retreat to meet some other women who were both writers and moms. I’m trying to hone my craft and figured if nothing else I could get a little bit of advice. Away I went with the blessings of my (awesome) husband, dared myself to be brave and my tiny suitcase… Jersey Shore, here we come!
It. Was. Magical.
I met five of the most amazing women ever. I played in the ocean. I RAN AROUND IN A BATHING SUIT and didn’t care one bit. I laughed until I cried. I snored my face off. We cruised the bay at the Tuckerton Seaport and saw a beautiful sunset from their new ferry. I got too little sleep and ate way too much ice cream. And I changed.
I met five of the most amazing women ever who I shared some of my deepest fears and hopes with. I was completely myself and magic happened. I learned some new things about being a writer, but more importantly, I learned some new things about myself. I left a kinder, gentler, more confident version of myself.
Ladies—when we open ourselves up to other women and let that magic happen? It’s world-changing. There is such beauty in women empowering themselves to grow and supporting each other while it happens.
I challenge you to find your tribe. I challenge you to take a moment and make the small talk with that woman you don’t know. The one who you see at the school drop-off, or who sits next to you at spin. Trust me, mama… it’s worth the risk.
Take a minute and be yourself. Make the leap- open the mouth and maybe insert the foot. But let that magic happen.
I dare you.