I found out about The Power of Moms because Saren, one of the co-founders, is a new neighbor and friend of my sister Emily who lives here in Ogden. When I first heard about The Power of Moms I thought it probably wasn't for me, at least not now. I felt like I was barely scraping by with getting the necessities accomplished. I definitely didn't need one more thing to do. When you click onto the website it says: The Power of Moms, A Gathering Place for Deliberate Mothers. I wan't quite sure I was deliberate enough or even what they meant by that. I thought it sounded like an organization designed for type 'A' personality moms who needed an organization or something official sounding to feel important and accomplished in their role as mothers. Well, as it turns out, I was wrong.
I'm so glad that I decided to go to the retreat and that I am now a part of an awesome Learning Circle (thanks Emily) and for the articles and podcasts on the website that have really hit the nail on the head for me and helped me figure some things out. I love it and I still have only scratched the surface.
I loved April's article about housework...just a little shift in my own thinking has made a big difference for me. Talmage had started being really interested in helping me with housework, he loves helping me put away groceries, load and unload the dishwasher and help sort and put away laundry, but I still saw housework as something that had to get done before (or after) the fun and not something that was actually fun. Since reading April's perspective about housework I have shifted my thinking to find that housework isn't just a necessary evil, but it can be a fun and bonding activity to do with Sydney & Talmage. Since this shift I have had a cleaner house more often and have enjoyed the process of getting there along with my favorite side kicks. April also said that if we teach our children that housework is punishment then we are basically saying that being a mother is the worst punishment we could have. Good point.
(Talmage loaded this all by himself. He even separates the utensils into spoons, forks, etc... He really loves helping. Almost every night before bed he tells me, "Mommy, I love you. And I love helping you with the dishes and the laundry." Melts. My. Heart.)
I also loved April's post on her blog about when she sleeps. She has a variety of schedules that help her to maximize her time. I really like the one where she goes to bed early and wakes up in the middle of the night for a four-hour block of uninterrupted work time and then goes back to sleep. I tried that last week when I had a project I really needed to finish and it worked out great for me.
April Perry + Me at Saren's parents home.
I have also enjoyed listening to the series of podcasts on the Power of Mom's website that is hosted by Saren and her mom (Linda Eyre, NY Times best selling author, Joy School founder, and parenting expert) and her sisters (one of whom was just honored with the title of National Young Mother of the Year) where they talk about a variety of topics including creating systems that work and managing expectations.
I think it's really valuable to have the perspective of these mothers who are in the trenches of motherhood right now and know what it's like to have children that are the same ages as my children. The passing of years has not dulled their memories of what it's really like to have young children because they have little kids too and are right there with me trying to find the best solutions for their families and have created this amazing forum to share with other mothers. It leaves me wondering why something like this hasn't existed before but I am grateful that now it does and am grateful that I found out about it.
These are some pictures I took per request of Saren at the retreat I went to last month and she put them together into this collage...you can sorta kinda get a taste of the vibe that was going on there from these photos.
I liked it so much that I'm going to another retreat in a few days. Courtney Kendrick a.k.a. cjane is going to be there presenting so I'm excited to meet her in person and soak up some mothering wisdom from all the speakers and attendees. I think there are a few spots left so if you're at all interested you should come.
The reasons for it all...these two darlings.