We often keep our dreams hidden, thinking they are too weird or unrealistic. We keep our pain, hidden too, trying to look much stronger and more capable than we really feel.
We probably know that sharing your truth with other women is a great way to figure out that your dreams are not at all unreachable, that your pain is shared by others and that who you are deep inside is just exactly who you are supposed to be.
But let’s get real…who has time? Busy moms, whether they work outside the home, work from home, or work caring for a home, the opportunity for real, can hardly find time to sleep and shower, much less dig into dreams. When the kids are around, it’s hard to focus on big things like dreams or some-day-plans. (Focus + Kids around? Yeah right!)
And there are some things you just don’t want the kids to hear. No need to say more, right?
Then there’s work…
Yeah, not a great place for deep heartfelt sharing. First of all, when you’re at work, people kind of expect you to, well, work. Unfair, I know, but there it is.
And then there’s privacy (in case you missed it, break rooms are a WONDERFUL place to say anything you want spread through the grapevine by the next meeting. Ditto for cubicles and the company parking lot!)
And then there’s your image.
While some workplaces are more accepting about personal and work lives connecting, most employers would just as soon pretend that you don’t have a personal life. So telling your coworker (or boss!) too much about your scary medical tests, the business you plan to open, or your dreams of chucking it all and moving to Belize is probably not going to earn you points when review and raise time rolls around.
The demise of built-in communities for sharing
Years ago Decades ago Centuries ago, women had communities of other women to turn to when life went haywire…or wonderful. They had tribes. Although we have gained so much in the decades since then, we lost something, too. We lost that ready at-hand support network of other women who understood where we were and what was happening in our lives. For most of us, our college sorority days were the closest we ever came to experiencing an everyday community of women.
But that was then, and here we are now, married or not married, with kids to raise, and busy being a mom and a woman and maybe an employee or business owner.
And soooo many of us are literally starved for people who GET IT. And time to share what’s on our minds or in our hearts.
So what’s a mom to do? special
One of the great tools that have blossomed in recent years is the women’s convention. Some are just for bloggers, like BlogHer. Some are for women with a certain hobby, religion or ethnicity.
Others, like MomCom2014 are for moms. Moms who come together to share the things that make us as women, whether that’s a dream of owning a business, a book they’ve written or a life experience we share.
We get to share all those things that make us who we are in addition to being a mom. At MomCom, we can sit together and talk about it. We can listen to speakers and attend workshops to feed our passions and boost newly-hatched dreams. We can listen to other moms’ stories.
But most of all, we can share. We can finally share that dream we’ve been keeping inside. Or let the tears flow when the speaker’s message touches our own secret pain. We can talk over coffee or lunch, and exchange phone numbers and Facebook pages. We can sit up all night and talk if we need to, because these two days are just for us.
These gatherings let moms share stories of our lives, stories about our kids, and stories of hopes and dreams for the days and years to come. Sure it’s only two days, but the amazing thing is that when we go to these conferences and gatherings, it doesn’t end there.
We use the new information and the clarity and their our “tribe” to enrich our lives all year long. And the next year, we add even more.