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Friday 15 Featured Guest: Elizabeth Juline, Jack and Jill Nanny Agency

Elizabeth JulineToday, we had a great chat with Elizabeth Juline owner of the Jack and Jill Nanny Agency

Wow, what a great conversation with Elizabeth about her experiences in starting a new business in Austin!  If you missed it, click below to learn about how helpful moms in Austin have been in getting her connected, helping her find resources and explore new opportunities like Story Time.

You won’t want to miss this if you have a business or have ever thought about starting your own business.

You can catch up by watching us here on this page.  You can also watch from your mobile device by downloading the Hangout App.

Do check out our upcoming speakers, too.  To be considered to join us as one of 10 members of the Hangout, ask questions and participate one-on-one add us to your Google Circles and RSVP to the event here. You usually must do this at least 12 hours before the event to be a live member of the Hangout. But you can listen in and watch a hangout even if you’re not one of the first 10 to respond! We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments after the show, too!

Not sure how to add MomCom to your circles? Visit our How to Participate in a Friday 15 Google Hangout page for more information.

For a list of all of our upcoming Friday 15 events and to add them to your calendar, please visit our online calendar!

Hope to see you this Friday and every other Friday as well!

[infopane color=”8″ icon=”0001.png”]Every Friday, we’re going to be “hanging out” with amazing women who will tell us their stories during our Friday Fifteen Google Hangouts. Don’t know what these are? Well, at just about the time you’ve had it, either with work or the kids, (that’s 1:30 p.m. CST for us), we’re going to rescue you and your friends and followers and our friends and followers by spending fifteen minutes on a MomCom Google Hangout session. We’re going to leave you revived and renewed and ready for the weekend. We’re going to help you wrap up your work week and give you that needed boost to be productive at the end of the week. It will be your “happy fifteen” before your Friday happy hour. Join us! Would you like to be one of our featured Friday Fifteen-ers? Would you like to get your organization involved? Fill out the form at http://momcomlife.com/get-featured and let us know that you have something to share.[/infopane]

I surrender

by Heather King 
@HeatheroftheEO

As I type this, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning in Austin, Texas. One month ago, my back patio was in Minnesota and sitting on it was very hit and miss. Here in Austin, among other things to love, I could sit outside most days of the year, and I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to doing so without a hangover.

Yes, for years I coped with my tendency toward perfectionism and my desperation for control with alcohol. Becoming a mother showed me like nothing ever had before that it’s not about me, and there is no such thing as total control, no matter how hard a mama tries to keep it all together.

Had I been more aware of what alcoholism is, in a high functioning I’m-somehow-still-a-good-mother kind of way, I may have quit drinking sooner. I may even have never started binge drinking wine and then harder liquor secretly every night because I would have been scared of losing that control I so desperately wanted. But because I didn’t really understand this disease and how it waits for some of us to make some really unhealthy choices that we have to take responsibility for, I drank and drank and drank. I remained in denial, and I drank.

The truth is, I just didn’t allow myself to think about it all that hard. That sounds ridiculous, but you do what you have to do to do thing you don’t really want to do, you know?

Some of us drink, some of us eat too much, some of us spend way too much time on the Internet and some of us cut or binge shop or pretend to our death that we can be all things to everyone.

I drank.

Three and a half years ago, I quit. Then I became more fully myself, as a mother and as a person. I was burying a lot of the mess in me and I had no idea that the mess was part of the beauty. That embracing all aspects of being human was going to set me free in ways I could not have imagined.

Letting go was the catalyst toward deeper connection with my family, my work and everything else I was fearing. Intimacy, vulnerability and trust.

To say I have all of it figured out now would be a really hilarious lie. I don’t have much figured out at all, but I’m even learning to accept and therefore embrace that. Progress, not perfection, my friends.

My alcoholism is a painful part of my story. I have memories I would REALLY rather not have. I WORK every day to stay sober. It’s not easy. There is a lot of life, for all of us, that is so not easy. Surrendering to that as a simple reality is best for me. I have been given many gifts in recovery and one of them is teaching my kids that they don’t have to be perfect either, that exactly who they are is more than enough and that telling the truth really will set you free.

Today I get to write, speak and teach about motherhood with no barrier from the whole truth roiling around in my gut. I feel enormously grateful for the relationships that are born of that, both personally and professionally.

The reality is that I would not be sitting on a porch chair in Austin, starting a brand new adventure with my husband, three kids and one dog if I had continued drinking. But even so, the reality is, it wouldn’t matter where we live….I would have been literally and figuratively curled up in shame and self-hatred (but pretending to be totally fine) and unable to see the beauty in this messy and imperfect and lovely and unpredictable life.

Hi, my name is Heather. I’m an alcoholic in long-term freeing sobriety. I’m new here. I’m so grateful to meet you.

[infopane color=”2″ icon=”0018.png”]Heather King is a Minnesota-rooted transplant to Austin, Texas. She has been writing at her award-winning blog, The Extraordinary Ordinary since 2008. She is a freelancing, three-child-juggling, works-from-home mom who moved with her family to Austin in early June. Heather is a speaker and a co-manager of BlogHer conference’s yearly Serenity Suite. She loves words and people the most.[/infopane]

Have a Safe 4th of July!

Fireworks #1

Before you head out for today’s picnic, hikes, swims and of course fireworks. make sure you’re set for a safe and happy 4th! Here are some tips for making today’s fun great for kids, pets and everyone else.

Water safety

Swimming and boating are holiday favorites, and in Central Texas the heat makes it even more of a wonderful choice. Kids Health has a wonderful article on water safety and kids.  Their advice?  Make sure any child on any boat is wearing an approved safety vest. Blow up water rings and toys flotation devices are no substitute for the real thing. And if you’re heading to the 68 degree water at Barton Springs Pool in Austin (and yes, they are open today, even though Thursday is usually their cleaning day), beware of the water temperature especially for younger kids. According to Kids Health,

Body temperature drops more quickly in water than on land, and it does not take long for hypothermia to set in. If a child is shivering or experiencing muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately.

No matter what the temperature, kids should never be left unattended near water. At a party, make sure someone is designated to watch the kids or the pool/lake edge at all times. Sadly, too many water accidents happen when there’s a crowd, and everyone thinks someone else is watching the kids.

 Fireworks and kids

CPSC Inographic on Fireworks injuries

Infographic from the CPSC

My brother has his own advice as I’m writing this (no Roman candle fights, don’t believe your sister when she says “Hey hold these fireworks while I light them!”  and other bits of sage advice….thanks little brother!  But if you want some real advice, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers some great tips on having fun with 4th of July fireworks and still keeping kids and adults safe, including:

  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

Hey, maybe my brother’s on to something after all!

Food and the 4th

Picnic Food

Picnic Food (Photo credit: avlxyz)

With summer temps high in so many parts of the country, keeping your picnic food safe all day is another challenge.  Kids, especially little ones, are extra susceptible to food poisoning, so make sure everything is kept in coolers or on ice when it’s not being eaten.

And if kids wander away from their plates for more than a few minutes, toss it and replace it with fresh items when they’re ready to eat again. It only takes a few minutes at summer tempertures to start bacteria growth in meat (even cooked meat), salads, cheeses and cut veggies, so better to waste a bit than take a chance on tummy troubles later on.

But no matter what you do…

Take today to have fun. And to thank your lucky stars that you can still protest back decisions in our capital buildings, that you can share your opinion without being arrested for disagreeing with the powers that be, and that when you hear those big bangs in the night sky tonight, it will be fireworks instead of bombs. We may not have it perfect, but we have a great start on it.  Happy Fourth of July!  #MomUp !

 

 

 

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Kelly Jedele, Owner & President of Let Kelly

Kelly Jedele, Owner & President of Let Kelly

Let Kelly services of Austin TexasToday we’re featuring a profile of one of our wonderful MomCom exhibitors, Kelly Jedele, owner of Let Kelly, a unique business owned by a unique mom.

Usually with our profiles, we start with some questions, and then create a post to tell the story. But Kelly’s own words are so amazing, that we are just letting them stand as she wrote them. Anyone who is, has ever been, or knows a single mom will want to read this profile. So without further ado…here’s Kelly!

“I absolutely love what I do! My passion is to help women (and men) ease the stress of everyday life. We are called to be wives, moms, friends, daughters, employees, etc and there really is not time to keep up with all the details and also work out and keep your nails painted!

kelly Jedele owner Let KellyLet Kelly was started in 2009 when I wanted to hear one person breathe because they had help with the chores in their home. Let Kelly helps with cleaning, laundry, organizing, errands, filing, and small projects.

I know first hand that today’s society puts endless pressure on us. I have been a single mom for almost 8 years to my beautiful 10 year old daughter. I want everything for her. She is the reason I push through the challenges and extreme demands of being a working mom.

Managing it all is quite a juggling act. I really focus on being present with her and each person that I am with so that the minutes count. I also let my goal for perfection just be a goal and am grateful and excited for each day and opportunity.

I started this company with the goal to help others and then it all just fell in to place with who I needed to talk to and all the structure that needed to be set up as I went. It happened really quickly and I realized that I had an amazing group of people that surrounded me and believed in me. They helped me with answers that I did not even know I had questions for.

I see huge amazing things for Let Kelly. I want to inspire women to listen to their natural instincts of who they want to be and become. We are such powerful sexy people that can change the world, one little person (or marriage or friendship) at a time. I hope to meet you soon!”

 

Telling your story

mom and three kidsHere at MomCom, we’re all about community.  We want to hear your story and share it with our readers.

If you have a business or a career, we want to know how you balance kids and work.  Or what you love/hate/worry about/care about in your life as a mom and a career woman.

If you’re a stay-at-home-mom, we want to hear about what makes your life work, or what makes you want to rip out your hair.

If you’re a new mom, you can share your story about that. Empty nest mom or grandmom?  We want to hear those stories, too.  Our only requirement is that

  1. It’s your story
  2. You’re a mom
  3. It’s not self-promotion for a business, even if it’s your business

In return for sharing your story with us, we’ll share it with our readers across the social network.  Why? Because you never know who else might be facing the same problems, laughing at the same silliness or wondering if they’re the only one who feels…. (fill-in-the-blank). And reading your story might be just what some mom out there needs to feel less alone. As we, said, we’re all about community!

PS…We also love pictures,so feel free to add those to your story if you’d like!  We’ll even include a link to your blog, website or business!

(Worried about your writing skills?  Odds are, you’re a much better writer than you think! But if you need help telling your story, we’re here to help! Just submit it, and we’ll work with you to smooth out any bumps in the road!)

 

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Ending the Mommy Wars — with Photos?

two women arguing

Ever since the first woman put down the diaper bag to pick up a brief case, the “Mommy Wars” have waged in cities, towns and suburbs across the country.

Moms with careers outside of the home were accused of abandoning their children for personal glory and a corner office. Moms who stayed home to raise the children were seen as traitors to feminist causes and told they were wasting their lives and educations. The labels of “career woman” and “homemaker” were both uttered through gritted teeth as each side judged the other…and found women who made different choices wanting.

But one group of moms is trying to end the mommy wars once and for all, using something as simple as handwritten signs and a set of photographs.

A group called Connecticut Working Moms has posted a photo essay of moms holding up signs describing their different choices,  covering all kinds of hot-button issues like  bottle versus breast,  television viewing limits, sleeping arrangements and education choices. And course, the heart-and-soul of the Mommy Wars, stay-at-home versus outside career. What makes this photo essay so different is that each shot shows two women who have made different choices…but they are both still moms, both smiling, and nary a raised eyebrow in sight.

And lest you think these shots are just symbolic, you should know that the women in the shots have made these choices — and yet they are accepting the fact that their friend standing beside them has made a very different choice around the same key issues of child-rearing.  But they remain part of the same sisterhood of moms, trying to raise happy, healthy children.

Here in Austin, we see moms helping each other’s businesses thrive.  We chime in on Facebook walls and Google+ Circles when a sister in our community asks for help or input. At MomCom events, we share tables and conversations and laughs with moms who probably made some very different parenting choices from the ones we did. Recognizing and accepting those choices as right for them (even while validating our own decisions) is the key to leaving the whole concept of Mommy Wars in the past.

So here’s a big round of applause for those moms in Connecticut! Whether we each agree or disagree on the specifics, it’s a beautiful reminder that when it comes to being moms, we’re ALL on the same side of the battle.

 

 

 

 

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