Friday, June 21, 2013

Deliberate Motherhood Retreat

(I'm going to get back to the everyday kind of blogging much has happened in the last couple months...but for now I need a place to post all about this event!)

We did it!  We hosted our first Power of Moms Retreat in the DC area!  This is definitely a dream come true for me.  I've had a lot of Power of Moms posts on my blog in the past year.  I've gone from being an avid fan to a board member and now I'm so excited to be one of their trainers as they try to keep up with the demand for more events all over the country and world.  It's something I believe in and it's been a fun journey for me personally.  I'm so grateful for the excitement and purpose it adds to my already wonderful life.

Our mini-retreat was held at the beautiful home of Margaret Archibald in Maryland.  Saren Loosli (Co-founder of Power of Moms) was there to present and I had the privileged of being mentored by her as I helped to co-presented for the first time.  It was so much fun!

What a wonderful experience it is to gather with other moms that are trying their darnedest to be deliberate and intentional about their parenting experience!  My only regret was that it was so short--3 hours!

We covered some awesome topics.  
Peace, Purpose, Order and Joy.

It's really hard to only spend 30 minutes or so on each topic!  I wanted to soak up all that each mother had to say as she processed new ideas and shared wisdom that she had gained through hard experiences.  Instead, I enjoyed watching the light, laughter and sometime tears in their eyes as we covered the things we thought would make the biggest impact on their journey into being more deliberate!

One thing we talked about was how important it is to find purpose and joy as we mother.  We discussed how we find ways to merge some of our passions and pursuits with raising kids and other times how we lose the guilt and step away to have goals that we follow outside of mommy-hours.  It seems that most of the time when you ask another mother what they like to do--they giggle nervously--then say something like, "Well, I haven't really thought about that for a while...I take care of kids."  Sometimes those moms are already doing exactly what they love and enjoy with their kids, (hiking, biking, reading, swimming, teaching, etc.) but if we don't recognize it and allow ourselves to feel the joy of it, then it doesn't enhance our lives.  It's fun to be in these discussions and watch those moms dig into the deeper recesses of their memory to think of things that truly bring them joy.  There's something so empowering about having dreams and working towards them little by little.  It keeps a spark of life, excitement and joy amidst the more mundane parts of the day!

Somewhere in the middle we took a break and enjoyed delicious fruit and muffins.  A big thanks to our sponsors!

We try to give as many ideas and tools as we can in our time together.  But my favorite part is when we get a chance to split into small groups.  That's when the real learning happens as we all process the ideas and apply them to our current situations and problems.

As I sat at this retreat I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  (Sound familiar?!)  We just finished a hectic move.  By finished, I mean we are in the new house--with a lot of work waiting for my attention every day!  My kids were 2 days away from summer vacation and I was feeling less than prepared.  My 5 year old and I can't seem to figure out how to get along very well right now and that weighs heavy on my heart.  I just took on an assignment at our church to head up the program that is provided for the teenage girls--and their summer camp was starting in 4 days.  And, although it sounds unimportant, my 2 year old is teething molars and having a rough time with it.  She also averages about 22 minutes to get into her car seat (by herself!) which is testing my patience many times a day!

That was my story that day as I sat there.  I know each person had their paragraph of "things" going on.  There's something so reassuring to just sit next to others that understand where you're at...even without sharing any details.  I think that's one of the beautiful things about motherhood.  It can be a lonely career until you open your heart to the support and understanding all around you.  It takes a special group of moms to be able to offer silent empathy and support without judgement.  Women that understand that each mother is doing her best no matter what you see on the outside!

What a great day...

...such a joy and so much fun!