What’s New? Mommy 911 and Blogging

Everything!

I’m a little overwhelmed.   Blogging for a few different organizations has been harder to juggle than i initially thought.  Did I really think that it was going to be easy?

I’m starting to get the hang of it now… it’s called routine- something I ROUTINELY avoid. Ugh!

Robyn (co-creator of The Revelation Project) is finally off my couch and seems to be able to feed herself again after banging her noggin snowboarding so I can no longer with good intention avoid the obligations that scream for my attention. KIDS! BATH! LAUNDRY! and I’ve managed to get a few posts completed on TLC’s Discovery Network.  I wrote this one today on my experience growing up and attending a Waldorf School in Detroit Michigan, and I’ve also managed to write a few for the Revelation Project which you can view here and here.  My favorite however is the one I wrote with YOU in mind which you can view here: Mommy 911

I CAN'T WAIT FOR SUMMER!

The other reason for some of the overwhelm is that the project has been a hit!  In order to keep things simple ( that’s a joke) I separated the blogs (Childerness and The Revelation Project) so if you’d also like to follow that one please sign up here.  I did this because many women and younger women who don’t have kids are interested but as soon as they saw “the childerness” title they got nervous (any surprise?) and though the project was just for mom’s… which it’s not.

Finally; I just want to say… I can’t WAIT for summer this year.  It will be the first REAL SUMMER I will have in a long long long long time ( I’ll explain in the next post!)

Sprinkler!!!

I could eat them!

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TLC and The Revelation Project

A few months ago I was invited to blog for TLC’s new parenting site called Parentables and although I am loving it I have to say it’s incredibly hard to do knowing that other people outside my own social network will see my writing or eeeks, be able to criticize!

I always amaze myself at how insecure I can be when I venture out into the world of something new.  I love pretending I don’t care what people have to say about me while behind the scenes I have to make repeated trips to the bathroom for a nervous tinkle or two.

Anyway- the most exciting part is that The Revelation Project has also been invited to be posted there with the highly visible Kate Gosselin (I don’t have tv so something about Kate plus Eight or something? … and wait.. eight what? puppies?.. I mean, who would ever do that?  -animal control!) and some amazing writers such as Sarah Fernandez, Marla Garfield , and many more…

So far I’m only behind by three posts and would love to hear what some of you might want me to take a stab at writing about because somehow I have a feeling that you could all make me feel a bit braver if i knew you were kind of there with me. Kay?

I think i can i think i can i think i can…..

The two posts featured for The Revelation Project so far are this one and this one.

The Revelation Project Part VII: Meaghan O’Neill

I first met Meg a few years ago through her sister who was working with me as I was pitching venture capital companies for a bright idea I had about saving the world. I had this amazing business coach who was directing me on how to build a board of advisors, and I wanted Meg to be one of them.  From the start Meg was “game” – and that’s how I’ve tended to look at her.  It would not surprise me if she played varsity sports all four years and was considered MVP or if she was named “most likely to be a team player” in her high school year book.  Hell- I would not surprise me if she graduated valedictorian of her class.  That’s kind of what I mean… I don’t actually know these things about her… it just would not surprise me at all.  She’s just comes off as “Meg” – what you see is what you get and what you get is someone who’s on your team in a huge way- and who comes across as likable and non threatening.  When you learn that she’s got all this amazing experience, know how and respect with absolutely no arrogance you think… how does she DO THAT?  I mean.  My head would be so huge it might literally pop off my body.  Not Meg. Meg is Meg is Meg.  I’m thinking that when women are really taken seriously as a presidential candidate that we might consider Meg.  Yeah, Meg for U.S. President.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Meg; I live in Newport, RI with my husband and son.
I’m a writer and editor, and I work for Parentables http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/ , a parenting website, and TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com, a blog dedicated to environmental news and culture.

What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

I had seen the outcome of a few prior shoots, so I was really excited to partake. But I tried not to psyche myself out by pretending it was “no big deal.” Luckily, my computer also melted down on the morning of the shoot, so I had a good distraction from my vanity (read: insecurity).

How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

Monica and Robyn are really approachable and down-to-earth, so that made me feel like I was on equal terms with them – and their cameras. And there wasn’t a big fuss about hair, make-up, and wardrobe, so there wasn’t this intimidating this is a big deal factor. It felt more like hanging out with friends.

Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?
Giddy, giggly, anxious.

3 words for after

New. Best. Friends.

Three words for when you saw the results
Hey, that’s me!

After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

I felt like I had just been out clubbing all night with my good friends. Like we had really lived it up for a while – grabbed the bull by the horns.

When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?
Me: “I am outrageously laughing in every single picture. I should really take myself more seriously!”

Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

Mom: “That doesn’t even look like you! When did you hair get so curly?”

Husband: “These are beautiful.”

What are some words you would use to describe how you were feeling throughout the shoot?

What the hell is my “sultry” look? (I need to work on that.)

Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?

I confirmed that I laugh and act goofy when I’m nervous. But I think I also conquered a little bit more of fear about being in the center of attention.

Did you feel empowered? Why? Why not?
Yes. Even if you’re not the kind of person who craves it, it’s pretty cool to know that someone is spending the time and energy to put you in the spotlight, and to know that you can be in control of it and that it’s okay to let yourself shine.

Since the shoot happened almost four weeks ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

For me this was probably, above all, a confidence building exercise. I don’t think I’m a weak person and I’m not unhappy with where I am in life, but I certainly have obstacles that I want to overcome and plenty of character flaws… Participating in the Revelation Project gave me a chance to reassess where I am and where I want to be and, ultimately, to ask myself not only “Where the hell do you think you’re headed?” but also “How do you want to get there?” That’s powerful stuff.

Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?

For sure. I’m always up for a challenge, and for me, putting myself in front of a camera for two hours isn’t easy. So facing that fear was part of the experience – but a good part.

Do you think it’s relevant for other women? Why?
Absolutely. Participating in the Revelation Project isn’t just about getting your portrait taken. It’s an opportunity to reflect on who you’ve been, what you’ve become, and where you want to go. And if  you pay attention, you might even capture a glimpse of your own pure awesomeness.

How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? As gifts?

I’ve already used them professionally http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/author/meaghan-oneill , and I might use them personally. I’m not sure if I’m quite to the point of hanging large-scale photos of myself on the wall yet, but we’ll see.

If you could sum up the experience what would you say?
It was fun, exhilarating, and totally worth it. Also, when I first looked at the photos I thought, “Yeah, these are decent.” Then I went to choose a headshot and realized that I couldn’t decide which one I liked best. That’s a really nice feeling.

Can you recommend a great song or album you think other women who have donethis project might like?

I’m sort of in a Chrissie Hynde state of mind right now – she’s cool, confident, passionate, uniquely talented, and she hangs tough in a guys’ world without losing her femininity. Oh, and she’s like, approaching 60 and still totally rocking and gorgeous. That’s who I want to be.

What is the most challenging thing you have faced as a woman?

The hardest thing about being a woman in our generation is that we have so much choice, but at the same time so many expectations. We’ve benefited enormously from the women before us that worked their asses off to break through the glass ceiling. You can be a mom, a daughter, a wife, a boss, an employee. But there’s a lot of pressure — both self- and society-imposed — to do all of these things well all at the same time.

I think sometimes we forget to check in and see if we’re hitting the right balance — and to say no to something if we’re not. A wise woman once told me, “You can have it all; you just can’t have it all at the same time.” This is a woman, who, at different times in her life, has been a professional ballerina, an artist, and a stay-at-home mom, then became an M.D. in her fifties. I try to remember to live by those words. Cutting yourself is a break is some pretty good medicine.

Revelation Project Part VI: Sarah Fernandez

I’ve known Sarah for a few years now, and never realized that she is incredibly shy around the camera.

She gives the impression that nothing ever phases her, and has the ability to maintain a level head in some of the most frightening circumstances (…she used to work for me, trust me, frightening!) When she arrived with her sister Meg to be photographed for the project she seemed a little nervous and when the camera came out, she looked like she wanted to vanish-  “form of: INVISIBLE!”  but alas… this project is about being seen not about disappearing. Because part of the agreement is to have your photographs published on face book I’ve heard lots of feedback that Sarah’s photo’s were inspring for many women who saw them.  I found her interview answers just as inspiring so I’ve pasted them below in addition to some of her photos ( for those who missed them.)

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Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ever since I was very young, I’ve had four goals: get married, have children, own a house and have my own business. At 34 I now have all of those things, but the last one, my interior and event design company and blog, Chateau & Bungalow, is still in its very early stages and I’m trying to figure out how to make it what I want it to be while working several other jobs, taking care of my two kids and getting the bills paid.

What is the biggest challenge that’s ever faced you as a woman?

I would probably have to say body image. I’ve never let anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something because I am a woman, but I’ve always struggled with being happy with the way I looked. In high school I remember thinking I was so fat even though I was a varsity athlete and was 30 lbs lighter than I am now. Now it’s my goal to look like that again!

Are you a mom?

Yes, I have an almost 5 year old son, Teddy and a 2 year old daughter, Carolina.

What are some of the issues that you think are important to explore as it relates to our gender?

I think most importantly, we need to look at how much woman really do in this day and age. It’s no joke that we should all be running around with super hero capes on. While there has been a shift over the past several decades of men becoming more involved in child rearing and even becoming stay at home dads, most of the women I know are doing all of the scheduling for their families, arranging for childcare, paying the bills, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and much more, all while working part or full time jobs and trying to squeeze in some quality time with their husbands, children and friends. It’s no wonder that we take care of ourselves last.

What’s your idea of a great “girls night?”

Hanging at someone’s house with a lot of wine, a lot of laughs, no place to go and no kids interrupting.

Is there anything in particular that made you feel like being part of the Revelation Project was a good idea right now?

I know I have the talent to do what I want to do, but after mostly being a stay at home mom for the past 2 years, I’ve really struggled with projecting the image I want when I rarely wear make-up, am living in the same pair of jeans each day, and am not really happy with the way I look.

About the shoot: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

I always love the idea of having great photos taken, typically with my family, but in the end I’m not usually happy with the way I look in them (back to that body image issue). But, I really needed some new head shots for work so I was just hoping I’d get one decent shot and I’d be happy.

How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

I wasn’t really nervous during the shoot, but I hate posing for pictures so it took me a while to find my comfortable spot. It helped that I knew Monica so well and my sister was there so there were a lot of laughs. And by the time I left, I felt like I’d known Robyn forever even though we’d only met a handful of time. It was the closest thing I’d had to a girl’s night in a while.

Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?

Anxious. Excited. Tense.

Three words for after ?

Anxious. Excited. Relaxed.

Three words for when you saw the results ?

Happy. Excited. Surprised.

After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience?  What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

We had such a fun afternoon that the session itself had put me in a good mood. I felt good and confident that there were going to be some good pictures, but there was still that little voice in the back of my head warning me not to get over-confident.

When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?

I was really excited because I finally had photos that projected the image I wanted for my business.

Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

I’ve had such an outpouring of compliments from people. It’s been overwhelming, but it feels great.

Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?

I realized I had crow’s feet! But there is a reason this is called The Revelation Project. I was thrilled that there were some great pictures, and it wasn’t that I was really upset that I had crow’s feet, but it was the first time that I really saw myself as an adult, which probably sounds crazy considering that I’m married, have two kids, and a lot of years of working behind me. It made me realize that I’m in the part of my life that I always looked forward to, and I need to start paying more attention to it and soak it all in before it passes me by.

Did you feel empowered? Why?  Why not?

Yes, it made me feel like I now I had proof that I am a beautiful person with style and that I could now put these images out there for people to see the person behind my business. I think it’s hard to be in a business that’s about style if you don’t walk the part too.

Since the shoot happened more than four weeks (yikes) ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

Well, the revelations about the time of my life that I’m in certainly will have a lasting effect, and one that I’m so happy I realized now before it was too late. But in addition to that, I never liked being the center of attention. I wouldn’t say that I do now, but I’m not as nervous about it anymore. Two weeks after this shoot, I had the chance to go to NYC for a photo shoot with my kids for my job as a writer for TLC’s new parenting blog, Parentables. Normally, I would have been a nervous wreck, but because I knew that it was possible for great photos to be shot, it just seemed easy. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I was about it, even being on video. I think that it has given me a new confidence that will lead to great things.

Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?

Most definitely! I think it should be something we all do once a year just like going to the doctor for a physical. No matter how confident or beautiful we feel or don’t feel, it’s always good to take a step back and really look at who we are and where we want to go next. I think it helps us move forward.

Do you think it’s relevant for other women?  Why?

I think it’s invaluable to all women. When Monica first posted the images that she and Robyn shot of each other, I picked up the phone and called her and told her I thought they should be doing it for every girl out there. Young girls and women too are bombarded with images of impossibly thin models and movie stars who endure hours of hair and make-up before they are photographed that it is crazy that we expect them to have a healthy body image. I’m sure that’s part of the reason that I never did. For years, I’ve thought that girls should have a chance to do a photo shoot like the models in magazines so that they could have beautiful pictures of themselves too. This is a much more affordable way to achieve that, and it’s better because Monica and Robyn make sure that the results really look like the person and show people’s beautiful personalities too.

How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? As gifts?

I will definitely be using them professionally, and my husband, who didn’t really understand the whole idea when I first explained it to him, now wants to have a bunch of them printed and framed for around the house too.

What is your favorite song and why?

That’s a really hard question! There are so many. I guess I would say the one that makes me happy every time I hear it is “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. It brings back all the happy memories of the summers I spent growing up in Newport (because it was on every mix tape we ever made in the 90s!) and it was the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.

If you could sum up the experience what would you say?

Brilliant!