Mommy Time-Out Anniversary!

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow! It’s been just over a year since we launched our Mommy Time-Out website and newsletter, not to mention Facebook and Twitter. The year passed so quickly we didn’t even realize it until a friend brought it to our attention last week!

So we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our journey – the good and the challenging – over the past year.

I have to admit Colleen and I were afraid to put ourselves out there in the beginning (read our first blog article!).  All the usual negative thoughts and paradigms came rushing to the surface because we wanted to do something great.  Yet with all that, we decided to ignore the voices in our heads for one main reason – we really believe in what we are doing.  Let me back up a bit.

The whole idea was born about 5 years ago. We knew that as mothers we were overwhelmed and if we were feeling this way, how many more mothers were experiencing the same feelings of quiet desperation? Our purpose became about getting mothers to take care of themselves first so that they can take care of their families.

By last year, we had invested so much love, late nights, tears, time away from our loved ones and the few pennies that we could spare from our family budget that giving in to our fears was no longer an option.  So we overcame our insecurities quickly and set about bringing Mommy Time-Out to the world.

When I say that this past year we were blessed with our investor, Mony, I do not say this lightly.  It is because of him and his belief in us that has allowed us to get to where we are today.  We also had our good friend and attorney Jay, willing to provide pro bono work when we had no money and an excellent legal team when we had only a few dollars to spare.  Then there was the support from all the mothers in the book, our family, friends and of course Marcus our IT man, who helped us get our social media and website out to the world.

I mentioned our book, which had been in the making for the last five years in one form or another.  It was finally published Mother’s Day of this year.  The support and advice we received from friends like Andre and Nora told us we had the backing of some wonderful people in our lives.

While all this was going on – creating the LLC, launching the website, getting the social media up and going, the book being designed, written and published – Colleen and I had plenty in our personal lives going on that should have made us quit, but really just made us work all the harder.

I was going through a very painful divorce. We had been having marriage problems for the past 6 years and had been separated for a time.  I knew it was time to get out of my dysfunctional marriage, even thought the grieving process was very difficult on not only me but my children as well.

All of last year Colleen was pregnant, and we all know the stress and fatigue that goes with that! In January, the same month my divorce was final, Colleen gave birth to her baby girl.

Yet with all of this we didn’t allow our personal lives to get in the way of our purpose. We had plenty of challenging days where we spurred each other on.  Luckily, on the days that Colleen was having her good days, I was having my bad days and vice versa.

Our books were delivered and went on sale on Mother’s Day. I attended a Women’s Conference in northern California and Colleen I were interviewed by some radio stations. We have since hit the pavement and have our book on consignment in many stores and OB/GYN offices. Earlier this year we were approached by Glimpse Magazine to be contributing writers for the magazine and we are approaching some major organizations and companies in the hopes they will get on board with the Mommy Time-Out Movement – we will let you know how that goes!

I was also fortunate to find my soul mate during all of this.  He has supported me, loved me, and picked me up when I was doubtful. He and his children complete our family unit.  Colleen has increased her family by one and her workload by 10, and has the support of an amazing husband who has supported us through the years as we developed Mommy Time-Out.

Through all of this, our main focus has remained the same: to take care of our families and ourselves all while building Mommy Time-Out.  We love that we have been able to start the Mommy Time-Out Movement and feel extremely blessed for all the obstacles that we have overcome.

Yet we know there is so much more for us to do and learn, and here is where you come in.

We want to – we need to – hear from you!  In the next week or two, you will see a survey from us asking you what we can do to improve our website, our newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, our articles, and so on.  We want to know what you want and need from us.

So take a little time to think about it and know that we are so very grateful for your support, participation and interest in Mommy Time-Out this past year and hope to continue as long as there is an interest and need for us!

We’re All In This Together

Coming in August 2013, Mommy Time-Out will be publishing extended articles in a new and amazing magazine – Glimpse California.  Be sure to subscribe at http://www.glimpsecali.com/ to read more in-depth Mommy Time-Out articles and get the latest Glimpse California updates.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

“It Takes A Village”, “No Man (or Woman!) Is An Island”, and my personal favorite “Together We Achieve That Which No One Can Achieve Alone.”

These are all slogans that emphasize the reality of raising children – we all, every one of us, need other people if we are going to have consistent, quality Mommy Time-Outs so that we can be better parents to our children.

Can you make things happen by yourself?  Of course you can. You do it all the time.  And single parents out there know all too well what it means to “go it alone.”  But I bet even they have a babysitter’s number handy, have at least one child registered at a daycare or community group or a family member to help watch the kids while mom or dad are at work.  In other words, while we can definitely get things done by ourselves, we can get a LOT more done, and be more effective, when we have a support group around us.

And the great thing about support groups is that they go both ways.  Yes, the other parents/friends/family are there for you, but guess what? You are also there for them.

Now, I know that to some of you this may seem like a big commitment, but surprisingly it isn’t, especially if the person(s) supporting you have kids of their own.  When I started trading kid-watching time with other parents, I found it was actually just as easy – if not easier – than when it was just my own children I was watching.  Why?  Simply put, automatic playdate!  Their kids kept my kids busy, they all wore each other out, and I was able to have a bit of peace and quiet while they played in the next room.

What if they don’t have children of their own to trade time with?  Often, believe it or not, just time with your kids is payment enough for some – like grandma, aka “Oma” in our house.  Other times I have given back by watching a friend’s dog while she was out of town, or simply just paid my single, financially struggling friends some money.  Regardless of who I reciprocated with, I always felt better knowing they were getting something they really needed.

I think it goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway, that whomever you decide to ask to watch your kids, make sure it is someone who has proven to you time and again they can be trusted around children, are responsible, and are healthy enough to manage your child(ren) while you are away.

So make a list of all the people in your life that you trust to watch your children, give them a call, and start setting up a support group with this simple narrative: “Hey, you want to get some time (or money) for yourself? Let’s help each other out!”  Tell them your idea of trading “playdates” or babysitting for x, and then start scheduling.

We can raise our children by ourselves, yes, but having a trusted support group to help share the burden will go a long way in making you a more balanced, effective, patient and rested parent because that support group will help you take your much-needed, well-deserved Mommy Time-Outs.  Just as important, you will give to your friends and family something they really need, whether it’s money, time with your kids, or an overdue “me-time”.

Do you have a support group already in place? How did that happen?  If not, what obstacles are challenging you to be a part of one?  We want to hear from you!