It was the first day of the month and I was thinking, new month, new life. I’m turning 50 this year which I haven’t really given too much thought – other than thinking it might be time to breathe new life into my old life. I want to see if this lady still has the guts to try something new. And by new, I mean launching my blog, raisingstronggirls.com.
I haven’t entered into this decision lightly. I’ve been thinking about it and jotting down ideas, titles, tidbits, themes, and topics for over five years. What stopped me from doing it sooner? Good question. Maybe it’s true what they say about age and wisdom – or maybe it’s just that as you get older you start to care less and less about what people think, and find it easier to trip and fall and laugh about it. I like to think it’s a combination. So let’s take a stumble together.
How did I get here?
Eight years ago I moved into the perfect family neighborhood with my DIY husband and our two girls (6 and 8). It’s the kind of neighborhood where you stop for lemonade stands, strollers, a random basketball or two and sometimes find an over-friendly dog in your garage coming in just to say “hi.” Shortly after we moved in I thought, “This place is great, the kids can play hopscotch in the street, run to the neighbors for lunch, walk the dog without a leash…”
What I didn’t know was how perfect it was going to be for me! Friendships, safety, comfort and…wine Tuesdays while comparing notes about the latest dumb thing our kids or husbands had done… and holiday cookie swaps where the cookies were a mere afterthought compared to the chocolate mint martinis. I felt like I had died and gone to Heaven!
However, there was one thing missing – a seasoned Mom. You know what I mean, that go to resource when we need advice about anything “Mom” related. She is the one we turn to when we need advice about pre-schools, public vs. private, summer camps, baby sitters, bullying, cell phones, Snapchat and Instagram, getting your first pet, finding and losing your first boyfriend, and most importantly of all, having the dreaded “talk” with your kids.
My kids were just a couple years older than many of the neighborhood kids and I didn’t mind sharing the many mistakes I’d made so far, listening to their stories and coming up with a story at least as horrifying about what I, or my kids, had done in the past. For some crazy reason the ladies in the ’hood kept coming back to me for more stories and advice. Call it what you like, I’d become the mom that was the Trailblazer, the Pioneer, the Teacher … the Guinea Pig!
As I thought long and hard about a name for this crazy adventure I’m taking I asked my “focus group” of friends what kept them up at night as a mom of teens. I asked what advice they would give themselves looking back, I asked what was the most rewarding thing about being a mom and specifically, a mom of teens. Not surprisingly I learned we all have the same goal. We all want the best for our kids. We all do what we think is right at the time and file it away for the future, or throw it in the circular bin, light a match and toss it in. It comes down to one thing…teaching our kids to be strong – in mind, body, and spirit. When raisingSTRONGgirls came to me, the search was over.
Who can’t relate to being the mom of teens and the slow, endless uphill clicking of a roller coaster it sometimes feels like just before we end up upside down with our stomach in our throats? I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. If I can share a couple ideas that can make the ride a little less shaky and entertain you with my mistakes and mishaps, I will have done my job well.
So if you are a mom of teens looking for advice, an inspirational message or maybe just a sign that you are not alone, raisingSTRONGgirls.com might be just the right community for you!