I have a confession.
For someone who pretty much lives like by a code of “Encourage everyone always,” sometimes, I go deep in the dumps, for no apparent reason.
Do I have triggers? Sure. Lack of exercise. Feeling under-challenged or stressed. My husband traveling. Isolation or its opposite (“people’d out”).
This hurricane/flood episode we are in the midst of has set me off in all sorts of directions, basically testing many of the new-found additions to my personal code that have been added since I turned 40, read The Emotionally Healthy Woman, and started co-hosting The Refreshed Life Show.
I have fallen off schedule, stopped doing the daily things that keep me sane, healthy, and balanced, and robbed Peter to pay Paul, so to speak.
Why? Well, one, because the interruption to our schedule could not be avoided. My daughters have been out of school for THREE weeks. My 3-year-old was out of school for two. There have been relatives and caregivers out of town or unavailable. There was some storm-induced isolation. And in the midst of that, Rod had his first business trip in months. (We were so out of practice for that!)
And because – and this is the real purpose here – Moms don’t have much “in reserve.” Even when we are living a very balanced life, there is not a lot of disposable energy.
… so when we do something amazing, or even just “extra,” it comes at a cost to something else.
However, I am here to preach to y’all:
We – you – are capable of amazing things. And here are some examples.
Info: The floods taking place in our county and its surrounding areas are both catastrophic and historical. The rise of our rivers and waterway due to the rains of Hurricane Florence have sent water into places that have never flooded before. Schools have been closed in part to be used as shelters. As many as 2000 homes have been affected, but that number keeps changing. Thousands more people have been evacuated.
- One Mom, Kada, saw that a local hotel had opened up as a free or donation-based shelter specifically to families with young children and pets. She began a Facebook drive to collect clothing and toiletries for these evacuees. This turned into her organizing toys, craft supplies, books, and activities for the 100 children staying there with little space and not much room outside to play.
- Kada, through her efforts, discovered another local mom – a young woman in her early 20s who was evacuated, at 7 months pregnant, on a KAYAK from her home. She did not have time to pack or take much of anything. Kada reached out to a few of us, and we reached out to more. Within THIRTY MINUTES of Kada’s message, I had moms offering this young woman, Emy, a crib, maternity clothes, baby items, and asking for her baby registry.
- Jatasha, an entrepreneur and mom of 3 (in a wide variety of ages, including a nursing 11-month old) organized a “Hurricane Homeschool Co-op” and planned educational activities for any kids who were able to join.
- Georgianne, a mom of 4, including a nursing baby, helped serve a homemade dinner (complete with dozens of loaves of banana bread that she baked herself!) to 90 first responders staying at a local rec center.
- Ashley, my dear friend who was an OB nurse when Jack was born, dedicated her birthday to a Go Fund Me account for a friend of hers whose home is being destroyed by the waters.
- My daughters’ amazing school – with a staff that includes many mamas – solicited donations, packed, and delivered 5500 lunches to school kids, their families, and surrounding shelters this week. I already loved my kids’ school, but I am sold out. Elissa, Darrah, Missy, Michelle, Sam, Kristy, Deidre, and all the ones I don’t know yet… you have touched my heart in ways I don’t have words for this week. But I am really happy my girls have you as role models day in and out.
- And soooo many other mama friends and strangers alike are giving all they can, whether by donating, delivering, packing, sandbagging, offering, posting, hosting, praying – Talli, Aleisha, Annie, Laura, Whitney, Morgan, Danielle, Deanna, Maureen, Martha, Jen, Krystl, Gina, Kendra, Shawn, Alli, Jessica, Ashley, Jan, Susan, Beth, Karen, Tanja, Marcela, Wynette, Tiffany, Heather, Emilie, Emy, Katie, Kristina, Ashlee, and my mom Rose, too
I know I cannot possibly name all the names, but y’all – so many moms NEVER see their names. And so many moms are doing amazing things EVERY SINGLE DAY. But times like this – times that turn strangers into neighbors and neighbors into friends, times that turn moms into entrepreneurs and community organizers, these prove to us that we are not in a box. We can make a little go a long way. We have voices, we have big hearts, we have the power to CHANGE THE WORLD.
And you did. And you are.
On this day when I celebrate moms with my whole heart, it is perfect timing to wish my own Mama a very Happy birthday! Thank you for supporting my dreams even when they are crazy and running errands in the car with me for 6 dang hours!
This week on The Refreshed Life Show, Deanna and I are chasing down what some of my issues & outcomes were during these past few weeks: setting priorities. One of the reasons it is so important to know what our priorities are is so that we can successfully juggle when extenuating circumstances come our way. Join us Wednesday at 9:30am ET, on my Facebook page, Kell of a Story.