When other moms are dishing out the latest gossip, making date night plans, and getting excited over the latest fashions for moms and kids, I can't help but feel out of place. The things I want to discuss seem so different and I am often way out of touch with what everyone else is interested in. I'm not like many other moms. In no particular order, here's five reasons why.
I don't look forward to dropping my kids off at school -- or anywhere. I'm all for quality education. In fact, that's one of the main reasons I eventually chose to be a homeschool mom. You'd think after all those years of seeing my kids all day every day, I'd be glad to drop them off at school every morning. I'm definitely glad they are getting a great education, be it at home or elsewhere. But I'm never excited to spend the whole day without them. I can't relate to that relief many moms seem to experience when dropping their kids off at school or with the sitter.
I'm so lost with the latest gossip. I'll never knock those who are into it because we all have our own things. But I never know who the heck these famous moms are everyone is talking about. I don't even get into the business of the people I know all that much, let alone people I've never met. So when all the other moms are gossiping about each other and celebs, all I would have to offer is what I've done with my own kids -- and firsthand gossip is just, well..not really gossip. So generally I am sitting there with a blank face nodding and pretending I know what they're saying.
Date night? What's that? In our home, it's more like family night, but with a plural. When the other moms are talking about getting all dolled up and going out for a night on the town with their husbands, I can't relate. But wait, don't feel sorry for me yet. Our family values are just a little bit different and they work for us. We believe in doing things together, but that means all of us - not just me and the hubby. We used to have date nights without the kids but all we did is talk about the kids and wish they were there. So now they are. Problem solved.
"Play dates" are unorganized and don't have a formal name. When other moms are discussing Jimmy's play date with Sarah and Sam, again I cannot relate. We don't call it a play date when the kids visit with their friends and they are not planned and scheduled. It's more like this: "Mom can we go to the park? James says they'll be there." "OK, Honey, let's go" While other moms seem to be checking schedules and planning out specific play dates and activities, my kids and I are on the nature trails, playing games we invented, or going to the next thing planned at the last minute. We have never been to a "Mommy and Me" class, but we sure happen to have lots of mother and child time. I think those things are great for those who are into them, but they just aren't for us. As they say "to each their own."
I don't have a professional photographer. That's me. Some moms constantly ask me why we never go to a professional photographer. "Photos you take yourself are just not the same as professional ones," they tell me. I know they aren't. That's why I prefer them. When I look back on our old family portraits, I don't want to think of crying kids trying to straighten themselves in a studio. I want to think of all the fun we had together while I set the camera on auto to snap whatever we were doing that day. The picture you see in this post? Professional, right? Wrong. That was taken with our camera on auto while we were walking a nature trail.
I'm not like some other moms in these and other ways -- and I'm perfectly fine with that. I appreciate all moms for who they are. At the end of the day, we all may be different in various ways, but we all have the same goal - to raise happy, healthy kids and that can be done in so many different ways. Are you like other moms? Whether you answer yes or no, you can still be a good mom. At the end of the day, it isn't about where we go, what we're interested in, and what we do. It's about the love we all give to our kids. If you do everything in parenting with love, you're a good mom.
More from Lyn:
Say What? That Wasn't the Plan...
Raising Kids Who Love The Outdoors
Positive Parenting: Why Doesn't My Teen Trust Me?
Freelance writing and life in general can be full of surprises. While I advise all writers to always have a plan they can execute, I also recommend being open to change.
You can plan, organize, and prepare for your career all you want. But sometimes, that career (or even another) will take you down another (possibly better suited) path. But that can only happen if you are open to change.
Sometimes life puts you on unexpected journeys - things you didn't plan - that end up being the some of the best things that have ever happened to you.
That's what happened to me. I had all these huge plans for my writing and an idea of the direction I was going in. Even though I was happy with that plan and enjoying what I was doing as a freelance writer, something else pulled me in a related (but different) direction.
Because of my own personal successes, I had become a mentor among my peers. In freelance writing, this can happen quite often, as writers tend to be very supportive in my experience.
It had become a natural thing for me to help other freelance writers at the venue I contributed to the most, Yahoo! Contributor Network. While I was helping people, I didn't always think of that as a potential career. It was just something I enjoyed doing.
But eventually, that's exactly what it turned out to be. For the past couple months, I've been enjoying my new role as Community Advocate at the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Am I still writing? Of course! I'm a writer. It's what I do. But so is helping people - and now I have a position that allows room for both.
Will I still be running all of my websites? Do you really have to ask? You bet I am. While I won't be taking on the majority of writing assignments requested through my two writing sites, not to worry. Jaipi Sixbear (my talented mother) and several independent writers in my circle of professional friends are available to take on those projects.
While my role has changed, I am still the same me, always eager to help and always writing!
When life throws new things your way, don't be afraid to grab on and take a ride. Don’t run from change. Use it to your advantage. Adapt and grow as writer and as a person. You never know where change will lead you. It took me to a very happy place and I am looking forward to whatever's next. How about you?
UPDATE: 10/19/2016 -- Since YCN closed its doors in July of 2014, I've continued my writing advocacy in other ways, such as through the Write W.A.V.E. Media network (as always)! As I stated above, things are always changing and evolving. You just gotta roll with it!