A few weeks ago I got an invitation to the first ever Essence Magazine Mommy Meet Up, hosted by Essence Magazine and Candace of Chic Busy Mom. When I got the invitation, I wasn’t sure what to expect, nonetheless I replied with a resounding Yes. I mean this is Essence magazine we’re talking about. A highly regarded publication – HELLO – you would have said YES too no questions asked. Anyway let’s fast forward to the night before the event, I got an email that clearance had been approved and we would have a videographer and a photographer on site to capture the event.
Initially I hadn’t thought about what I was going to wear, so the whole camera/videographer email threw a wrench in my otherwise lackadaisical approach to my choice of attire. I walked into my closet, deflated that I hadn’t put more thoughts into what I was going to wear, angry that I had nothing to wear. As I was rifling through my clothes, my husband joined in and started helping me look through the clutter. No less than two minutes later, he suggests that I wear the same dress I wore to see Oprah last year. Oprah? Essence? OMG, why didn’t I think of that – See why I married him? He’s a genius. Next morning, I woke up with a pit in my stomach, nervous I was going to be late, ended up getting there 30 minutes early, thankful I was joined shortly by Gina of Mommy Posh. We were both ushered into a beautiful, well lit, beautifully decorated room, filled with flowers and lots of food. As we walked in we noticed a bar to the left, goodie bags on the chair and name tags on the table. This is the first time we get to see the guest list – Gina and I excitedly look for our seats, perfect we’re seated next to each other – this couldn’t get any better. We got some food to eat and watched as everyone else joined in.
As everyone walked in it seems some of the ladies knew each other. I was starting to feel like an outsider, I didn’t really know anyone, besides Gina whom i met less than 30 minutes ago. I mean I follow some of these ladies on twitter but this will be my first time actually meeting all of them. Candace led the meeting by introducing us to the key players in the room and we were each asked to introduce ourselves, then the meeting officially kicked off. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but marvel at the selection of women in the room. We all came from different backgrounds, we had a chemist, a registered nurse, an elementary school teacher,a fashion designer, a self proclaimed nerd/artist, a career coach, a PR maven, marketing executives, a makeup artist, a zumba instructor and a housewife. Our varied background made the meet up all the more authentic.
Here are 10 highlights from the event:
- Mom Guilt – Every mom you know has this – it’s not uncommon and it is normal but please don’t it let stop you from living your life and being the best version of yourself
- Intimacy – When do you find the time? Sexy time is a necessity – even if it’s a quickie on a Sunday morning. It’s perfectly fine for the kids to see mommy and daddy make out – it shows them what a healthy and loving relationship looks like.
- Support – We need to support our husbands especially the ones that goes above and beyond to make our daily life run smoothly – A simple “Thank You” goes a long way, sometimes we forget this – Most Men needs validation – let them know they’re on the right path.
- Importance of Education – It’s perfectly fine to raise a nerd – nothing against being a geek – it’s sexy, and should be encouraged and nurtured
- Raising Men – We need to raise our boys to be men of honor and integrity
- Relationship – Learn to walk away from a toxic relationship, its unhealthy for all involve
- Making choices for our family – Don’t judge other moms for their choices – working outside the house moms’ vs. stay at home moms – being a stay at home doesn’t automatically mean they don’t have a job some of these women are entrepreneurs
- Building a Community – Creating a sisterhood of women – a community that foster friendships while encouraging openness and acceptance among women
- Cultural Awareness – Teaching our kids about diversity and tolerance
- Finding Balance – Finding the elusive work/life balance. We can find a happy medium by prioritizing, communicating with our family, learning to say No – we can’t be everywhere all the time and if all else fails – asking for help.
Overall the gathering was a no judgment zone filled with plenty of laughs, lots of advice and insight on dealing with pretty much everything we all face as women on a daily basis – tips on balancing work, life and family. I left the meeting feeling grateful that I was fortunate enough to be invited and blessed to have been there to meet such wonderful women – whom i’m proud to be in the same circle with. A huge THANK YOU to Essence Magazine and Chic Busy Mom for creating this forum. I certainly look forward to many more wonderful events like this in the future.