Attending Mom 2.0 Feels a Little Different in 2017

Mom 2.0 Summit 2017 location Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

Mom 2.0 Summit is one of my favorite conferences of the year.  This week I’ll once again be making my way there to speak and attend as planned. Staying at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes makes for a pretty fabulous work week too.  I have attended Mom 2.0 in previous years as both attendee and speaker. I previous years I’ve described it feeling like a reunion. This year it feels so much different. This time packing my suitcase feels more like revisiting a milestone or anniversary of sorts. Probably not for any reasons you might assume.

When I first turned my attention to blogging as a career avenue several years ago, Mom 2.0 was the conference I aspired to attend. I had heard amazing things about the brands, attendees and the organizers there. Having background in conference organizing and event planning myself I am always critical of these things but Mom 2.0 summit is one of the very best. I have never once regretted investing my time and money here. If you are reading this and wondering if you should attend next year, just bookmark it on your calendar now. Growing my business was the goal and I’ve always achieved that here. That first year, my network grew both personally and professionally as a result but more importantly I left inspired to tell better stories and become a better writer. It sparked a desire to tell stories that resonated, to connect with the hearts and lives of my readers, not just acquire more pageviews or sell someone on a new product. Connection and community became a better focus. Attending Mom 2.0 that first year changed everything.

Last May was another, even more life changing year at Mom 2.0 Summit. The theme for 2016 was “Redefining Motherhood”. If only I had known just how prophetic that theme would become. That year, I would be moderating a panel on live streaming and social media with incredible women positioned in various areas of that field.

Three minutes before we took the stage I received a text from my oldest daughter who at the time was staying with my younger two children as my husband’s work trip had overlapped by 48 hours. The exchange went something like this:

Mom, can I call you?  

I can’t talk. Everything ok? If it’s an emergency please text. – was my quick auto text reply.

Everything is okay. I really need to talk to you when you’re free though. 

Then I knew. Something in my gut told me and I just knew. My eyes inadvertently closed for long blink and I took a deep breath as I text back….

Are you pregnant? 

Maybe. 

In that moment I don’t know how I knew, I just did. I’ve always had really impeccable discernment and there is something about a connection between mother and child. Maybe it was that? Or maybe it was God preparing my heart for the conversation that would come? Either way, it was now time to take the stage.

The next hour and a fifteen minutes flew by. Our panel was a success and I have never been more pleased at my skills in compartmentalizing my feelings. I hate bragging but as a Scorpio hiding emotions is a skill set we often pride ourselves on.

The room cleared and I decided my room would be the best place to return the call to my daughter. All kinds of emotions were circling in my mind as I smiled and nodded passing other attendees in the halls and lobby. I am forever grateful that the walk to my room was several minutes long. It gave me time to think of what I would say. I mean, What does one say? What in the world was I going to say? “How? When? What were you thinking? We’ve had so many talks….”

No. This was not the time for any of that.

As I approached the door to my room a revelation came to me. The next words I would say were “forever words”. The tone of my voice and words I chose to use would echo in my daughter’s mind and mine for as long as we would live. It felt like such a defining moment. I had the choice in how this would play out. This moment and  the words that came next had the potential to literally redefine our relationship and it did.

I don’t remember everything that was said in detail. Looking back it all feels a little like when the teacher from Charlie Brown was talking. I do remember that I made a conscious choice to put my daughter first in that moment. This call WAS NOT about me or how I felt. I determined not to be selfish with my thoughts or feelings. I thought about how scared she must be and what courage she must have had to muster to reach out to me that day. I put myself in her position and wondered about all the concerns she had about how her life would change as a young mother. I reminded myself that every life that comes into the world deserves to be celebrated and if that was the course we were on than we would celebrate.

Redefining Motherhood, indeed. 

My tone was calm and reassuring. I told her that no matter what I loved her and that everything was going to be alright. I reinforced that whatever she decided I was with her 100 percent and that she had no reason to worry about doing this alone. I encouraged her that motherhood was one of the best things that I had ever invested my life in and that even when it was difficult (i.e.that very moment) I’ve never regretted it.

We hung up the phone and I sat alone in my room for a few moments in my thoughts. I didn’t feel like crying but I was a little shocked at the thought of our whole world changing. I had no baseline for how this was supposed to go. Was I doing the right thing? Should I have been more upset? And “grandmother”? That wasn’t a term I was even ready to acknowledge. 

I left my room to resume the conference. I shared the news with one close confident and let it go knowing that no matter the outcome, it would be what it would be. I reassured my mind with the same tone and words that I shared with my daughter. Our lives would be changed and although we had a lot of unanswered questions, it would be an amazing adventure.

The months following were a roller coaster. We were excited. We were nervous. There were times where we were scared of the unknown. There were times where I felt like I had failed. As we all know from day one of parenting, there is no manual for motherhood. There is no “normal”. But you know what? The people who have been the most invested in this story and have uplifted me, made time to check in on us and who have CELEBRATED this time with me…. they were some of the very same ones from my Mom 2.0 community the year before. You guys have been amazing. If you’ve seen posts on our #OneTinyHuman, you know this last year has brought more joy and love into our lives than any of us ever imagined possible.

So, I try and pay a lot more attention to themes now. I find life has a way of echoing messages it wants us to grab hold of. This year the Mom 2.0 Summit is a verb: RISE. It’s explained best from the conference announcement:

“Rise” can refer to thousands of specific actions. We all rise in our own ways and in our own time, every day, through our stories, our endeavors, our promotions, our mediums. We have different backgrounds, goals, and pursuits, but we all rise together, and that is when we are at our best.

As I pack my suitcase and fly out to Orlando tomorrow, I made sure to set intentions and goals for my time there but I am prepared for wonderfully unexpected things to happen as well. I am looking forward to the things I will learn, the things I will share and all the ways we can rise together in business and in life.

If you’ll be attending Mom 2.0 Summit this week I’d love to see you sometime this week. Feel free to say “Hi!” and if you’d like to attend my panel mark your schedule Thursday 5/11 at 11:00 AM est Better Together: Effective Networking and Collaboration Strategies for Influencers and Brands.

It should be a great time and I’m looking forward to sharing the reacap of this year’s Mom 2.0 Summit with you in June! Until then be sure to follow along on IG/IG stories, Snapchat, Fb and Twitter for daily behind the scenes stories and updates along the way.

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Comments

  1. I. LOVE. THIS. POST. Thank you.

  2. I too love this post! What a beautiful baby ? and as a grandmother I know just how much in love with her you are. Looking forward to my sixth Mom 2.0 !

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