Digital Story Critique: Serenity for Working Moms
I had a hard week. There was a medical crisis in my family (it’s all good now). Schedules overwhelmed me. Laundry overwhelmed. Everything overwhelmed me.
I ended up playing ambient music in the background for one whole day just to relax (and eating chocolate).
Then I decided draw upon the wisdom on my sister warriors through a podcast I had never seen before called Working Motherhood (WoMos) hosted by Dr. Portia Jackson. And how did I miss this resource? My life would have been so much easier had I found this years ago when my kids were younger. The topic discussed today was on introducing serenity in our lives with children’s author and working mom, Maria Dismondy.
Ms. Dismondy was teaching 2nd grade when she realized there was a need for books with strong messages on bullying, so she wrote one called “Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun.” It was very successful and it set her on a career path developing more books with powerful messages, speaking engagements and more.
In the interview Dr. Jackson asked Dismondy many questions about her journey and the things she learned along the way that helped keep her grounded. She shared right off that the words of the Serenity Prayer were very inspiring to her, especially the first part that says
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed . . .
She wisely makes the connection that working moms have limited time, so it’s important to “let things go” that we cannot change and move on quickly. This takes courage to do and is not easy at times.
Then, when her oldest went to kindergarten, she thought, “Oh, now I can be free to work at home, right?” Wrong. She realized pretty quickly that kindergarten was party central and they celebrated every little thing. She started to feel all this the pressure to be at every school party. She and her husband decided they couldn’t be there at every event and that was okay; their kids would have to learn that every family is different and to be flexible. The good side to that is it pushed her to reach out to the grandparent resources in her family, and so it was nice because they were able to spend time with their grandchildren.
The end of the podcast Dr. Jackson did “deep question” round and Dismondy gave her best advice. Here’s a brief summary:
1. Best career advice – Have courage and take risks; have high expectations and go for it!
2. Best family advice – Prioritize spending time with your family. It’s okay not to finish your to-do list at the end of the day. Remember, you won’t look back on this moment and say you wish you had worked more.
3. Best habits contributing to your success – Self-care. Which includes exercise, date nights, reading and anything else that recharges your batteries. Self-care gives serenity and helps you move forward in your day.
4. Helpful resources – Join a mastermind group to help you accomplish goals and listen to podcasts while you drive.
5. One book that helped you – Gifts of Imperfection by Brene′ Brown. It’s about knowing who you are and they you are good enough.
The following threes traits are from Ohler’s digital storytelling rubric. I decided to pick aspects that aligned with the mission statement of Dr. Portia Jackson, which is to “help you avoid burnout by developing a plan for self-care and defining success on your own terms.” And also the Working Motherhood podcast goal which is:
“Each episode brings you one of today’s most inspiring and successful working moms who will share their journey of having both a career and a family. We discuss their favorite success quote, challenges and obstacles, their “wow” moments of triumph, and much more.”
WoMos is a very confirming podcast and one I will listen to in the future when I’m tempted to reach for that box of chocolate. There are tons of very helpful and relevant topics and the conversation itself was very engaging. I definitely felt at the end of this talk a comradery through the message that although we all have good and bad days and everyone’s life is different, it’s okay to make choices that fit my family and lifestyle the best.
Keep going forward, girlfriend!