My mama still recalls that everyone knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
My younger brothers and stuffed animals were my first students. Our unfinished cinder block basement was my classroom. Someday, I would be a teacher. I would be a teacher because I loved kids and making connections with people, even at a young age. And now today, here I sit, nearing the end of my tenth school year and I am anticipating the ever exciting, blessed, summer break. I am calendaring events to do with my kids and other Mamas. I am planning my garden in the back corner of our yard. I am envisioning sun-filled afternoon walks, blowing bubbles with my toddler, watching my son go through the fun stages of his first year, and enjoying my morning coffee! It sounds glorious, but something is missing.
What’s missing this year is work. I know, I know… being a Mama is work. It’s a 24-hour on the clock career that Mamas endure. I’m talking about my day job– being a teacher, and the past several years I have enjoyed teaching summer school. Because I decided to take the summer off this year, I was anticipating a void. Certainly my summer will be full of time well-spent with my kids, but for me, working hard and always working is a part of my nature. I have an insatiable need to fill this void. It is similar to the insatiable need I feel right now to eat everything in sight as I am pumping breastmilk for my son 💪🏽 So, I wracked my brain trying to figure out how I would do this alongside my Summer Off.
I’ve envied bloggers I see on social media platforms and so I wondered, what if I wrote one? What would I want to blog about? What I know right now, at this moment, is being a Mama. And because there are already mommy blogs out there, and many of which I read, I thought about this for a long time: How can I be different? How can I connect with other Mamas in a new and creative way? This is where I came up with the Band of Mamas.
Originally I wanted to call it Band of Mothers, playing on Band of Brothers, but there is actually already an organization called Band of Mothers who claim this title. In it, they support and uplift their children who are defending our country in the military. Talk about coming full circle! So, in order to stay true to what I wanted to do, I have created a Band of Mamas. Its purpose is simply to connect with one another and demonstrate how many of us share these incredible experiences but have very few outlets to learn about them. We have so much access that it is easy to get lost in the delicate web we weave online.
For me, staying connected comes through conversation and storytelling. I thrive on it. I’m notorious for making 7:30 AM phone calls on my way to work after I drop off the kids at daycare or 3:30 PM calls on my way home from work. I have 20 precious, silent moments to chat with my Mama or a good friend and hear what’s new in her life–to hear her latest story and of course, to tell mine! This has become cherished time that I use to reconnect with my tribe. With these calls, there is one thing in common with every woman I talk to: we all want to be heard. We all have these stories that tell our journey through Mama-hood, and these are the stories I want to tell. I want them to be heard for every obstacle or trial they overcame, every laugh they enjoyed, every milestone they achieve, and every teardrop they shed. These featured articles and interviews will tell the stories of other Mamas. I want another outlet for Mamas to connect our lives together— our strengths, specialties, and love–myself included. I am thrilled to create a safe place to tell our stories and be heard for every ounce of voice we have. Because we all deserve it, Mamas!
My teaching school year is nearing its end, but my work is just getting started here as I begin my Summer Off. I can hardly wait to start building this foundation within the Band of Mamas and connect with all of you!