Last weekend we had the privilege of hosting an annual Power of Moms retreat at our home. Eighty women had the opportunity to have what almost all important careers have: job training! We spent a regular work day…from 9-5, delving into methods, not only to survive but thrive in life’s most important career: Motherhood. Over 300 children represented by the Mothers who were there were left in someone else’s care for the day and thanks to dads, grandparents, friends and neighbors the kids still managed to be delivered mostly on time to soccer, baseball, dance and piano lessons.
In addition to stellar ideas from our daughter Saren Loosli and her co-founder of Power of Moms, April Perry, we heard from brilliant mothers like Tiffany Sowby who gave a terrific talk called I Want to be Fabulously Ordinary which you can read here.
The large group breaks into small groups several times during the day according to ages of their kids and specific parenting issues which engage and enlighten everyone.
Richard and I have a chance to add our “two bits” too but I have to admit that my favorite part of these days is talking to these moms one-on-one. Oh the stories I hear! This time I was especially touched by stories of those who have deliberately decided to change the trajectory of their families. One mother said that she came from a very religious home with a mother who did everything right on Sundays….engaged in scripture study, Sunday School discussions and prayers but spend the day-to-day screaming, swearing and verbally abusing her kids. Sadly, this was probably a result of what she had learned form her own parents.
This mother said she was finally placed in a foster home which was not a happy experience either. Somehow she survived and found a good man to marry. As she began her mothering career she had no map follow, no idea what it really requires to create a happy family. Her face simply shone as she told me of her efforts to change the trajectory of her family. She had made a 180 degree turn and was doing all she could to make things better for her kids than it had been for her. She had read a multitude of parenting books and worked diligently to get all the training she could in how to be, not just an average parent but a exemplary one! Her children and grandchildren will look back at her as the heroine who changed their lives for the good… forever!
A few fathers joined us for the afternoon session. One especially intent couple came up to me afterward and said that they had both come from completely dysfunctional homes and were working every day to make life not just better but joyful for their children. Their determination to do it right was apparent!
Every person present at the retreat had their own “package” of hard times, but hats off to all the wonderful parents who are doing the hardest thing of all: changing the trajectory of families from a downward spiral for a multitude of reasons to the upward momentum for the best reason….of a strong, resilient family now and for generations to come!
For more information about retreats and mini-retreats go to powerofmoms.com.