Putting My Dream Out Into the World + Raising Up Justice Kiddos
This is not my typical blog post. I don’t tend to get very personal with you, my dear readers, unless I’m sharing an example about parenting from our lives.
However, something pretty amazing happened to me last week and I just have to share about it here. That’s because 1) I think my experience has a life lesson for all of us. 2) What happened also means I have a new project for The Barefoot Mommy that I’m incredibly excited to tell you about.
My Super Woman Story
Many years ago before I was a mom (ok it was only 5 years ago but it seems like a lifetime), I headed up an interfaith social justice organization. I had founded it at the tender age of 24 when I was fresh out of seminary. I poured my all into it for ten years, and people often referred to that organization as “my baby.”
I was a Social Justice Super Woman (often in an emotionally unhealthy way, but that’s another blog post!)
Then my husband and I had an actual baby, the child whose funny and sweet face you often see on this blog. Even while on maternity leave, I tried to be Social Justice Super Woman (sometimes with embarrassing consequences. For example, I sent an email meant for a colleague to one of our grant funders because I was also trying to nurse while I sent the email.)
I returned from maternity leave for a few months, exhausted because I was now also an Attachment Parenting Super Woman (again, often in an unhealthy way.) Our baby did not like to sleep. Like, at all. So when he was around 9 months old, I told my board that I would be leaving the organization in a few months after I’d had a chance to set them up for someone else to come in and lead them.
I tried to be Attachment Parenting Super Woman and focus all my attention on our sweet little one at home. But honestly, I was a bit bored. I’ve always been a children’s book nut, so when I discovered Barefoot Books, I decided to add a little side hustle to my stay at home mom routine.
As our little one started preschool at age 3, my dreams began to grow and I started this blog. I knew I had a passion to teach and share resources with other parents and educators. I dreamed of sharing my gifts through an online course, but just couldn’t figure out a topic that felt right.
Putting Dreams Out Into the World
Sometime last year, I started following this fantastic trainer Sue B Zimmerman, who helps entrepreneurs make magic on Instagram. Through her, I heard about an amazing, intensive online course for people who want to grow their businesses online.
It’s called B-School, and it’s offered by entrepreneur/artist/life coach/friend of Oprah Marie Forleo. (By the way, her episodes of Marie TV are so uplifting, even if you’re not an aspiring entrepreneur.)
I decided last year I couldn’t do B-School, even though it was just what I needed, because it’s a significant investment. This year when the program opened up again, I started watching the free introduction videos. I joined a group with Sue B where we talked about what we were learning, and all of the sudden something clicked.
Marie talks a lot about how there are no extra people put on this planet. There is no one else who has the unique gift that only you can give to the world.
All of the sudden, I figured out my unique gift. I could help parents like me teach their kids about social justice. It will cover things like how to talk about tough topics with kids, but also how to help your children take action and become little changemakers. I could bring all these parts of my life that seemed to be floating around separately together.
Not as a Social Justice Super Woman. Not as an Attachment Parenting Super Woman.
But as a regular Mom, who knows quite a bit about becoming an activist and sharing that with my family. As someone who, hopefully, has become more grounded and healthy in my approach to both parenting and social change, although I still have a ways to go.
I knew I had to do B-School, even though the cost was significant. I saw that Marie offered a scholarship contest. All I had to do was make a 90 second video about me and my business and why I want to attend B-School. Making a video that’s just 90 seconds is hard y’all. Really hard.
I decided to go for it, because if nothing else, it would help me articulate my vision. (You can watch my scholarship entry below.)
I was putting my dream out into the world. I still felt a bit shy about it, but I started to tell a few people about this course I wanted to create. I decided to enroll in B-School, even before I knew the results of the contest.
One day, before I knew that the contest results had been published, I started to get “congratulations” comments on my You Tube video. Completely confused, I started to poke around on Marie’s Facebook page until I discovered that yes, I had in fact been chosen as one of the scholarship winners!
Eek! As I told my Mom, “Oprah’s friend thinks I have a good idea!”
I shared this amazing news with my friends on social media, still a bit nervous about my idea. What if people thought it was strange? What if it wouldn’t work?
The comments poured in, including from people I don’t know, and many of them said they want to take my course when it’s ready.
I had put my dreams out into the world, and the world was responding.
So often, we hold back on sharing our dreams, whether they’re about our family, our jobs or businesses, or something on our life bucket list.
When we do that friends, we lose out on the chance for the world to support us in achieving our dreams.
Another thing to think about: your dream probably affects more people than you.
What if, by holding back on your dream, you’re depriving the world of a special gift that you have to give?
Is there a dream that you have that you need to share with the world? Find a way to do that – today – in some small way. Tell someone about your dream and why it matters to you. Take a first step.
Raising Up Justice Kiddos
So here I am, starting before I was really “ready.” (That’s another thing that Marie encourages people to do. Stop waiting for the perfect timing, because it will never arrive.)
I’m still reading everything I can get my hands on that will help me craft the Justice Kiddos course into something transformative for your family, so that you can be a part of transforming our world. I’m diving into B-School, so I know how to really make this a sucdess online.
Especially since I’m in the beginning stages, I crave your feedback!
Please send me an email or tell me in the comments what you want to know. Are their particular justice issues that you want to make sure are included? What challenges do you face when it comes to teaching your kids about things like racism, poverty, and peace? What are your hopes and fears when it comes to raising a Justice Kiddo?
And if you want to be the first to know when the Justice Kiddos course is ready to greet the world, click this link and I’ll make sure you’re in the loop! I’ll also send you a free download: 6 Ways That Kids Can Seek Justice.
If you’re hungry to start right now, hop on over to my list of 15 Picture Books About Social Justice and Human Rights. Head to your local bookstore, Amazon, or the library and pick out a couple to read together as a family.