Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So next week, I'm going to be speaking at MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers. Apparently, someone pointed the coordinator to a post I made about arguing with my oldest daughter about her cleaning up her room and how all of that brou-ha-ha seemed rather unimportant when she moved away to college. And so I'm speaking to this group next week, which means I'll probably need to figure out something at least pseudo-worthwhile/interesting to say. (oh, snap.)

I remember when I had preschoolers and older moms would say to me, "Oh, how the time flies! Oh, how you'll miss the fingerprints on the glass door! Oh, how you won't mind the hours they kept you awake at night! ...." and I'd think, "Oh, how you need to get on with phase II of your life! Oh, how you need to come babysit so I can get a nap!" So I kind of want to avoid the Martyred Mom with No Signs of Life Outside of Kids Syndrome speech.

There's a little added pressure here because these women have preschoolers, or babies, and they will have put them in child care and paid a small fee to participate in this group. Since they've gone to a lot of effort to be there, I'd better have something to say.

I've been trying to remember what I've been taught about public speaking: make eye contact, don't talk too long, use humor if you can, know your audience, etc. I Googled "speaking to a group of women," and the first result was "How to Talk to Women," as in "how to get them to date you." If there's one thing I know for sure about my audience, it's that they don't want to date me.

So what do you think? Do you have any ideas?


Roxanne said...

I think what young/new ('cause not all of 'em are "young" anymore) want to hear is that they are doing it right. For every temper lost, harsh word said, lack of time spent with one child that you spent with the other,trip through the drive-thru at McDonald's, bottle of formula rather than breast milk new moms feel guilt. For some reason we think we have to do ALL of it right ALL of the time. We are also now in a culture where we are told we need to spend LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of time with our children. I stayed home with mine for five years, so I heartily believe this too--however, children also need to learn how to play together--and/or alone. They don't need constant entertainment OR constant activity.

The big ole Guilt monster--or T.V. Mommy monster--or Parenting Magazine Monster preys on the minds of new moms these days.

What I try to tell new mommies is that they ARE doing it "right" because "right" is what works best for your family and what God requires of you as a mother--not what the world or society or the 21st century requires of you as a mother.

I think new mommies want to hear about the struggles that more "seasoned" moms had and weathered and lived through so they know they aren't the only ones who make mistakes. At least that's what I wanted and needed to hear when I was the new kids on the block.

Sorry to have hijacked the blog. :)

Roxanne said...

By the way. . .I think WHATEVER you say will be wonderful, and Melanie must be on the same page as you--go read her blog. :)

Melanie said...

Hi! How weird is this. It is like we have ESPN... no wait... that's not it.

Of course you can use some of my post. Email me and let me know what day/time you are speaking. I would like to pray for you and for those moms. I am sure you will encourage them and make them laugh all at once. :>)

Big Mama said...

You'll be great. I think what all mamas want to here is that, yes, it's a hard job and yes, you are drained, and YES, you are doing it right.

Sometimes you just feel like you're the only one who loses your patience, temper, resolve, etc. I appreciate nothing more than a veteran mom who remembers the day to day of a toddlerhood and how draining it can be to say NO about 852 times a day to the same question.

Jen said...

my prayers are with you
will it video taped?
it would be interesting to watch for us too :)

Pam said...

No ideas on topics but as a MOPS mama you are absolutely right to stay away from the martyred mom speech. I can't even tell you how many times we've talked about that same issue in our groups. We know the time goes fast and we know it won't last forever and we know we ought to cherish every moment - we also know we don't need to be reminded of it every single day and although we will cherish every moment with our kids, that whole cherishing part might not happen until we are remembering those special moments years later when our kids have gone off to college! :)

Gretchen said...

If you speak with the slightest similarity to how you write your blog, the women will leave there feeling loved, having shared a laugh, and feeling understood. That's all anyone needs anyway. Have fun.