If you walked into a room and discovered that _________ had saved you a seat, who would you be most delighted to see?
Andrew Smoking-Hot Scott?
Janell and I were on the back porch of our host’s house, scribbling big questions onto small cards with each guests’s name. She had flown in from Denver just for this dinner, just for me. Our mission? To make eighteen women who were childless by choice, chance, or calling feel seen.
It worked. And it worked on me, too. It felt like a second wedding whereby a bunch of bad-ass adult women re-committed to doing our own work–and to each other. Janell and I got home, got into our hoodies, and stayed up savoring the night and wishing there were MORE.
More conversations on who shaped our desire to mother or not. More on what we feel and what we’re supposed to feel about children. More on how we find community when we find ourselves outside of convention. More on the risk of partnering with someone who may not partner our desire. More on how we re-parent ourselves.
When I posted an invitation to this MORE on Instagram, I was floored by the responses. One woman wondered if she was missing the mom gene. (She’s not. It doesn’t exist.) Another said she craved non-mom groups, but didn’t know of any in her neck of the woods. A handful said they felt like imposter moms–step-moms, foster-moms, and unlikely-moms–who are not exactly childless but are not exactly in childlove.
It reminded me of the first conversation covenant we named for the night: Live like you belong. It’s an old adage I adapted from Courage & Renewal retreats that reminds us that receiving welcome is just as important as giving it. (Did you know you can download my small group strategies for better belonging here?)
So, as the days darken and the holidays approach, please resist the urge to curl in. Walk into a room with your shoulders back. Pitch yourself with pride of work. Grab the mic of your own life because you are not too much, you are more than enough, everyone belongs. (And everyone is awkward at belonging.)
Don’t count yourself out before you‘ve ever been counted in.
The universe (and, if you‘re lucky, Janell) is saving you a seat.
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