As I was preparing to travel to Philadelphia for the Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Celebration, I had visions of myself stopping for cheesesteaks every 10 miles and listening to my DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince mix tapes. I was going for a good time. I was going to hang out with DisBroad Kristen, see some Disney Parks Moms Panel friends, and meet some new “internet friends.” After being inspired by amazing Disney creativity and real-life mompreneurs, I came out a better mother.
I can’t believe what a year it’s been since I attended Disney On The Road last year. I am now on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, which was a dream of mine for many years. Friendships that were just beginning are now friendships I couldn’t imagine life without. The amazing Janice still lets me write for her awesome site and give an opinion here and there 🙂 That wacky Gary Buchanan who I had admired last year is now my boss/manager/creative-genius friend/makes-me-stabby friend. Grateful I am.
Disney always knows how to bring the magic whether it is through a Mickey Rice Krispie Treat, fun photo ops, prizes, friendship, learning, or by bringing in the main mouse himself-Mickey! The speakers are always entertaining and inspiring, pushing people to ask what can I do better? What’s my next step? How can I learn from my peers and mentors?
This year I found myself relating to the Panel of Mompreneurs. They are moms and entrepreneurs with their own businesses, balancing work and family. Although I do not work outside of the home, being on the Disney Parks Moms Panel is a lot of work. It takes sacrifice, and while I love it, I know my children don’t entirely understand what I am doing on the computer. I do believe that my children should see me doing something I am passionate about and love. I just need to make sure they know I love them more than that something.
Someone asked the panel how they find balance. I waited for the answer; I wanted to know! Then Kristi Gorinas (@kristigcompany) answered that she didn’t know if she had found it. She said she might have missed a few years of her last baby’s life. Well dang. You have to appreciate a girl’s honesty.
Amy Bradley (@toydozer) and Jen Groover (@jengroover) cited ways they make it work. Amy mentioned how she has one child and gets a lot of work done while he is in school. Jen said you have to set boundaries, not balance. If you can’t answer emails, texts, calls, etc, then don’t. People should respect that. I loved when she mentioned having a key person to support your ambitions is crucial. Yes, yes, and yes! If it weren’t for the support of my husband and mother, I would be a lot crabbier and neglectful.
After the conference, I chatted with Kristi a little more. You see, she has 5 girls and I have 5 girls. I wanted a little glimpse into the future. She basically told me that things don’t get easier when they’re older. Technology and phones cause for some fast growing up. I think that was what I needed to hear. My next step is being happy in the present. I don’t have to measure my success against someone else’s success or standards. I need to be present for my daughters.
I love Disney Social Media Moms, because you truly find your tribe/family/’Ohana/people, whatever you want to call it. I met so many great people in Philadelphia. From Disney fanatics to Disney newbies, you can find your cup of tea-be it spinning or not. Adventure is out there, and I will always thank Disney for bringing out the more adventurous side of me.
Don’t forget to follow @DisneySMMoms for more information about next year’s conferences! And if you are a mompreneur with a great idea for an invention to make parenting easier, check out Huggies MomInspired Grant Program. You could receive $15,000 to grow your business!