Last week I attended The MomFair which is a job fair and conference for moms hosted by MomAngeles. I stumbled on the conference by accident and as I was deciding on whether or not to go my good friend Lauren forwarded me a link advertising it, and I was sold. (Lauren knows everything! Read her blog)
I didn’t know what to expect from this conference as I’d never attended or even heard of anything like it. I hoped to hear about part time job opportunities, but in all honesty I didn’t walk in with high hopes. Boy, was I wrong – and delightfully so. I was BLOWN AWAY. The lineup of amazing speakers included entrepreneurs, CEO’s, TV hosts, and authors and they were not only all women, but women with children. Their presentations were passionate and encouraging and once they left the stage they were approachable and warm.
One of the things I was most unhappy about in my other life was that I never felt like I was good enough. Undervalued, unprofessional and a liability – that’s what I felt like before. Sitting in this conference was a game changer. These women spoke of motherhood not as a liability but as an asset. They shared personal stories and experiences while giving concrete advice and suggestions geared towards helping those of us in attendance reach our career goals and aspirations.
The speaker who had the most profound influence on me was Michelle Patterson, Executive Director of both the Women Network and the California Women’s Conference (yes, the same one formerly helmed by Maria Shriver). Michelle said to act, “As if.” From now on, I pledge to do that. I pledge to act as if being a mom is the most important job I have, to act as if I have the culinary career I’m meant to, to act as if my thoughts matter, to act as if I am comfortable in my own skin, and most importunely to act as if I am fine just the way I am. And I solemnly swear that it will be a cold day in hell before I ever act as if having kids is a liability again.
Thank you Michelle for giving me your business card and for inspiring my new mantra. (I’m also acting as if you’ll mentor me) Thank you Laura Gerson and Momangeles for organizing such a wonderful conference for moms who aspire for more. Thank you Galite Shafer for taking an interest in me. Thank you Lauren for forwarding the conference information to me. Thank you to my husband for encouraging me to go and for sticking in my corner even when I wasn’t sure which corner I was in. And the biggest thanks to my boys who each day remind me of why the little things matter and encourage me to give each day my all.