If you’ve ever planned a moms weekend away and lived your BEST life for two days while dad holds down the house (with too many snacks and screentime, but whatever), but then got stuck in your hamster wheel hours after getting home, keep reading.
There’s a better way to have a moms weekend away that will really fill your soul, your mind and make you pumped to come back home.
Hear me out on this.
I didn’t even know these sorts of things existed for everyday mamas; sure, I’ve heard of conferences for mompreneurs, mommy bloggers and other business-focused conferences for women in the parenting industry, but one just for moms just like me? No clue that was a thing.
But keep reading, mama, if you’re looking for something more than a cabin/beach weekend escape to fill your cup in ways that keep it full weeks after the travel is over, you may want to stay tuned for MomCon 2023.
The local MOPS chapter I’m a part of meets twice a month and those Monday mornings are lifegiving for so many reasons I’ve shared before (hellloooo childcare and me time). So when they announced they were going to San Diego for three days for a MOPS conference and anyone was welcome, I was intrigued.
To be honest, I rather quickly signed up for the trip without giving it much thought besides beach/no kids/girls road trip.
I didn’t know many of the other moms going from our group and to be honest had planned to keep at the edge of things as an “observer” for the blog–to report it all back to you guys. But mamas, once I got my conference badge and jumped into the first session, I saw how much I needed this conference without even knowing it when I’d signed up.
MomCon is organized like most conferences: keynote presentations and large group lectures broken up with smaller breakout sessions and a few fun outings (mom prom) to keep things interesting, plus a showroom with vendors and products to shop.
The topics ranged from marriage, navigating adult friendships (anyone else feel like mom friendships are sometimes harder than they should be), and of course parenting.
I don’t need to be a good mom | Main takeaway #1
I don’t need to be a good mom, I just need to be the best mom to Maverick (you can insert your kid’s name there).
Dr. Anita Phillips (an advice columnist for Oprah) shared how she raised her two adult children with the heart to not be a ‘good mom’ for them, but by being the best mom to each of them in ways the individual kids needed.
Whoa. This hit home for me and all the feelings of doubt I have after scrolling through Instagram lately with all the pediatric feeding, child psychologist and outdoor play accounts preaching best practices for parents that are well intended, but man, they make me feel insecure about being a ‘good mom’ when I’m constantly questioning:
Am I positioning food the way I’m supposed to to avoid my child having an unhealthy relationship with food in the future?
Is gentle parenting really working?
Am I providing Maverick with ample opportunities for adventure?
After the session back in the hotel room, I chatted with another mama about how this hit both of us so powerfully and putting the lecture into my own words to another mama made it stick and really inspired us both; If you want to learn more about this, be sure to follow Dr. Anita.
Most marriages are average | Main takeaway #2
The average married couple spends less than 10 minutes per day in meaningful conversation (i.e., not about the kids or work) with their spouse.
They’re only having sex twice a month.
These are the norms; these are the averages; and they both sound pretty sucky when stated in such cold facts, but I’ll be honest, they’re relatable, right?
Who wants average? Not me.
But it’s hard to excel as mommy and simultaneously be great at your marriage at the same point in life, right?
Marriage365 shared inspiration for why we should want to be better for our partners–spoiler alert–because it’s better for our kids, too.
Yes, they presented in the ballroom incredibly, but the powerful part of their presentation came later that night, after dinner, as a few of us moms sat in the hotel hot tub sharing vulnerable, raw insights into our own relationships, our shortcomings and how we want to be more intentional about not putting our relationships at the bottom of our priority list.
Momming is best done with others | Main takeaway #3
Sharing in community and having heartfelt conversations with women I’d previously just swapped recipes and bought homestead eggs from was lifegiving for me.
It reminded me that being vulnerable about how you’re feeling as a mom is good for the soul, but also so so so good tangibly to lift each other up, because we aren’t supposed to parent alone.
Having the conference as a conversation starting point created intentional space for deeper conversations than I’ve gotten at a moms weekend away/moms night out trip.
Another contributor on the trip, who has gone to MomCon three years in a row, told me she keeps coming back because it’s a brainless, pre-planned moms getaway that she just has to show up for: the fellowship follows.
Investing in faith
Towards the end of the conference during one of the large keynote sessions I realized that this was the first time as an adult (since college) I’d intentionally invested time and money into a multi-day, immersive time to spend in fellowship with other Christians and recenter my heart on what matters to me in my faith.
As a child, my parents invested in this for me annually (13 summers at church camp, 2 missions trips, etc.). And I hadn’t done the same as an adult for myself.
As much as a beach vacation is lovely (and I’ve done plenty of those), this intensive time spent in community with other Christian moms refreshed me in a deeper way that reignited my heart, mind and soul than any weekend away to the beach ever has.
MomCon 2023’s location hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to make this an annual spot on my calendar.