How does a busy homeschool mom find her tribe?
Finding your tribe, that small group of people who really get you, is a lifelong process. How do you find people to connect with when we are all so busy? We need companionship and people who we can rely on for comfort, for wisdom, for courage, and for tough love.
Friends, sometimes this life gets lonely. It isn’t that we do not go and do, but there is so little time for real friendships to develop between schooling, speech therapy, being an allergy mom who must cook a lot, and working from home. So I find that my friends, the ones I Voxer and chat with, and comment on funny and serious posts on Facebook are mostly online. So when I get to see them in “real life” it is incredibly encouraging. And that’s just what happened at 2to1 Conference.
The 2to1 Conference was in Sandusky, Ohio, at the Kalahari Resort. 2to1 is a conference to encourage, inspire, and educate homeschool bloggers (but you don’t have to blog about homeschooling) and homeschool online business leaders who love the Lord. You can get your tickets for 2to1 Conference 2017 here. The theme this year was Revival, and it was so very good!
Cheryl Pitt is the fearless leader of the 2to1 Conference and the incredible team she has built to make the conference as amazing as possible. Her heart is to encourage strong family values and to create a space where homeschooling entrepreneurs can learn, grow, connect, and worship. When you have a room full of homeschooling bloggers who all know the same struggles, the same balance challenges, the same social media algorithm complaints, and the exhaustion that can come from all of it together and the topic is revival, you know it’s going to be a soul-filling weekend.
Take Time for Yourself
Take the time to foster friendship. Be it online with email, with Facebook, through Voxer, etc. or in person. Find a local moms group, create book club or small group study, or just hang out in the bookstore at the train table with your coffee long enough and you’ll meet another mom who may be trying to find her own community, too.
You must take the time to fill your own cup. We cannot pour from empty vessels. Be it coffee, a mom’s night at the local “paint your own” shop, a weekend away at a scrapbooking retreat, or a weekend conference where you can learn and be encouraged. Take that time. And don’t feel guilty about it.
I came home refreshed, albeit tired from the drive. I’ve been in much better spirits and I’ve been getting some things done I’ve needed to do for a while. I’ve been having more fun with the boys and we are all in a better place. Plus, I have even more people in my support circle now. That is something to celebrate!
Find Your People
My incredibly grace-filled, sweet like you wouldn’t believe, and fun loving roomie bloggers, Susan and Misty. We are all members of iHomeschool Network so we work on similar projects, we share each others posts, and we met offline for the first time after we all checked in. But it felt like we already knew each other. The weekend was wonderful and we had such a great time together.
If you are in a season where online community is about all you can manage, then use that resource! The connection to like-minded people is so important. We need encouragement and support even when we don’t like to admit it. This whole self-reliant culture has made us almost isolationist and we were created for community.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
More of my people. My favorite online special needs and 2E moms, Penny from Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland, Dawn from The Momma Knows, and Heather from Special Needs Homeschooling. Having other special needs/2E moms that I can rely on for help and hope has been such a blessing. These ladies are all much farther along in the homeschooling journey than I am and are a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. If you haven’t checked out their blogs, you should.
You are important and you need to find people who believe that about you. Finding your own tribe is a gift worth working for. Taking the time to develop those bonds is something that will help you be a better mom, a better wife, and a happier person. So go ahead and make that call or message and start building your tribe. You’ll be ever so glad you did!
Getting Refreshed at the 2to1 Conference
Here are some more fun details from this years 2to1 Conference. I hope to see you there in Washington DC next October!
I was greeted by this cute little elephant upon arrival. I do love the little extra touches resort hotels put into their rooms. Kalahari had a wonderful staff. Everyone was very helpful, very congenial, and appeared to enjoy their work. That made the experience even better.
Kalahari is an indoor waterpark resort so many families came together to the conference and stayed for a few extra days to enjoy a fun vacation. I’m really hoping to take the family to2to1 in Washington DC next year. There are so many great things there to do and see as a family.
The glam life. 😉 So I got to dress in my grown up Stitch Fix clothes and my Roxbox jewelry and even had on makeup. Here’s the deal though, blogging causes me eye strain so glasses are now a requisite for any length of time working online. Welcome to the mid-30’s, right? And since there was much chattering and social media use (hello, there were around 100 bloggers and business owners there) my Jackery charger was attached to my phone all weekend, too. Oh, and there was much coffee. BJU Press sponsored a coffee bar that was set up all weekend. Homeschool mom + coffee = Happy.
Y’all, these speakers where just incredible! The breakout sessions were simply wonderful as well.
- Zan Tyler from Apologia. She is such a delight and I always try to hear her at conventions! She spoke on Revival and Servanthood and I was blessed, convicted, and inspired for many new ways to help my children learn to be servant leaders.
- Carlisha Williams – This lady is on fire for the Lord and she is doing incredible things! Her session was Choosing Faith Over Fear. She used an illustration of holding out your hands but keeping a cup in one hand, that cup being filled with whatever is weighing you down, and in order for God to revive us, we must put down that cup!
- Brooke Taylor was the last keynote and her session was Serving God with Joy. I was sad to miss it, but I felt such a sense of needing to head out so I wouldn’t get caught driving unfamiliar roads in the dark. Here’s God’s sense of humor: reading notes from her session from other attendees, she spoke about choosing joy during trials. I got roughly 20 minutes away from the conference and my tire pressure gauge came on. It was Sunday. Thankfully there was a Walmart Tire Center nearby where I was able to get things checked out and fixed. And I was awfully thankful that there was a place open on Sunday, that I had managed to find a Starbucks (I’m a bit of a caffeine addict, thanks to hypothyroidism) before the light had come on, and that I could still surf social media to see bits of the talk while I waited for my car.
The breakout sessions
I had trouble choosing. They were all so wonderful and so we all compared notes from various sessions when we reconvened together. The topics included virtual assistants, Snapchat, how to write, building an effective email list, live streaming, affiliate marketing, advanced time management, Instagram, social media campaigns, and there were prayer groups, mentor sessions, and dessert parties. It was a busy weekend!
And the SWAG! If it was possible to bless the socks off a room full of people, the generous sponsors of 2to1 did just that!
2to1 2016 Sponsors
- bju press Homeschool
- 7 Sisters
- bky kid
- GrapeVine Studies
- A Journey Through Learning
- Lake Erie Shores & Islands
- Chaotic Blessing
- Fan into Flame, LLC.
- Rocky Mountain Oils
- Notgrass History
- Tapestry of Grace
- Write at Home
- Melinda Martin
- Practical inspirations
- Shine Digital Marketing
- Partners: block island organics and Write Shop
Now, will I see you at 2to1 Conference in 2017? I hope so!