I was very lucky to be invited to the third annual Working Mom’s Guide Breakfast yesterday morning, sponsored by Liberty!
I was surprised by the size of the event when I arrived, with a good 250 people in the beautifully appointed hall at the Sydenham Community Centre. And I was very pleasantly surprised when Gina arrived! We were seated at the same table too which was very cool- though I am sure some of the other people at our table thought we were being rude as we tweeted through the presentations… Heh heh…
I didn’t take my camera with me so I had to use my BB… The tables were very pretty, with each one decorated a little differently to the others.
Everyone knows I’m a sucker for a goodie bag and the ones we got today were phenomenal! Samples from Clarins and Windrose, a bottle of Canderel sweetener, a Balmain pen from Liberty, a Tommy Tippee bottle (Gina gave me hers and I’m giving both to my sister C), a handbag table hook from Liberty, a Home Owner magazine, an Elle Decoration magazine, a baby something from Pigeon (which is also going to my sister C) and a discount voucher from Stuttafords. Now thats what I call a goodie bag!
As we got to our tables we were offered chocolate and banana wrapped in a crepe! The buffet was set up in an adjoining room with little boards at each dish explaining the nutritional value of salmon, quinoa, apples, eggs, tomatoes, and so on and it was very interesting to read about what we were eating. And what a buffet it was! Different kinds of scrambled eggs, home made pickles, fresh salmon, tuna mayo, egg mayo, tomato and mozzarella slices, different breads, different salads, and a whole lot of sweet treats like crunchies and brownies and carrot cupcakes and cookies and *GASP* cheeeeeesecake! There was tea and coffee and they were making up fresh juices with apples, oranges, beetroots and a few other things, with their nutritional values explained as well. It was quite a feast!
And one of the best parts of the buffet? After the presentations and before the raffle prize draw, they served breakfast again, so if you hadn’t had enough the first time around you could go back for seconds!
And I’m sure there are several people who can testify to the fact that any event with myself in attendance would be incomplete without me spilling my drink on the table…
We were also treated to the Jewish tradition of the blowing of a shofar (a ram’s horn)! Being a Ba’al T’qiah (shofar sounder) is an honour and the horn is something I have never heard before. Its quite something.
We were then privileged to hear author Joanne Fedler speak!
She’s a successful author, born in SA and now living in Oz. She’s a mom, she studied at Yale, she fought for women’s rights, and she’s a fantastic speaker to name just a few aspects of the phenomenal woman’s personality! She told stories and related personal experiences and it seemed absolutely effortless. She engaged her audience without one “um” and I was blown away! Here are a few of the things I got from her talk:
- How do we sustain ourselves and hold our world together in a world that pulls us in so many directions all the time? When people have someone outside of themselves to live for, they find optimism in the most tragic of circumstances.
- What does it mean to be whole? Celebrate the beauty of that which is incomplete, to embrace imperfection.
- As they age we have to learn to love our children differently, to trust the change process because we cannot freeze time.
- When your teenage kid tells you to “get a life” take it as a blessing and do it! Start taking back yourself as your children grow!
- We’ve lost our ability to be patient and wait and it can make us feel unsustained if we want everything to be instant. Creativity and relaxation require patience!
- Allow yourself to stop, to leave things unfinished, to breathe and do nothing.
- As a mother you need to have a self, a someone who is you but not an employee/ a wife/ a mother… someone you maintain and come back to.
- If you embrace your imperfections you open yourself to grace.
You can’t be all mom or all employee because without real relaxation and creativity in whatever form, you will feel like something is missing in your life.
And I won a prize in the raffle! I was so stoked! I was so excited when they called the number of one of my raffle tickets (I had six of them)! My lucky package consisted of the use of a snazzy coffee machine (and free coffee) for six months, Cellini luggage (and this suitcase set alone was worth R900), a dress from Panda (its a small, so I’m going to gift it to a friend), a voucher for a kosher fish market, funky striped reading glasses, an emergency car kit consisting of a set of jumper cables and a reflective triangle, AND a brown leather Busby wallet!! It must be kismet- I’ve needed a new wallet for ages! And when I went home I packed my prizes and my goodie bag into the luggage and wheeled it to the car!
Thank you so much for inviting me Liberty, it was quite a morning and I gained a lot of insight into what “sustenance” really can mean to a mom!