Hi, Everyone! With Rene hosting the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Orlando, we wanted to try something a little different. We asked the moms and dads heading down to the conference May 9-12 to answer our Life Lessons questions with a Disney twist, of course. Like the GEMS they are, they took to the task. We will be running their answers in the regular Life Lessons slot. Oh, and don’t worry. You still have a chance to share. Just email Ella and she will get the information to you. Now, we present our Disney Social Media Mom of the day, Erin.
Are you happy at the moment?
At the moment, yes. Not 24/7, of course, but my family and career are at a good point. I am fortunate to be able to be home with the kids and still have an opportunity to write and do the work I enjoy.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Relax a little. Everything turns out ok. You go to college. You find a job. You get married and have kids. Don’t worry so much!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
That it’s okay that I need a little work in my life. I have always wanted to stay home with my kids, yet when I got the opportunity to actually do it, I found myself missing office life immensely. I struggle being with the kids ALL THE TIME and have felt major guilt about it. But I’m learning that those feelings don’t make me a bad mother and I’ve been able to let go (of the guilt) a little.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
More writing gigs. I’ve done marketing for my entire career and while I enjoy it, my heart is with writing – free, creative, from the heart, writing. I hope to find a few more websites or publications that might have a need for my work.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Hugs and kisses. It doesn’t matter what is wrong, a hug and a kiss make everything better.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Singing. I have been away from it in a structured manner for too long, but I am lucky in that my son lets me sing to him every single night. It calms me, invigorates me, and allows me to lose myself in the moment. Music is my therapy.
What’s your biggest regret?
Doubt and unsaid words. I love the saying “have no regrets” but I just don’t believe that is possible. I don’t dwell on the past but there are times when I’ve doubted myself and let things go unsaid that shouldn’t have been. I don’t ever want to be afraid to say things out loud.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
My kids are little so we have an immense amount of teaching to do. For now, I think the biggest lesson we’re working on is the ability to ask for help. Too many people think themselves weak when they utter the words “help” and I don’t want my kids to feel that way. It’s okay to need help and it’s okay to ask for it.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I tend to allow a lot of clutter. My house isn’t messy but instead of just taking an extra five minutes to put things away, I let it gather. It annoys me immensely, yet I can’t seem to change.
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I don’t really have an answer for this one. I think as women/moms we focus so much of ourselves on others that we don’t spend enough time focusing on all the amazing things we’ve done and accomplished. I guess I am most proud of the scary things – the moments I was terrified to take the plunge (quit my job, leave home, etc.) but I did it anyway.
Who is your favorite Disney princess and what has she taught you about parenting?
I had to think long and hard about this one. Buzz Lightyear, Lightning and Mater don’t leave much room for princesses at my house. (Give me a year; my daughter is two.) After much thought, I finally decided on Rapunzel. Her entire story centers on following your dreams. As a parent, I hope to always encourage my children to pursue their passions. I never want to squash their dreams or ideas, and hope to always give them the courage to do the things that excite them.
What ten words best describe you?
Theatrical, loyal, empathetic, friendly, talkative, musical, touchy-feely, headstrong, playful and passionate.
Erin Lane is a corporate marketer turned stay at home mom to a four year old son and two year old daughter. After spending eleven years in an office, she’s now mastering language development, creative play and toddler tantrums. She thrives on coffee. You can read her at A Parenting Production or follow her on Twitter at @ErinCLane.