Savannah, Sun and Serenity (oh and 150 moms!!!)

13 Nov

I’m mulling over my recent relaxing weekend at a Savannah resort with 150 energetic moms – who like thousands of moms across the country – listen faithfully to the comedic podcasts of working mom friends, Erin Martin Kane and Kristin Brandt.  Every November, the two manic moms host an Escape for their listeners who want/need to ‘get away from it all.’  These women mean business when they Escape.  Picture the running of the brides at Filenes basement — only in Stuart Weitzman flats, holding a Chianti and a Coach bag.    

The two communication gurus are former Bostonian neighbors (before Erin recently relocated to Rochester, NY), who once a week shimmy schedules to share the joys and struggles of working moms over a radio podcast.  They have quite a following.  Millions of downloads since they started podcasting seven years ago.  Their well-oiled banter includes a hilarious dose of complementary soliloquized thought bubbles and mini-rants that amount to….one or both rushing home to take kids to soccer practice – late – so they can wait impatiently in the pouring rain while responding to last minute work emails before returning home with hungry cranky homework- laden kids who want food – now  – and are more than happy to sit ON the laundry on the couch while they wait because it’s easier than folding  – which would require effort – which they won’t have because there are no groceries to make dinner  because there was no time to get groceries – ever – which dad would do only if he didn’t have a flat tire and – oh by the way –  Fido has to go out.  Something like that.  The hilarious truths-be told about having-it-all podcasts can be found at

Erin, a respected Associate Vice President at Syracuse University and my former boss and friend, asked me to be a keynote speaker at the event I think the day after she met me (well, almost).  I wasn’t quite sure what I could share with the manicked moms that they didn’t already know, but knew I had to at least try.  I certainly wasn’t going to leave a mic and a stage empty.  That would be a horror show!

So early Sunday morning, as they sat at the last quiet breakfast until next year’s Escape, I was honored to share my ventures as I recalculated my life from NY to the ATL while sharing some parenting tips…by tips I mean mistakes… from the past, while assuring the group my kids still talk to me, love me and respect me now more than ever. Despite my screw ups.  Despite my inquisitions.  Despite my strict rules.  Despite my not knowing what I was doing.  Despite my tight budget.  Despite my busy schedule as a local anchor and reporter. 

I told them some things really are better learned on the bus.  And that raising teens is like taking a canoe through the Grand Rapids, without a paddle.  That the words ‘trust me’ together have the same meaning as the word ‘premeditated’ and that it’s okay to say, ‘yes, it may be your body, but it’s my house, and the classroom is not the appropriate place for Victoria Secret and if you don’t like it, feel free to pick a wall cuz you’re going through.’  Psychologists may not agree with that line.  But they weren’t raising Kiki.  

I also told them that if I learned anything in my novice years, it’s that our children are tolerant, understanding and forgiving if we lead the way.  And kids want to be raised by people, not schedules and machines.  And that we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen more than we speak.  Really listen because it’s a dis-service when we finish our kids thoughts and sentences because we’re on such strict schedules in the pursuit of happiness that we can’t/don’t have time or patience to let our kids think straight — because we can’t think straight.

At least that’s what I think I thought I learned… if only I wasn’t so busy.


12 Responses to “Savannah, Sun and Serenity (oh and 150 moms!!!)”

  1. Janice Anne Wegener Grieshaber Geddes November 13, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Wonderful. Awesome.Incredible. And all so true!
    I love you.

  2. TishaMarie November 13, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    You were awesome!! I am glad you figured out what to say to us Manic Mommies, because it was just what some of us (I) needed to hear. I will be sharing it with at least a couple others as soon as the ladies post it as a podcast episode. I just wanted to warn you that you are about to have a few more stalkers.

    • dadamo102 November 13, 2012 at 3:18 am #

      Stalk away. I’d love to hear from them and follow along as well. 🙂

  3. TishaMarie November 13, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    I am sure glad you figured out what to say to us Manic Mommies, because it was just what some of us (ok, I am talking about myself) needed to hear. You may have just opened a can of worms. You see how far some of us travel to see those two women that we stalk, you are just 3 hours away:). I look forward to a long history of getting to know you…everything about you, lol

  4. Monique November 13, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    You were awesome! Up Top! Lol!

  5. Laura Bolsen November 13, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    Your speech was very funny, and also very touching. I really meeting you, and hearing all about your wonderful children and many moments of “recalculating!”

    Hope to see you in Atlanta!

    • Laura Bolsen November 13, 2012 at 3:39 am #

      Opps, meant to add “GREAT” in that last post!

  6. Cindy November 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm #


    Thank you for sharing your story! It was so great to be there and experience it 🙂 You are hilarious and warm and obviously, an excellent mom. Keep laughing and sharing!

    Cindy from NJ

  7. Shawn Thomas November 14, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I loved spending time with you and LOVED your keynote on Sunday! You were a great speaker, and I am so thankful that you have taken the time to get to know me! Up Top!

  8. Shawn Thomas November 14, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Forgot to include, “it would be a horror show!” LOL

  9. Erin November 14, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I knew you would rock it! Knew it!

  10. KellyB November 14, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Donna, Amazing talk on Sunday. So much of it is so true, like finishing our kids sentences and moving. I need to do the latter and not do the former. Keep it real and keep inspiring.

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