Moms or Mums: The Needs are the Same

A couple weeks ago, April and I had the opportunity to present two Power of Moms Retreats in Australia. It was exciting and fun to drive on the left side of the road, to try new foods, to hear the different words and accents, to explore the beautiful rain forests and beaches there and to see the unique Australian animals. But by far the best part of our trip by far was the opportunity we had to spend with over 100 wonderful Australian “mums” at the Retreats.

We were a little nervous going into our first Retreat in Australia. Would the mothers there enjoy our material as much as American mothers have? Would they laugh at the same things? Would the same messages resonate? Would they enjoy all the small group discussions we do at Retreats? Would people have a lot to share?

But as we chatted with mums as they arrived, we felt totally comfortable. And as we presented and enjoyed discussion groups, we found that the issues and worries were the same. And the abundance of great ideas shared was the same. And the desires and hopes were the same. Everyone had very cool accents and we had “afternoon tea” rather than an afternoon snack during the Retreat. But other than that, our Australian Retreat felt remarkably like the 12 American Retreats we’ve conducted.

Whether you’re a mom, a mum, or a mama, motherhood brings so many of the same challenges and joys. And as you share those challenges and joys with other mothers, there’s a beautiful sisterhood and lots of great learning involved. We have mothers from every walk of life attend our Retreats – moms of 1 child and moms of 11 children (11 is the record so far), single moms and moms in great marriages, moms who are just scraping by and moms with plenty of money, moms with kids who have special needs and moms with their own serious health issues, moms who feel pretty confident and moms who are hanging on by their fingernails. As we’ve presented Retreats this past couple of years, we’ve been able to spend time with over a thousand moms and it’s been so interesting and so wonderful to see that even though our situations and personalities are unique, there’s so much we can learn from each other and there are so many universal issues we can and should discuss together.

At the close of our Sydney Retreat, we had a chance to record a podcast with some of our new Aussie friends. We discussed an issue that’s always an important topic at Retreats – the issue of how to find and pursue our own passions and interests while focusing on our family’s needs. Click on the link below to listen to a 15-minute conversation on this topic (and enjoy the great accents!). You’ll find yourself in many of the comments made.

Discovering your Passions

Question: How do you learn from other mothers? What more can you do to share your experiences and learn from other mothers’ experiences?

Challenge: Start a Learning Circle, come to a Retreat (we have three coming up – Vegas, the Bay Area and Park City) or figure out your own way to discuss the important issues of motherhood with other moms. Gathering with other mothers is a beautiful thing.
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