Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Writing, Motherhood, and Community

When I first shared my desire to write a book on Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast Magic Lessons, I was just so excited to talk with her and become unstuck that I didn’t anticipate all of the ways that my life would change.

I think there is something that happens when a person reveals her truth and becomes honest about her purpose that the Universe arranges for things to happen.

Being able to connect with other people that are also pursuing their dreams (many of them also balancing motherhood) has been one of these changes.

Monica Sholar was one of those people.  I actually met her before writing my book, but we never got a chance to really talk.  One day, I received an email asking me if I wanted to be interviewed for her book titled Please Pardon My Dust: I’m Under Construction. This inspirational book shares not only the lessons learned about success, but the messy, unpredictable road each of the twenty-five women interviewed had to travel in order to arrive there.     

I am completely honored to be included among strong, accomplished women. Me - a stay-at-home mom who left her teaching career to raise her babies who had zero idea of what she was doing, let alone what her next career move was going to be.  Sometimes it just seems so unreal.

Hearing from Monica and others that telling my story has helped them is one of the best things about sharing my struggles in such a public forum.  But here’s the thing – when I hear that, I get inspired!  I am lifted up because someone is fighting the same fight.  I am not alone.

I think I spent the majority of my 38 years feeling alone.

Even though I feel a connection with these women I have met, we don't often get to meet face to face. 

But this weekend, I get to see some of them in person.

Monica has partnered up with All Things Detroit for the official book launch of Please Pardon My Dust:I’m Under Construction. It will be on Sunday, April 3rd from 12-6 at Eastern Market Shed 3.  Tickets are $5 at the door or you can by them here

monica sholar please pardon my dust erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot

Before the book launch, I am going to hear Elizabeth Gilbert speak at Renaissance Unity Church!  I am super excited to hear her talk about creative living and Big Magic in a room full of people who are wanting to work their way out of fear towards their passion!

elizabeth gilbert big magic mommy on the spot erin janda rawlings

I hope to see some familiar faces at these events!  It’s going to be a great Sunday!

If you are going to go, feel free to tweet or message me!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winter Struggles and Yoga

I’ve been blogging consistently since June of 2009.  I’ve never taken more than 3 weeks off in the very beginning.

Until now.

This winter has been tough, and I’ve been running on empty.  It took forever to shake off the holiday stress.  I also completely underestimated the need to regroup after pouring my heart out into my first rough draft of my book

In addition to my struggles, Marie was having her own, and this was in fact, my breaking point.  Issues from her babyhood that I thought were far behind us started to sneak up on us again.  Her anxiety also spiked during the holidays.  I was doing my best to hold it all together while taking Marie to her various appointments, but I was overwhelmed and scared.  And of course mom guilt generously paraded out the what ifs, forcing me to reexamine every parenting decision I have made over the last 9 ½ years.

Oh, mom guilt.  It’s the absolute worst.

That aside, seeing your child struggle is so heartbreaking.  As a mom, my wellbeing is tied so tightly to each child’s contentment.  As much as I believe this is an inescapable dynamic of motherhood, I was so tangled up with her that I could not tell where her pain ended and my suffering began.

The energy needed to manage the kids’ daily activities was already spent obsessing about Marie’s needs.  The constant hum of fear made me feel grumpy and irritable which, inevitably, turned to into depression.

I cried a lot.  I had unexplained headaches for weeks on end.  Hip and joint pain.  Stomach cramps.

I began to suspect something was seriously wrong, but at the time, I honestly did not see a correlation to my health ailments and stress. But I knew something had to change.

After a long week of running the kids around to their appointments, swim practice, and gymnastics while Harrington was out of town, I decided to go to a Friday night yoga class.  Usually Friday nights are reserved to eating pizza and watching a shitty kids show before racing off to swim practice and then passing out at 9:15pm.  *If* I am lucky.

Instead, I gave myself two hours off.  I was not responsible for taking Marie to swim.  I didn’t have to stay home with Thomas and play (re: be directed by his specific storyline) with his Imaginext characters.

After class, I felt amazing.  The weekend was definitely more chill.  And only then did I realize how much I needed to just take a break from the grind and just breathe, not only for me, but also for my family.

 I have decided to up my Tuesday/Friday practice to a 30-day challenge: everyday for 30 days I will do some sort of yoga.  Red Lotus Yoga  is one of my happy places, but I will also be doing some at home.

I’m a few days in, so I’ll definitely check back in and let you know how I am doing.  What I know for sure is that if I am going to show up for my family and be ready to write, I need to give my mind a break from all of the thinking.

mommy on the spot erin janda rawlings winter struggles and yoga


Since I am committing more time to writing my book, my blog might not be as active.

I have a newsletter that I send out 1-2 times a month.  You can sign up here.

You can always find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.  I would love to connect with you there, too!