EP43: Exploring the role identities of parenthood w/McKenzie Rueger

EP43: Exploring the role identities of parenthood w/McKenzie Rueger

Being a working momma is tough; being the sole provider of your family adds in another level of complexity as well.

This week, we meet McKenzie Rueger who has recently taken on the role of main provider for her family of 4. McKenzie chats about the role identities of mother and fatherhood, generational differences of parenthood, and how working moms can truly go after what they want in their lives. Additional topics covered in this conversation include breastfeeding struggles, being a woman in the workforce, and asking for help as a mom. You’ll love McKenzie and her story!

Connect with McKenzie on Instagram @rowdybuncharuegers @beingonthegulf and her website www.beingonthegulf and Facebook @ McKenzie Rueger.


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Women are beautiful, better, and stronger together

During my time climbing the corporate ladder, I had my fair share of run-ins with other women who were catty, judgmental and two-faced. At least that’s how I viewed them a few years ago, when I was vying for a promotion in the company I worked for.

I remember hearing back from co-workers that a particular person was running my name through the dirt and sharing with others how unfit I was for the promotion. The crazy part is that this person was in fact someone who I had a lot of respect for and considered a friend at the time.

Despite it all, I got the promotion and still continued to be cordial with that woman for several years after.

The truth is–most women don’t support other women. And it pains me to recognize that I’ve fallen victim to this as well in my own life experiences.

Women are catty to each other. Women talk behind each other’s backs. Women are two-faced.

At least that’s what I thought up until the beginning of this year when I embarked on my journey with A Musing Momma.

You see, there is a movement of women empowerment out there striving to break the cycle of women versus women mentalities. We as women are magnificent and powerful, however we’re more powerful when we are working together.

There are two trending hashtags that I came across earlier this year– #communityovercompetition and #womensupportingwomen. To me, these phrases mean so much more to me than a trendy slogan you could put in the caption of your photo.

For me, community over competition is exactly what I envisioned when I set out to make connections with other mommas with A Musing Momma.

I strongly believe that there is enough success in the world to go around. That one person’s success doesn’t mean there is less for you. The possibilities are truly endless, and it makes sense for us women to lock arms and help each other up.

Women supporting other women is beautiful. It shows the confidence you have in your abilities to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

When I see women bashing other women, it’s more of a reflection of them than anything else. These women are battling things that no one can see, and they are projecting fears and insecurities out on others to make them feel more powerful.

Change is on the horizon. Women are waking up to the fact that we are better, stronger and more beautiful together.

Credit: Nikki Boether @charlietakesphx

Cheer on that momma who just breastfed her child for the first time. Give a high-five to the woman who is slaying in her career. Recognize that momma who is balancing everything so well from what you can see. When we can support and encourage each other, we empower one another.

What does community over competition OR women supporting women mean to YOU? Share some thoughts below! Follow and TAG @amusingmomma in any thoughts you have related to this post and share this with a friend today!

“Find your tribe, love them hard”

Somewhere in the world, there is a woman who is conflicted in the friendships she keeps. She enjoys the friendships she maintains, but still isn’t fulfilled. She wants more than the typical “what are your plans for the weekend” chat and is longing for something deeper. She wants more than the surface-level acquaintance-type-of-friendship. She wants her tribe…

Your tribe. Your people. The ones who are in your corner to cheer you on, support you and uplift you. A tribe can be defined as “a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest” * In other words, your tribe is your community and your support system.

As human beings, we are meant to connect. We are emotional beings who thrive off of connection and support. It makes sense to want this close-knit community of support.

I’m a strong believer of surrounding yourself around like-minded people in order to build your tribe. After all, sharing common interests is one way that connections are made.

Attracting your tribe is a vital piece to success and happiness. Behind every successful person is a strong and selective group of people who are their biggest supporters and loudest cheerleaders. When you’ve got a strong support system in place, you get the encouragement and motivation you need to reach for your biggest dreams.

Your tribe fuels your energies and passions. Remember, they are your loudest cheerleaders. So, when you’ve hit a wall of discouragement or demotivation, these cheerleaders will help you get back off the ground and stand taller than you were before.

Surrounding yourself around a group of driven and inspired individuals also ensures that you are playing the game with your best, most intense effort. You are challenged, and inspired, and motivated to achieve greatness because you all are focused on being your best.

I was listening to a favorite podcast of mine (The Influencer Podcast), and the guest on the show talked about the concept of scarcity versus abundance. To summarize the concept, scarcity is the thought that success is limited, and only the select few will be able to achieve success. However, abundance is the belief that there is unlimited amount of success in the world and anyone who is hungry enough for success can and will achieve it.  I believe in the latter.

There is enough room in this world for all of us to be successful, and my tribe knows and understands this very well.

I reconnected the other night with an old high school friend. We spent two hours in a deep conversation about our journey, motherhood and our dreams for our career. My soul needed that kind of connection. To have another momma share her story and journey through motherhood and the realization that I wasn’t alone in this… I now consider her a part of my tribe.

Mommas, find your tribe. Find those cheerleaders and supporters. Find those people who will be in your corner throughout every stage of your journey—whatever journey you are on. Be selective in your tribe, and when you’ve found your perfect tribe, as the saying goes—”love them hard”.

Related: Friendships are like Chapter Books

*Source: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tribe

Think of a goal you have or an achievement you are pursuing…Who do you tell first? Who tries to give you excuses for why you CAN’T? Who shares your excitement? Who shows up? Who doesn’t? Who is truly happy for you? Answer these questions to narrow down on your support-system, your tribe. Who is YOUR tribe made up of? Share in the comments below!

If you liked this post, please share with a friend or fellow momma.

Also, join ME on IG Live every Saturday morning at 10:00 am PT/AZ for a virtual coffee date where we can chat more about this and other topics. Hope to see you there! You can access my IG feed HERE.

Just another Chapter in your book

There is such a thing as growing apart. What was once your closest best friendship may become absent or even obsolete over time. It’s true– as seasons change, so does a person and their friendships with other people. Priorities change, life events happen, and you just….grow apart.

It’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s a natural part of life. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to let go of something that once was. Losing a friend is a tough, hard and heartbreaking experience. You’ve lost the friend, but the memories are still there…hold on to those.

It’s those memories that you can look back on and appreciate when your little girl is making her first best friend in grade school. Know that your friendship helped make you the person you are today. Although things aren’t the same as they use to be, you can smile knowing you had some fun times….

Because Friendships are like Chapters in a book….YOUR book.

Embrace each chapter as you turn each page. Over the years, I’ve lost a few of those childhood best friends– who I will consider “Chapter One.” Two in particular– Rachel and Claire**. While it was a very sad experience for me to acknowledge we weren’t best friends anymore, I also took the opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the meaningful and deep friendships that I have made along the way as I move on to “Chapter Two.

I think what made a big difference for me is realizing the type of friendship that was important to me at this stage in my life. I want a friend who I can confide in. A friend who I can trust. A friend who will love my daughter as her own and a friend who can come over to binge watch TV with.

Truth is another important factor in the friendships that I seek. I want a friend who I can be truthful to (good or bad) and one who I can expect the same type of truth. A friend, who– after 3 weeks (sometimes MONTHS) of not seeing OR talking to– when we are back together, it’s literally like we are picking up where we left off. A friend who knows me inside and out and accepts me for who I am. She knows how much I love my wine and Netflix and doesn’t judge me one bit. She knows my struggles with depression, my family problems, and the need to feel good enough–just like I know her personal challenges too! We help each other through the tough times, and celebrate each other for the good things. Because, that’s another thing– my closest, BEST friends are also my biggest fans and loudest cheerleaders just as I hope to be for them.

Sometimes, it takes an argument or falling out to realize what’s important to you in a friend. Surround yourself around people who uplift you, VALUE you, challenge you and are honest with you. Once you’ve identified those few “ride or dies” (as I like to refer to them as)– HOLD THEM CLOSE and appreciate them as they are with you through this Chapter of your book. You may have closed one Chapter of the book with a friendship lost, but be happy to know that this is just another Chapter in your book and embrace it!

**Names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals