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.

CATALYST FOR MOMS SUMMIT 2019

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Discounted tickets will go live in May and be available for a limited time and you will only know by being on the email list.

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Give yourself permission to be GREAT

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I believe it was a quote made famous by former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1940s. Over 75 years old, and the quote is still just as relevant as it ever was.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Your permission. In other words, you have the power to make yourself feel the exact way you desire.

I was at a friend’s party a few weeks ago and realized this exact concept. Of course, the realization came after I had a few days to reflect on what I was feeling.

There was a female at the party who I got the sense didn’t like me. When I approached her, she quickly said hi but then turned her back on me. Whenever I would speak, I caught her almost rolling her eyes at the things I would say. She kept physical distance from me the entire time, and it wasn’t long before I felt unwanted in her presence.

Naturally, I started to judge. “Who does this girl think she is?” I thought to myself. “She really is a bitch.”

A few days later, I realized that I had unknowingly given this woman the permission to make me feel inferior.

Her behavior towards me was intimidating, and I became defensive because of my own feelings about myself.

When I am honest with myself, I can recognize my insecurities during that party. The woman who was rude to me—was someone well-known to the rest of the people at the party. Perhaps I was insecure about the fact that this was the first time I was around this new group of friends. I was self-conscious about myself to the point that I took her dismissal of me as valid.

How many times are we quick to feel dismissed, judged or even wronged by the way other people treat us?

This is not to say that people who behave this way aren’t at fault. The truth is that there are people out there who intentionally seek to hurt and abuse others.

However, the point is that WE have the ability to overcome those feelings of being insecure and inferior.

When we are honest with ourselves, we come to recognize that inferiority and incompetence are emotions granted by us, with OUR permission.

Becoming conscious has enabled me to take personal experiences like this one and reflect on the power that I have within me. Feelings of not measuring up, incompetence and failure are all mental constructs that we create in our own minds.

Imagine if we were all able to rise above the mental limitations we place on our self-worth, and truly step into our greatness?

The possibilities are endless, friends. WE HAVE THE POWER TO SAY NO to insecurity and incompetence. Because we all are worthy, valuable and incredible in our own unique ways—if we give ourselves the permission to believe it.


How have YOU inadvertently given someone the permission to make you feel incompetent or inferior? Share some thoughts in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, please share with a friend today!

Becoming WHOLE means uncovering some hidden truths

One day in the near future, I will stand in my truth and proclaim that “I am worthy. I am enough.” The road to that day will be paved with challenges, triumphs, self-realizations and truths that I have to be willing to acknowledge and embrace. It’s going to take courage and belief in myself that I am doing what is best for me. I have to trust myself and trust the process, because Lord knows there will be challenges.

How can I expect to give my daughter the best of me if I myself am not whole? It’s a question that I was afraid to ask myself for the first 4 years of my daughter’s life.

Somewhere deep inside of my soul, was a longing to resolve anything that might stand in the way of giving my daughter 100% all of me.

The thing is, I had no idea what those unresolved matters were…but they were there. Like a shell’s hard layer, the unresolved issues were just one layer below.

They were there every time I refused to look myself in the mirror and love the woman I had become. Curves on my body that weren’t always there, wrinkles that would appear out of nowhere and a smile that I had a hard time accepting. It was there when I had second guesses about my own happiness and worth in my marriage with her father. It was there when I would cry myself to sleep in the middle of the night because I felt alone and dark. And it was also there when I would feel panic about my daughter finding out the ugly truth of my past…Those unresolved issues where there all along, but I was unwilling to accept them.

Instead, I spent the first 4 years of my daughter’s life ignoring the unresolved issues in my life. Blissfully unaware of the pain and ugliness that lived inside my soul.

Until the moment I realized that I was broken.

It was the night I crawled into bed with my daughter after an argument with my husband. I was upset. For so long, I thought the unhappiness came from my husband’s inability to show me appreciation. But, laying in the bed with my daughter and crying to her—I realized that it wasn’t my husband’s inability—rather MY own inability to love myself. Because, here I was crying on my four-year-old daughter’s shoulder—seeing the look of concern and worry in her little eyes while she was trying to console ME. I was broken. My daughter could see it…and that night—I could see it.

That was the night that I began the ascent into my awakening. My journey to finding out what was bothering ME. And why was I so upset and angry. I took pen to paper and began writing….

I started with my story. From the very beginning… and unleashed years of regret, anger, hurt, and pain that I had been ignoring since my early childhood.

It was empowering to recognize the feeling and emotions that I had not named before. I dove into hours of books, podcasts and genuine conversations to help me begin to become whole again. To fix those broken parts of me that were angry and upset all the time…

Since that night, I keep talking about my discovery of truths and emotional healing. When I was able to face my past and have the courage to question why I was hurt—a rush of relief washed over me.

I’m willing to bet we all have things that we need to heal from. Past hurts, heartbreaks and experiences that we try to hide from the outside world.

However, the moment you step into your truth and face your deepest soul aches is ultimately what will set you free and enable you to heal…thus, becoming whole.

Until then, I will keep writing…and soul searching…and learning from my past mistakes. And looking forward to the day where I can say and believe with all my heart that “I am enough.”


What does becoming WHOLE mean to YOU? Share some thoughts in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share with a friend to help spread this message. 

Be careful=be fearful?

 

Two words that sparked this topic: “Be careful!”

We got E a pink Power Wheels Jeep for her fourth birthday. She was so excited to jump in the driver’s seat and have all of the control as a driver. Zooming all around ours and our neighbor’s front yard, E was having the time of her life. We took her on an evening ride around the neighborhood, and as she drove on the sidewalk—I found myself saying “be careful!…not too fast….watch where you’re going…” the entire time.

You may not think it’s much of a big deal, but what I realized on this evening drive is that I may be subconsciously training my daughter to be fearful of the bad things that could happen in the world.

Because when I’m constantly saying, “be careful,” what E might be hearing is “be fearful.”

We have a very important job as mothers. To protect our children from harm and prepare them for a world where they can be self-sufficient. We also teach them to be productive members of society, with a strong moral compass. But, what if my fears for the worst end up doing more harm than good?

We live in a time where the news is saturated with tragic events. It breaks my heart to acknowledge that I brought my daughter into a world where safe places are never guaranteed. There is stranger danger, social media dangers, and mass murders happening often and I constantly live in fear of the unthinkable.

But, then I think about my daughter… So untainted to all of the ugliness. Pure and innocent…and oh so very fearless. Why should MY fears hold HER back from exploring a world of endless possibilities?

So, while “be careful” might seem like a harmless cautionary request—when I consider the potential it might have to E’s curiosity and tenacity—I feel a pang of guilt because I want to put her in a bubble and keep her safe her whole life.

You hear about a deep love that you’ll find when you have your first child. You hear stories of this instant, deep and pure love that you can’t ever imagine until the first few moments you are joined with your firstborn.

What you don’t hear about is the constant FEAR you will have as a mother. Fear for the uncontrollable world that we live in. Fear of the unthinkable and unimaginable. Fear of things, events and situations that you won’t be able to protect your child from. Fear of things that I am to scared to type out in words.

I want to let go of that fear. I believe that despite all of the heartbreak and tragedy, the world is really filled with happiness, hope and love if you know where to look for it…

That’s what I’ll teach E to do–look for the love in a world of hate. Look for the light in a world full of darkness. And search for positivity when the majority wants to focus on the negative. It’s a delicate balance of guidance and teaching E about the dangers the world could have, but also encourage her to be fearless in her dreams and passions.

As for me, I’ll have to follow my own teachings and embrace the uncertainty that life presents us with. It puts a whole new perspective on “living each moment to the fullest”.


What are some of YOUR fears as a momma? How do YOU overcome your own fear to let your child truly be fearless? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

It’s been a rough week…

It’s been a rough week. Matter of fact, it’s been a rough couple of months–even YEAR. Settlements, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tragedies….the list continues to go on and on. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself sucked into the darkness of despair. I’ve been there. I’ve felt the helplessness and anger about the events that have happened around me.

 

However, that’s not what this entry is about. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’ve felt anger, outrage or even anguish about the recent events that are highlighted in today’s news– it might help to remember the words of my childhood teacher and visionary/TV personality. Yesterday, I was reminded of him– the late Fred Rogers:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”- Fred Rogers

It’s true. You could fixate on all the negativity…everything going WRONG in our world today, and get lost in the chaos. But, what good would that do? Instead, I encourage you to look for the positive in such a devastating event…”look for the helpers.” There are already so many helpers…

I avoided a car accident yesterday. On my way home from work. I was passing an intersection and a car turned right into my lane as I was crossing. I slammed on the brakes and just BARELY missed the car. My brakes stalled and I was stopped in the middle of the intersection. In any normal situation– after my panic subsided, I would have become ANGRY and APPALLED– quick to place the blame on that individual who almost caused me to collide with them. However, yesterday was different. After my initial panic, I forced myself NOT to place blame, but to feel compassion and understanding. I thought to myself, “This was not on purpose. Perhaps the person driving the car didn’t see me and didn’t realize I was headed straight towards them.”

Friends, it was in that moment that I decided to practice more kindness. Instead of being quick to place blame and focus on the negativity, I am challenging myself to look for the positives. No matter how rough and tough life gets, I will always look for the positives…like the helpers, and the givers, and the ones who are able to see the light through all the darkness.

If not me, then who? It starts with us. Change is possible and we can make it through all of this together.

My Unassuming Listener

I use to write a long time ago. In fact, it was sort of like therapy to me. I spent many sleepless nights alone in my room with a pen and loose leaf paper (the green notebook which housed many of these entries)…writing. Depicting a time of my life when I felt most alone, sad, angry, hurt. These were truly the darkest days I’ve ever experienced. Yet, the therapeutic rhythm to the scratch of that ballpoint pen helped to shine some light on those darkest nights. It was my relief, my unassuming listener, my tourniquet.

That was my therapy then. And somewhere along the way… I grew up.

Now well over 10 years later, I find myself longing for the same relief to a feeling that I haven’t felt since those days left alone in my room. I’ve abandoned that side of me that was able to let all feeling and emotions out through 15 minutes of writing. What does this say about me now?

I was driving home today from work and felt so empty. That all too familiar sense of sadness surfaced again as well.

So tonight as I publish my first post in 10 years, I am reminded about the concept of “unintended consequences” that a friend taught me a few years back. “A term used to describe a set of results that was not intended as an outcome.” There are things we sometimes do in life that produce consequences that were never intentional. Sometimes good, other times bad. This blog is meant to explain some of those actions that result in unintended consequences.

Life throws you curve balls; how do you deal with them?  This is how I deal.