TedX: Rebranding the Single Mom (VIDEO)

I was recently invited to give a TedX talk at Ursuline College and when Gina, the organizer of the event, initially reached out to me, she suggested a few topics I could talk about. They centered around journalism and the creative process – all things that are a HUGE part of my life, but I just didn’t think I could break them down in an interesting way to hold the attention of an audience. So I told her that I wouldn’t be insulted at all if she decided to recant her invitation.  Gina wasn’t interested in me turning down the invitation, so she kindly asked me what I wanted to speak about, what I felt was important enough for a 10-12 minute speech.

And I said (sort of off the top of my head), “Rebranding the single mom. That is what I am trying to do in a small way, every single day. I don’t think that the reflection of single moms in the media is accurate and I also know that in order to make changes in the external messaging, I needed to change my own internal dialogue.”

And she said, “Great!”

We hung up the phone and I spent the next 3 weeks trying to find a way to get OUT of actually giving that speech.

I am too busy with work…no one wants to hear me talk for 10 minutes straight…it’s too much of an inconvenience for my family to watch Ellie while I travel to the event overnight…

…You know those conversations you have with yourself when you are scared. When I write about single motherhood from the comfort of my yoga pants and my couch, I get to hide behind the wall of technology. Producing in network news, I got to hide behind the talent, usually in a dark edit room or control room. I got comfortable with that.

This was one of the, if not the most challenging pieces I have ever had to sit down and write. And I’d be lying if I said the last 4 and half years has not been difficult. They have. But difficult is not bad. Difficult is…difficult. And, as I explain in the video, I realized that just because they were difficult, doesn’t mean they define me. Our difficult moments aren’t what define any of us, how we respond to them is what matters.

The best part of this whole experience?  Well, writing this speech gave me a great walk down network news memory lane, and  more importantly made me recall how incredibly fortunate and loved Ellie and I are (which is what rushed into my head when my voice started cracking during the talk). So thank to every single person who helped prop me up when I needed it, and who continues to do so when I wonder what comes next. I love you.

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This is a conversation I truly think needs to be started. Single mothers are as diverse and eclectic as married mothers, and the ones I have met and spoken to, love their kids, just like married moms, have the work-life internal debate, just like married moms and are doing the best they can in parenting, just like married moms.

It’s time to #RebrandTheSingleMom.

Within the next month or so, I am going to be redesigning this site, and I would like to include stories from other single moms about how they are and have been #RebrandingTheSingleMom, so if you are are in that category and want to do a quick interview for this site, please reach out to me.