Friday, October 4, 2013

Somewhere Along The Way She Lost Herself to Motherhood...

I know, you thought I'd abandoned you. For a brief moment I thought I might have abandoned you too. I needed to get rid of one of the balls I was juggling: being a mom, p/t waitress, party planner and blogger. The blog is the easiest one of those for me to break from, as it gives me no *real* profit, just some therapy and a much needed outlet for when I'm feeling like only 3 people I know understand me... (one of them being my sister- and like, does family even count?) I figure if 300 people read this... I'm bound to to have someone else feel it... just based on the odds... and if you don't "feel" it, that's OK. We're all different and I'm just sharing my version of different.

I had a part in planning a huge event this week... a lot of you know this and have been following along with me through Instagram as I planned it. The entire story on how I landed this gig is in my last blog entry but in a nut shell I was reconnected via Instagram with my high school pen pal Jamie- a New Yorker now living in LA as a beauty blogger. She was hired on for this event to gather fashion bloggers and celebrities for the launch party of a new social media shopping website called WISHCLOUDS. Her and Ashley, (head of social media for WISHCLOUDS) contacted me 3 weeks ago about supplying some decor for their event. At first I figured I'd send a party-in-a-box and a photo of exactly how to set it up, as it was 3+ hours away. And then I got to telling Shawn about it and he told me I'd be crazy to miss it... and so I asked if they'd mind if I actually came down to LA to set up myself. They were happy to have me and so I made some plans for a visit to LA (I'm writing from my husband's old bed room right now). I didn't secure funding until 2 weeks before the event- so my entire candy/dessert bar, photo booth and all of the signage were done on the quickest timeline I've done yet. Creatively speaking, I work well under pressure.

To put it lightly... it's been stressful. The last 2 weeks have been FULL of emailing, online shopping, late nights and deadlines. And remember, I'm time tracking and profiting now- so it's been full of making business type decisions to keep myself a business- not a hobby- too. On top of this event I had another [mermaid] party already booked 3 days before the WISHCLOUDS event... So stressful doesn't really even begin to explain it. And in all of the chaos that fast deadlines bring, these 2 weeks have been awesome and inspiring and I've felt more accomplished than I have in a really long time. The day of the WISHCLOUDS event (October 2nd) I worked 16 hours and the crazy part- the insightful part for me- is that not one of those hours did I feel bitter or angry or tired that I was working so hard. I felt fueled and for the first time in a long time- successful.

One thing I'm learning is that the thing about success is that it's very subjective. Some people feel successful as a parent... or a wife... as a great friend.... And while I do love being a mom and a wife and a great friend- none of them have made me feel errr... successful, per say. I'm hard on myself, a perfectionist- which isn't as cool as it sounds... trust me. So if something isn't perfect I have a hard time feeling great about it...can you see how this could be hard on a mom? Most days if I'm honest, I feel less than successful when it comes to raising my kids... like I'm doing it all wrong and that neither child is retaining a shred of what I'm trying to teach/instill in them. That screeching tantrum wasn't exactly grounds for feeling like my clients (my kids) are happy with my work.

I used to wish I could base my success on things like potty training, or a great home-cooked meal... but simply put: I cannot. Because that is not who I am. I keep reminding myself over and over again- that is not who you are Kenna and that is ok. There is no mom-mold you need to fit in to. I can still be a good mom even without star charts and weekly meal plans. My kids will grow up with a different set of life skills than most of the kids I know. And again... after almost 5 years, I'm learning to be ok with that. 5 years of trying to be the SAHM, the WAHM, the perfect house- sparkly clean kids mom.... THE I'M TIRED OF PRETENDING MOM. The I-love-my-kids-but-I-also-want-to-work-mom.

The bottom line is, somewhere along the way deep in to motherhood, I forgot who I was. It's like a light bulb went off for me while planning this event and this light bulb shined a bright light on my love of so many things I'd retired for the sake of raising my babies. And why? Why can't I be a mom with passions and goals for my version of success?

My love of fashion. Have I mentioned I majored in it? And owned a funky little clothing store? I became a mom and swapped my wedges for flip flops and my vintage dresses for Target. And not that there's anything wrong with that- it happens, motherhood will change you. But I miss fashion. I miss caring about what I look like and waking up to put on a full face of makeup and stylish clothing and looking in the mirror and saying, "Wow you look cool today". I don't ever say that anymore, I'm lucky if I say, "You look presentable to the outside world!" 

My love of music. I traded the Kings of Leon for The Psalty Praise Album. Over. And over. Again. KOL just came out with a new album- my little sister told me. The same little sister (ok, she's 26) I introduced to them back when they were nobodies. Because I loved music and always found the nobodies. I have a poster from their 2004 tour on my living room wall and yet I didn't even know they just came out with a new album? But I have the newest Little People soundtrack... Oh yes, I do have that.

And I forgot that I love to work. Like really, really work. Which is weird because I have been working in some capacity since 7th grade when I first came up with the idea to sell hair wraps and plastic pacifier necklaces. I have always thrived on making and selling things.

In a sense becoming a mom meant responsibility and not taking business risks and just bringing in X amount of dollars so I can help with preschool for my son and other necessities. And even as I type this I'm thinking, "Yes, absolutely- security is good- that's why you waitress." But at what expense? Because I'm really asking myself this week, "Who are you, Kenna- where did you go?"

While shopping for an outfit to wear to the WISHCLOUDS event I felt so disconnected to fashion that I kept asking my best friend, "Are studs still in?" "Are back cut-outs still in?" I used to be the girl telling people what to wear... and I actually felt anxiety looking for an outfit. Me, anxious over clothing? And I know the exact verse my Christian friends are quoting in their heads... and like I said, not everyone is going to get it... and that's ok because I get it: I miss ME.

Yes, it had a back cut-out... It's still in.
This week working for WISHCLOUDS I got to do something I was created to do: CREATE. I was paid to take my vision and bring it to life. It was challenging in the very best way possible. At the end of the event I felt like a million bucks and that right there- makes me a better mom, a better wife... a better friend to anyone who can grasp my passion and need to feel successful in this business I started a year and a half ago.

Because when momma's happy... everyone's happy... Can we at least agree on that?

xo Party or Die xo

PS- Both parties were professionally photographed and I can't wait to show them off to you in the next couple of weeks.


  1. Oh Kenna, I can so relate with you on so many levels......especially the fashion thing.....I knew I'd gone adrift when I asked my friend what she was wearing to the Beyonce concert that we saw this summer and her response was jeans, t-shirt and sandals......meanwhile I'm staring at myself in the mirror wearring bejewled flats, black slacks, a shimmery tank top and cardigan.....with PEARLS and a cute wig with a broche in my hair for 'a lil' something'......A MESS!!!! LOL and yes, when mama's happy everyone is truly happy!

    1. I love the mental pic I'm getting of your outfit... us party planners tend to take the party to the outfit sometimes!

  2. *does double finger my-eye/your-eye thingy* We are sooo ---->here<-----. I do get it and I get you. All my visions of Martha Stewart greatness have been dropped and shattered at the feet of "I wanna have an actual life" recently and I came to realize that I had very much lost any sense of my passion and personal desires in the hailstorm trinity that is wifehood, motherhood and everyone-else-in-the-world-needs-something-from-me-hood. What was it that I liked, again? Didn't I used to care what I looked like when I went outside, you know, amongst people? I became invisible to myself. I figured nobody is looking at ME, I just need to perform my functions and keep it moving. It's like my life became a pair of mommy-jeans. Sturdy and functional and reliable but SOOOO not attractive or fun and in desperate need of an upgrade. So I am doing just that. When i realized that i haven't known what i wanted for my OWN birthday for the past several years, i knew it was time to re-assess some thangs. I knew I still had desires but good Lord were they buried deeeeeep beneath the expectations and needs of others. I have come back to a passion I've had as a little girl and I grow to love it more and more and am in the process of turning it from a semi/non-profitable hobby/business into a legit business/business. I'm happier for it and my family is getting the best me as a result. I don't resent my other roles because I am now also one of my roles. I know I'm rambling at this point but I just had to let it out, lol. It's refreshing to see others who "get it" and aren't afraid to say the things we're oftentimes made to feel ashamed for thinking or struggling with. I wish you much success and unlimited inspiration and creativity. It really is just a matter of time before your name is household :-) Party on!

    1. Love this comment! Made my day! Yes, we ARE on the same page! Just say NO to mom jeans and we'll keep our head above water... that's my only goal at this point ;)


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