“A woman is like a tea bag. You cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” -Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember when I started this blog-thing ten years ago as an experimental, new media venture to stay creative, productive and cheekily motivate my new mom life into being focused-, fun- and fierce after babies (notice, all the ‘FAB’)? In a matter of just over one year (2011-2012), I sharply-pivoted from a career of interviewing celebrities to talking about strollers and parenting on TV. Searching for books about birth and delivery (before my first baby) subsequently inspired me to write a book about first-time pregnancy (after my second baby).
Time flies when you’re having fun and working your butt off. Turns out all that hustle served to guide me into a direction I never prepared to go in before motherhood — to now feel free to expand my once-limited perspective, to now feel brave enough to lean into it — to become confident to raise kids right in a world that’s now more wacked-out than any of us previously imagined.
Ten years and two kids later, I’m finally FREE and BRAVE.*
Holy Mother. “F-A-B.” A new kind of FAB Mom. (Does this mean I have to rebrand this website?!)
A few months ago, my cousin told me that my 2020 ‘hiatus’ from my previous type of work in media was a pregnancy of sorts… and that I needed to rest because “something big was going to come out of me soon” (her quote). I may’ve just given birth last week to the surprise baby I’ve been unknowingly nesting for…
To my blindsided surprise: I shot a few videos for multi-media network PragerU — tackling inappropriate (and, also anti-American) curriculum being injected into many of our schools, against parent consent, to serve radical ideology that only divides us further. [Vids will go live sometime February/March 2021]
If you know PragerU, you know it’s an online media network [led by conservative talk radio host and logical deep-thinker Dennis Prager]. Yes, it’s openly conservative. (gasp! no, I haven’t suddenly shifted my views. I just never shared them due to fear of cancellation from those unwilling to acknowledge diversity of opinion.) PragerU has produced countless videos the last few years to inspire people to THINK CRITICALLY and DISCUSS IDEAS — centralized on facts, independent from feelings. With reverent respect for freedom of speech. Always.
Partnering with an organization like PragerU is something I never imagined doing in my career journey. Like, ever. But here I am. Excited. Strong and secure. Free and brave in conviction and beliefs. Readying myself for that aforementioned boiling “hot water” I will inevitably be submerged in from here on out. (Because, you know: The Tolerant Left.)
Good thing I’m one tough mother.
So, I tromped in there with my gold-glitter Uggs thanks to a stupid-and-ridiculous toe injury I was dealing with at the time. [Now healed… but, cramming my toe into my usual spiked heels or any other kind of shoe other than UGGS was throbbing pain that shot all the way up my body to my brain…. so, UGGS.] First. Time. Meeting. The. PragerU. Team. In. GOLD. GLITTER. UGGS?!? I died a little bit. A lot. But such is life’s comedic timing. (ha!)
Backstory: I thought long and hard before agreeing to the shoot. I knew if I shot the kinds videos the producing team and I previously discussed, there’d be no going back. It can be scary to express independent views that don’t coincide with mainstream-media groupthink these days (says the woman who worked as a host/contributor in mainstream news for 15 years… including a brief stint for CNN). Be brave to speak up. For my kids.
I ALWAYS stand behind anything I say, write, post, discuss on social media and in real life. I don’t post anything I’d be uncomfortable with anyone seeing — even if one happens to be a participant concerning the topic of what I post. I don’t disrespect others (ever) and welcome honest discussion. I will strongly defend educated points of view and frankly communicate truth based on facts, experience and observation. Feel free to share ideas. For my kids.
But in this current climate of “I feel, therefore you’re wrong because I don’t agree with you” — things can get weird fast. And, [poof!] they already have.
Twenty four hours after I shared a 15-second video teaser of what will be my full, 5-minute PragerU video addressing schismatic curriculum across the country, I was summoned to a local principal’s office. For real. It was cited that “someone’s feelings were hurt” based on generalized opinions, call-to-actions and recent, personal experiences I have been sharing on my social media platforms. I was instantly confused.
Is this considered attempted censorship? By way of citing “feelings?” I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. (And yes, I’m well aware that this blogpost might certainly be read and spread. I share my perspective here respectfully. Openly. On my platform. With irreversible and immeasurable concern for my local schools and the education of my children… of all children. I’ve done nothing wrong.)
My particular school district is overwhelmingly-welcoming to parents, consistently urging us and students to “express ourselves, to openly communicate concerns, disappointments and/or propose solutions” in the name of enriching education and social emotional growth. I’ve taken this gracious gesture to heart and have written countless letters to ask questions and propose ideas — most focused recently on finding creative ways to reconnect students and teachers through overreaching school closures in spite of data and science. However…
Freedom of speech only exists if you agree with one particular side. In the name of feelings.
Standing UP now. (Even more since that controversial first-day-of-school Pledge of Allegiance on our school district’s front lawn.)
FREE and BRAVE. To speak. To share. To solve. To empower others to have courage. Never to disrespect (as some other do). Never to disparage (as some others do). But to express truth that so many in my own Los Angeles small suburb town are not quite ready to publicly do themselves. But we’re getting there.
Community is important. Civil discourse is important. Diversity of opinion is important. Central on facts. Alongside yet separated from feelings.
Let’s talk about EVERYTHING. Freely. Bravely. Face to face. In person. Even if we don’t ever, ever agree.
I’ve joined PragerU’s new PREP (Resources for Educators and Parents), I hope you consider joining me. We’re whipping up some fresh goodies for families in 2021 — tools to empower, educate and preserve all our rights for freedom of speech and American values that unite us in our schools. Through. Our. Differences.
For our KIDS. For our COMMUNITIES. (Gold-glitter UGGS sold separately.)
*Disclosure: I cannot take credit for this new ‘FAB Mom = Free+Brave’ interpretation — it was graciously and brilliantly offered to me on a whim by an incredible, whip-smart mother in media (a brand new mentor of sorts, if you will) who I met through PragerU. Thank you for finding me, MSS. I guess Facebook does have it’s positives. xo