Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, editor, marketing professional, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of many books, the most recent of which she co-edited with Lisa Hendey: The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections. She blogs at SnoringScholar.com and writes online regularly at CatholicMom.com and Integrated Catholic Life. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and children.
In the years I’ve been working online and connecting with other moms online, I’ve come to realize something critical: we women—and specifically moms—need each other. Motherhood can be very isolating, even as it demands everything from you.
It’s all too easy to focus everything on your children and your work and to forget about your self. Motherhood is a giving endeavor, and we all need a reminder to take a step back to put the proverbial oxygen mask on ourselves.
Tami Kiser is planning an online conference tailored for moms, the Catholic Conference 4 Moms, March 6-9, designed to provide quality presentations and content for moms to consume in the midst of their busy, everyday lives.
“I think it had to be an inspiration from the Holy Spirit,” Kiser told me. “It was one of those ideas that kept coming up in my mind over and over again.”
“For most of us busy moms, it’s very hard to predict when we are going to have a chunk of time during the day to listen to a presentation,” she said. “This online conference is different—for any given day of the conference, moms can pull up any of the presentations available that day at any time. She can even listen to part of the talk now and finish it later. With all of the presentations about 20 minutes, this makes it very convenient and actually doable.”
The line-up of speakers is top-notch, including Rachel Balducci, Susie Lloyd, Emily Stimpson, Jeff Young, and many others. The topics include everything from food and faith to friendship and special needs parenting.
Kiser shared, “I’d like moms to consider the ways that the internet can both hinder and help them in their vocation. We all know that many moms struggle balancing the time they spend online. It's a tough battle that must constantly be fought. Even though this conference requires moms to be online, I hope that the overall message is one that encourages moms to use the internet wisely.”
I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I actually get off my couch to go to a conference is for the fellowship and people as for the speakers. Kiser’s thought of this, too. After the conference is over, she’s offering the complete package for sale. “For one low price, moms can take the whole conference "with them" to their parish or moms’ group,” Kiser said. She will also include extra incentives in hopes that many moms will take advantage of this, including discussion questions for each presentation. “I've been involved in many mom's support groups myself and I know how moms like a simple, but meaningful, format,” she said.
Kiser’s hope is that every mom who participates grows “closer to the Lord and [learns how to] better serve him through their vocations,” and she said she would also like “moms to take the conference with them and share it with other moms so they all can benefit from that companionship that develops when moms share in this way.”