Becky's Story: What's that One Thing?

Becky is the owner and founder of the Rochester MN Moms Blog for which I am a contributing writer. 

Unequivocally determined in her efforts to connect, support, cheer, and empower, she is a champion of women and moms. The impact Rochester MN Moms Blog has had on women (and men) in our community is nothing short of phenomenal. Visit the Rochester MN Moms Blog Facebook Page and you'll note there are nearly 6,000 followers and counting - in less than a year. The blog will celebrate its first birthday in October. 

Besides the Rochester MN Moms Blog, her two young children, Evie and Theo, and fellow entrepreneur husband, AJ, keep her life full though she is able to sneak in the occasional page of reading every now and then.

Compassionate, courageous, gregarious and spirited are apt descriptors, but I invite you to find out for yourself as you enjoy this peek into Becky's story.

[S]: Becky, what do you believe is your greatest strength?

[B]: I think my greatest strength is being able to have a conversation with anyone. I love to chat and hear people's stories. I think being able to have a conversation with a stranger and make it easy is something that I really, really love to do. My husband will joke that I know no stranger. 

[S]: Besides your children and your husband, what brings you the greatest joy? 

[B]: This is gonna sound cliche; however, I do believe that I am living my best life. I am absolutely giddy to get up in the morning and to work on a resource that connects women, empowers women, strengthens women and comes alongside women. I am full of joy right now with what is going on with Rochester MN Moms Blog...The ability to bring women together, to support and connect and create community is an amazing experience.

[S]: Think about your wedding day...what's the first memory, or moment, that came to mind?

[B]: When I got to see AJ for the first time that day. 

Becky and AJ's first look on the wedding day

Becky and AJ's first look on the wedding day

There's a picture that captures the first look on his face and I keep it framed on my desk because it reminds me of the deep love that we share for one another. So on my worst days, when it feels like the world is against me, I can look at that picture and think, "but, he's not." 

[S]: How did you guys meet? This wasn't actually one of my questions, but now I'm curious.

[B]: Well, now you're gonna really love it because we met on e-Harmony.

[S]: Ah! Yes! So, when did you meet on e-Harmony? Was it back in the day when a person didn't talk about dating online or was it after it became pretty normal?

[B]: Our first chat was the day after Mother's Day 2009. We exchanged numbers and we started dating pretty much right away and by September he had moved down to Rochester. By March, we were engaged and were married December 2010.

I didn't have any qualms about telling people that this is how I was going to date. I actually felt really empowered because I felt I was talking the dating scenario, or the dating game, and I was embracing it and making it my own by seeking out people who shared my values and beliefs. It was dating for professional people who knew exactly what they wanted but didn't have the time or the opportunity to meet people. So, that's why e-Harmony was really, really great, because "hi, I'm now married and have two kids." 

[S]: Imagine you're at home, the house is quiet, the kids are napping and you're assured a couple hours of solitary time. What do you do?

[B]: I work on the Rochester Moms Blog and that has been my reality for the last year. Nap times and after bed, you can almost always catch me doing something related to Rochester Moms Blog.

[S]: Related to that, tell me what it's like to be a work-at-home mom?

[B]:  I feel a lot like working at home and building a business is a lot like cooking dinner with your hand tied behind your back. You're always at a little bit of a disadvantage. You know, as you're doing your work your mind is on your children and, for better or for worse, when you're with your children, sometimes your mind travels back to when you're with your work. To combat that, I'm really intentional about building in times in my week for when I work on the website. That allows me to be present with my children when they are awake. 

[S]: Do you think it's possible to multi-task?

[B]: I'm a terrible multi-tasker. I would like to be able to juggle a baby on my hip and answer emails at the same time, but I can't. I'm pretty bad at it. I don't feel like 100%  of me can go into one thing and something else. That's why I like these crazy intentional spaces where I can get things done. 

I used to think I was really good at it, but then I learned that what I was good at was saying yes to too many things and doing them all sort of sub-par. I had to quite multi-tasking and just focus on one thing at a time. It seems to work okay. Efficiency is one of my strengths, but it's also a weakness because I love efficiency so much that sometimes I can be inefficient looking for the most efficient way to do something. 

[S]: Put yourself back in your first-grade shoes...

[B]: My size seven shoes?

[S]: In first grade?!?! How is that possible?

[B]: I don't know. My feet were super big. 

[S]: Wow. So, first grade, what did you want to be when you grew up?

[B]: Oh, this is so easy. I wanted to be a peanut butter maker.

[S]: A peanut butter maker? 

[B]: Thank you Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. Peanut butter was and is my favorite food, so I wanted to be a peanut butter maker. 

[S]: When did that dream die?

{B]: I don't know...somewhere around the time I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

[S]: How did you spend your most recent Sunday afternoon?

[B]: Well, we're an entrepreneurial family, so we don't necessarily hold regular office hours. My husband decided to invest in a company called Bubble Ball; so, we volunteered at church in the morning and that afternoon he was out facilitating a Bubble Ball game while I was at home dealing with children who were not napping. That was one of my more stressful Sundays in remembrance.

[S]: What do you want your Sunday afternoon to look like?

[B]: A nap. And I would also like to kick up my feet and read a book. I was a prolific reader up until my children were born and now I just do it to unplug from electronics. I'm able to read a page or two until I'm pulled away by something, so it takes me a long time to read books these days. That's kind of a sadness, but I think it's just a season. Books aren't going anywhere any time soon so I can always read them later. 

[S]; What was the last book you read?

[B]: Um, I think the last book that I read was Wild and Free. I just finished that recently. It's an anthem for the woman who feels she's never enough and sometimes too much. That women should embrace who God created them to be.

[S]: On a different note, besides your kids, what keeps you awake at night?

[pretty long pause]

[B]: This is a vulnerable moment, but what keeps me awake at night is making sure that I'm fulfilling the purpose set before me. Are the choices that I'm making and the sacrifices I'm making what God would have me do? Is it the best that I can give Him? Is it moving my family perpetually forward? I think I, um, am a little hard on myself, but I think it's a constant journey of refinement and I think it's good to think about these things. But, I can suffer from over analysis paralysis, so, thinking through the day and thinking through the things I've said or done or didn't say or do keeps me up sometimes.

[S]: Do you feel the Moms blog is what you're supposed to be doing?

[B]: Yes, I do. Running the moms blog does come with sacrifices that I make for my family. I'm not home every night for my children's bedtimes. I do spend time away from them. Ultimately, I believe that these things are actually good for my kids, but I think I struggle in a moment or I struggle with comparison. You know, here's the mom who stays at home and never seems to ever be frazzled by her children. Or, am I doing my children a disservice by leaving them a day and a half and an evening each week? But, I believe what I'm doing right now is my purpose at this time of my life, so I feel confident in the sacrifices I make, but they are sacrifices.

[S]: Are you comparing your sparkler to someone else's fireworks?

[B]: I think so. I think that perpetually, as women, regardless of where we fall on the spectrum - either you have a sparkler or you have a big firework - I think that's the nature of who we are. Social media doesn't do much to dissuade us from this. I would love to get to the point where we don't compare ourselves, but for whatever it might be - whether it's because of society or culture - we are in the game of comparison.   

I think, too, that at some point, we have to realize that every moment of our lives can't be this extraordinary revelation and that some days, in some seasons, you're simply okay. You're not the best, you're not awesome - you're okay. I think there's a profound sense of satisfaction when you are okay with your okay-ness. 

[S]: So, why the Rochester Moms Blog?

[B]: Oh, oh this is just kind of like....oh, I don't really believe in serendipity, but it does feel serendipitous, a little bit, maybe...maybe that's the wrong word. Anyway, I had my first baby in May 2014 and my friend had started the Twin Cities Moms Blog. I went to college with her up at Bethel in St. Paul and was kind of watching on the outskirts thinking, "Well, that just seems really cool what she's doing," um, and I looked into it at one point, but I thought, "Oh, Rochester's too small."

And then, a year later at the end of June (2015) she sends me a message and she says "You're super passionate about Rochester, I think you should start Rochester Moms Blog." [Alongside that] I had kind of been saying to my husband, "Oh, someone needs to start a parenting resource website. Someone should do that. Someone should really do that." I think that her message and His, you know, grace, came at the right moment and when she sent me that message I was like, "Yeah. I'm telling you to do that."

But, I had to play this real cool card like, "Oh yes, I need to pray about that and I need to, you know, seek answers." I don't know if I was expecting to open up a book and read, you know, "start the moms blog," but, the more I thought about it the more the more it kind of made sense to me.  I think I had made my decision within approximately 15 minutes of receiving that message. And, here we are. 

 So, I have big plans for Rochester Moms Blog. I can't wait to connect more women. I can't wait to launch neighborhood groups where people can get to know not only the people living in their town but the people living next door, because that is not necessarily the case everywhere anymore. Community makes a huge difference in the end. especially when you're in the journey of motherhood. So, that's why Rochester Moms Blog. 

[S]: Any closing thoughts?

[B]: I love peanut butter, I drink a lot of coffee and my favorite television show is Chopped.