We need to take care of ourselves, too! We've got delicious and easy recipes, the latest fashion and home decor trends, health topics that impact every woman and so much more. So grab a cup of coffee and dig in.
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and we're here for you! Link up with a community of moms just like you and learn about fabulous events in your area plus amazing product giveaways, discounts and more!
Over a year ago, Martha Nieset, a 40-something mother from Ohio, heard the following question at a women's professional development retreat: "What
do you want to do?"
It was a simple question. But it had a profound effect
"At that moment," she says, "the only thing that popped
in my brain, flooded it really, was, 'Take my son to live in Nicaragua.' And it
was all, and I mean all, I could
think in that moment."
It was a bold dream, for sure. As Nieset explains, it
was borne of her experience volunteering at a Nicaraguan orphanage more than a decade ago. But this particular dream didn't have just one catch. It had a few
Nieset had recently separated from her husband. She had an 8-year-old
son. She had a full-time job and owned a house in Columbus, Ohio. And she didn't
speak fluent Spanish.
These obstacles would be enough to deter most people
from pursuing a dream like Nieset's. And truth be told, they scared her, too.
"I was really scared for a while," she says. "I
said it out loud to some friends a couple years ago. I said I really want to
take my son to Nicaragua, to experience life there and to travel with him, but
honestly, I just felt scared."
Though she was scared, she followed her dreams anyway.
She found a bilingual school in Granada, Nicaragua, for her son to attend. She planned
an exit from her steady job in data analytics at a community college. She
studied Nicaragua-themed websites and blogs written (in English) by American
expats. She booked a hostel where she and her son could stay until they found
an apartment to rent. And, putting her mind especially at ease, she made
contact with a Nicaraguan friend whom she'd met many years earlier. He agreed to meet her and her son with a taxi at
the airport—the airport, that is, that Nieset would depart with no job, no
apartment and limited Spanish-speaking skills.
Though she was scared, she followed her dreams anyway.
Nieset's challenges didn't stop there. Her son, for
instance, had some difficulty adjusting to his new school. But instead of
seeing this specific challenge as a problem that needed immediate fixing, Nieset viewed
it as a possibility for growth.
think being in Nicaragua, going someplace that was my dream, I felt a little
more responsible for his feelings of not wanting to go to school," says Nieset.
"Kids have struggles with school for lots of reasons, and certainly his reasons
for not wanting to go were more than just the challenge of a new language and building
relationships. But I would remind him why it was important that we were there,
why it mattered to me, and I let him feel sad or feel bad for a little while
and then we moved on to what was next together."
a couple months, her son could understand most of his teacher's instructions in
Spanish: He no longer needed her to translate them into English. He was
growing. And so was his mother. In fact, Nieset turned her dream trip into a
life-altering career change: She now plans
family-centered immersion trips in Nicaragua.
the owner of Nicaragua Immersion], I love the idea of making a profession out
of what I love," she says. "As a parent I saw what it was like to travel to
someplace so completely foreign with my child and what we needed along the way,
and even beforehand, what it took to make the step. With my clients I know how particularly
important it is for them to feel safe, first of all, and have trust in a guide
who can support them to travel at a slow pace with their kids, have engaging
activities, a personal connection with people, and lots and lots of swimming time—because
it is hot in Nicaragua!"
even this dream job has presented Nieset with some unique challenges. The Zika
virus in particular has many potential travelers worried about trips to Central
Nieset's dreams, and her follow-through on her dreams, speak to all of us—mothers and fathers, parents and non-parents: What do we want to do? What is that one dream that tugs at our hearts?
has studied the outbreak carefully. She says, "I would want families to know
that the Nicaraguan government has taken a rapid response to the spread of the
Zika virus based on guidelines from the World Health Organization. Compared to
other Central American countries, Nicaragua has a very strong public health
system and has had relatively strong success in containing diseases of this
"As mothers we often take on so much because we care and we give so much, and sometimes that leaves us feeling empty or burnt out,"
says Nieset. "Because we need refueling and care, too, we need to believe that
taking care of ourselves, our wants, desires and needs are important and worthy
of taking the lead no matter how crazy someone else might think we are. Believe
that it is OK for you to put yourself first and go for what you want. To the
average person your wants or dreams might not seem all that important, but to
you, it is your meaning, your love, what you care about, and it will fill you
Nieset's dreams, and her follow-through on her dreams,
speak to all of us—mothers and fathers, parents and non-parents: What do we want to do? What is that one
dream that tugs at our hearts?