Friday morning my baby graduates from kindergarten and I won’t be there.
Feel free to let the bad-mom comments fly. I might deserve them. But let me tell you a few things first.
Five years ago, my life was uprooted. I went from having a pretty decent job, a wonderful circle of friends and a husband who split the parenting role a pretty good 60-40, to being alone in a strange new place with no job, no friends and 110% of the parenting responsibility on my two shoulders.
For the first few months, I was mostly in shock so things were fine.
Then, summer came. School ended and I was left at home with no money, three kids under age 6 and only one or two destinations I knew how to drive to.
I was a sad, scared and lonely girl.You know what saved me?
The Jersey Shore.
Nearly every day for 3 months, I drove my kids to the cheapest beach around (or went really early to beat the badge guards) and we played in the sand. The ocean waves soothed me. The hot sun warmed my soul. The best part, was my kids had the time of their lives, completely oblivious to the fact that their mom was close to coming apart at the seems.
The Jersey Shore was my lifeline back then and it continues to fill me to this day. The Husband might even agree when I say the shore has been our marriage counselor from time to time these last five years. It seems there is nothing we can’t heal with some time spent by the sea.
In October, Mother Nature threatened my lifeline. Super Storm Sandy sucker punched us MTVshow-bar-fight style and nearly knocked us out.
Over the last six months, many people have showed the world what Jersey Strong really means and have worked tirelessly to restore the shore.
Indeed, much of our coastline is back and ready for the world. But, the fight is not over and there is still much work to be done for many neighbors and friends from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Jersey tourism is essential to our economy and the extended rebuild efforts. While so much is back and open for business, so much still is not and we can’t stop fighting until it is.
That’s why I’m missing my boy’s ceremony this week. I will be in Belmar, with 40 other influential social media women from two fantastic groups on a Social Good Trip. Our purpose is to show the world why they should come spend their summers on our shores. By bringing nationwide (maybe even worldwide) attention to the Jersey Shore and all it has to offer, we can help bring new life to recovery efforts, to ensure these amazing coastal towns can continue being someone’s lifeline for many years to come.
The Jersey Shore saved my life once. So, at the risk of being called a bad mom, I’m going to try to return the favor.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.