WCW: Interview With Melanie Dale & Giveaway!
Out of all the internet dating stories, Melanie and I’s continues to be one my all time favs. We met on an online adoption forum which morphed into a telephone prayer circle and somehow ended up in us putting both our families in the car and meeting IRL for the first time half way between Oklahoma and Atlanta! Talk about women being scary!
Having three kids, now a full-time writing career, and working part time for Children’s HopeChest, sometimes I realize it’s been too long since I’ve hung out in real life with my people. Usually it’s when I’m coming apart at the seams and can’t figure out why Facebook makes me want to cry. Then I text my friends and am like, “Um, you guys, I’ve been spending so much time writing about how important you are that I haven’t had time to see you. Can we fix that?”
Is there an area of your life you feel as though you’ve given yourself grace about enough to let it go? (I hate the idea of being a Supermom. There is no such thing. Although I like capes!)
Yup. There’s no such thing as “doing it all.” My kids eat school lunch, I have a housekeeper come dig us out of the dirt every two weeks, and my dinners are not fancy. I’ve given all that up. I prioritize getting us around the dinner table, but what we’re eating just isn’t that spectacular. About once a week we use paper plates, and environmentalist me gets really judgy but writing-on-deadline me says, “Shh, let me have this.” I also think the older I get, the more comfortable I am as who I am. I’m never going to be crafty. I’m never going to be overly precious. I’m a loudmouth mom raising loudmouth kids. Hopefully we’re nice.
Is there an area where you still struggle?
This could be an entire blog series, although it would be boring. I struggle constantly. I’m so freaking fragile. The thing I both love and hate about myself is my inability to play “Christian” like everybody else. Like I love Jesus but I’m a bit side-eyed about American Christian culture. I also have a weekly freakout about whether or not I’ve made the right decisions for our kids, my hubby lets me rehash everything all over again, tells me everything is fine and we didn’t ruin them, and then I do it all over again the following week.
I wrote a blog post called “Dating for Moms” a couple of years ago, and it got such a big response that I realized we needed to talk about it more. Women were writing me asking for advice about making friends, sharing stories about their own friendships, lamenting broken relationships. The book uses a dating analogy for developing “momlationships.” First base is meeting another mom while your kids are in a shared activity, like swimming lessons or soccer practice. Second base is a playdate on neutral territory, like the park. Third base is when you take her back to your place or go to hers. You’re getting more vulnerable. This is when you see each other’s dirty dishes and laundry and your kids have to learn how to share their toys. Fourth base, the home run, is when you like each other so much you don’t even need the kids. You ditch them and do girls’ night out or grab coffee.
Are momlationships scarier or easier after the book?
Way easier, duh. This book will change your freaking life.
Favorite place to schedule a “date” with a mom you’ve just met?
When my kids were younger, my favorite place for a second base date was either the playland at Chick-fil-A or the local park if it wasn’t boiling lava hot outside. Now that my kids are a little older, their needs have morphed and my favorite place is the pool. There’s enough room to move around without killing anyone and if you can get over the weirdness of basically stripping down to your undies in front of a total stranger, it’s actually easier to not have to entertain kids. Plus, my pool has a lifeguard who serves as a neutral rule enforcer, which takes the pressure off us to feel like we have to police each other’s weirdos.
You and I advocate a lot for different organizations, but Children’s HopeChest has also been a constant. Tell us a little bit about them and how you fell in love with what they do?
I adore Children’s HopeChest because this is an organization that’s all about relationships. They take a community here and partner it with a community of orphans overseas. The greatest thing you can do to protect an orphaned or vulnerable child is create a healthy community around him or her. I’ve personally partnered with a village in Uganda for the last six years and seen this community rise from total dependence on aid to now developing income generating projects, young leaders, and a commitment to education. HopeChest empowers local leaders and listens to their hopes and dreams for their communities. Rather than just seeing what we need to give, they look at what a community has to offer and unlocks the creative and entrepreneurial potential in these unique individuals. And they teach the kids how much God loves them and created them. What’s truly amazing and humbling is how I started out working with HopeChest because I wanted to help another community, but what I’ve discovered is how much they’ve helped my community. This is a unique model in which two communities partner together for the betterment of both. And I’ve met cool people along the way, like you, Lindsey.
Jump over here to snag your chance to win your free book. Or click above to get your hot hands on it now! It’s only $2.99 this month! Also, if you love reading Mel’s stuff as much as I do, hop over to her blog http:www.unexpected.org