Our Five Ring Circus: From Child To Champion: Empowering Your Children

Friday, March 31, 2017

From Child To Champion: Empowering Your Children

DISCLOSURE: I'm a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, and I receive service and promotional products. All opinions are 100% my own.

On  March 8th,  the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Women all over were spreading the message to be bold and to be the change. Powerful, accomplished women were the focus of the day. Meanwhile, I was at home, NOT celebrating, because I was too busy being a mom.


I didn’t go big that day. I drove kids around and logged in more time IN my SUV than out of it. I took pictures for blog posts, negotiated a few blog contracts and tried desperately to work amidst the chaos. I attempted to potty train a toddler who has special needs. I taught sight words to Lily and worked on speech flashcards with Liam. I helped Dylan and Lexie with homework and played with my little ones. I gave hugs and kisses, and chatted with my kids about their day. I went for a very quick run and read a chapter in my book. I did housework, cooked dinner, read books to my kids and tucked them into bed, and spent time with my husband. And at the end of the day, I was too exhausted to even remember what day it was.

When I logged into Instagram that night, I immediately felt ashamed that I had forgotten all about such an important day and didn’t do anything to celebrate. The guilt was quickly replaced by the realization that I had done enough. I didn’t celebrate because I was too busy being a mom, a wife and a friend. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I truly believe than change begins in the home.

More than anything, I hope to inspire my children. I’m teaching them that it is possible to juggle an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. I’m teaching them that anything (like a surprise Down syndrome diagnosis) can be overcome. I’m teaching them that we all have worth. I hope they are inspired to fight for human rights, and to be an advocate and an ally for those who are considered to be lesser than.

I’m teaching my daughters AND my sons to change diapers, cook, clean, do laundry, take out the garbage, fix things and do yardwork. I’m showing them that gender stereotypes don’t exist in our home. I’m teaching them that working together as a family and contributing to the household is a vital life skill. I’m teaching them to love and respect all human beings regardless of gender, skin color, religion, political affiliation, ability or sexuality. I’m teaching them to celebrate who they are.

To some I may be just a mom, but I’m actually doing some powerful work. I’m working hard to be a good role model while raising my children and I’m showing them each and every day that THEY MATTER.

I take my job seriously. It’s not big. It’s not bold. It’s not in the spotlight. But it is important. If I send four human beings out into the world who have open minds and big hearts, then I WAS part of the change. I was enough. And I certainly mattered.

To my daughters AND my sons,

You can do ANYTHING. You are strong and smart. Your life matters. YOU matter. You have worth and you are SO loved. You can be the change and do important things. Aim high, dream big, love fiercely and work hard. But if you only end up being just a mom or just a dad, that’s okay, too, because raising good human beings is one of the most difficult jobs in the entire world. Change begins at home and it's up to you to inspire. As long as you are loving and compassionate, whatever you do, and whoever you become, MATTERS. You are champions!

With Love, 

Your dedicated mom who is MORE than just a mom

Family Photography Ideas

Netflix Stream Team

I may be hard at work raising empowered children, but I am a REAL mom. Sometimes, I rely on TV to get us through rough patches.When I do, I always encourage my children to choose Netflix over regular TV!

Not only is Netflix commercial free, which eliminates the "I wants" but Netflix also offers an abundance of quality programming. And just FYI, you can download some Netflix content now and watch it without using WiFi!!! That's seriously a game changer for long car rides and appointments!

Here are the quality Netflix shows my kids are watching right now that just might teach a lesson or two:

Liam's Pick:

Super Why!

Lily's Pick:

Home on Netflix


Lexie's Pick: 

Project Mc2 on Netflix

Dylan's Pick:

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix

New on Netflix: Our music, dance and theater loving family highly recommends Julie's Greenroom! Thanks to the adorable puppets, even Liam is entertained!

Julie's Greenroom

We were so inspired by Julie's Greenroom, that we even got a little creative ourselves. Netflix sent us a fun little kit that Lexie and Lily absolutely loved! It definitely sparked their creativity!


Lexie and Lily quickly got to work making their sock puppets and writing their play. "The Girl Who Broke Her Arm" seemed like a very appropriate title considering recent circumstances!


The play was a big success! And only took 257 takes for scene 1...


What are your favorite shows for kids on Netflix?


  1. Well said momma! Sometimes we get yuck in the mindset that we aren't enough or don't do enough and that's just not true. You are an amazing momma!

  2. Your kids are so lucky to have you (and Grant as well) as role models!!! You both are such amazing and awesome parents!!!

    Breanna is currently LOVING that new Julie Andrews show!!! She watches it all the time before bed. She also loves Home Adventures show too!!!

  3. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs, ever.

  4. You are so empowering!! I don't care what anyone says, being a Mom is the most rewarding/challenging job in the world!

  5. I had no clue that Super Why was on Netflix. I used to, but I have been missing it lately. I bet Emily would like watching it again now that she can read.

    You are such an awesome example for your children Stefanie. I love what you said about doing enough. We all need to embrace that things don't have to be elaborate and enough is enough.

  6. Your kids are so lucky to have you (and Grant as well) as role models!!! You both are such amazing and awesome parents!!!
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