Hello! My name is Melissa and I work closely with Cinderella creating the wonderful world that is CinderellaChats! I’m sure you are wondering what it is like working with a real-life princess…well, it’s like a fairy tale, of course! Just kidding. Actually, it’s a very rewarding experience. Cinderella and I are normal, Christian women with a passion for helping Moms live an uplifting, stress-free life (is that possible?). We both have amazing children (what mother doesn’t think the same, right?) and have experienced the highs and lows that come with raising them. My children are spread out: I have a 28-year-old stepson who I’ve raised since he was three, a 20-year-old son in his second year of college, and my own little princess who is turning fifteen next month. Yes, at one point in my life, I was changing diapers, keeping up with an elementary-aged boy, and trying to understand teenage hormones — pretty exciting times!

My daughter has been in dance all of her life, transitioning to Pom three years ago, which has been rewarding and disappointing at times. Her squad has won first, second and third place at many competitions in the past. However, recently the attitude of winning first place as the only acceptable option has become a normal attitude with her squad. I feel this concept of placing so much emphasis on winning is not realistic, and to be honest, a little unhealthy. After all, there is only one 1st place, and seriously, what’s wrong with second and third? I constantly stress to my daughter to do the best she can in all aspects of her life, school, friendships, pom, etc. Of course, my wonderful wisdom typically goes in one ear and out the other most of the time. Can anyone relate?

This past weekend, our squad traveled to Dallas for a National Pom Competition. My daughter’s squad consists of all 9th graders and two 10th graders and because of the older girls, they were placed in a Varsity division. Well, as you can imagine, the 9th graders on the squad were all doom and gloom because obviously, they would be competing with squads consisting of older, more advanced dancers. My little “Debbie-Downer” and I had many “pep talks” leading up to the competition with me stressing my analogy of “do the best you can” and “this is going to be such a wonderful learning experience” for your squad, and so on. Basically, I was in my “cheerleader mode,” which is seriously exhausting at times, especially when I need one for myself. Well, amazingly enough, the squad came in third on the first day of the competition. Even though my daughter is the most talented dancer in the world (I’m her mother, I can say that, right?), I was more shocked than you can imagine at their placement because there was some SERIOUS competition. The squad was so excited, smiling more than I had seen them in weeks. On the second day, the squad performed even better, however, so did the other squads…they ended up placing 5th at Nationals. Of course, they were disappointed, but STILL, a 9th-grade squad placing 5th in a Varsity division – go figure! As much as I would have loved the squad to compete in a 9th-grade division with their level of dancers, I think these talented young women learned although 1st place is amazing, 5th place can be even better depending on the circumstances!

I think all women can learn from this experience. We are NEVER going to be the perfect wife, mother, and friend who lives every day wearing her skinniest pair of jeans and sporting perfect make-up and great hair, but if we work our hardest at “Life” and trust in Him, we will come in first place ALWAYS, thank goodness for his GRACE!

Make every day count with a smile on your face!


Originally posted on February 16, 2017