Rene Syler has interviewed Bill Clinton and Antonio Banderas, but she says she’s never been as nervous as she is right now. Formerly of CBS’s The Early Show, she is now the Good Enough Mother. Oh, and her whole outfit is from TJ Maxx. (Much applause.)
She believes that good food can come from a can. It’s okay to staple your kids’ hems in a pinch.
Rene the anchorwoman was very serious. “All newsanchors get fired at least once.” She’s been fired twice. This is very public thing for TV personalities, and TV is very subjective. The timing was not good when she got fired from The Early Show, because she had recently decided to have a preventative mastecomy because she’d been going in for her mammograms then following each of them up with biopsies.
Only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are due to family history. Breast cancer is a disease of aging women. Every woman in this room is at risk, and she wants us to share that information with our readers. Get yourself checked out!
Rene has documented herself through all of her life changes, including getting sick, losing her hair, when her hair grew back, and everything. Her husband is great, and is a “card-carrying, flag-waving member of the Rene Syler fan club.” [Collective aww]
“Being washed up is just another word for reinventing yourself.”
When she decided to leave TV news, her agent at William Morris didn’t know what to do with her. You have to believe in yourself.
But when a new venture didn’t work out, she felt really depressed. She’d drive her kids to school in her nightgown, then go home and get into bed for seven hours, waiting for the phone to ring…and it never did. She’s tearing up while she’s talking about this, and I totally understand. Depression sucks. And it can be really hard to dredge up those bad moments.
She eventually got a new agent with Creative Artists who thought the whole Internet thing was something she was just doing until she got back on TV. She suggested a BET dance show. (“Really? I’m 48.” [insert amusing dance here]) By the way, she looks amazing for 48 years old.
After a really bad audition to get back into TV news, being eviscerated by a news exec, she said she would rather work at her favorite store (Target) than to ever go through that again. It was her “target moment” when she realized she needed to move on.
Good Enough Mother was born from a boozy lunch. She needed to do this on her own.
Everyone in this room is a consumer as well as a producer. This is a frightening prospect to people who have had the power for so long.
Every day, Rene has a $2 Lean Cuisine for lunch. Every day, she is happy. [Applause]
Good Enough Mother. Every word is the gospel truth. Her husband used to text her once a week while she was on air to let her know that the babysitter was late. “I’m sorry, Senator McCain. I just have to make a phone call about this babysitter crisis…Talk amongst yourselves.” Laughter throughout the room, everyone at my table leaning over and commiserating about how our husbands have done similar things because they “just thought you should know.”
Everything out there tells you what “good moms do.” The idea for Good Enough Mother is that you may want to try to be perfect, but when you’re not perfect, it’s okay. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
“Just because you used your womb doesn’t mean that you don’t use your brain.”
Rene says she’d love to have guest posts from us. There’s no money involved. But you know what? I think I may have an idea for a post for her.
Self-reliance. She is her own writer, editor, and everything now.
Real growth hurts. Rene has been through hell and back four times. But she has learned more in the last four years than she did the previous 44. You cannot grow when you are comfortable, and you cannot be comfortable when you grow.
Follow your passion, because you can never go wrong.
It’s okay to say to your kids, “Come here. Listen, Mommy needs a break from you.” It’s good for you and for them.
The most important thing she learned is that she is loved. “I’m loved by my family, by my friends. My family loves me for me, not the image that the world sees. The mercurial mom that they’re treated to. They love me regardless. I have friends who are not fair-weather.” The people who just wanted to go to lunch and have cocktails, that didn’t stick around when she didn’t want to get out of bed, they’re gone. She still has the core group though that stuck with her…and they’re the ones that really matter.
Traditional media? It’s a different world. Social media isn’t even on their radar. They only know it’s cannibalizing their business, but social media isn’t going anywhere. Social media is the new model of communication.
You can always reinvent yourself.
How do you draw the line with your blog between what you do and who you are?
Sarah Pinnix wants tips for how to steer conversations on our blogs into learning experiences instead of bash-fests. (Hey, Rene’s degree is in Psychology, just like mine!) When you spit fire, the message is lost. As far as her commenting policy, “This is not the truth, but it is the truth according to Good Enough Mom. If you don’t like it, just keep steppin’.” We all want to be liked, but not everyone is going to like us. Not everyone is going to be a convert. Stay focused on what your message is, and don’t get sucked into the negative.
“People who make you feel bad have no place in your life.” Don’t let people get you down about not being perfect. You only have so much energy, and you don’t need to waste your energy on negative people. “I literally don’t care what anyone else thinks about my parenting. My kids are just fine.” Anyone who says they’re perfect is lying. Oh, and her family goes to McDonald’s every night, and they eat fries. [Applause]
Don’t share every detail, but you can use personal things as a jumping point for talking about bigger things.
Twitter, Facebook…our social media family can be the group that helps keep our heads above water when we feel like we’re drowning. (This is so true. You guys, people reading this blog, people who tweet with me? I thank you all for being there for me, especially recently.)
Like what Rene’s blog looks like? We’ve been directed to http://plugins.righthere.com
Tags: conferences, DisneySMMoms