Dori Gilels, Colby Nielsen, and Anya Vasquez

Recorded July 1, 2020 Archived July 1, 2020 39:34 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019873


Friends Dori Gilels (51), Colby Nielsen (30), and Anya Vasquez (38) discuss the meaning of Mountain Home Montana in their lives, as well as Covid-19, parenting and their community.

Subject Log / Time Code

Colby talks about Mountain Home Montana and what kind of resource it is to the community.
The friends discuss the difficulties of motherhood in relation to forming friendships and no longer being interested in being perceived as the perfect mother.
They all talk about the falsehood of being a perfect mother.
As parents, Colby, Dori, and Anya discuss the ways Covid-19 has impacted parenting and their kids learning.
They close out the conversation with examining the small acts of kindness they can commit to in these times.


  • Dori Gilels
  • Colby Nielsen
  • Anya Vasquez

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Partnership Type



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00:01 My name is Colby Nielsen. My age is 30 today is July 1st. Wednesday. I live in Missoula, Montana.

00:14 And and Anya are my talking partners.

00:24 My name is Dori gilels and I'm 51 years old. Today is Wednesday, July 1st 2020. I am in Missoula Montana. My conversation partners are Colby and Anya and they are friends of mine.

00:44 Hi, my name is Anya Vasquez. I am 38. It's Wednesday, July 1st 2020. I'm also in Missoula Montana and I'm talking with Colby and Dory who are my friends?

01:02 Okay, so we can have a conversation. So let's talk about how we all came to be in this room together. Well, I started out wanting to leave at 11 with getting introduced to Mountain Home Montana and I've been with them for almost nine years and a let me know that they wanted to start this volunteer outside of his Mountain home. So that have kind of a community within the mountain home. And so I said, yes and you guys were the results of that just continue this. Yeah, and I think it's great that we've all connected and it's interesting cuz it like Anya and I

02:02 Cross pads before in Missoula, Missoula is kind of that way, but we don't really know each other and even sleep with another member of our group with someone else that like we've crossed have before it is a lullaby. I think it's funny how this really great group of women has come together through Mountain Home and I sort of came to this particular OpenTable project also because I was familiar with Mountain Home Montana and I have done some volunteering and contributed to the organization in the past. But usually for the Mother's Day tea that they do every year. I've organized tables for the event brought other women to learn about Mountain Home and I saw actually in the newspaper the ad for this open table and I thought what a cool opportunity to work with other women in the community and members of home to kind of get to know another mom and and kind of helped her through the mother at parenting motherhood experience which you know, I know for myself is

03:02 I'm full of joy, but it's also really challenging for everyone. No matter what your circumstances are. I just thought if there's something I can do to help another mom bring her best self to the Past then I'm certainly failed to do that. I'm really excited. It's been a fun Journey with with you guys and I'm looking forward to considering it to similar. I also volunteered for attended the Mother's Day tea and you know have donated before and I wanted to do something more with other moms really have always loved Mountain home cuz I think that their mission is so important in that it really does take a village no matter what circumstances Orion. It's it's wonderful but insane to be among

03:58 And I didn't really know what to expect with who else would be on our table but we are a fantastic group. They definitely were like we love me this table like we love both tables. But we've only what our first one was in March. Yeah, and so it's really especially with the past few months have been programmed it really well one. We've all been flexible with open and and I think that's what it is. If everybody is, you know has some place of being a mom and being a friend and it seems like all of us are just willing to be open and honest and just kind of genuine

04:54 Yeah, and I do think it's been interesting not only to be part of this but during this time in this country with covid-19 QR, you know right after we started basically.

05:15 Gather great. Yeah tour in a relationship before anything else and I kind of feel like covid-19.

05:59 What is it? Yeah, where y'all explain like this Mountain Home Montana that supports mothers and single mothers mothers who are trying to make their family better trying to get their kids back. It's just an organization that helps my both use 16 to 24 on property and then it they support mothers outside of mountain home as well. They help with case management therapy employment and they go out into the community and get as much information and

06:51 Rapport as possible. So that the mothers have a good start to either the beginning middle or just trying to figure out what's the best course of action for their life is like a beautiful and bountiful resources for the community seven layers of what's going on and I found out about them when I was about 4 months pregnant and it was I was at that age and I didn't know what to do exactly do and so that was the best resources to go out on my own at that time. And so I actually didn't go there until as a month out of having my son and I didn't know exactly

07:51 But it helps for me. I knew what their programs were, but I didn't realize how supportive and how just resource and everything. They helped me through a lot Arrington classes. I want to be the mom I am today.

08:14 Did you make any difference issues or even though I tried my best lost her kids and then kind of stuff like that and different places in their lives.

08:48 We were actually the oldest room in Mountain Home at that time that you did a lot of younger teenager 24 and they were still developing their apartments and stuff like that. So that's another thing is they help us get out on her own. They just they don't just go and I've been with them for 9 years.

09:24 Did you find that when you first had kids that it was hard to make friends with moms. I have such a hard time with it cuz I was the first Mario party mode and it was a very experienced cuz I would meet your breath. Yeah, right.

09:52 I do feel like I had friends that I was in a relationship with before I got pregnant.

10:03 So I did feel like I've had a community in class and they're really lovely thing for us really on his like we had some couples that we were friendly with who had kids at the same time and we would like to go for mountain bike rides. We would drop off our baby with them and their baby and you know, so great about

10:34 And that was a really that was really great, but it's interesting because I feel like if my kids have gotten older which is interesting because it's a little community and then even in their younger years going to school now and then when they started really engaging and his experiences together in a lot of our social life, in fact was dictated by our kids and where they were in their life choices both. My kids are now in school out of state and we have a couple of friends who weaves

11:31 And my whole thing was that I was supposed to be but

12:03 But my kids it's very hard, especially since my son have a very still is going through a very, you know up and down. Percent better, but it's still, you know, a very isolated when you had to worry about what he what your child to do. I still don't trust him behaving himself sleepover.

12:59 Just put more people in my life. Yeah, right. I'm still learning with you guys. I had this opportunity to better my children experience and make my life more open. You know that you made me think of something when you talk about how you no sleepovers and you know other children that your Twitter become friendly with and not knowing their parents. I distinctly remember that moment with my oldest where she started developing friends from school and other places and also we didn't know the parents where I was when they were babies we knew them they were friends of ours and suddenly it was like do I let her go over to the stranger's house that I don't know and how do we navigate that and it's right now and that's it.

13:59 At you know, I don't trust people at all when it comes to my kids job let alone whether come spend the night there probably the same with me though, but at the same time

14:22 I know how the world works for the most part and I'm very pessimistic, kids. The reason why I honestly is cuz I don't know the parents isn't I don't trust you or come over for thing. That's fine. But you're going to bring dead people or kids to my house or I can yeah, I remember I had that one of us a moment and sauce.

15:11 And then the next morning she disappeared. Where is her over mom came and got her safety Q is very yeah, I don't do that as well because one of her other best friends now boyfriend for the last year and I'm friends with her mom and her mom in the boyfriends parents had never met but like that.

16:07 I even though I want to give them. Which I've been trying to do a lot more. It's just you're not even going to make an attempt to go like what's up. Like I probably will never trust you cuz my

16:25 Yeah, I mean, I think it's interesting like this whole issue of truck. Didn't you know how your ability to trust others is so colored by your own experience growing up and and that's one of the things I think is cool about this group is that you know, we kind of start together in this place of vulnerability and honesty and communication and Communications a big part of it. And to me that's it's so refreshing to because I think so much of our society operates on this false sense of who we are because we we've kind of grown up to believe that like, you need to make everything look like it's going to be okay. Right, right.

17:11 Since I was 25 and I found out like I noticed a complete difference in like the chemical balance. So, you know how they like this cuz that I was like I'm going to be as blunt as humanly possible. You want to you want to ask me a question go I will give you a very honest answer cuz it's just it's not worth keeping up a facade like wave of everything they assumed I just couldn't come like they would go out and go to the party or parties.

18:11 Yeah, they are like it. Yeah your friends who are single or you know, or aren't the main parents are not going to go where did Mike Leach not but you can only say it was raining before that you it was funny because it's more conversation with them to get to know them better first comfort and ease with each other, but we still see each other.

19:10 All together I would set up that way exactly where I just thought of that. Yeah. Yeah.

19:34 You know what you're dating someone.

19:46 Free yeah, we kind of came together with this understanding that we're all human. We've all had our own sets of challenges and they've been different and hardship and I didn't even understand it until now not that long ago in my adult life even understand what I was doing by trying to put on this and you know it for me it was like my experience with having alcoholism in our family that give me an opportunity to because I had to like I got I just got to this point where I couldn't keep up the facade and he looks like outside can't stay strong for me personally.

20:37 Yeah, right. I know I'm personally tired again. I don't really have even if I have another parent they don't state.

20:49 They don't take the Grandpa's response and I want that even though I want it that way because

20:58 But I want it that way but it's still really hard. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

21:14 And I love her story. She is a single mom and raised two kids and she said that her therapy was every morning after she dropped them off at school. She would pull over on the side of road and crying hysterically to do that because she otherwise was just trying to do her best and she would had to be on all the time. I need a break. I'm going to go for a walk or I'm going to let it let it all go and get herself.

21:53 Yeah, it's really have been there. I have that for about a year from being able to have any pregnancy.

22:38 I don't think I can.

22:43 It's just rewarding to see how my kids are growing.

23:14 But I can't remember if I did so I just

23:23 Yeah, and I was I was at a point where I was like guys I'm not I have zero patience and you guys got

23:38 Yeah, I know the ozone change.

24:08 Your mom's not doing so we can watch a movie or something Bolly.

24:39 Even maybe explained

24:49 Handle this by 14

25:04 I still have that flow green teenager.

25:18 Gave me the whatever the roll.

25:39 But I am a little concerned about.

25:41 If you're going through cuz she has had emotional issues throughout grade school and the classmates know his behavior or put out to eat if I can fly.

26:11 Using hemp right now, and he

26:15 Complete nobody knows complete people, but he's expecting them.

26:27 They're bullying and I'm just play by yourself.

26:43 Nobody else matters, but why?

26:51 It's all that love is based off queen bees and wannabes. One of the things that I found was both of their advice is kids to support themselves and fight for themselves and know what to say and how to interact when she's definitely the leader of the group.

27:53 Or try Suzuki cool. You know who I am.

27:59 Do what you like?

28:12 Why do I don't take seriously it's not hoping that you know, the code Reds came have they literally had they stopped interacting and it was chaos. Yeah. Google was not great kids weren't really helped by their parents.

28:50 Computer or they're not in the place. We're going from place to place to place so he he didn't get a get on that often. And honestly, I you know, I personally stop Darien was crying.

29:28 Mon-fayette and so I just added you know high schoolers is one thing but they grade schoolers in the middle school right now. Yeah where you know what level the kids are at and what they need and I think it's cuz he's Lee Young.

30:12 So I think that was my first money and I kind of understand well, maybe a little bit more behind but at some point he may also just kind of catch up but I was just thinking about you know covid with renting parenting and schooling right now is made things so complicated and that you working or not being able to work. I mean, it's been so complex and then I was also thinking about this whole issue of technology and that was when you were talking Colby I was thinking about my son played hockey for a year and experience he went to school up there but the coach was really having challenges with the kids.

31:12 I'm around them being able to in person resolve conflict with each other because so much of their communication with one another device oriented that they would take away from the kids, but they they had to step in and help them.

31:45 Completely oblivious. You're just like I'm going to do this because it's so emotionless and one. Or!

32:28 Yeah Yeah Yeahs the human connection piece I think is so important and I think Jen, you know coming back to like Mountain Home and this project with OpenTable I think is really about bringing people together to you know, come together around this experience of motherhood but to be vulnerable with each other and to find ways to support each other and to offer each other thinks that you know one another may not have her may have and it's just so valuable especially today I feel like because with covid-19 and technology and everything else I think human connection is like disappearing honestly understanding what it means to be isolated now like I don't want to be here

33:28 Quarantine

33:40 From face-to-face always online

33:52 It's exhausting kind of connection cuz I noticed that computer all day at work at 9 that I have a zoom birthday party to attend. I'm looking at a screen. I don't want to look at a screen of trying to connect. Yeah, nope face to face is really just having erections with you guys is just like it's it's a lot but at the same time it's like being in the same room. Yeah, I know and then just to know that the energy and everything like that of the people interacting and so that's why it

34:51 Cut off from all that cuz I was doing my best to get out every day to interact to help out with it and unfortunately.

35:07 Spike and that's that's the scary part fire department, you know one thing and maybe this is a purpose in life. And I do feel like as challenging as Cove in has been as also give me a clarity about what's important and I feel like for me, you know, I have felt with the lack of Direction on a national level in our country about how we're dealing with this and how we're going to solve it and what is going to look like has allowed me to kind of really focus on my little part of the world and and coming to this understanding that, you know, the things I can do is I can make a choice to move through this world in the kindest least judgemental most supportive possible and I can engage and get activated in the things in my community that

36:07 Can having a positive impact and I feel like I'm I'm a lot clearer about what you know, there's so many precious in society to like you to have this job and make a certain amount of money and then you do a b and c and I really really questioning a lot of that right? I'm like, of course you need money to live in to do the things you have to do but it does seem like it is that is that really the means to the end of their lives or is there a different way to think about it? I think it's really forced me to reflect a lot and then it's just the

36:38 I personally knew my kids were what I just have what I did which was confident and just you know talk with fans like the right Ray some people do get you no good connection, but for the most part is just not I'll just try.

37:27 To do what I can. I just kind of like okay, I'm me I live here. Yeah, I can only do so much exactly as soon as I see that's right, you know just a little bit more at a time just to open up.

37:56 A little more huge part of the the genuine connection aspect is that you know, everybody is going to have those most of those days are like I made it through today and knowing that other people are feeling exactly exactly exactly it's a plus and you know, it's it's I try my best not to do that, but that's the way to go.

38:45 Yeah, it is there really is plenty to be grateful for if you can buy if you can look at it, you know, I know we can choose everyday to look at all the hardship that surround us or we can say you know, what today was a good day and my children are here and they're healthy and we got to do one fun thing or whatever it is. And and I'm going to be grateful for that right now and tomorrow, we'll see what that brings. So yeah, it's so fun to talk to you guys just in this contact is so far and I'm excited we get to keep doing what we're doing Joe.