Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hug Your Belly!

As we prepare for fall and get all gussied up for The Cooper-Young Festival, there will be lots of cool new stuff at the store. First off, we just received The Belly Hugger, a very nifty little product that really and truly works for both pregnant and nursing moms. During pregnancy, it holds up unbuttoned pants before maternity clothes are needed and helps bridge the gap between your regular shirts and pants. Post-pregnancy, it covers & keeps your belly and back warm while nursing. It turns every top into a nursing top! Now available in white, black and pink in a variety of sizes designed to fit moms of all shapes. It's one of those "I wish I'd thought of that!" products, and now it can be an "I'm so glad I have that!" product, too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

All A-Bored!

The Parent Guilt Train is all fired up and chugging toward a media outlet near you! It seems to have gotten on track a few weeks ago, when the Internet was all a-twitter with Helen Kirwan-Taylor, the American-born British mom (er, mum) who made headlines by saying that she was "bored" by her children. Or more accurately, with her childrens' activities. You could practically hear the message boards crackle and smoke as the media followed the story by dividing us into sides: the selfish, distant mothers who have their own interests outside the home and the saintly, self-sacrificing but somewhat pathetic mothers whose lives revolve around their children. A lot of vitriol was tossed in the direction of the writer, too, for daring to assert that mothering isn't an especially stimulating experience. Frankly, I agree with her. Mothering, and especially mothering a very young child, can feel like a tremendous drain of mental energy. What I found offensive, however, was her self-centered idea that the rest of us are thrilled to drive to soccer practices or pick Play-Doh out of our hair. Does she never talk to other moms? Heck yeah, it's boring, but it's part of the gig. Whether we're home full-time, work when we can, or commute 100 miles a day, being a mom is a tough job and yes, it does get in the way of the fun stuff we would like to do with our free time.

Speaking of jobs, Linda Hirshman says all women should have one. Based on what I could glean from The Colbert Report (yes, I get all my news from Comedy Central), Hirshman argues that all women should work in order to balance their economic position and therefore their power in society at large. And what about the kids these women might have? Who takes care of them? Hirshman says parents should divide childcare evenly. Well, okay. Yeah. That would be great. Equal contribution from both parents without fiscal penalty to either. In the meantime, before the Grand Restructuring Of Our Entire Social System is complete, what do we do? Feel bad, that's what.

So it looks like we just can't win - working mothers are too interested in their own needs and are depriving their children of crucial bonding time, and at-home mothers are child-obsessed doormats who are causing the inevitable destruction of feminism. Oh, and don't forget - anything negative our kids do once they're adults is all our fault, too.

Sigh. Exhausted maternal sigh.

I think it's about time for me to publish my long-in-the-works parenting treatise, called Get Off Our Freakin' Backs, We're Doing The Best We Can. Book signings will be held at spas across the country, all at least 100 yards from crying babies, ringing cell phones and 24-hour news stations.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Signs of the Times

Based on community requests to have a sign language class available to working parents and in a convenient one-shot package, we'll be offering monthly sign language workshops taught by Tori Hayes, an instructor at Memphis' school for the deaf. This workshop will utilize American Sign Language - not a modified "baby sign" - so you will both be learning a second language.

The workshop will include:
The benefits of learning sign language
Language development
Sign placement
Learn over 50 signs
Learn songs and activities to do with your child in sign language
And more...

Cost for the 2-hour workshop is $50. Tori recommends that participating babies be between 6-24 months, but we're always flexible. The first class will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10am-12pm and will be held on the 4th Saturday of the month through the fall. To register or get more information, please email Tori or call the store - 272-0081.

Monday, August 14, 2006

As The World Turns

At the risk of posting two preachy entries in a row, I have to start off the week by saying, "CHECK YOUR CHILD SAFETY SEATS AND USE THEM ALL THE TIME!"

We were on our way back from a picture-perfect Sunday outing - kayaking and swimming at the lake, a lovely drive home, followed by a stop for ice cream - when our whole world turned upside down. Literally. I didn't see the other car coming, didn't even hear the crash. The only thing I was aware of was the windshield caving in as our car rolled over. And the total feeling of helplessness as I thought about my daughter in the back seat. Our sturdy ol' truck did a complete 360-degree flip, landing back on the tires. As soon as we were still, I jumped into the back seat to check on M. She was screaming at the top of her lungs - jarring, but reassuring - and demanding to get out of the car. Her car seat was nudged a little to one side, but otherwise intact. I swept her up and took her inside the nearest building to look her over. Once we determined that the only blood on her had come from me, I could hardly believe it. There wasn't a scratch on her. Nor a bruise, nor a bump. She was perfect. Scared, but unscathed.

Amazingly, everyone involved in the accident - me, my husband, M, and the mother and son in the other vehicle - walked away, with the most severe injury being a little glass-infused road rash from where my arm hit the pavement during our roll. But it's impossible to stop thinking about what could have happened. The firefighters who responded to the accident said they were stunned that the injuries weren't more severe. They took one look at the scene and fully expected to be wheeling someone away. If we hadn't all been buckled up, and M hadn't been safely secured in her car seat, the outcome would have surely been much, much worse.

Thanks to everyone - friends, medical professionals and compassionate strangers - who helped us out yesterday. And thanks Graco.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


It's hard for me to lift my hands to the keyboard after the total relaxation of this morning's Spa Escape. Just having ten new moms get together to talk and relax without their little ones for an hour was extraordinary enough, but then add in the exfoliation, moisturization, meditation and massage and it was downright indulgent. In a good way. We all need some indulgence once in a while, as our personal pre-spa "stress surveys" indicated. I ticked off 19 out of the 21 stress symptoms, and I still wasn't the highest scorer of the bunch. We're a hard-working group, us moms, and it's okay for us to acknowledge that. Proclaim it, even. If we try to act like it's all under control, we're denying ourselves the chance to recuperate and the stress just keeps piling up. And we're also giving the wrong impression to other moms, especially brand-new moms, by acting like the constant juggling act of motherhood is no big deal. It is a big deal, perhaps the biggest deal there is. It's an excrutiatingly tough job with rare and usually intangible benefits.

When I had my daughter, everyone - from Oprah to my dad - told me to take time for myself. And I didn't listen. I couldn't listen. I had a baby screaming in my ear. So instead of exhorting new moms to add one more task to their infinite to-do lists (right between taking a shower and keeping a small human alive until it's old enough to read Salinger and glare at her all the time), I'll direct this to the dads, grandparents, friends and otherwise concerned parties who have a new mom in their midst: give mama some time to herself. Take the baby out of her arms and hand her the car keys. Or grab the toddler and have an adventure at least 50 yards away from the house. Or just let her sleep. As we learned today, it doesn't take $500, a plushy robe and a room full of candles to have a "spa escape." All it takes is someone thoughtful enough to take a little care of someone else.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Line (and curves) From Bravado!

This just in: the Bravado Lifestyle Nursing Bra!

Many of you love the comfort of Bravado bras, but have wished that they came in a more smooth-fitting and figure-flattering style. Your wish has just been granted! Created to take you from work, to home, to play; The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra is ideal for when you have established breastfeeding and are adjusting to your ‘new normal’. The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra has silky smooth microfiber on the outside for a seamless and supported shape, and Bravado CottonFlex™ fabric on the inside so the softness of cotton is against your skin.

Great for breastfeeding and pumping whenever and wherever, The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra is available in sizes 32B - 38E (DD), 34A, 40B-D. As we introduce this new product, we will have only a limited inventory available, so come in and get yours now!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Paging Dr. Sears

The strange physical effects of motherhood never stop. Over the last six months or so, I've noticed a new propensity for break-outs along my jawline. I thought this might be due to changing hormone levels when I cut back and then eventually stopped nursing, but it kept happening even months later. Then just this week, I was lying in bed cuddled up with M. and realized that my daughter's head was resting in the exact place that I was experiencing the most dermal rebellion. This is something the attachment parenting books never warned me about. The top of her noggin was tucked right up under my chin, and as I smelled the sunblock, detangling spray and plain old oil in her curly locks, I knew what was causing these mysterious spots. And I didn't move an inch.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Breast is Best ... To De-Stress

One more in the ongoing list of reasons to breastfeed ... a UK study recently found that breastfed babies were better able to cope with childhood stress. Read all about it.

Footloose and Tax-free

Put on your festive IRS-issued party hat and come enjoy the Sales Tax Holiday! From Aug. 4-6, Tennessee residents can enjoy an exemption from sales tax on items such as clothing, school supplies and computers under $1500. We here at Mothersville don't have Trapper Keepers or iMacs sitting around, but you can get all your nursing apparel, transitional clothing, organic baby clothes and Robeez shoes sales-tax-free. That 9.25% might not seem like much, but it adds up fast - it's like $10 off your purchase of, say, two nursing bras and a tank.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

National Nurse Out: Wednesday, Aug. 2nd, 2006

Happy World Breastfeeding Week, everybody! In the spirit of celebration and education, ProMoM has organized a National Nurse-Out. We don't mean your regular routine; we mean go out specifically to nurse in public! ProMoM hopes that by promoting the image of breastfeeding in this way, more people will accept breastfeeding as a natural everyday occurrence and the normal way to feed infants and young children. We also want to encourage expecting mothers by showing them that it is possible to breastfeed in public without anyone being embarrassed.

Come and join us! Meet up at the Wolfchase mall play area over by Sears at 3pm on Wednesday Aug. 2nd to support breastfeeding. (Or if that's too hectic for you, plop down on a bench outside Motherhood or Mimi Maternity.)