The Family Groove

Mom on the Street
The Family Groove
September 2007

MOM-TO-MOM advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of your own Groove

Welcome to our latest monthly column, Mom on the Street (ya know, like Man on the Street). Each month, we’ll be asking moms just like you for a slice of their sage advice, insider tips or tried-and-true wisdom in the hopes that their unique brand of Mother inspires, assuages, calms, strengthens and even amuses yours.

This month’s question: What’s the hot topic right now in your mommy world? What’s everyone talking about?

Laurie Rocke
Laurie Rocke is the National Marketing Project Team Leader for Whole Foods Market. She lives in Manhattan with her two kids Jackson, age six-and-a-half, and Samantha, age two, her husband Marshall and Joe the Cat. Here’s what Laurie had to say:

“It seems that everywhere in New York City we are seeing and hearing about different ways of going green. This is especially true in the parenting world—the natural baby is definitely on the rise. From bottles free of Bisphenol A (a potential endocrine inhibitor) to chlorine free diapers, the revolution has officially begun.

In particular, moms are really starting to take a second look at the ingredients in their everyday cleaning products. Since we spend 90% of our time indoors, indoor air pollution is a real concern. This is especially true in a place like New York City where everyone lives in relatively small apartments. Our space is tight and while we want our homes clean, we need to avoid toxic ingredients.

Many of my friends are pregnant and I have been to baby showers where the most unlikely moms-to-be are asking questions about going green. They are taking baby proofing to the next level and, in addition to protecting against safety hazards like electrical outlets, they are steering away from chemicals in conventional cleaning products. The talk on the street is all about nontoxic and natural ingredients.

A great resource for tips on creating a healthy environment in the home is an organization called Healthy Child Healthy Word, which is dedicated to protecting the health and well being of children from harmful environmental exposures. Check out their website at www.healthychild.org to learn more about how to make your home as healthy as possible for you and your children.”

Click here to read THE FAMILY GROOVE’s article on Healthy Child Healthy World.

Joanna Sesny
Joanna Sesny is a Mommy-Moves’ running coach and former lifestyle producer for WB 11, NBC, CBS and FOX’s early morning programming. Here’s what this Little Silver, New Jersey, mother of Katie, two-and-a-half, and Avery, 11 months, has to say:

“Lately everyone is talking about balance. I’ve been struggling with balancing life: my family life, my worklife and my own life. Before my evolution into family, I thought balancing my own single life was work—boy, was I wrong.

Should I work full-time? Should I work part-time? Should I play more with my girls? Should I engage them in cognitive play? Should I let them play by themselves? Am I doing the best that I can do on a daily basis? Am I parenting with consciousness? These seem to be some of the endless questions filling my head, and all of my friend’s, on a daily basis.

So we’ve all been talking about the need to go back to basics, so to speak. I try to silence all the judges in my head minute by minute. I concentrate on the tasks at hand whether it be preparing lunch or a half marathon program for a client. There are some days when the house remains one big playroom and other days there is order. Each day has its moments, but I have to remember to forgive myself and try again.

When I was living in the New York City, a very dear friend of mine once shared this amazing writer, Rainer Maria Rilke, with me. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her:

‘I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer.’

I’m trying to balance parenting and my own life one moment at a time—for today.”

Teena Metternich
Teena Metternich is the Director of Momfiltration for Forty Weeks (www.fortyweeks.com), an in-demand consulting firm that focuses on the comfort and care of new and expectant mothers. Here’s what this New York City mother of one (for now) had to say:

“When to have child number two—that is the topic for my mommy friends and me, since we had our babies at relatively the same time. A few of them regret not having another child within a year of their first one (and are trying now), while others are waiting for their first child to be a little older and more self-sufficient (around two years old or so) before having another one. It seems like those who are nearing that mid-thirties/forties marker are anxious to have as many children as possible, as soon as possible, while my friends who are younger are taking their time. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a magic answer to this topic—each of us will eventually do what we think is right for our individual needs. But what we all do know and agree on is that we want a number two.”

Romi Lassally
Romi Lassally is mom to six year old Owen, nine year old Annabel and 16 year old Phoebe and wife to Tom, who she calls “divine.” Here’s what this Los Angeles-based founder of the online network, True Media LLC, had to say:

“I’m finding that the hot topic is honesty and the expression of it. There’s a trend these days of women feeling more comfortable going online to express themselves openly and honestly—and I mean really honestly. They’re doing this with their personal blogs and in the many parenting/social networking sites on the web. But on my confessional sites, two of which are parenting–focused (www.truemomconfessions.com and www.truedadconfessions.com), parents are really revealing themselves because they are protected by the veil of anonymity. Given the platform to leave their secrets without signatures, moms and dads are expressing their fears, their frailties, their aspirations and their guilty pleasures. Having read over 60,000 confessions over the past three months, I’ve noticed that the confessions fall into several categories from love and sex to family/home balance and everything in between. Here are a couple of categories I’ve seen filling up lately, along with a sampling of some of my favorite confessions:

The Little White Lies We Tell
One mom confessed to telling her son that eating broccoli was going to give him X-ray vision. When he said, ‘Nope—no X-ray vision.’ She simply said, ‘Well, then you must not be eating enough broccoli.’ Another mom told her daughter that the pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream she was eating was medicine so she didn’t have to share.

The Ways We Cope
‘I pretend I’ve agreed to be on a daytime television show like Geraldo Rivera and that I have video cameras all over the house. This keeps me from losing my temper with my kids.’
‘I put white wine in my thermos and take it with me to all my son’s baseball games. It’s the only way I can get through all those boring innings with the parents of his teammates.’

It’s been great to know that by confessing, and reading the confessions of others, women don’t have to feel so alone in their thoughts and actions.”