Leanne Hughes

Please Welcome to the Stage...

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So, we have this turtle. It’s an orange eared African slider or some such something and truth be told I have no idea how or why we have the damn thing.

That’s not totally fair. We have it because I, yes I, in my infinite wisdom decided a turtle was a great pet! It lives in my older son’s room, very low maintenance, and it’s a pet - so we have a pet. Turtle. A pet turtle, which really isn’t a “pet” at all.

Let’s back up.

Before I had kids, I was fiercely independent. I had an idea about the person I was going to be and in most visions it didn’t necessarily include a house, husband, two kids, and a pet. I every-so-often thought about “if” I ever had a kid what kind of mom I’d be. I’d be strict, firm, a hard-ass, but still fun, silly, and a little bit wild. We’d have grand adventures and I’d teach them all about independent films, music, literature, dance, theatre, and football. I’d teach them to have an allegiance to the University of Texas Longhorns, and an appreciation for a perfectly executed Boeuf Bourguignon. We’d live in an apartment in a fabulous city that had arts, culture, and great parks and we’d laugh and argue and navigate life on my terms.

Then, on February 13th, 2007 my first son arrived and I became a pile of mush, but the kind of mush that can turn into Wonder Woman and shoot laser beams from its eyeballs if needed to protect this tiny boy. Willing to make any sacrifice necessary - including travel, my career, and sometimes my own happiness. That tiny little mess of a human taught me about love like I’d never known. I had a vague idea of how tragic love can be, how painful and terrifying. I’d known before his arrival that just because I love something doesn’t mean it’s safe or will stay. And now, with his arrival, I knew even more deeply that neither love nor life is on my terms.

So, we grew him a brother, because a built in playmate is super convenient for a mama. Then we got them a house, and two cars, and playdates, and a zoo membership, and a teeny tiny toilet, and little veggie flavored puffs. I discovered a career that would never have been known to me had I not had them. We made doctor’s appointments, enrolled in preschools, then ECE programs then, sniff Kindergarten, and are now looking at Middle Schools. We travel to exotic places like Woody Creek to see their cousins, and Lubbock, Texas to visit their second cousins, and Phoenix, Arizona to attend Spring Training because as it turns out football is terrible for brains and as luck would have it their daddy is a baseball guy and therefore so are they.

We do live in a great city with abundant culture, beautiful art and history museums, amazing restaurants, and fabulous parks - and we visit them all. We go see, “Sing” instead of “Get Out” or, “A Christmas Carol” instead of “Chicago” but hey, there’s time for that. They like pizza and hamburgers, but also love our neighborhood Moroccan restaurant and can navigate a pair of chopsticks (with those little plastic helper thingies).

Before I was mama, part of my plan was to live in hotel rooms in Paris and Tokyo and Rome. To pick up at a moment’s notice and move where the wind and the job took me. Live wildly, freely, and without knowing the word, “no”. Now, I’m the one saying “no”. No more oreos, no you can’t have a hedgehog (or a sloth), no you can’t play the Xbox, no I won’t sleep in your bed tonight. So, when on a scribbled letter to Santa, a sweet little seven-year-old asked for a turtle for Christmas I said yes. In fact I thought “F&*$ Yes!”

And now we have a turtle. Which, if you touch it you have to wash your hands RIGHT AWAY because, salmonella. And while I wouldn't have life any other way, I do occassionally like to check into a hotel downtown and order room service, all by myself.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

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One of my favorite memories as a child was belting out the lyrics to “What’s Love Got to Do With It” by Tina Turner with my own mama. We were fearless and loud when we sang this song. It didn’t matter who was in the car with us or who might be listening to us on the sidewalk, we sang just to sing and we sang it loud!

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it

What’s love but a second hand emotion

What’s love got to do, got to do with it

Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken”

We were bold and courageous and so in love with each other. I look back on these moments and celebrate our playfulness and authenticity. We were so full of love, connection, and pure bliss.

I remember my dad telling me right before my daughter was born 9 years ago, “Sara you really don’t know what love is until you have a child of your own.” “How could that be,” I thought. At that time I was happily married, I had loving friendships, and thought I was well versed in love. Then Grace was born and my “small heart grew three sizes that day.” My heart was broken open in a way only a mother will ever know and I was flooded with love for this little being.

And then my sweet Porter was born and I had a direct experience of the bounty of love! Not only did I have enough love to love both of my children, but their love for each other was absolutely divine. The more we loved each other, the more love we had to give and receive.

Gurmukh’s brilliance shines through when she talks about the abundance of love.

“Sometimes I hear mothers say, “I love my child so much, I can’t imagine loving more. Where will the love come from for the new child on the way?” That is one of the true blessings of having children; they give you a direct experience of the bounty of the world. The truth is there is a bountifulness in love. It expands exponentially the minute you give to another. The fear that there isn’t enough is just a delusion of scarcity. Not only is there enough love for your new child, there is more love for your partner than you ever imagined, and the love you can create for your children is beyond measure. Love creates love. You don’t have to believe it. It’s a fact. It just is.”

Love is bountiful. Love is beautiful and blissful and pure and soulful. BUT what about the “bruitifulness” of love? What about those moments when love doesn’t lead you down the rosiest path?!? What about those moments when you feel heartbroken, angry, betrayed, hurt, confused etc. etc. etc.? What about those moments when love leads you down the path of most growth and expansion but also the path of most confusion and sadness? What about those moments when you begin to question how you are showing up for love in your life?!?! What about those moments when it takes everything you got just to show up?

One of my most favorite authors, Glennon Doyle says, “Love is not warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. Real love is tough as nails. It’s having your heart ripped out, putting it back together, and the next day, offering it back to the same world that just tore it up. It’s running toward pain and grief and brokenness instead of away from it. It’s turning the other cheek ’til you get whiplash. It’s resisting the overwhelming desire to quit, to save yourself for yourself. It’s exhausting and uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s ugly, like using your bare hands to search for gold in piles of crap.”

I am sure you are as well versed in the struggles of love as I am. I am sure you are as well versed as I am in those moments where we feel so small. In those moments where we realize we are just learning to love. In those moments where our heart is shredded to pieces. As the song lyrics from “Say Something” go…

“And I will stumble and fall.

I’m still learning to love.

Just starting to crawl.”

So this February, as the world around you is making dinner reservations, buying flowers, and celebrating their definition of love, I invite you to keep crawling to keep celebrating the beauty and agony of love. To keep showing up for love…both the bliss and the heartache. To choose love over fear in any and every situation. To be a student of love. And as the late Maya Angelou said, “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”

This February can you commit to choosing love just one more time?!?!

xoxo

Sara

Sara is the lead yoga instructor at the mama’hood. She leads several weekly yoga classes in addition to our prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher trainings, our mother daughter yoga and date nights, and our birth story healing circles. To learn more about Sara and her offerings visit www.begraceyoga.com or email Sara at sara@themamahood.com.

Enjoy Every Second

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It’s one of the most heard phrases by new parents. People cooing over your newborn look up at you and with all good intentions, say, “Enjoy every second. It goes so fast.”

First of all, stop saying this people. Stop it. Seriously. Stop.

New parents are stuck with a tiny little alien dictator who not only doesn’t speak English, or Spanish, or French, or Mandarin, but DOESN’T SPEAK and yet demands, very loudly what it wants, when it wants it, and mostly that’s right friggin’ now and it’s nearly impossible to determine what “it” is the little thing wants.

There are so many methods of bouncing and shushing and swishing and twisting and carry it on it’s belly, no with it’s belly pressed just so against your shoulder, no not like that, like this, oh my god never mind I’ll just do it.

What the well-intending wishers of this sage advice are really trying to tell new parents is that the infant stage goes so quickly, especially in the life of a human being. Many of the well-wishers are reminiscent about their time with their own infants. Because, while it was just a moment ago, it was a lifetime, and many of their own children are grown or growing and can feed themselves, and use the bathroom without a parental assist, not to mention some drive or are married or live halfway around the globe and only visit once every other year. What the brilliant advice-givers wouldn’t give to go back and enjoy just a few moments with their tiny cuddled on their breast as they snoozed on the couch.

Understandable for them, but for the sake of the new parents again, just don’t. Find something else to say like, “Hey do you like my slick new Converse?” or “I’m not sure the last time I made my three-year-old bathe” or maybe even “That is one cute damn baby!” Please, in the name of all things holy don’t ask if the baby sleeps thru the night, because not only, NO, but that actually makes you sound like a total idiot because no, new babies don’t sleep thru the night because they have to EAT. So no, Aunt Marsha, baby Lily doesn’t sleep thru the night, that would be very worrisome and bad at this age, you blithering idiot.

Truth is, it’s such a short time in the grand scheme of things, but one day can feel like an eternity, and it’s totally fabulous when the baby is first awake in the morning and cooing and life is good, but what are you going to do with it for the next 8 hours and 47 minutes until your partner gets home? There are no showers, no real meals, no way to tell if it’s been 20 minutes or 2 days, and while moments are so amazing, truth is a day with a baby who isn’t feeling well or didn’t nap can make a mama feel like a beached whale waiting for the kind townspeople to come along with buckets to keep her covered in sea water until the tide comes back in.

So, instead, remark on what good parents these rookies are. Point out how the baby is so happy to be snuggled up so happy on mama (or daddy). Tell them an entertaining story about the asshole at work they aren’t missing or maybe learn to do a couple magic tricks and simply entertain them. Should a new parent ask, then advise away. Until then: magic tricks, or just bring tacos, everyone likes tacos.

My Mom Friends Suck

By Allison Schneider, Co-Founder of the mama'hood

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I’ll never forget after my first son was born, I was graciously invited by another new mama to come with her to a playgroup for the babies. Great, I thought, what could go wrong, thought I.

The first time I attended the once a month group, it was October and we were supposed to bring our babies with their costume, which was adorable and super fun. There were probably 9 mamas and babies there plus myself and a girlfriend I invited and had known pre-babies. My pre-baby friend, Alexa’s daughter was only 2 months and while she probably wouldn’t “play” at least we’d be out of the house around a group of other grown ups. Sounds perfectly reasonable and fun! I decided to bring a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, and hey maybe we could open it and have a little? I may as well have shown up with a lit cigarette, carrying a toxic waste bag marked “RSV”. The hostess (not the mama who had invited me) acted so shocked I wasn’t sure if she knew that many adult humans consider wine a delicious treat to be enjoyed on occasion. My friend Alexa and I could tell right then we might not fit in with this group exactly.

I quickly located the mama who invited me and made sure I hadn’t just handed a bottle of wine to a recovering alcoholic. She assured me that she and the hostess had known one another for a while and the hostess actually used to love wine, but she’s breastfeeding, so that’s a big “no-no.” Oh boy. I too was breastfeeding and while I didn’t intend to slosh back a jug of Carlo Rossi, I was certain a glass wouldn’t prevent my son from attending MIT. (I mean let’s be honest, anything is possible, but I’m pretty sure my husband and my mixed DNA would take care of smashing that dream.)

Off to an amazing start, Alexa and I tried our hardest to join the “fun”. I put my boy down with the other kiddos on the rug, and struck up conversation with one of the mamas. Before I had finished my name she asked what percentile my son fell into? Ummm, well, ummm, like today? Or when he was born, errrrr? I could tell I really impressed this woman with my idiotic mumbling about maybe the 90th(?) or 50ish for one of them. When I finished rambling with a confident, “but he’s happy and growing, so we’re happy with that!” She was done talking to me.

Not to be discouraged, I went on to work my mommy-friend-making-magic on another mama. Her son was about a month younger than mine and they were sitting happily drooling over toys when the newest line of questioning began. She wanted to know when my son had first rolled over? First sat up independently? Was he eating solids? How about sleep? As I tried to answer these questions I realized she was asking so she could report all the stats on her little one. He was an extremely advanced baby. Slept like an angel in his crib all night, sat up independently at three days old, and had already been admitted to three Ivy League schools, all they had to do now was choose where the family should relocate!

It went on like this until it was time to dress the babies in their costumes and take a picture. Luckily, during the picture Alexa found me and we efficiently planned our exit. With much apologizing on our parts (we were both raised by Southerners and we apologize for everything) we excused ourselves, quickly buckled the babies in, and were out of there. On the drive back to my house, we exchanged war stories. Alexa told me she had no idea a group of women could be so singly focused on competing babies and holy shit is this just what it’s like now? We got back to my house, ordered in Chinese, had the dads stop on their way for a bottle of wine and enjoyed the night relaying the details of the weird alter world where we had spent the afternoon. Now, I don’t like to give up easily, so we decided we’d try again. Maybe it wasn’t as weird as it seemed. Brilliantly, I decided I’d host and I’d make snacks and have some bevvies, with or without booze, and while is was a “playdate” it was actually a mommy date - a time to talk about things other than four month sleep regressions and diaper rashes. So I set it up, invited all the mamas from the Halloween party, plus a few I’d met in other places, (I may have even purchased a brand new button down from Target) and threw myself on the mercy of the moms’ group.

It started out slowly, and appeared it was possibly going to be an epic disaster. A few of the very competitive mamas were there, the worst offender, however, couldn’t stay long, and her sidekick happened to have carpooled. So, there we found ourselves. Cold chardonnay, delicious Costco delicacies, drooling babies, and what was that sound? Laughter? We talked about how little sleep there was, how irritating our husbands were, the old, baby-free friends who we never saw anymore. And actually enjoyed ourselves.

A few months later, we tried to recreate the magic at Alexa’s house, but as with all things baby and new parenting, the good days are just as much a fluke as the bad. I did, however, learn a very valuable lesson: Don’t find sucky mommy friends who make you question bringing the baby to bed with you so you can finally f-ing sleep or lecture you on organic non-gmo baby foods and the effects of the wireless router in your house on baby’s brain development. Find good mama friends who get it. Find mama friends who know it may not be their way but it also isn’t their business. Who are happy to listen and laugh, who will let you cry when you want to pull your own hair out and are happy to watch both littles for you to finally get your hair done. Because while there may be scientists saying the wireless router in my house is bad for my baby’s brain development, there are days when Facebook is ALL I HAVE of the outside world and by God, not going crazy is just as important as the homemade applesauce from the apples you grew in your orchard, Marissa.

New Year. New Intentions. Same Old EMOTIONS!

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Welcome to 2018! It is with much relief to most of us to bid farewell to 2017 and welcome a new year and a new opportunities to manifest more happiness and joy in our lives.

2017 was a year full of transition, difficult conversations, decisions, and a wide array of intense emotions for me personally. Through all of this, I’ve decided I need to embrace more truth and transparency in ALL areas of my life. So, over the holidays when my aunt innocently asked me what my new years resolutions are, I took this as a divine moment to share authentically from my heart. I started off with sharing that I no longer set resolutions as I’m intending to step more into the flow with the universe rather than control any particular outcome… blank stare from my aunt but a look of curiosity, so I continued. I went on to explain that this year I’m focusing more on emotions I intend to manifest more of in my life rather than fixating on outcomes. Because does it really matter if you have what you think you want if you don’t have the underlying feeling associated with it? I was on a roll at that point so I just kept talking and the more I shared the more engaged and fascinated she became with my perspective on emotions and their importance in our lives. Hmmm... maybe authentic communication does manifest deeper and more authentic connections within our lives.

So whats the deal with emotions anyways? Why are they so important in our lives…besides the obvious reasons of course?

Now stay with me as I dive into this…does it really matter if you achieve any particular outcome if you don’t manifest the underlying feeling you are craving or needing more of in your life? For example, if you achieve that promotion but still are feeling inadequate in your job and life is the promotion really adding more lasting happiness and joy or is it just a temporary band aide for a deeper wound? Or what if you make new friendships and relationships but still carry a sense of abandonment with you in your life. Will these new friendships really manifest a deeper level of happiness and joy in your life? My guess is probably not. Old patterns will most likely manifest and continue to attract more abandonment in your life. Big sigh!

So, rather than trying to control any particular outcome in your life, try to simply pay attention to how you feel. Sounds easy enough right?!? Your feelings are like a mirror reflecting back to you how aligned you are with your higher self in any given moment. Okay, that’s much deeper but stay with me. For our friend who is carrying the vibration of abandonment, rather than attracting more abandonment in your life, think about how you want to feel. Hmmm…perhaps more secure with yourself. Perhaps more connected in all of your relationships. Perhaps you want deeper levels of love in your life. So notice when you feel this way. Notice when you feel secure with yourself. Observe when you feel connected in a relationship. Notice when you feel a deep sense of love and take note. Journal it. Bring more awareness to these moments as they are tiny but profound messages from your higher self.

Lets use me as an example! For a long time I’ve carried with me a desire to “fit in.” Growing up I felt different from others. I didn’t like football although everyone around me obsessed over it. I’ve always had deep, soulful questions like what is my purpose in life and why am I here, although I never really had an avenue to explore these questions. I wanted to “fit in” but in order to do so decided I needed to try and be someone who I’m not. Sound familiar? The story I told myself was I needed to hide a part of who I was in order to be accepted and loved. I needed to please others to receive the love I was deeply craving.

Fast forward 39 years and I’m now recognizing how these seeds that were planted so long ago are not serving me in my life. Rather than masking a part of my being, I feel happier when I express just for the sake of expression. I feel joy when I take an intuitive course and tap into the healing capacities within me. I feel alive when I practice yoga and meditate. These feelings are like invisible teachers within my life guiding me on my path and helping me manifest more love and joy within my life. I’m beginning to notice when I feel happy and empowered and when I step into a place of fear or self doubt or any lower vibration.

The moral of the story here is to just notice how you feel. Notice what you are doing when you feel happy and alive and take note. Notice what you are doing when you feel sad and lethargic and take note. No need to judge yourself, just notice. Now do more of what invokes feelings of love and joy within your life.

As Yogi Bhajan said: “Make a list of things that make you happy.
Make a list of things you do everyday.
Compare the lists.
Adjust accordingly.”

To more lasting love, joy, authentic connection, and happiness within your life!

Namaste! Sara

Sara is the lead yoga instructor at the mama’hood. She leads several weekly yoga classes in addition to our prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher trainings, our mother daughter yoga and date nights, and our birth story healing circles.
To learn more about Sara and her offerings visit www.begraceyoga.com or email Sara at sara@themamahood.com

Leave the baby at the neighbors’

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By Allison Schneider, the mama 'hood Co-Founder

There is a myth running rampant in our culture - it is slowly and sometimes lovingly, sometimes vehemently - being broken down, but running none the less, that claims becoming a mother is the most rewarding, satisfying, joyful thing a woman can accomplish. The brigade setting out to dismantle this myth comes in several forms, but for the most part humorous social media posts are leading the way. The viral video of the mama hiding in the pantry to eat candy whilst little fingers can be seen wiggling beneath the door. The hilarious parental twitter accounts and deliciously ridiculous toddlers whose parents can make light of this whole parenting thing. And, let me be the first to say, Hallelujah. Praise the good (insert deity here) that we are no longer expecting mothers with perfectly kept homes, a cold drink and warm lamb chops on the table every night. Parenting has become a bit more real and so many can find the absolute humor in it.

Then there are the mamas who say, yeah, if only. If only I could get to the point where I was hiding in the pantry to sneak Twizzlers instead of trying to decide if I should actually put the baby in the crib, walk out the front door and just keep going. This is not just the thought of mamas suffering from Postpartum Depression or another perinatal mood disorder. This is the thought of so many new mamas and daddies who can’t believe how hard and overwhelming this is. When a new mama has these thoughts they are almost always followed by thoughts of guilt for feeling this way or fear that they aren’t a good parent, not cut out for this. Not two weeks ago, I had a mama in Postpartum Group who has a four month old, tell the mama with the three week old, “Please, don’t feel bad, as recently as two days ago I thought maybe I’ll go knock on the door and see if the neighbors want a baby.” First of all, feeling like this does not make you a “bad” mom and not feeling like this does not make you a “good” mom. In fact, there’s no such thing as a good or a bad mom. There, I said it. There’s no such thing. Women have babies every day. Several times a day all over this country and the world. Some feel great and are so overwhelmed with joy, and others wonder when the overwhelming sense of joy they were anticipating will kick in.

We as a culture are getting better about acknowledging not all new parents feel joy and uncontrollable love for their new baby. We are not, however, getting very much better about addressing it. We were never intended to do this parenting thing is isolation, from a couch armed with only a mobile phone and non-stop internet access, and no community. When a new parent is feeling overwhelmed, guilty, ashamed, and like they are a “bad” parent, it’s our duty to say, like the mama in Postpartum Group did, “It’s ok, I felt like that too.” I still feel like that sometimes and there were times I thought we had made the biggest mistake of our lives. Like we shouldn’t have had a baby. Our job as members of this larger parenting community is not to tell any parent how they should feel about this new tiny human in their lives. Our job is to acknowledge all of the joyful and scary feelings of the newest members of our community and do our best to let them know they aren’t alone. They aren’t strange or sick or disgraceful - they are new parents and navigating the choppy seas of new parenthood are difficult even for the most experienced sailors.

Ok, but how? Be the one to say it first. Say to a new mama in your life, “Hey I was right there, where you are now, not twenty four hours ago, or two months ago, or 10 years ago.” It doesn’t matter how far removed you are from the time, let the new parents know they aren’t alone. And if you never experienced those feelings, keep it to yourself. Just be a good person, shut up, and listen with your heart instead of your head.

So, when your friend has a new baby at home, drop by with food for lunch - hopefully one of her favorites, as well as dinner to heat up, and then don’t ask her how it’s going, because it’s exhausting and amazing, and perfect and overwhelming, and lovely and terrifying. Tell her to go hop in the shower and while she’s in there get her lunch out, put it on a plate on a placemat at the table. Crack her a bottle of kombucha or Chardonnay or an IPA, and set her a place. And then when she emerges she has food, and drink and someone to hold the baby while she eats. Because we were never meant to do this alone. Historically we have lived in tribes and groups so when one mama needed a rest another could hold the baby.

And mamas, when your friend comes over to hold the baby, let them. The baby will be just fine - in fact better for the fact that her mama is feeling a bit better, refreshed and nourished. Then, in a day or two when you are feeling mostly lonesome for adult company, find your friend, or her friend who you’ve never met but who just had a baby, or a La Leche League group, or a postpartum group, so you can have company and feel like you can say to someone that while you’re glad you didn’t you may have felt like leaving the baby at the neighbors’.

What a Nanny Wants

By: Maggie Broadrick, Owner, Kiddie Up Nannies

As summer is amongst us, the increase of the nanny population in Denver and surrounding areas is at its highest. This means supply is low and demand is high! What can you do to ensure your nanny’s happiness? After all, a happy nanny is a happy family.

To understand exactly what nannies want, we polled Kiddie Up’s very own nannies! We had over 200 responses and we are excited to share!

As a nanny, where do you go to find a permanent job, summer job or occasional sitting position? (Nannies were allowed to vote for more than one category.)

  • 77% said why Kiddie Up Nannies of course!
  • 54% said by word of mouth; former employers, friends, neighbors, other nannies, etc.
  • 31% said online sources such as care.com, sittercity.com, urbansitter.com
  • 17% said other places, such as other agencies, Stapleton Sitters, or other social media groups.

When looking for a new position, what are you looking for? The top 5 requests in order are:

#1. Welcoming, kind and personable family

#2. Fostering a healthy employer/employee relationship

#3. Clear, precise and direct communication

#4. Hourly rate

#5. Benefits such as paid time off, holiday pay, health insurance, etc.

Other requests include:

  • Commitment length
  • Start date
  • Families’ plan on withholding taxes or not

Things that are not as important to the nannies were:

  • Location
  • Number of children
  • Age of children

Are you comfortable doing light housework (IE child's laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning up after meals, cleaning up after the days' activities, stocking supplies, meal preparation, etc.)?

  • 52% said yes, happy to help in any way.
  • 25% said they are open to a few chores.
  • 23% said they are willing to provide childcare only.

In general, have you felt appreciated by the families you work for?

  • 45% said yes
  • 42% said sometimes
  • 13% said never

If the family does not need you (IE they go on vacation or do not need childcare), do you request to be compensated for that time?

  • 62% said yes, absolutely, not negotiable.
  • 38% said they are willing to be negotiable.

What describes why you are a nanny best?

  • 62% said have a passion for being a positive role model and making an impact on a little one's life.
  • 21% said because I love children.
  • 17% said because they are a natural caretaker.
  • 0% said because of the money.

As an agency owner and a parent myself, some of these answers surprised me. Maybe they surprise you too. Five years ago, these answers would have been very different. With Denver’s rapid growth, there are just not enough nannies, daycare openings and school spots. Therefore, it’s vital for families who plan on employing a nanny, to consider, what can I do to meet my nanny’s needs.

In Motherhood and in Business, you are not Alone.

Thank you, Molly for this great reminder!

What I’ve learned as a mother, I’ve also learned as an entrepreneur. I designed my clothing line for nursing moms while I was breastfeeding my own son, so the business was inspired by my children, as well as a desire to help fellow moms. Challenges I face as a mom, are not unlike challenges I face in entrepreneurship – fear of the unknown, learning as I go, and asking for help, to name a few. The ability to trust my “mother’s intuition” also comes in handy when making difficult decisions for my business. Opportunities for growth and awareness are plenty. Working outside my comfort zone is a common daily occurrence. Which brings me to an important question – why is it so hard for us to ask for help? Instead of being wary, we should do it more often, and even embrace it. Because in motherhood, and in life, reaching out is where the magic happens. The Mamahood has carried my clothing line in their store since the start of my business 5 years ago. I connected immediately with their business model of being more than a boutique, but also a community and resource center for moms - a place for women to learn, connect, and grow through all stages of motherhood. Last year, Gabrielle from The Mamahood reached out to me about a collaboration. Could we use the Molly Ades Zippered Tank design and create an exclusive tank just for The Mamahood - I loved it. What better way to share our passion for helping moms, while also helping our small businesses. Working together feels much more powerful and fulfilling than working separately. And, running your own business can get lonely at times. Like entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get lost in motherhood – because there is always someone else who needs something. It is our very nature to want to care for others, so when our child, a parent, or a friend is in need, we feel compelled to rush to their side. Empathy and a willingness to help are good qualities, as long as they do not leave us empty. We need to find ways to fill ourselves back up, despite being pulled in multiple directions. It doesn’t matter if you stay at home full time, work outside the home full time, work part-time, run your own company, or enjoy a hobby/passion from time to time. All that matters is that you participate in a daily practice that is meaningful to your soul. In addition to being a mom and giving yourself fully to your children, you also maintain something that is yours – something else you can grow and cultivate, and that comes from within.

Guest post by Molly Ades - www.mollyades.com