I did something nice for myself the other night and it was much needed. Local shop owner and self-claimed “mompreneur”, Jessica Walsh of Illuminated Baby hosted a Mommy Mixer in Woodstock at Oriole 9. As stated in a recent article in the Chronogram, Jessica is looking to create a community and I think she’s got the right idea.http://m.chronogram.com/hudsonvalley/the-amazing-adventures-of-the-marvelous-mompreneurs/Content?oid=2214810&issue=2214726
She really has a way of putting together a great group of people and facilitating new friendships. When I arrived at the restaurant I was greeted by some familiar and some new faces. I was then directed to a table with name tags where I was to write my name, my child’s name, and age. This along with another of paper of questions was an icebreaker type of game. Not seconds after I was done putting on my name tag I was grabbed into a conversation with two moms eager to fill in their sheets. “How old were you when you gave birth to your first child?” one lady asked. “What month was your child born?” asked the other, and then the next question, and the next. Very quickly we warmed up and began chatting away.
Even though the intention was for moms to get out by themselves and be with other moms, I did notice there were actually many women with their sweet little ones and even some dads. The dads were great, walking around chatting, taking care of babies while the women got together, and just being supportive. Also amongst the crowd, we had doulas, midwives, and lactation consultants mingling about. I met women who had just very recently given birth, some who had toddlers, some stay at home moms and some who have returned to work.
I am tending to see more and more women reinventing their careers to suit their family life. Jessica Walsh, for instance, is a local shop owner who offers unique and luxury baby products, are a lactation counselor and a community breastfeeding advocate. She is able to be with her child the majority of the time while still being very active in her career and in the community. I met another mom who is a financial advisor and she is interested in reaching out in the mom community specifically, to give guidance and resources for the growing family. Another mom uses her skills in knitting and crocheting to create hats and other cozy articles of clothing.
I say I am among that group of reinventors. I loved what I did before becoming a mom and I put all of myself into it. Now that I have a child I cannot see myself doing that anymore so I’d like to use my skills and talents in a way that I can have a more balanced work and family life. I have so many ideas and blogging right now is my great start to where I want to be. For me having the independence to get things done within a more flexible time frame than if I were in a traditional work environment is most comfortable for right now. I can be there for my baby all day and go out and explore the world with her. In my downtime, I can write.
The Mommy Mixer was a great event and it was a nice feeling to talk with other women who have a similar mindset to exchange ideas and encourage each other to go for it. Not only did I walk away with a wonderful door prize of handmade baby hats, I also walked away with a great feeling of confidence and camaraderie. While I was gone, daddy and baby bonded and he was able to put her to bed by himself for the first time. Win-Win!