Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MomCheck is now Open!

I know, it's been awhile since any of us has posted. We have a good reason, though - we are finally live with What a long time coming!

Starting a company is hard work. It's made even harder when it's 4 women who live on opposite sides of the City, have other jobs, and oh yes, let's not forget we're trying to be moms at the same time. In a normal world, people devote 40+ hours a week to their business. In our world, that was a combined total. Which means it took us about 4 times as long to get launched.

Our husbands and children have certainly been patient, so once we launched in early May, we all just took a breather and focused on quality family time. We're back now, ready to burst forward and help this company take off! Can't wait to see what's in store for us next.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It’s almost Mother’s Day, and all I want is a…mop?

This will be my last Mother’s Day as the mom of one. That’s so weird! It’s hard to believe I’m about to have two kids. And two girls! Pink, purple, dolls and princesses, oh my! Last year, I read an article in Parents magazine about the things moms want most for Mother’s Day – flowers, candy, etc. The most popular item? A day off. And seriously, who among us can’t relate with that? I love being a mom. So much that I want to quit my job to stay home and just be a mom. But at the same time, I really love a little “me” time here and there. Last year, I spent Mother’s Day afternoon shopping all by myself. It was heavenly. Better than, well, anything, quite frankly. Given my enormous belly, and the fact that no more children will be coming out of it after this one, shopping is out this year. I refuse to buy more maternity clothes, since they won’t get used again (ok, they might, because I’ll donate them, but they won’t be used by me, and if I’m the one paying for them, I have to justify the money spent on them!). The restaurant I hoped to have brunch at is booked until 2pm, which is entirely too late for me to have my second meal of the day (and before you criticize my husband for not booking in time, I will say he called a full week in advance, which is very unlike him, and they were still booked!), so we’ll have brunch there next weekend when throngs of people aren’t all looking to dine out at precisely the same time. Plus, my wonderful in-laws (seriously, they really are great) are out of town, so we can’t depend on them to cook. So, I’m out of ideas for places to eat, and I can’t go spend the day shopping, and as nice as prenatal massages are, well, they’re not nearly as good as the real thing, so that’s out, too.

But then I had a fabulous idea. We’re about to let our cleaning lady go, because it’s an expense we really won’t NEED once I quit work and stay home after this little girl is born. And, while I was cleaning my tile floors yesterday, all 826,452 square feet of them (ok, that might be an exaggeration, but it sure feels like a lot!), I thought – “A MOP!” And as soon as my husband came home from work yesterday, I told him about my wonderful idea for a gift. But not just a regular mop – a steam mop. I saw an infomercial on them and I’m sold. I mean, sweet deal – I can get my tile floors super clean with just water. Water! And I can toss the cleaning cloths in the wash, so they’re much more environmentally friendly than the disposable cloths I’ve been using, that surely aren’t as powerful as steam cleaning. And now that I’ve thought of this mop, I can’t think of much else. I really, really want a steam mop.

Who’d have thought the most exciting gift idea would be a mop? I must really be a mom now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I originally wrote this for my mom 2 years ago when I was a writer for ClubMom. I received so much positive feedback from other women who completely identified with it, I thought I'd re-run it here, to benefit a new audience.

Ode to My Mother

When I was a baby, my mother was my lifeline. We shared the wonder of new life together. I, in my eagerness to explore this new world and her, in her eagerness to explore this new being, formed an instant bond founded upon unconditional, unequivocal love. There is such safety, such security, in the knowledge of this love. From it, we both sprang forward into unchartered territories, eager to remain partners in this journey through life. From sweet lullabies and baby powder, to bright colors and action, we moved through babyhood at an alarming rate of speed and are left with snapshots and memories that make us both smile.

When I was a little girl, my mother was my best playmate. We shared secrets, cookies, giggles, and fun. She taught me to read and we spent hours exploring the worlds of Dr. Seuss. She showed me her love every day, in every way. It was in her hands as she guided them in the cookie dough, in her kiss when her magic mommy touch took away my boo-boos, in her smile as she watched me traipse off to school, and in her tears as she watched me grow into a young lady. I returned that show of love in my own way. It was in my macaroni necklaces, my flower bouquets from her garden, my painstaking attempts to imitate her, and my hastily-given kisses as I run out the door to play.

When I became a teenager, my mother was an enigma. She was my biggest champion, no matter how many times I tried to knock her down. I turned to her when it was convenient for me, and turned against her for that same convenience. And yet, she remained a rock – solid in her love, never wavering from her devotion, never yielding to my demands, and never daunted by the task of raising such an ungrateful being. She showed her love by her silence during my tirades, her stubbornness for curfews, her insistence at knowing my friends, her dinnertime together rule, and her understanding about the angst I was feeling. I returned this love by throwing tantrums, intentionally wounding with words, and my determination not to become the wonderful woman she knew I was.

When I became a young adult, my mother was my advisor. She gave me advice on everything from making a meatloaf to choosing a career. I moved far away, I think, in attempt to distance myself from this woman (where my most recent memories were the trauma-drama of the teenage years). And yet, this proved to strengthen our bond. The miles between us, and the time between phone calls, forced our relationship to rely not on the day-to-day details of life for communication, but rather on current events, political platforms, dreams for the future, and analysis of the past. Through this, I came to know my mother as a real person, not just my mother. I’ve been privy to her strengths and weaknesses, her hopes and desires, her regrets and triumphs. And in them, I have seen myself. I have learned we cannot run from our roots, as they are in us, and are us.

When I became a mother, my mother became a grandmother. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, but she became my son’s grandmother, and in that I see her in yet another role, another facet of her personality. I see the sheer delight in both of their faces when we visit. The unadulterated love is there, and I ache at the tenderness of it, the innocence of it. Many years, and many inventions, have come to pass since she mothered me, but the principles are still the same. She teaches me this, passes on the tidbits of knowledge. I have spent my life adoring her, loving her, repelling her, seeking her – and now, as I make my own journey through motherhood, I realize I am now being her. All the life she breathed into me, all the beliefs she instilled in me, all the knowledge she imparted to me, all the love she gave me – all of these things live on. They are in me, and live through me, and I will pass it all on to my son. Her legacy will far outlive her body.

I am on the other side, now, a mother in my own right. Sometimes I am driven to my knees by the sheer force of my love for my son. I do not know how I will possibly live up to his expectations of me. And at these time, I remember - I’ve got my mom – my best friend, my soul mate, my teacher. She taught me well, and I know I will not fail.

Happy mother’s day, mom.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The What-You-Could-Have-Been Show for Moms

It finally happened. Instead of creating television shows for us to watch, The Learning Channel created a show for us to star in called The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom. For those of you who haven't heard of it, the premise is to take a typical stay-at-home mom and let her see what her life could have been like if she had pursued her career instead of staying home to take care of the family.

The episode I watched recently was about a mom that wanted to be a police officer and got the chance to go through boot camp!! She is in the typical shape for a busy mom, too-busy-to-take-care-of-myself-because-the-family-comes-first shape! And she had to scale a wall!! She did better than I would have but it was still a cringe moment.

The concept is interesting. To give us a chance at the greener grass on the other side. But it was bittersweet because at the end of the day, this particular mom, even though she wanted to pursue more of the career option, couldn't because of her husband voted against it.

So I ask you, does this show help us or is it a dangling carrot that we shouldn't bother pursuing?? I think I'd try it but only as a vacation from my regular life.