Motherhood Collective Blog

Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Debbie Perdew

Ever wonder who’s behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers – once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support.0010 We’re so excited to introduce you to Miss Debbie! She is our Lead Childcare Worker and spends her Café Monday mornings lovingly caring for the children of our local mamas.

Miss Debbie has transformed the Childcare we offer on Monday mornings at the Café. As a mother to many, her years of experience as a mama and grandma probably have something to do with this.

Greeting the little ones, ages 1 – 4, with a warm smile and big hugs she works with her two assistants (Miss Amanda and Miss Abby) to bring fun and order to the two hours she spends with the children.

By limiting the childcare number to 15, Miss Debbie and her assistants are able to provide careful attention to allergies, special needs and requests. In addition, Miss Debbie creates an environment that is warm and welcoming for many of our little ones who are experiencing their first childcare situation.

Children spend the morning in a room directly adjacent to our Café meeting space. During check-in, mamas fill in detailed name tags, complete with allergy information, age and nickname. The children are then welcomed into a room with a soaring ceiling and lots of light, and filled with age appropriate toys, books and activities.

Our Cafés meet the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Registration for our Café Childcare opens at noon on the Monday before a scheduled Café. Registration is available on a "first-come, first-served" basis and closes after reaching 15 spots or at 7pm the Sunday before the Café (whichever comes first).

If you are local and have utilized our childcare, we hope you will take the time to thank Miss Debbie for her excellent care of your children. She has filled a very specific need most beautifully.

Thank you, Miss Debbie, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

Click here for additional details regarding our Café Childcare can be found here.

Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Maria Hayden

Ever wonder who’s behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers – once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support.0012 Meet, Maria, one of our Managing Directors, who might best be described as the "Swiss Army Knife" of The Motherhood Collective©.

Without Maria we’d be all over the place. She has many job responsibilities, and somehow, they all seem to involve keeping us in line.

Her main focus as one of our two Managing Directors is serving as our Non-profit Consultant in everyday, behind the scenes “business” work. Running an organization such as ours is not all hugs and coffee, and we are very thankful for the hours Maria spends on the not-so-thrilling tasks that make our time with you more enjoyable.

Maria also handles the placement of our volunteers as our Volunteer Coordinator. We are extremely fortunate to have women rise up continually to serve with us. These volunteers help on both large and small levels and they come to us with differing skill sets and available time. Maria works with these women to find ways they can best contribute and give back.

On Café mornings you might never see Maria, because once again she is holding us together - this time as our Café Morning Stage Manager. She assigns morning tasks to the leadership team, checks us in on arrival, runs the soundboard and gathers donation dollars... all so we can serve you better.

Maria wandered into a Café one morning; pregnant and unsuspecting of the role she would one day play. Now the mother of a beautiful toddler, she shares her joys, struggles, and lessons learned in an honest and refreshing way.

With big dreams for the year ahead, Maria brings us years of management experience, a "peppery" frankness and a dry sense of humor that will make anyone smile.

Thank you, Maria, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

 

PS - Interested in volunteering with The Motherhood Collective©? Contact Maria at: volunteer@themotherhoodcollective.org.

Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Barbie Sutton

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Meet our Café Monday Mama and C0-Founder! Barbie helped design who we are today, read on to get to know her!

0009Barbie is a mother to many; both physically and emotionally. Encouragement exudes from her and she has walked many of us through our delicate transition into motherhood. When we began the process of forming this organization we knew we would need Barbie at our side. Through our initial days of dreaming and grunt work, she has been a needed voice of reason. Her dedication to women in our community is beautiful.

While her own children are almost all completely out of the home, Barbie continues to remain active in the lives of women in their childbearing years. A registered nurse, event planner, health and childbirth advocate, Barbie is a beautiful soul who delights in enjoying this life to its fullest.

Currently Barbie serves the women of The Motherhood Collective© on Café Mondays overseeing activities in our Café kitchen and continually thinking up new ways to serve our mamas. She consistently sits as a panelist and often leads our small group on Parenthood offering advice that is tempered by her many years of experience.

With an open heart, optimism and constant support, we truly could not imagine this organization without our Barbie.

Thank you, Barbie, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

Balancing the Stacks: How Books Have Drawn Me Closer To (And Away From) My Kids

bookstack

In September, the Motherhood Collective will feature posts on balance - having it or not! It's certainly a state most of us struggle to find. September is, for some, the calm before the storm. Our kids are back in school, fall activities have begun and we have a few precious weeks before we really have to start thinking about the holidays. What better time to take a few minutes to reflect on how we spend our time, juggle our lives and what we can do to achieve our own perfect balance! ~TMC

Last month, I shared with you my dirty little secret: I don't read to my baby.  At this stage in his life, he's more interested in chewing on the books than listening to them.  We talk, we sing, we explore (taste) our collection of board books, but that baby-on-the-lap-before bed traditional storytime is just not part of our bedtime routine.

At least not for my 9 month old.

I also have a daughter who is almost 3.5 (how did that happen?!?) and for her, our bedtime story is sacred.  We really began incorporating books into our bedtime routine when she transitioned to a toddler bed around 20 months.  It was a way of calming her at night, trying to make her drowsy enough that she wouldn't fight bedtime and would stay in her bed after we left the room. I was always the one who read the story, but it was family time, with all three of us--my daughter, my husband, and myself--huddled together on the floor.

And then last December my son was born.  From the day I returned home from the hospital, that bedtime story became "Our Special Time".  With a new baby in the house, one who turned out to be a horrible refluxer and needed even more mama attention than usual, carving time out for my daughter was both a necessity and a challenge.  But we made that storytime a priority.

One night we read a book about a brother and sister who were constantly getting into messes throughout the day.  Hands, feet, and noses always sticky.  For some reason, she latched on to the "sticky noses" phrase and now it's part of the way we say goodnight, a sign of affection, to rub "sticky" noses.  How awesome is that?  That something so simple as a bedtime story could become something so important as a way of saying "I love you"?

Precious, isn't it?

But let's forget about the kiddos for a minute.

Reading is also how I find my own balance and space.  After the kids are in bed, I can be found with my laptop and a pile of library books.  While my husband edits his latest batch of photos, I catch up on the latest in children's literature.  When I was in the classroom, I book-talked with my students constantly.  Literacy is a passion, something I want to share.  It's why I went back to school for my graduate degree in library science.

And then I had kids.  And now instead of being in the classroom, I'm teaching my own little ones at home.

The most challenging part of being a stay-at-home parent?  The lack of adult interaction (can I get an "Amen!"?).  You have to create opportunities, otherwise it is entirely possible to go an entire day  speaking to nobody over three feet tall.  Even with those opportunities, my poor husband still braces himself for an avalanche of stored up conversation the moment he walks in the door.

So I turned to blogging. And blogging led to networking.  And networking allowed me to turn Once Upon A Story into a site where I can share my passion for children's literature, where I can share what I'm reading, where I can get suggestions and chat with other teachers, librarians, and parents.

Mother.  Wife. Teacher.  Librarian. Blogger.

Balance.

--- The Motherhood Collective is on Facebook. Like us, then comment on our giveaway post for a chance to win a family photo shoot from Adam Barnes Photography. Our contest ends when we hit 500 Likes!

Welcome, Friends!

Pregnant Mom

Welcome, friends, to the Motherhood Collective Blog!
We are thrilled to launch this new online project and hope that it becomes a trusted resource and place for both education and support. We are grateful to our staff of lovely writers for sharing their thoughts about pregnancy, birth, infancy and parenting.

It seems fitting that we begin our project with an emphasis on birth stories, as this is the birth of our new project. Here at the Collective, we are committed to sharing our stories, information, helpful hints and hopefully the concept that "an educated mother is the best mother". We hope to introduce you to some new ideas and reassure you that you have many choices as you travel through parenthood.

Please, explore our new site and familiarize yourself with our local resources. Enjoy the words of our blog writers. Our group has grown because of the knowledge and enthusiasm of our members. If you have resource information to add, have a personal birth story to submit or are interested in contributing to the blog as a regular or occasional writer, please contact us. We want to hear from you!The Motherhood Collective

We are so excited to watch this site grow and change based on the interests of our audience and varied experiences of our writers. We have a lot coming up for you, including some great giveaways from our sponsors. Come, join us on this journey! (ANd check back tomorrow for another BIG announcement you don't want to miss!)

 "Nurturing the mother to grow the child."

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