Edition Number 11
Hi Everyone,

March just isn’t my best month. The winter is relentless; I am tired of parkas; tax time is around the corner; and I’m yearning for more space and sun. I oscillate between wanting to break free of old patterns and cocooning back to what is my “norm.” Springing forward also makes me run late (and I like to be an early bird!) so apologies for the late edition. Better late than never seems to be a running theme for me these days as I remind myself that perfection is the enemy of progress.

In Edition #11 I’m excited to share a fantastic podcast about the benefits of Abdominal Healing Modalities (not only limited to when you want to conceive) an article on working at home with kids; and a growing #heforshe movement this one at an all-boys, Jesuit prep school! I’m following up on the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act and have included a piece on the growing phenomenon of “sharenting,” aka sharing about kids online. On a lighter note, there’s a Spring Bedding refresh for the littles and exciting additions to the Barbie “Sheroes” line. Bazaar a nd I want us all to consider a personal retreat: If it can’t be a week at the Aman in Marrakech then maybe an extended bath alone - with really good wine? And then I’ve shared a list of new and largely female-penned bios on captivating women to know.

OK, that’s all from me for now. Stay tuned for some exciting TBD Mama updates on more events coming up soon as well as a brand new site! She’s getting work done.:)

With love,
Our bodies hold great stories and they always remember. They hold emotions and memories; tension and trauma; wisdom; power and shame. The abdomen can be one of those parts as it literally covers so many organs vital to our lives and the creation of new ones. In this illuminating Fertility Friday podcast, expert Andrea Thompson, LMT, succinctly explains how massage modalities including Arvigo Mayan Abdominal Therapy can support conception through delivery as well as the long thereafter women experience during their reproductive journeys.

My body remains a mystery to me and it’s become more urgent than ever to learn more about it. How did I not know this about my body is often a question I find myself asking? Embodiment and empowerment go hand and hand: knowledge about our bodies IS power and this podcast offers it in spades.
My working from home situation goes something like this: 3:30 approaches and I prepare for “The Arrival.” What begins as little kitty-cat scratching at my door coupled with a whispered, “Where’s Mommy?” quickly morph into full-on, wild cat screeching chants of “WHERE”S MOMMY?” protest since that-door-isn’t-opening no-matter-what. Then I hear our lovely sitter reassuring my now wildcat son that Mommy is home but is working and that she’ll come out after they play and then, on good days, the wild cat announces he’s going to play and the (panic) attack at the door stops. Sometimes we bypass the door thing altogether and he forgets I’m even home! Something I have mixed feelings about.

I imagine it’s not much easier to work at home with older kids in the same sense that a kid in pre-K isn’t really easier than a baby: It’s just a different set of needs with fewer naps. Working from home with kids can seem and be impossible when there are infinite distractions and unrealistic pressure to perform in a space typically ill-suited for focus and quiet. Here are some pragmatic tips to make it work when you have to, well, work.
Inspired by actor and UN ambassador Emma Watson's involvement in the #heforshe movement, as well as their own families participation in Women's Marches, these high-school boys took the unconventional step to create the first feminism club at St. Regis, one of NY's prestigious school for boys. Reading about the creation of a feminism club at an all-boys, Jesuit prep school in Manhattan made my week. Reading the myopic response by the school's administration made me cringe: "Isn't Spectrum (the LGBT club) already covering this?" Because obviously learning about LGBT (lack of) rights are the same as learning about women's rights in the eyes of leaders who are probably neither. Sigh.

I hope that one day my son will be inspired to participate in #heforshe as well, not because his mom wants him too but because he wants to do the right thin; be part of the change; and learn about systemic gender inequality for women around the world. What does this also tell me? Modeling behavior matters; role models count; and boys can absolutely be feminists too.  

If I were to consider changing Karuna's crib sheets now that a: he's no longer in a crib and b: it has been three and a half years, here are some fun and fresh ideas via my frequent go-to, Maisonette.
I have a conflicted relationship to Barbie. I never liked or owned any; always thought they were creepy and overly sexualized; and then, ironically, consulted for Mattel many moons ago. Now it is 2019, the brand is not going away, and it's evolved quite a bit as evidenced by the growing number of diverse women included in the ongoing "Sheroes" collection. From splashier names like Olympian snowboarder Chloe Kim and iconic artist Frida Kahlo, to names-to-know ranging from Mexican pro golfer Lorena Ochoa and Italian soccer star Sara Gama, there might just be a Barbie in here I'd like to own yet.
Whether you're stressed out, burnt out or are already blissed out living your best life, a retreat is always a good idea to restore and reset. What if an annual retreat was part of every mama's mandated, annual self-care? Istead of the women's wellness exam and, later, super fun stuff like mammograms and colonoscopies: What if we insisted upon a retreat for ourselves too? This I get may sound more like fantasy than reality for many but I have recently been inspired by real world examples of different mamas making these choices. Health is true wealth and prioritizing self-care doesn't need to be judged as frivolous or excessive. Baazar's list includes several luxe offerings in a variety of jaw-droppingly, Instagrammable locales that may be out of reach but hopefully the list inspires you to manifest your own mini, or maxi, Mama retreat. Detoxing in the Himalayas optional.
Two of my favorite below-the-radar heroines are included as are a series of other controversial ladies I'd like to know more about. There was a time when my early nineties self seriously wished I could be Mary Shelley; published acclaimed novelist at 19, lover to Shelley and other lords in poet blouses, wearer of many beautiful gowns and feminist to boot. And then there was Empress Dowager Cixi who I specifically requested to study in fourth grade so I could dress like her for my presentation. How my talented mother put together that 14thC look in LA — I have no clue! Bustle's full list to read below.
I have covered this topic before but it’s a central issue that illustrates just how dysfunctional elements of modern day birthing can be — particularly in self-described “progressive” states. There is, however, real progress. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act passed the House and Senate in December. Translation: Federal grants will now investigate causes of maternal mortality paving the way for states to be accountable to newer and consistent regulations regarding safety and protocol in managing prenatal care and recommendations for C-sections. Biggest takeaway from the article: I discovered Leap Frog, a non-profit watch group that transparently reports hospital performance since 2000: www.leapfrog.com.

A quick look at hospitals near me in NY offered an upsetting view as ALL Weill Cornell hospitals declined to respond and provide transparent answers to fundamental questions about how they care for patients. NYU Langone, where I delivered via emergency C, had above average marks but fell short of the gold standard. NYU, ladies and gentlemen, not-the-University-of-some-other-less populated-or-progressive-state-for-example. SO: Let’s stay informed and vocal so we can keep institutions honest and support each other as we navigate healthy and positive birthing experiences.
To post or not to post? I don’t know what’s the “right” answer but the modern phenomenon of “sharenting,” i.e. sharing our children’s lives online, raises some thorny issues. Who has access to our images; will they be manipulated; and will a child resent having these photos displayed when they are older? Where is the line drawn between a parent’s right as guardian and the child’s right to agency? Who owns their digital narrative? A digital footprint lasts forever and this Psychology Today article doesn’t judge posting or not but instead offers thoughtful suggestions for us as we parent, and sharent, in today’s always online world.