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MomCom as seen through the eyes of Texas M.I.L.K.

This video by the Texas M.I.L.K. Maids does a better job of explaining MomCom than I ever could. This is why I highly recommend Texas M.I.L.K. for your next Mom-focused event. And, don’t forget to see them in action while enjoying live music by mom musicians this Sunday at the Moms Rock! showcase at Freddie’s Place. We’ll be there!

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Choose to invest in her, in you. By Sera Bonds

Choose to invest in her, in you. By Sera Bonds

Today, we are proud to announce that Sera Bonds, founder of Circle of Health International, is one of our speakers for our June 29th event. We are also extremely honored to donate 15% of the proceeds from that event to Circle of Health International, which works with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care. Please read this beautiful piece below by Sera and donate to their cause from 7 pm March 4th to 7 pm March 5th during Amplify Austin.

Choice. A heavy word for women everywhere, Choice in education, choice in profession, choice in marriage, and choice in reproduction. For the elite, socially and economically speaking, a full order of each. For the majority of women around the world, a small helping of the first, and no portions of the latter options. None.

We know that the most cost-effective approach to eradicating extreme poverty is to invest in the education of girls. We know that when young women are given the choice to continue their educations or marry, they choose education. When they marry later in life, they postpone childbearing and this helps women live longer. Choosing to continue education improves the chances that they will not find themselves paired with radically abusive husbands. Continuing education also increases their chances for professional success. All of this choice rests atop the precariously placed pin of education. And because of this, it is where we, as entrepreneurs, should hedge our bets: on women and education.

CoHI helps women around the world.

CoHI helps women around the world.

We often think that choice is enough, but it isn’t. Choice is part of it, but money and access to money are the game changers. Those of us who have access to education–even if it means indebtedness for years to come to banks and institutions–stand many yards ahead of those who don’t. We stand a chance regardless of where we started, or even where we sit today. If I can get an education, I can change my life.

It is the duty of those of us with access to reach out and lend a hand by investing in others. To find your agency by committing funds to women that you believe in heart, body, and soul. None of us got to where we are, even if you haven’t arrived yet at your destination, without someone considering you worth of an investment and making it. Committing to you.

CoHI in Sri Lanka

CoHI in Sri Lanka

Circle of Health International/COHI invests in women, in their health, their empowerment, and their education. We do all we can to align ourselves with local groups and organizations, supporting them to train, educate, and protect women in their recovery from war, violence, and displacement. Its how violence ends, supporting mothers to be able to lovingly, safely raise up children who are educated and empowered to find careers in professions that empower, not ones that endanger.

We invite you today to invest in us, Circle of Health International/COHI, and help us to invest in the women we support in Afghanistan, Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel. They are trusting COHI to help them recover and then to support them while they reach for their dreams of personal and professional health, dreams that will create better lives for their families and their communities.

Please join us today by donating to COHI during this special 24-hour fundraising effort. Click here to learn more:

What I love about my village, What I love about my job by Melissa McGlashan

No one I know finds parenting particularly easy.  I don’t usually have to look very far to find another mom who is facing or has already been through whatever bad and ugly my three-year old is throwing my way at any given time.  Even though many of the challenges we moms face seem so similar, our approaches to them are often radically different.  What to me may seem like insurmountable obstacles,  like getting my kid to leave any place but the doctor or dentist without at least a minor tantrum, to other moms are resolved easily with a single creative idea. The ability to brainstorm solutions, or if I’m really being honest, blatantly steal the brilliant techniques of my fellow mom friends, is one of the things I cherish most about my village. If all else fails, they’re always there to remind me that even the nastiest of growing pains is eventually outgrown.

A close second to that is the willingness of my mom community to give each other plenty of room to vent. I’m a stay-at-home mom to one healthy, prospering boy. I don’t struggle with juggling multiple kids with different sleep schedules and activities. So far, we haven’t discovered any obvious physical or mental issues. Though he certainly has a handful of moments everyday where he’s a total jerk—usually, when it comes to getting ready to go anywhere on time—he’s generally a easy going kiddo. I certainly don’t want to take any of those blessings for granted, and I would be the first to liken my complaints to first world problems at best. Despite all that, my village, without fail, affords me a judgment-free griping platform. I cannot begin to express how tremendously helpful that kind of release has been to me and my ability to care for my son.

However uncomplicated my circumstances may be comparatively, my problems are real to me, and I definitely do my share of agonizing. The constant questions and overall insecurity about whether I’m succeeding at this child rearing gig are sometimes enough to earn me a bed in a mental ward. Is he getting enough sleep? Eating the right foods? Going to the right preschool? Participating in enough/too many structured activities? Exposed to the kinds of experiences he needs to eventually morph into the well adjusted, caring man I picture him becoming?

The endless doubting spills over, occasionally making me feel like I mistakenly traded a bright and engaging professional future for potty training and playgrounds. But then I think, or more often am reminded by those moms I so adore, how far I’ve come. From the woman who swore toys would always be confined to two or three small baskets, to the mom who fully embraces her spoiled preschooler and all the crap that’s managed to accumulate in the “formal living room” (aka playroom) and pretty much every room, for that matter.  From the woman who always prioritized her career and social life, to the mom who feels like she spends almost as much time in her kid’s pretend world as she does in the real one.

I also realize I’d have the same insecurities, fears and gripes even with a full time job. The stress of both, combined with the added disadvantage of being so far removed from my relatives when I was a working girl, would have almost certainly led to my being committed. So, hats off and standing ovation to working moms! You have a lot to be proud of.

I abandoned the career I treasured in favor of living close to family and raising my kid in the city I loved growing up. Now I find myself spending a lot of time pondering what I want to be when I grow up. The real trick is also finding a way to live in the present and enjoy the time I’ve been afforded with my little man. I know one day he won’t want to spend so much time with me, but right now I’m proud to call myself his best friend (second perhaps to Dad).  Thankfully, whenever things get really bad—like when he’s acting like a super emotional teenage girl or I just can’t silence the questions in my head—it doesn’t take too long before I hear those four magical words, “Mommy, I love you!”  Or he makes me some amazing creation in his kitchen. Or he declares it’s dance party time! Or…  Those snapshots in time reassure me above all else that, for now at least, I’m exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I need to be doing.

Thanks for listening!  And most importantly, thanks to all those moms who make mommy-ing so much easier! I don’t know what I’d do without you.


Time for a real break.

It’s time for me to get away. From my computer. Although I’ve had a couple of easy post-event weeks, my brain hasn’t stopped working and for me, that’s not really a good thing. So Homer, Delilah and I will be heading to his brother’s wedding in the Valley and I’ll be shutting my laptop for the weekend to try and recharge and reenergize. (Thanks to Bernadette Noll for gently nudging me in that direction.)

Melissa will of course keep us moving along. She’s been researching venues for the next MomCom and coming up with some beautiful locations. The survey is out, so please help us by filling it out. We really do take all comments and suggestions to heart (almost to a fault) so know that this is very important to us.

And, don’t forget, we have a great deal going on for our alumni. Register by Sunday night and get 45 percent off MomCom Summer Camp. With all of the changes happening at MomCom, you just aren’t going to see this price again.

As always, thank you for your support as we continue to grow and change. Enjoy your weekend.





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Ellen talks pink things

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the pink Honda Fit released in Japan. Ellen talks about this and other pink things being marketed to women. My favorite is: “I checked my horoscope and guess what it said? Today your progress as a woman will be set back 92 years.”