October 19, 2017
While some moms in the group felt a bit lost during postpartum and found greater structure once back in the office, others found their sense of purpose dedicating themselves to full-time motherhood at home. The one thing everyone agreed on, though, was that every mom should set her own priorities and stick to them. We also discussed the opportunity for employers to access the largely untapped talent pool of moms looking to return to work, either full time or part time. Employers who demonstrate their commitment by helping ease the transition back into the workforce for new parents will enjoy an advantage in the competition for talent.
The rise of social media has created an insane amount of pressure to come across as the perfect mom, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other friends and colleagues. Sometimes raising a happy baby will take precedence over keeping the house clean or participating in every work function, and that’s OK. One of our Camp Campbell “mompreneurs” learned to embrace the chaos after her baby started wailing on an important call with an investor. “Instead of derailing the meeting,” she said, “My baby opened up a new level of personal connection between us. The investor was also a working mom, and she instantly just got it.”
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to parenthood, so it is important to live by your own rules. You may feel judged, but being a parent is about listening to your instincts and doing the best you can to find what works for your family. One mom found that restricting access to TV and technology turned out to be the best way to keep her kids on track, while other things she had anticipated being strict about fell by the wayside.
With little ones, everything is a phase. Remind yourself to welcome the challenging periods rather than wish them away, and practice patience. The same goes for food. Babies are not designed to like every food at first bite. According to Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatric advisor for Plum Organics, it can take about 6 to 10 times, sometimes up to 16, for babies to learn to like a new flavor. Start your child off with one bite of something new at repeated frequency, eventually they’ll start to accept it.
“Nutritional intelligence” is a term used to describe the process of developing babies’ palates from the earliest possible stage to help them choose healthy foods later in life. Don’t be afraid to experiment with letting a baby taste, touch, smell, and see the exciting colors and aromas food has to offer. Our group of moms all took different approaches and timelines when it came to introducing their children to new foods, and baby-led weaning was a favorite feeding method among the group.
While moms are quick to grab the cellphone for a messy baby photo-op, our group lamented the lack of portable, hand-held snacks that don’t create a huge mess in the car or require their full attention. Some moms were big fans of the Plum Organics pouches, especially the newer line of “Eat your Colors” pouches designed to help get an array of fruits and vegetables into babies’ diets in an easy way, whether it be from pouch to spoon or straight from pouch into their mouths.
Without a guidebook to follow, and with all the trial and error that characterizes the uncertainties of motherhood, it can be scary and isolating to be a new mom. We were blown away by the instant collective power of community amongst the Camp Campbell moms in the room. Our group discussed the value of creating connections with fellow new moms as being critical to their sanity, particularly in the first six to 12 months. Simply hearing advice from others on the same journey, or receiving some words of encouragement, can make all the difference.