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Emily

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We’ve all heard the complaints:  Kids spend too much time on screens.  They’re disconnected and preoccupied.  Family time is a lost luxury.  The list goes on and on.  While few people will argue that media and technology are not responsible, at least in part, for some of the negative behaviors we recognize in 21st century kids (and adults, too!) there doesn’t seem to be a very cohesive consensus on what to do about it, partly because not all media exposure is inherently bad.  Some of it, in actuality, can promote positive outcomes. Positive Effects of Media on Children TV shows like Sesame Street encourage empathy and cultural awareness all while exposing young viewers to early educational concepts such as letter and number recognition and identification of shapes and colors.  School-aged children can collaborate on school projects with their classmates via approved platforms.  Older children and teens find media is beneficial…

We are so thankful for the support and friendship that our chapters offer mothers. Diane Homza-Dacek, member of three years, shares why she is so grateful for her village of moms in Cleveland, Ohio. I was 36 when I had my son. This was completely by choice; my husband and I met in our late twenties and wanted to be married at least five years before we contemplated having children. As such, I was one of the last of my group of friends to have a child. On the plus side, this meant we got everyone’s hand-me-downs that their children had long outgrown. On the downside, it meant that my friends were well past the stages we were going through. Distance and schedules made it difficult to actually get together much, with or without our families. I originally joined Mothers & More for my son. After his birth, my husband…

Mothers in the Summerville Chapter of Mothers & More, located just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, enjoy supporting each other and their community. Keri Scougale, who just finished her term as co-leader of the Summerville Chapter, tells us what makes this group of 30 moms so special. Learn more by visiting Summerville’s website and Facebook page. Describe Summerville Chapter’s community of moms. Our moms range from their older 20s to mid 40s and consist of stay-at-home moms, part-time working moms and full-time working moms. Most of our children are early elementary school age and below, but we do have some older kids as well. We cover a large spectrum of diversity but still remain a very tight group of women.  We support each other in many areas, and many times we see each other daily! Our lives are always overlapping in a wonderful way. In a group of 30 women, we…

Chapter Co-Leader Jessica Pitelka Opfer describes what makes Chapter 13 such an incredible community for its 30 members who live in Oakland County, located about 25 miles northwest of Detroit, Michigan. Describe the Oakland County Chapter’s community of moms. Our group is a great mix of seasoned moms with school-age children who have been members for 5 years or more and newer members who are just starting out on their journey of motherhood. We try to offer activities to suit the needs of all members, including those who work outside the home. A large proportion of our membership is comprised of at-home moms who set aside successful and varied careers to become full-time moms. We are teachers (preschool to A.P. Psychology), musicians, attorneys, meeting planners, environmental scientists, advertising and market research specialists and engineers. Some of us have lived in Oakland County all our lives and others have moved here…

Many of Mothers & More chapters throughout the country hold monthly book club meetings. So, what are the key factors in having a successful book club? Let’s take a closer look at Maplewood/ South Orange, New Jersey, one of the largest book clubs with 10-20 members attending each month and Milwaukee West, Wisconsin, which has discussed 155 books during its monthly meetings since 2002 . 1 – Make it a Community Effort “I love the book club because I get to read books I never would have selected for myself,” observed Pamela Finberg, who has coordinated Milwaukee West’s book club for many of the 15 years that she has been a member of Mothers & More.  At both Maplewood/South Orange and Milwaukee West, all members are involved in nominating and voting on books 4-6 months in advance, hosting the meetings in their homes, bringing food and drinks and participating in…

by Sara Carlson Joanne Brundage’s story of being an isolated, new mom is a familiar one to most mothers. It was 1987 and she had been a stay-at-home mom for about a year, but wasn’t entirely happy with her new lifestyle. She was experiencing many feelings most moms transitioning from working to staying home can relate to: loss of identity and self-esteem, isolation and guilt for not loving the life of a stay-at-home mom. “I didn’t know quite what to do with myself and when I talked to neighbors, they didn’t reflect those same feelings, which just made me feel worse,” said Brundage, who was a former letter carrier for the Elmhurst, Ill. Post Office. She wanted more. She wanted to connect with other mothers in her situation, so she took action by placing an ad in the local paper to announce the formation of a support group, originally titled…

I didn’t cry as we toured the classroom on preview night, or when he hopped aboard the school bus for the first time, bounding with confidence and not looking back. No, I was strong and using my poker face not to let him see the excitement and nerves I felt on the first days of school. It was a couple days later that I nearly broke down in tears as I sat on those tiny kindergarten chairs and listened to the teacher explain her curriculum and outline how in nine short month my son would be reading books and writing sentences. Honey, we aren’t in preschool anymore. It shouldn’t have surprised me. When I was a suburban reporter I loved visiting the schools and classrooms to write stories about special programs. I sat through countless school board meetings as teachers and administrators discussed curriculum. I interviewed kindergarten teachers who told…

by Jenny Johannsen The story of motherhood is meant to be all completely “over the moon” joyous from the moment you set eyes on your precious bundle of joy.  I know that when I became a mother it was one of the most emotional moments I will ever have.  And the second time was just as sweet.  Looking into the sweet face of your babies is so overwhelming and filled with joy, pride, and anticipation. Those are the first moments and then after that the reality of motherhood sets in and your roller coaster begins.  It is so much fun to be on the roller coaster, but in so many ways the hills and turns are very scary and unpredictable.  After being an independent women for 37 years, it was a challenging transition at first.  Being home and breastfeeding a newborn every 2-3 hours was so enjoyable for me, but…

What would summer be without a little vacation. Mothers & More member Melissa Riske shares her own vacation story.  Sand is still stuck to my flip flop and there’s a pile of laundry that needs to be washed and put away. Technically vacation ended a few days ago, but my mind is still thinking about the waves and the kids running to the edge of the water and back, careful to look for cool sea shells along the way. I should be focused on the deadlines, the in-box of emails still waiting to be answered and getting the kids back to a more normal routine of eating and sleeping.  Instead I find myself flipping through photos on my phone. But I suppose that’s the sign of good vacation– the kind that truly takes your mind off things for a while and lets you enjoy your family, good food and the…

Not all moms are receiving wrapped presents or are going out for a Mother’s Day celebration today. For many, it’s a normal day of being strong and trying to do the best for their children yet struggling to afford even clean diapers. Members of Mothers & More and their communities nationwide are celebrating Mother’s Day by helping other moms, and they invite you to take only a few minutes to “Make A Mother’s Day” too! With your gift you may remember or honor a special mom in your life. Donate Diapers HERE Motherhood is tough, and without clean diapers, it becomes exponentially tougher for moms and their children. No mother should have to struggle with depression, anxiety, sick children, an inability to send her child to child care and even job loss because she can’t afford enough clean diapers for her child. No mother should have to be that strong.…