A Museum about Moms – Who Knew?

MOM_Logo_8_14I crossed as the red hand flashed solid on the corner of 84th and 2nd in Manhattan to discover a sign in front of a building that said “Museum of Motherhood”.  It’s about time, I thought.

As you walk downstairs to enter the Museum, there is a large painted sign in black letters stating:

“Humanity depends on motherhood.  I can think of no other subject so wildly misunderstood, underfunded and understudied.  We’re here to change that.  Together, we will put motherhood on the map and dispel myths that have kept women, caregivers and birthers marginalized and educate using our strong voices…” Joy Rose 

Once you arrive downstairs, the space looks like an art museum as the exhibits are so beautifully laid out – with a library including a massage chair, as well as a snack and activity area for kids as you enter.  I sat and looked at a book on “Mommy Guilt” and after reading that yelling at your kids is a moms’ number one reason to feel guilty, I suddenly felt very at home with my sister mommies.

If you choose, you can try on the weight of a pregnant belly but since I’ve already carried twins, I passed on that.  I hope some men keep it on for the whole visit!

Here were some amazing facts I learned about mothers:

In the U.S. in 1970, 70% of women with children under the age of 6 were homemakers and 30% worked.  Today the numbers are reversed.

When Birth Control was approved in 1962, the average number of children per household was 3.6 and by 1980, it was 2.  In the U.S., 100 million women are currently on Birth Control.

60% of women in the world today give birth without the aid of a trained professional.

The exhibits were delightfully varied – from a scene of a room with an old sewing machine from the 1800s that explained about the role moms played in turning their house into a home to a tribute to moms in rock bands that included a dress worn by a singer that was made out of individual cereal boxes!

There is also a larger play-space for kids.

It was so exciting  to reflect on the history of motherhood and why mothers need to be honored and appreciated.  Take a moment now to feel inside you the gift you strive to give to your family each day as a mom.

It’s located at 401 East 84th street between 1st and York – contact www.MOMmuseum.org  for additional information.

This article is also be posted in the Wellness section of http://www.myculturemagazine.com

International Women’s Day!

It’s International Women’s day and Citibank  has some “secrets from the professional sisterhood”- with 15 insider tips for building confidence and connections.  I find that most of them apply to a woman’s personal development as well.  I hope they will inspire you!

1. Listen to your inner voice and take note of the things that ignite your zest for life.

2. Focus: keep your eyes on the prize, however you define it.

3. Keep learning and challenging yourself.

4. Create your own tomorrows: don’t wait for someone to tap you on the shoulder. Ask for what you want.

5. Celebrate your successes.

6. Push through your fears.

7. View failures as a springboard to propel you even further.

8. Always look ahead, behind, up, down and sideways: you never know where the next opportunity will come from.

9. Reflect rather than react, strategize rather than “stew.”

10. Network, network, network – and then network some more: inside your organization,within your industry, across your community, etc.

11.  Always hire people smarter than you.

12.  Never apologize for your greatness.

13.  Don’t take things personally and let go of the negative swirl.

14.  Feel free to change your mind – often.

15. Have a plan B, C and D: don’t let life catch you unprepared.

Hats off to you, moms!!!

When we have children, we immediately add on a new identity of “MOM” that we hold near and dear to our hearts and at other moments wish we could shed, if only briefly, so we wouldn’t have to constantly worry so much.

I’ve talked to many mothers who don’t appreciate themselves enough for all they do.  I remember when I was a stay-at-home mom, at times frazzled and overwrought, I felt like I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t keeping up with my career.   When I began to meet other stay-at-home moms around me as my children grew I was shocked at what they did (and I realized I did, too).  They were juggling a schedule for feeding, changing, cleaning, teaching and amusing children and keeping them SAFE, which may not be rocket science, but it is an art – as well as a demanding job.

I am impressed by moms who hold demanding jobs both inside and outside the home, like my sister-in-law.   She travels all over the world- Singapore, China, South Africa, Poland, and more for her job.  Still, she has the energy to stay connected with what is going on in her daughters’ lives and catches up with the family routines as soon as her plane touches ground.

I know low income struggling moms who are working, studying and raising kids and I have no idea how they manage to do what they do.  I am in awe.

Moms are doing amazing things.  Why not blow our own horns?