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

I believe self-esteem develops differently in girls and women

As a girl you may remember that you were praised for being “pretty” or “cute” or how your outfits looked.  Boys were told they were “big” or “strong” or praised for accomplishments.  I’m not here on my soapbox for change (maybe a little).  I’m just pointing out that female self-esteem and self-image develops differently.

I shudder when I hear my daughters, who are eight, read calories on labels of what they are eating.  They are thin yet one girl teased my daughter that she had fat thighs.  It’s hard not to get angry as they tell my daughter in gymnastics class that when she finishes her routine and pulls her hands behind her head in the dismount, we should be able to see her ribs.

Naturally women have more of a struggle to accept their looks and their weight.  Start to take a step back from messages society is sending or who is to blame.  Be determined to start sending yourself messages to overcome any inner critics in your head that are making you feel bad about your image.  Treasure the relationships that are true and honest as those reflect who you are.