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Blabla Kids

October 1, 2013


So far, one of my favorite parts of being a parent is drawing on my own imagination and watching Margaret’s eyes light up. I love telling her stories; she is such a kind audience, listening ever so intently.

Margaret’s own sense of wonderment led me to blabla kids. I’m in love with everything this adorable company sells (the cutest mobiles, dolls, bedding, bean bags, and clothes) and there are several things I’ll gift for little Margaret’s birthday next month.

I interviewed designer and founder Florence Wetterwald about her incredible children’s lifestyle company. Wetterwald and I chat the trials of running a business based on handmade products, design inspiration, and kiddos. Such a treat!


danapop: You seem to be branching out a bit, going from mostly toys to what appears to be more of a lifestyle brand with bedding and clothing added to the mix. Was that a conscious decision?

Florence Wetterwald: It was a natural evolution … blabla has a philosophy of life and beauty that flows through everything we do. From our characters, our photos, our little movies, our daily lives. Experimenting with cloth was another way to express ourselves. I like to draw. When I design, I often start by sketching ideas on random pieces of paper, napkin, grocery list, paper tablecloth. I cut them and collect them until the doll finally takes shape. So when we started to create a bedding line, my assistants suggested we used my sketches and that’s how it all started.

dp: Since the bulk of your items are handmade, from a business production standpoint, how did you manage to grow your business in ways but still keep up with the output of products that were already selling well?

FW: Our products have been handmade by the same artisans for the last ten years. We have a good understanding of each other’s skills. As we evolve and grow, the experienced knitters have been training a new generation of talent. They are very proud of that. We are also in constant contact with them. We e-mail drawings and pictures back and forth a lot, I go there at least twice a year and we have a team on the ground who supervise production and quality.


dp: What was your first design? Was blabla intended to be a company selling just that single item?

FW: Our first products were hats and sweaters with little finger puppets sneaking out of a pocket. We were charmed by the traditional knitted Peruvian puppets when we discovered them at local markets and started to make a collection of our own, in cotton, with our own colors. Then one day, we decided that it was time for the puppet to get out of the pocket and it evolved into a doll and then another doll and another. The kids fell in love with them instantly and it became really inspiring to create new exciting characters for them. It all fell in place naturally.

dp: How does your own background and perspective (albeit through travels or through childhood) influence your business? Does Atlanta come into play at all?

FW: My unusual childhood in France and my travels around the world, certainly have an influence on my characters and my sense of colors. As far as an influence on our business maybe in the sense that we are a company, which cherish old values like time, nature and people.

Atlanta is a big city, yet it feel like a village, it has allowed us to create a very friendly working environment.


dp: What inspires you and how do you counter that with today’s changing tide in technology?

FW: My inspirations are very unpredictable, they always sneak up on me when I expect it the least. It can be an old movie for a costume, a memory of a place for a mood, a piece of cloth for its color, a family member for his temper, a friend’s pet, a stick’s shape … but mostly it’s about what I would like myself, if I were a kid, that day. Technology … hmm what technology?

dp: Where do you see blabla heading?

FW: Who knows. The kids will tell us. We trust them.

All Images: Courtesy of blabla kids

The Push-Pull

August 13, 2013


Margaret is nine-months now and there are many days I cannot believe it myself. This little puffy-faced newborn (and let’s call it like it is in the beginning) lump of sleepiness is now a giggly, content, adventuresome, fearless little girl. There’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for the joy she brings to our life.

As best as I can tell at this stage, Margaret is essentially calm until she isn’t. Her personality can be best characterized by the definition of a spitfire.


And now, our little spitfire is doing this thing that I have to write about. I call it the push-pull. Apologies to all the men out there reading, I’m going to talk about nursing now, so maybe my brother needs to skip to the next paragraph, or something. But, this push-pull, when I’m nursing, she grabs my hand to pull it close, holds it for a beat, then, as quick as she held it, she’ll promptly push it away. She repeats it several times and the whole thing leaves me wondering if this a metaphor for the parent-child relationship? Them (the child) wanting us (the parent) close, but wait, not that close.

Psychologist Arthur Kovacs, PhD believes that, “Every human has three critical needs — solitude, human warmth and companionship, and the need to feel productive, that one is making use of one’s talents.” As much as I thought Dr. Kovacs’ notion pertained to me, the mother perfecting the gentle balance of me-time, family time, career-time, I realize, it is true for Margaret (and perhaps all babies) as well. She needs me not to hover (as much as it pains me) as she tries to figure out working a spoon loaded with butter grits all on her own. She needs me to step away as she explores every square inch of our house without my help.


She needs me to provide a safe, loving, and kind place to grow and become whoever or whatever she wants (with proper guidance). She needs me to let her continue to test the boundaries of our relationship, the push-pull, and for me to let her become the spitfire that will likely do something absolutely amazing, one day. Let her pull me close then push me away. Let me push her away, wanting my own space as well, then pull her close, relishing these fleeting moments as we all gain our own independence.

The Pop Five

July 19, 2013


I stumbled across a lot of kid-centric articles this week, so that’s the focus of today’s roundup. Here are my favorite recent finds that touch on raising the littles.


How adorable is this honeycomb garland?

Image: By Kim A. Thomas for Oh Happy Day


This thought-provoking article about the one and done concept in this economy is so interesting.


While going through vacation photos, I came across what could be the best photograph of Miss Mags yet. This one image sums up her personality better than any wordy description ever could. However, if I were to pick a single word to sum her up, it’d be undoubtedly be spitfire.


I’ve been testing kiddo-friendly recipes lately since table foods are right around the corner for Margaret and I refuse to be a fish-sticks-every-night kind of mom. I made these chicken and veggie pockets on Monday (recipe on page 22). It’s sort of like a cross between an empanada and portable potpie; they are so good and grown-up friendly and would even be great as a heavy appetizer for a party.

Image: Courtesy of Thayer Allyson Gowdy


I’ve enjoyed reading Joanna Goddard’s Motherhood Monday series for a while now and this week she started something called Motherhood Around the World. The first piece on Norway is so fascinating.

Autour de la Table

June 4, 2013


Translation: Round the Dinner Table

From lulling Margaret to sleep with Carla Bruni, to whipping up baby food purees in a Beeva maker, a Mustela snob at bath time, coveting everything on the site, to Sophie being the toy picked above almost all others, and the sweet and brave Madeline being a favorite read … without being fully aware of it, I’ve apparently gravitated to the French school of thought when raising a child. It could be because I’m drawing from my own experiences from childhood, particularly when it comes to eating.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my parents essentially raised us at mealtime. We learned how to debate, hold our own in interesting conversations, manners (don’t interrupt, napkin on the lap, asking to be excused), the proper way to set a table, try new things, and to finish what you start.

We ate dinner as a family nearly every night at a table my father made from a piece of reclaimed California Redwood, purchased in Chicago after my parents found out they were expecting twins. The table is still at my parents’ house, held up by two porcelain elephants found in Ho Chi Minh City (when it was still called Saigon), Vietnam. My father sent four back home to my mother—two brown and two green—originally slated as end tables. Only one brown and one green made it, so the mismatched pair was destined for a life together under that table. For seating, in lieu of chairs, were two long church pews that came from a chapel in-between Great Lakes Naval Academy and Ft. Sheridan in Waukegan, Illinois, just outside of Chicago.

The life lessons around that dinner table are not unlike those being taught in all of the of-the-moment parenting books written by expat authors touting everything from portion control to maintaining variety in what your kid is eating. I want all of that for Margaret. I want mealtime to be fun, be filled with a range of nutritious (and wonderfully tasting) foods and for us to be present as a family during that hour. I want to make these moments a priority—to unplug and really just be there. I hope I do as good of a job as my parents did.

Baby Love

March 26, 2013


After Margaret was born, several people, including my favorite editor, offered me the perspective line that the days are long and the years are short. That certainly seems to be the case in our lives right now. There are some days when they truly feel like three rolled up in one (wait, did I REALLY go to yoga this morning and we’re just now making dinner–yoga felt like five days ago!).

There’s something special about every stage, this I already know. The dazed and confused, puffy-faced newborn when we’re looking at each other like, OK guess we’ll figure this out together, to now, an exploring, opinionated little being (all without uttering one word).

If Margaret were a cartoon right now, all you’d see is a light bulb above her head. It’s absolutely crazy to watch a baby start to connect the dots. She’s discovered her ears recently and will spend a fair amount of time flicking them back and forth, as if she’s checking to make sure they didn’t go anywhere without her. And her bottom lip, she is experimenting sucking on it and pursing it; it’s all so very cute. She opens her mouth wide, like a little trout when she’s hungry or wants her pacifier. Her methods of communication are very effective and her personality (so far) is quite calm.

Honestly, most days, I feel like she’s the smartest person in the room.

Pass it On

February 7, 2013

Growing up, my mother had a saying. It was something along the lines of killing a bear, skinning it, and serving it for dinner, if she only had one hour. I now have a pretty good idea of what she meant. Children make time management something of an art form. A ridiculously cute and well-worth it art form, mind you.

My mother’s line came directly from her grandmother, Lucy. The hardest working woman she knew. Lucy raised six boys (one of which was my late grandfather that Margaret shares a birthday with), a husband battling MS, the never-ending task of tending to the farm where they lived, and she managed to put herself through school to become a nurse. Talk about gumption.

After having Margaret, it got me thinking about all those things we pick up along the way from family and the nuggets of information I want to make sure she retains. The saying above is important, I think, especially for girls—gossip is toxic and does no one any good. Another one I want to instill in her is the notion of how a lady dresses.

Not to sound like a prude, but I read once, and it stuck with me, that a woman should only show one asset at a time. If you choose a short hemline on a dress, a plunging neckline is a no-no … one or the other, not both. I think that’s a good rule to follow. I mean I certainly don’t want Margaret to walk out of the house at age 15 in Beyonce’s leather getup from the Super Bowl halftime show. They didn’t have that particular quote on Pinterest—Thou shall not let ye daughter look like she works in the red light district.

Image: Courtesy of

Best Baby 0-3

January 29, 2013

I found that the second I got pregnant I was bombarded with loads of parenting tips and advice on must-have purchases to make parenthood easier. There are a few items that I haven’t even taken out of the box, and others I’ve already had to buy seconds of because I use them so often.

Here are my favorites so far.

1. Even in my belly, our sweet gal responded to music. She particularly liked bluegrass stuff, the Punch Brothers and the Avett Brothers were her favorites and since being born that has remained. She loves this song and this. 2. I was told Sophie the Giraffe was the toy to get for teething. We’re a bit ahead of the game with it since our gal is still thankfully all gums, but Margaret loves to hold and squeak little Sophie. The only drawback, Otis thinks it’s a toy for him and constantly tries to steal it. 3. We got several of these as gifts and they are the sweetest. They are one part blanket, one part stuffed animal and Margaret is now at the stage where she cuddles with hers and it’s just about the cutest thing ever. 4. These plush animals from Jellycat are whimsical and the two we have are brightly colored with stripes, giving Margaret something to focus on.

1. After the third visit to a lactation consultant the first week Margaret was born, she suggested this pillow for a better position while feeding. So. Much. Easier. 2. Having Dan feed Margaret a bottle of breast milk was a big day in our house. It allows me to actually do things like get a haircut or go to yoga. The transition can sometimes be tough with some babies refusing a bottle – after trying several other brands, Born Free worked for us. 3. Because when you’re wiping up spit-up all day, at least you can do it with a chic towel.

1. About five hours after Margaret was born the night nurse at the hospital asked us if we were team pacifier. Through cries of our baby, we immediately said yes, and she gave Margaret a Soothie. That’s been our paci brand ever since and she especially loves her Wubbanub. 2. Swaddling has worked for our family. And I’ve found these sacks keep our little Houdini nice and tight all night. PS – I’m a little creeped out by the photos on this site, they look like floating heads. 3. When you have a girl, you’re a bit on pink overload. While it does have some pink, I love the pattern in our blanket from Weegoamigo and it is a perfect weight for Atlanta.

1. I adore clothes from Baby Soy. Margaret has a few pieces including gowns and a super cute kimono onesie. They are really soft and made from organic cotton. 2. Socks from Trumpette are made to look like shoes, making baby feet even more adorable than they already are (as if that’s even possible). 3. Gap is great for staples. Their clothes wear really well and have sweetest designs.

1. While this activity mat is more play for Margaret, it’s truly hands-free for me. As soon as I press the button for the music to start, she’s in her own world. 2. The Moby is great for when your baby needs to be held, but you need both hands. Margaret has been in the Moby for everything from dinner prep, to conference calls, and phone interviews. Snug as a bug in a rug. 3. Apparently the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was recalled because of mold issues. I have no problem with mine and likely wouldn’t have stayed sane the first four weeks without one.

On The Night You Were Born

January 10, 2013

I think every child loves to hear the story of the night they were born. My twin sister and I never tire hearing my mom talk about making it to the hospital in the nick of time during a snowstorm in the middle of Chicago when we arrived. Or putting herself into labor by scrubbing the bathroom floors because, as she puts it, “She wanted those babies out of her.”

I planned to go all natural with Margaret, which I talked about here. I wasn’t against Western medicine during the process, but was the most afraid of an induction via Pitocin followed by an epidural because I thought it would take me into too hard of a labor too fast and something my body wouldn’t want to do. I wanted to be in control of what I needed and when and be flexible during it all, but have enough sense to change course if necessary.

Let’s just say no amount of meditation, yoga, or aromatherapy candles could prepare me for the physical pain of birthing a baby. Labor and delivery looked like a war zone with me playing the role of fallen soldier. Vomit, blood, oxygen masks and screams of agony were all there. And then, I felt nothing.

Let me back up a bit. When my doctor scheduled an induction for seven days past my due date, I knew I had to pull out the big guns before that. On my due date I started doing natural inducers. You can read more about that here. On Wednesday, three days past my due date, at 4:15 p.m. I went in for an hour of incredibly intense acupuncture. At 3 a.m. I woke up in a really emotional state. Woke up my husband and had a mini-meltdown about being a mother, working, and all the changes in our life. He calmed me down, and I fell asleep for a couple of hours. A short time later, just before 6 a.m. Thursday morning, my water broke.

The plan was always to labor at home for some time. I spent several hours very comfortable with Otis, my mom, and Dan around me on our living room couch. In just three hours, by 9:30, contractions were coming faster and it was time to head to the hospital as Atlanta rush hour was thankfully ending. My mom couldn’t have been happier, as she was a Nervous Nelly with us deciding to stay home for the beginning parts of labor. I don’t remember much about the car ride except the Driving Miss Daisy in the Jaguar going a whopping 20 miles per hour in a 45 for what felt like an eternity of the trip. I cursed the day that biddy was born. I think every woman can vouch that contractions in a moving vehicle aren’t for the faint of heart. Actually it’s just about the worst idea ever. I’m certain my mother was appalled at the truck driver potty-mouth daughter she raised.

Once inside the hospital I scared every man, woman, and child on an otherwise uneventful elevator ride and proceeded to sit on the floor of labor and delivery upon arrival, just to let them know we weren’t kidding around (and my blood pressure had dropped making me feel like I was going to faint). Now seems like a good place to say nurses (other than one lone Nurse Ratched at check-in) are saints. They truly are. Between my labor and delivery nurse, Lucy, and several night nurses, particularly Carolyn and Meghan, I wouldn’t have had the positive experience that I did.

When we arrived at the hospital just after 10 a.m. I thought for certain I’d have a baby by 3 p.m. at the latest. That’s how fast and hard labor was coming. I was dilated to a six when I was admitted. But, I then stayed stuck between eight and nine for hours. Finally, around 3 p.m., I got an epidural and felt absolutely nothing (except for a little pressure during contractions). It was HEAVEN. There were a few scares with my blood pressure going shockingly low and me needing to breathe oxygen for a bit. For as much planning as I did with music and candles, I wanted none of it. I wanted the room absolutely quiet.

Another thing we planned was my husband’s role. I was very adamant about where I wanted him to stand (my shoulders up), but when it came down to it modesty went out the window. He played a very active role and was the most encouraging voice I could’ve asked for. About 5 p.m. it was time to start pushing. After about an hour my husband put on a playlist called Little Miss Seith upbeat—and upbeat it was. The music helped so much! It charged me through that last hour of pushing (I won’t hold it against her that it took that long), and the mood in the room was actually really lively. No joke, our doctor and nurse were singing along to Mumford & Sons.

Margaret Ainsley Seith came out to the song, “We Are Young” by Fun followed fittingly by Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.” That moment is one I will remember for the rest of my life. I was crying. Dan was crying, and Margaret was crying. We’re now nine weeks from that day. It does go by fast. And it’s worth every ounce of everything it took us to get here.

So far, motherhood hasn’t defined me, but I certainly like the feeling of knowing I’m hers and she’s mine, already seeing the world through her eyes, and making all the small stuff seem just that. She has already changed me–for the better.

The Motherhood Club Part V

November 22, 2012

Today concludes the five-part series on motherhood. To see past articles or full panel disclosure, click here. This piece was such an amazing one to write and I cannot thank the participants enough for both their time and candor.

dp Names say so much. I think naming a child would be incredibly hard – how did you and your husband choose the names of your kids?

Mommy A I was pretty adamant on giving my children middle names that honored my parents. I felt it important because of my parents’ cultural belief to have our family name passed on. Since I could not pass on my last name in the most traditional manner, I chose to include a Korean name as a middle name. Plus, once I had children, I really started to understand cultural beliefs or practices that insist on same race marriages. I realized that my children have the potential of having blonde hair, blue-eyed babies. By the time my grandchildren have children, all of the Korean will be gone! This thought kind of makes me sad. There will be no more of my parents left in the bloodline.

Mommy C We looked to family names when selecting name options. She is named for her paternal great-great grandmother and her maternal great grandmother. We also wanted something unusual, but not too ‘hippy’ or new age sounding. (We get enough of the hippy thing just by living off the grid in houses made of straw and mud.)

Mommy D Naming your child is such a fun part of pregnancy. We spent hours talking over names and trying out names. A lot of the names that we chose for first or middle names were significant because they were names from our family history.

Mommy E Still trying to agree on a boy’s name, we want it to be strong. For us we had more girls names that we agreed upon, so the jury is still out!

Mommy F We knew our son was ¾ Irish so we gave him an Irish name. In naming our daughter, we included our son. He actually named her. It was important that family be a part of their existence so I gave my daughter my middle name, it gave them more roots.

dp What do you think is the biggest misconception to being a mother that you would like to clear up?

Mommy A I think there is a misconception that a woman can have it all; a husband, a family, and a successful career. This has the connotation that acquiring all these “check marks” will bring happiness. I think the truth is that once you become a mother, it is all a balancing act and areas of your life will have to be sacrificed.

Mommy D I think that it is a huge misconception to think that being a stay-at-home mom is an easy job. It was the most challenging (but rewarding) job that I have ever had.

Mommy F You do not own your child and cannot make them what you want them to be. You don’t know what’s in that little person that you have. You just don’t know. You’ve got to be willing to let that person be who they are.

Mommy G That you can always control what’s happening. Because I think just as I was sitting here and you decided to have a freak-out – I can’t control you. That’s how it is with a kid – you just can’t. Some things they have to learn on their own.

Mommy H Some people think that a stay at home mother is not a job. However it is a 24-hour job that you love.

dp What is one memory you hope your kids never forget?

Mommy A I just want my children to grow up remembering how we laughed and spent time together and were happy. Honestly, looking back at my childhood, I cannot remember a time when my parents laughed really hard about anything. I can’t remember thinking they were happy. I really want that for my girls.

Mommy B Our love for them and their children and grandchildren. We all have enjoyed our lake house from the time our first grandchild was five years old and now our great grandchildren are enjoying it as well. We bought the lake house in 1969 and today, in 2009 it is still bringing us all joy. I am hoping it will always be a family place to come and enjoy and keep making memories for all.

Mommy C I hope she remembers the joy of learning something new.

Mommy D Family vacations.

Mommy E Birthday celebrations, summertime activities like the pool and picnics, and time with grandparents

Mommy F Nature. I created a wonder of nature, awe of nature and all its beauty – and they have that. I think that’s a gift that keeps on giving forever. Flowers, sky, ocean, mountains, weather, they are both in awe of it. I gave them that kind of thing and I’m delighted.

Mommy G The first time that she met Winnie the Pooh…and I don’t think she’ll ever forget it. I literally mean this, she has an amazing memory – the picture of her the first time meeting Winnie the Pooh we had to walk down the winding path – and we turned this corner and the look on her face is sheer joy – just complete, “I can’t believe it’s really you!” And I think she remembers that. She’ll talk about walking through the jungle to meet him. I want her to remember that feeling.

Mommy H How often we laughed with him and told him we loved him.

Mommy I That we loved them. They grew up in a loving family, the good times. The vacations that sort of stuff. And I hope they remember their grandparents. They all have fond memories of their grandparents.

dp Is there something you are most fearful of? Something you hope never happens or something you want to save them from?

Mommy A My biggest fear is that my children will be ungrateful. It’s ironic because my own parents came to the US to provide a better life for their children. They succeeded. My life is definitely better than theirs in regards to education, money, and employment. I think this is true for most parents. I feel the same way. I want my children to have things that I did not. However, in doing so, there’s a risk of providing too much. If you do not struggle and your children to not witness or experience hard times (especially financially), then I doubt they can really understand the value of hard work and having things. My biggest challenge right now is trying to teach our oldest that she cannot have everything she wants and to be grateful for what she already has.

Mommy C As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am terrified of our daughter finding herself in an uncomfortable, unwanted or unsafe sexual situation. I hope she will always have at least one adult that she feels safe talking to if she needs help.

Mommy D My biggest fear is that one of them would get a terminal illness or die in an accident. I could not handle that, and I would not want to watch my husband go through that.

Mommy E Right now answering this, I want to make sure my child develops fully in the early years, good motor skills and speech skills so he can grow and learn at a normal pace. Also, want to make sure I keep my patience in any situation and can be a nurturing parent.

Mommy F Being left alone in the world. Not having a soulmate or feeling that there’s no one they can turn to. Not having the joy of being a companion and sharing your life with someone.

Mommy H I am so scared that someone will come into my house and take him. It happens a lot in the state we live in. I make sure all the doors and windows are looked and that the alarm is on. I constantly wake up during the night and look at our video monitor.

dp What were some dreams of yours for your children prior to having them? Have those changed after having them?

Mommy A I don’t really have any dreams for my children like careers or where to attend college. I have characteristics I want them to have. I want my girls to grow up respecting themselves and others. I want them to have self-esteem and learn how to make good decisions. I want them to be comfortable in their own skin. I want them to be smart and healthy.

Mommy D I just wished for them to be happy and healthy.

Mommy G I want her to be excellent at tennis and I do have the dream of her being a cheerleader – I know that sounds pageantry, but to me it means she comfortable, happy, and accepted. But, really as long as she’s smart and secure, if she’s those two things, she can be anything she wants to be.

dp Has there been a helpful method you followed in raising them?

Mommy A Not really. I participate in the trial and error philosophy – if it doesn’t work, try something else!

Mommy B Find a church home and keep your family all in the same church life. Give love and pass it on. One can never give too much.

Mommy C We follow general themes of attachment parenting and child guided learning, but I struggle with prescribed methodologies. I found resources like Alfie Kohn’s book, Unconditional Parenting, that encourage parents to check in with themselves and question themselves to be very helpful in providing a most basic suggestion. Asking myself what I am doing and why is the best way I have found to parent with integrity.

Mommy E We are reading the Baby Wise book right now and my husband is all about it- getting the baby on a schedule. We’ll see if this holds up or not once the baby comes!

Mommy F No, but I wished I had followed a method. I think it’s wonderful idea to have that stuff now, at least it gives you things to fall back on. Specifically on how to discipline, calm correcting that means more instead of rage or anger. All that is very important. People today should take advantage of classes and books because there is so much good stuff out there.

Mommy G Baby Wise – it works. She was born at 10 pm – her active time was always that time from then. It gave her a schedule.

Mommy H Try to be consistent as possible. If I am inconsistent than it throws off schedules and impacts his sleeping and eating.

The Motherhood Club Part IV

November 20, 2012

It’s day four in our five-part series on motherhood. To see past entries and full details on the amazing panelists click here.

dp Did you find out your child’s gender while you were pregnant? Did you try to predict? Were you correct?

Mommy E Yes – we just found out we are having a boy, and are so excited! This was one of the discussions that was agreed upon before even getting pregnant. My husband is a planner and wanted to know! I could go either way, so maybe in the future we could keep it a surprise. Because I have been having such an easy time with pregnancy, I was feeling boy at first, but was also very partial to having a girl. I am so excited for the outcome, but either way I think we would have won the lottery.

dp Has there been a specific age or phase that was particularly difficult? An age that was incredibly joyous and amazing? What’s one thing that you were particularly proud of your child doing?

Mommy A My children are still young, but in my four years of experience, I’ve realized that each phase/stage has its ups and downs. For every achievement or milestone my children reach, there’s a flip side to it (usually a humorous one). For example, I used to be particularly proud of my older daughter because she was so well spoken. Now she can articulate exactly what she wants, why she wants it and if she doesn’t get it, she expresses her disappointment thoroughly! My youngest has just started crawling. Wonderful! Except now I spend my day following her all around the house making sure she doesn’t choke on one of her sister’s toys. The list goes on.

Mommy C Right now, we are in a challenging time. She really wants to go where she wants to go when she wants to and I really want her to ask permission and respect my response. So far, I spend a lot of time chasing her down and taking her back inside so she can try to ask permission before going outside. I very much want to empower my daughter to make her own decisions, but there are many times that I only have patience for her decisions if they are the same as my own.

Mommy D I am proud of the way that they treat others.

Mommy G The past six months have been both of those. She’s a person now. You can have a conversation with her. The other night we laid in the bed under the covers like a slumber party and she told me she thinks Dylan is cute (a boy in her class). It’s funny when she repeats words – she’s been so fun and then she’ll have two weeks of sheer hell where I don’t know how to deal with her. You can’t use logic, or reason and sometimes not even love. It is what it is and you have to accept it and wait until it passes. You want to feel like you’re teaching, but there’s times where you just have to let them be.

When she stopped being shy, I was so proud of that. The fact that she can go up to friend of mine and say hey how are you – we’re both really proud of that.

dp Did you become more spiritual or religious after having children?

Mommy A Yes! I wanted us to all go to church together and I wanted to expose the church to my children at an early age. It was my priority to expose them to religion and I feel strongly that the church is important in child rearing and learning right from wrong. If my children choose to leave the church as adults, then that is their prerogative. My job, as a parent, is to provide them with the foundation they need to have a relationship with God.

Mommy C Having a child and experiencing the world tangentially through her eyes has re-enlivened my awe of the natural world and the delight that I take in it.

Mommy E This is going to be an interesting development for my husband and I- being interfaith. We have discussed combining traditions and incorporating the elements we both value most. But, I think the toughest part will be balancing our decisions with what our family will expect.

Mommy F Having children made me go back to my faith stronger. You have to find your own spirituality, but I don’t want to make anyone else believe the way I do.

dp How does your husband help with child rearing? What things does he do better than you?

Mommy B My husband was a wonderful father and grandfather and so enjoyed the great grandchildren as well. He was a businessman, not too good about house help, only that he loved to cook. Handyman he was NOT. But there was always money to have things done right. He died in 2003 at the age of 85 leaving me with not a worry in this world. I still have good health at 89 and enjoy all of my family.

Mommy G He’s good about being less structured. He’s okay to let her watch TV – he’s okay with her staying up past her bedtime. He’s okay with her indulging a little more. I think that’s important. I’m more about did you eat your veggies, now it’s time for bed. Which is a nice balance. He cooks dinner, makes breakfast, buys all the groceries – he’s really helpful he’s very hands on all the time.

Mommy I He was better playing with the kids. I was so concerned with taking care of the house. He was also better with discipline. They used to laugh at me when I tried to scold. He was strong with them. And then with sports he started coaching them and stuff. We both helped with homework, but when the kids got into more advanced things, he helped them with that. He also had fun while playing with them.

Up Next – The series wraps up with motherhood misconceptions, family memories, and modern methods.