MM NYC SPECIAL
MM is soooooo happy to announce our NYC correspondent on the other side of the pond – NYC baby!!
If you are a mum/mom/mam that is already up on the few hip websites for parents by parents i am sure you are already familiar with the lovely Samantha AKA THE HIPSTER MOM if not now is the time to get to know!!
THE HIPSTER MOM will be sending us LUCKY mammmmas regular updates on all things NYC/MOM/LIFE and anything that keeps her awake at 4am other than her 2 beautiful children.
Ok, take it away Samanatha!!
Live From New York: It’s The Hipster Mom
Motherhood is something that unites each and everyone of us on a global level. We share the most common bond between women: we got knocked up, gave birth (whoa, that was crazy!) and raise our kids in the best way we know how. Yea, we have baby daddies, husbands and boyfriends, but we as mothers have a very special connection with our children and each other. This is why mamas and mommy bloggers unite!
My name is Samantha a.k.a The Hipster Mom. And somewhere along the way, while searching for like-minded mothers, we connected—The Hipster Mom and Mothers Meeting. A while back I suggested a column which would give all the Mothers Meeting readers a little insight into parenting in New York City. The girls were game and so here we are—here you are—reading the first instalment of Live From New York.
First of all I feel incredibly fortunate to be raising kids in a cultural epicenter like NYC. I think I’ve got some fun ideas, cool activities and a bit of understanding about raising kids in a big city. And even if you’re a reader who lives in a small town or suburban neighborhood I think you’ll enjoy reading about our adventures and missteps in this corner of the world.
So, before we proceed, wanna do a little getting to know me? Okay cool! In a nutshell I’m an off again, on again SAHM. I’ve got two amazing little devils, one boy named Fritz who’s 5 years old and a little girl named Lola who’s 2 years old. On a daily basis they go from driving me totally nuts to making my heart burst into flames.
I became a mother while running a magazine called Missbehave. It was a technicolor glossy about everything girlie and amazing. I had Fritz early on in my publishing career and was a self-made mommy “doing” it all. Missbehave gained notoriety amongst cool chicks everywhere and working on the magazine felt like my calling. Flash forward to issue number 12—I became pregnant with Lola—it was a joyous and frightening revelation. The news came when, sadly, we were watching the American economy fail. Advertisers were scared and so was I. Independent publishing is a bitch. The decision to shutter the magazine was difficult one, but I made my choice. I was going to stay at home, barefoot and pregnant (hey! I love being barefoot) and spend the time raising my kids.
Alas! Creatively speaking, not all was lost. When Fritz was about one I began a blog called The Hipster Mom. It came about when I realized that talking about the highs and lows of parenting with my co-workers or chatting about making my own babycfood at industry events was not a hot topic. So The Hipster Mom became a wonderfully therapeutic investment. Since beginning The Hipster Mom in 2008 I’ve watched the genre grow and bring millions of mothers together worldwide.
Long story short, after 2 years as as a SAHM I was itching to get my hands back into something. Back to work, back to people. And I did it. This past September I landed a part-time job at a creative agency. I won’t recount the agony and the ecstasy, but you can get the low down of what went down here, and now I find myself back to basics. But in all honesty, it often takes a vogage to come home again and fully appreciate everything you had to begin with. So here I am. The Hipster Mom. Still working on the happy medium and using all my experiences to make the best life I can for myself and my family. I’d love to share a little piece of my heart and adventures with you. Stay tuned for the next instalment of Live From New York….
Kids are pretty universal right? They all like cartoons, sweets and driving their moms and dads crazy. But are American kids really any different than the English? Ever seen Toddlers and Tiara’s, Gawd I hope that’s not what people think American kids are like! According to this article in the WSJ French children sit for hours at the dinner table and don’t throw tantrums—that’s definitely not what American children are like. So I thought we could compare notes. I’ve compiled a list of 10 things about my kids that may or may not deem them American.
1. They get time-outs. Time-outs seem to be the American standard for “hands-off” punishment i.e no spanking or swatting. A lot of us have paired a concept called 1-2-3 Magic with a time-out. It goes something like this: child runs amok when you’re trying to get them to take a bath, parent counts to three and then gives child time out. It works for the most part, but I often find myself really dragging out the 2 as if I’m dreading having to follow through with the time-out itself. Regardless this seems to be the disciplinary method of choice ‘round these parts.
2. They wear silly bands. Silly bands are the slap bracelets (did you have those back in the 80′s?) of our children’s generation. Last summer Fritz and I were each wearing an arm load. They come in every shape from ice cream cones to Spiderman. The fad is waning but Lola just discovered a bunch at the bottom of the toy bin and is proudly wearing them to the playground.
3. They love Monster trucks. Monster trucks are classic Americana. I know way too much about them having watched a documentary Fritz was obsessed with no less than 100 times. Although its origins are in middle America, much like NASCAR, a show called Monster Jam tours the US from Cali to NYC. Outrageous trucks called Grave Digger, El Toro and Nitro crush rows of cars, make raucous noise and kick up dust in huge arenas with fathers and sons cheering on. Little boys LOVE monster trucks. And on a side note girls seem to love Disney princesses but Lola kinda follows Fritz’s lead so this house has been Disney princess free so far.
4. They sleep in our beds. This is a very personal decision, but it seems like most families go through at least some period of kids sleeping in parents beds. We’ve struggled with Fritz coming into our bed in the night since he was able to leave his bed and sneak in between us. We have it semi-under control and allow him sleep with us on weekends. Is this customary in England?
5. Everyone loves Spongebob (even parents). Spongebob is global right? Like the Simpsons or Family Guy. Spongebob mania is going on, oh I’d say, year 7 here. Lola has Spongbob bedding, Fritz has an amazing Spongebob puffer jacket and I’m dying to get them this killer Spongebob aquarium. My Dad recently told me Spongbob was making kids wacky and giving the seizures or something. Not us! We just giggle a lot.
6. They suck at going out to eat. We’ve all but forgone going out to eat. It’s nothing short of dinning with Satan’s minions in the depths of hell, and anyone unfortunate enough to be dining within a 4 table radius will feel the wrath. Every once and a while we appear to have forgotten the previous experience and say ” Hey, let’s go out. We need to do so something different.” And every time, with out fail, there we are with glasses of water being spilled, food being flung about and the obligatory threatening to eat. Never more, we say, never more.
7. They have too many toys. I was told by my German mother-in-law in a heated argument (about us, not the kids) that my kids have too many toys. At the moment I held back every ounce of my being not to tell her that she clearly had a shopping addiction and had wayyyyy to many clothes, most jammed into her closet with the tags still on, but I refrained. But in actuality when I’m cleaning up the little knick-knacks strewn about I do think they may have too many toys. I mean it’s not the big things like doll houses, electric cars, toy kitchens and shit like that (which they have none), it’s just a cumulative amount of stray pieces, toy cars, Legos and doll parts. I’ll admit it, I have a hard time tossing the stuff. Our kids don’t get things everyday and I on the spoil-o-meter I think there somewhere between green and yellow. But we could stand for a ruthless editing of the mounting loose puzzle pieces, random blocks and discarded Barbie shoes, brushes and wands.
8. They are culturally aware. Cultural enrichment and diversity is a priority in raising my kids. This is why I love in New York and its why I’ve chosen to raise them in this brilliant and beautiful city. I feel blessed to have the ability to take the kids to the Museum of Modern Art or a luscious botanical garden on any given day. Minutes away we an be taking photographs at a Graffiti Hall of Fame or enjoying a ferry ride in the East River. We travel from neighborhood to neighborhood experiencing ethnic diversity of every kind. We dine on Arroz con Pollo, authentic Dim Sum and my husbands native German cuisine when ever we feel like it (to-go of course!)
9. They don’t listen. As I write this I’ve told my son to go brush his teeth no less than 5 or 6 times. Yes, I realize that this is when a time out would apply but I’m writing this post and instead of taking action. I’m letting him sit there in a heap disobeying me. It’s an everyday struggle. Okay I tried it, I just said 1…still nothing. I just said 2….now he’s writhing on the ground. “Okay I’m almost at 3,” I say…still nothing. “Okay that’s it, 3!” I did it and now he’s on a time out. The point is, they don’t listen!! Arrrrggggggg!
10. They’re cute. Some American kids are cute. But mine, mine are really cute. Maybe cuter than any other kids in the whole wide world. Do you guys feel that way about you’re kids, or is that an American thing?