Posts Tagged ‘ Rosie to the Rescue ’

Rosie to the Rescue: The Royal Baby Fever

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Rosie PopeAs the “royal baby fever” heats up, many of us have burning questions about how His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) will be raised, named, fed, clothed, schooled, and introduced to the Windsor and Middleton families—and of course us, the adoring public! So what do we know?

For starters the baby will be born in the Lindo Wing, the private wing of St. Mary’s hospital, which costs roughly 10,000 pounds. There, the royal couple will have access to postpartum and breastfeeding support, among other services. This is the same hospital wing that Prince William and Prince Harry were born in back in the 80′s. Prince Charles managed to sneak his way into the delivery room with Princess Diana, and William will be with Kate during her delivery, too. (The royals have modernized at least in some ways!) What is perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the delivery plans is that Kate is rumored to want both her mother, Carole, and her sister, Pippa, present with her in the delivery room—at least for the first part of labor. Add two esteemed doctors to the mix, and you have quite a crowd. In fact, critics have jested that it reminds them of the old, public, royal births when almost anyone could come by and view!

Proceedings after the birth will follow tradition with a 41 gun salute, a speech given by the Prime Minister in Parliament, and a poetic note displayed at the gates of Buckingham Palace announcing the royal birth. And amidst all the excitement outside, the royal couple will be presented with a comprehensive wine (and Champagne) list in the exclusive hospital wing should they wish to enjoy a toast to celebrate their new arrival!

Perhaps most interesting—and extremely significant in my opinion—is just how much Kate’s relationship with her mother differs from previous mother-daughter relationships in the royal family: The Queen’s parenting style has been notoriously distant, and she’s famous for “trying” to spend an hour a day with her kids; Diana and Fergie’s mothers both bolted from their fathers and took up refuge in far-off lands (the isolated Scottish Isles and Argentina, respectively); and Princess Diana’s tragic death came early in the princes’ lives. Kate, on the other hand, has a seemingly great relationship with her mother and plans to be a present and engaged mother herself. This baby is going to benefit enormously from the—dare I say it—more normal, affectionate, and hands-on parenting style of the Middletons. While this baby will be royal, HRH will be more Middleton in upbringing than Windsor!

In keeping with this close-knit family, a few short days after the birth of baby Albert, George, Charlotte, or Alexandra (all strong name contenders) will be whisked off not to the royal residences, but to the Middletons’ new manor house in the Berkshires (a very affluent country address). For the first six weeks of wee HRH’s life, he or she will be with grandma Carole and grandpa Michael. William and Kate’s snazzy residence at Kensington Palace is 300 years old and still undergoing massive renovations to remove asbestos and get it ready for the new royal family. But despite the renovations, I believe it was a deliberate decision of Kate and William’s to reside with the Middletons’ during the first weeks of the baby’s life, wanting the support that Kate’s family can provide.

Kate’s nursery decorating style will mirror that of her taste in fashion: elegant and classic with a modern twist. We certainly won’t be seeing any blinged-out, diamond-encrusted cribs in the royal nursery! Instead, Kate has invested in a Moses-style basket that will reside beside her bed for the first weeks, as Kate and William plan to have the baby sleep in their room at first. (Perhaps this is a nod to attachment parenting from Kate and William?) While Kate will of course have family help and the support of a staff, I have no doubt that she will be a hands-on mother as much as her position allows.

One of the most speculated aspects of the royal baby is HRH’s hair color. Many are wondering if HRH will have red hair, or be a “ginger” as we call it in England, just like his or her famous uncle! Geneticists have explained that the gene for red hair color is recessive, so the baby would have to receive the recessive gene from both Kate and William in order to be born a ginger—which apparently is a 50:50 chance!

So get your mini Union Jack ready, pour yourself some tea (or, if you prefer, some Pimm’s), and be prepared to be glued to the TV, because D-day is almost here!

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Rosie to the Rescue: The Gift of You

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Rosie PopeCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

As parents, we try to be the very best that we can be. And it’s easy to fall into making comparisons: What is everyone else doing with their kids? What gear do they have? What parenting techniques are they practicing? The list of questions goes on and on.

With all this looking outward for answers, we have the tendency to turn these thoughts inward in an anxious, “I’m not doing enough” kind of way: Am I playing with my kids as much as I should? Do I encourage creativity? Do I make time for my partner? Just think of the many questions we ask ourselves in, I suppose, some desire to be perfect. Quite frankly, its exhausting! And it’s no wonder that by the end of the day we don’t feel good enough about ourselves and our contributions to our families. Instead we feel overwhelmed, irritated, and ready to dive into a random box of cookies! Your day’s good intentions are shot. Forget going to the gym—it’s just not worth it since I won’t be running as fast or as long as that person on the treadmill next to me. After satisfactorily feeding our frustrations, we then vow to make tomorrow a new day! As much as you hate to admit it, you’ve probably gone through this same roller coaster of emotions at one point or another… maybe even last night.

Well, my lovelies, I have decided that being perfect is no fun and the endless journey to achieve it certainly isn’t either! If everything’s perfect, what can we laugh at? Perfect hair and perfect pancakes in a perfect house simply isn’t that amusing! And laughing, after all, is one of the greatest joys we can share with each other and especially our children.

I’m starting to learn that owning up to imperfections and letting our children see us embracing and dealing with them is what can teach them more than anything else. If they see us being happy and confident in the face of imperfection, focusing on our strengths and not swamped by our weaknesses, they, too, will do the same. Being perfect after all (or at least trying to be) doesn’t really teach them a great deal—other than sending the message that you are totally distracted, not relatable, ridiculously unapproachable, and absorbed in reaching some standard. Our kids don’t need us to be perfect; they need us to teach them how to deal with real life.

When we are constantly trying to be the best moms we can be, so many of us ignore perhaps our greatest gift to our children—ourselves, faults and all. However, I see it every day with the moms I meet: the insecurity. They have nothing to feel inferior about; they are doing a fantastic job, but somehow they are not able to see themselves as the great mothers they are. If you feel insecure about yourself and your contributions to your family, your anxiety will take hold. You won’t be able to be yourself and that is when things can go wrong as a parent. I am convinced that if you can let go of all the self-criticism and comparisons, you will find the confidence to just be the real, no-walls-up you. And that is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little ones as a parent.

So maybe I drank some wine on a Monday night, and maybe I slept in this morning and didn’t go running, but you know what I did do? I played a darn good game of “Mommy is a horsey,” and I’m feeling pretty fab about it!

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Rosie to the Rescue: Room to Grow

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Pope familyCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

After having my third baby, our apartment in the city officially moved into the “way too small” category. A bathroom became a closet, the main hallway became a putting green, the living room transformed into a makeshift castle fort, and my closet obviously was repurposed as the “dress up adventure/let’s open all of mommy’s shoe boxes because we’ve run out of places to play” area. So we have moved to the ‘burbs.

To my great surprise, it has not been the longer commute, nor the friendly neighbors delivering ample cupcakes, nor the increased amount of storage space that has been the greatest change for me. Instead, it has been the way in which I parent. In my apartment, my kids could roam freely and I would pretty much feel secure knowing where they were and what they were doing.  After all, I could see into every room, nook, and cranny from the living room, there were no stairs, only one way into and out of the house, and window guards—so basically a New York City fortress. Because of this, I could juggle multiple things at once while the kids ran around and did their own thing. Perhaps that’s why having three kids hasn’t felt too difficult, despite the gasps I always receive when pushing around my triple train of a stroller!

But now in our new house, if the children go into a different room or up the staircase, I have no idea what they are doing. And once I chase after them to take a peek, it turns out they have usually found the most dangerous thing possible to explore. (You know, the usual investigating circuitry or touching some bug not known to us in the far-off lands of NYC!) Ever since the move, we’ve had to work more as a team so we can stick together as we travel around the house. Whether it’s cooking, getting dressed, or exploring the garden together, my little ones are having to be patient with each other instead of wandering off and not waiting for their siblings.

The move has also helped my children learn about independence. I simply can’t keep my eyes on them at all times as I did in the city, so my rules are more strict and their responsibility is greater. There is a sense of freedom, yet there is more order all at the same time. To be completely honest, I’ve been a total neurotic basket-case as I’m learning to let them explore. (Meanwhile, I’m still learning how to make a good cup of coffee for myself because apparently Starbucks doesn’t deliver!) However, even without my regular dose of caffeine, last night as I watched them dig into dinner, truly hungry and tired from a day of fun outdoors, I could see the happiness over every inch of their bodies and knew this was the right move for us…. Even if this mama is going to have to learn a new style of parenting!

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Rosie to the Rescue: The “Choice” To Work Or Not

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Rosie Pope

Check out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

I met a woman today who was beginning her last day of work. Her son had just turned 11 months old, and she had decided that her job just wasn’t flexible enough for the work-life balance she wanted with her child. So after almost a year of angst, she decided to take the leap and put her successful career on hold.

I know a lot of women, and increasingly more men, who have made this decision, often to their surprise, after going back to work once their babies were born. I thought for a moment about what it would be like to decide not to work any more and to stay home with my three babies.

And that’s when it hit me, surprisingly for the first time! I realized just how impossible that would be for me and, I imagine, for so many of you. I can just imagine walking into our HQ and into my husband’s office (yes, we work together), sitting on the couch, and saying, “Honey, today is my last day.” Aside from immediately pouring himself a stiff drink, he would also have to find my doppelganger—not an easy feat considering I may be the palest person to have ever walked the planet!

But in all seriousness, our company is still very much at the point where I need to continue working at it, and my kids rely on it for their livelihoods. If I am completely honest with myself, though, the lack of choice made me panic, and, in that moment, I felt more trapped than I have ever before. Until I remembered… I actually enjoy my job and feel so blessed to be able to do what I do. (Not to mention the look of complete panic on my husband’s face when I threw the idea around the office in jest!)

But what about all the men and women who don’t enjoy their jobs and can’t make the choice to stay home for financial or other reasons? I started to feel trapped and panicked for all of them. It is not that either staying at home or working is better; it is simply that we’d all hope to be able to make that choice for ourselves and our families freely and not because of reasons like dollars and cents.

I meet many moms and dads who struggle with this; yet, I am often humbled by the businesses these individuals have started that allow them to work from home, or the ingenious ways they have structured their schedules to try to fit everything in. It is important, though, to know this goes both ways: There are stay-at-home moms who want to go back to work, just as there are working moms who want to stay home. The sad truth is that the choice is just not always there.

While I’m not in the position to choose not to work, it is my goal that all my hard work will mean that my daughter and sons will be able to have the choice to work or not when they get to be parents themselves one day. Working in part for “choice” (because I love what I do) and in part for my children relieves my panic. Being able to make a change for the better and for those that you love is empowering, and so, perhaps for a moment, I’ll stop freaking out!

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Rosie to the Rescue: The Fight for Infertility Rights

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Rosie Pope in Washington, D.C.Check out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

I went to Washington, D.C. last week as an advocate for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes reproductive health and equal access to family building options for those who are battling reproductive disorders. Infertility strips you of any feeling of power or control. Not knowing when or if you will be able to have children is completely debilitating, and 1 in 8 couples in the United States deal with some form of infertility. For me and the other advocates whose lives have been touched by infertility in some way, this trip was an opportunity to get a little power back.

To be able to walk the hallways of government buildings in D.C. and visit the men and women of our government was the most incredible experience. Having recently become an American citizen, it was thrilling to be able to exercise my rights under the First Amendment. And while there are still many injustices in the coverage of infertility for families throughout the United States, I was there to specifically support The Family Act of 2011 S. 965, a proposed tax credit for costs associated with infertility medical treatment, and to push for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover veterans whose injuries at war have resulted in their infertility. As it stands today, when veterans are injured in action and that injury causes infertility, their health insurance will not cover them in this regard. After putting their lives on the line to protect the freedom of us and our children, we then deny them the chance to have children themselves.

I find myself getting quite emotional writing this (and I am still shocked that I managed to hold it together while in Washington), but this is an important issue that needs to be recognized. I feel honored to have been amongst so many courageous and moral men and women fighting for fertility rights during my trip. In one sense, I felt enamored with the government system because of the fact that I, little old me, could make an appointment—or just show up at the different state offices—and present my case to anyone that would listen. But at the same time, I was also disheartened by the long battle ahead on behalf of the rights of Americans and our military heroes who want to have children. I am no stranger to budgeting problems, and the money to fund the effects of this act is going to have to come from somewhere.

While there is still much left to be done to bring light and awareness to this issue, the chance to instill my passion and educate people with the power to make a change was an amazing opportunity. I hope that when my daughter and her friends want to have children, for the 1 in 8 of them that may be affected by infertility concerns, they won’t have to think twice about whether their health insurance will cover them for their infertility treatment. After all, it is hard enough to struggle through infertility, but to layer on financial hardship or be unable to afford treatment is something that no family in our modern society should go through.

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Rosie to the Rescue: 9 Tips for Traveling With Kids

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Rosie PopeCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

I am amidst a tour of baby expos, speaking, signing books, pop up stores and my favorite: getting to meet so many amazing moms, moms-to-be, mompreneurs, and Dads from around the country. When I go out on the road like this, I am fortunate to be able to bring one of my three lovely little ones with me. (Okay, that’s my favorite part if I’m being totally honest, but meeting all of you is a very close second!) As a mother of three, having that one-on-one time is invaluable and makes my work trips something for the kids to look forward to.

This time I took my youngest, Vivienne. Now that Vivi is almost one year old, she no longer instantly falls asleep once the sound of the plane engines starts roaring, and life is a little more complicated now that milk alone won’t suffice. Oh yes, how I wish the jubblies could somehow also produce a meal of mac n’ cheese with chopped strawberries on the side as easily as breast milk—wouldn’t that be amazing!

I have become quite adept at traveling with a child in tow after doing it so often and have accumulated a few tips and tricks to make traveling with a child, particularly by plane, easier for both you and your little one. Here’s my list of low-cost, quick fixes for traveling with youngsters:

1. While I recommend traveling in comfy clothes (hello flats, leggings, and a boyfriend sweater), wear as many clinky, costume jewelry pieces around your neck and wrists as possible. I can’t tell you the amount of time that can be passed looking at Mommy’s big jewelry!

2. Never be ashamed to make a shusshing noise near their ears as you try and get them to sleep amidst the hustle and bustle. Shusshing will ultimately sooth, calm, and drown out the noise around you as they try to sleep.

3. Try to book your flights for just after your child’s bedtime or during their regularly scheduled naps for the best chance of them being tired and ready for some zzzz’s once on board.

4. Take as many liquids and baby foods with you as you like. There’s no need to spend extra once you have gone through security to stock up on these must-haves. Just make sure to tell a TSA agent, and they will run the items through their own security check.

5. When the attendant announces early boarding for passengers with children, don’t do it (forgive me airlines of America). You want to minimize the amount of time you are sitting on the plane, and early boarding is a sure fire way to reach the end of your ability to entertain sooner than you’d like. Board at the last possible moment!

6. Always bring a change of clothes for you and your baby, plus something to cover those nasty changing tables they have in public places. I can only imagine what’s on them. Better still, use one of your breast feeding covers to cover your wee one on your lap while you change her diaper in a secluded corner of the airport.

7. Don’t be ashamed to think about the well deserved glass of vino with your name on it once you finally get there.

8. Use microwave steam sterilizing bags for bottles, pacifiers, and so on when traveling. Most places have microwaves, so use one to your advantage since you may encounter a lot of germs during your trip. (That’s right, I’m talking about when the baby’s bottle slips out of your bag and starts rolling around the airplane floor).

9. If your babe is less than 18 months, re-wrap some of their own toys and bring them on the trip for your kid to open. Believe me, they’ll love the element of surprise

So go forth, and travel with confidence. You will arrive…. eventually!


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Rosie to the Rescue: Stylish Summer Dresses for Mom-to-Be

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Rosie PopeCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

Tis’ the season for celebrations! Be it bridal to baby showers, weddings or garden parties, they all have one thing in common: You will almost certainly need to wear a dress, unless you plan to be ultra chic in a pantsuit—which isn’t the easiest look to pull off while pregnant if you ask me.

So many of my pregnant clients have a love-hate relationship with these events. On the one hand, these social outings can be exciting and a great opportunity to show off your bump, but on the other, it’s a little more work to ditch the leggings, tunic and flats for something a little more sassy and a lot more dressed up.

The key to selecting the perfect dress for this summer’s occasions is to make sure it’s either fabulous enough, and versatile enough, to wear to multiple events. (That’s right: When you’re pregnant, you’re allowed to repeat.) Also, make sure it shows off your current favorite asset. I know it can be tough, but pick the one thing you still like: legs, arms, boobs, tush, neck, and, if all else fails, then love thy bump! Most importantly, remember the mantra “look good, feel good,” and invest in a dress that is going to make you feel great about yourself all season long.

These are my summer style tips intended to enhance your favorite feature:

Sexy shoulders and back Show them off in a summery cut. Go bare in a strapless gown, or opt for slightly more coverage in a halter or tank style.

Great-looking legs Select a dress that allows you to show a lot of leg, but still features elements that draw the attention up towards your face. A great option is a flowy mini with a jeweled neckline, the Stella Dress in Black.

Sublime neckline It’s okay if you are still learning to love your growing body, but you can always feature a stunning neckline. Choose a dress that is flowing and bohemian to cover any problem areas, but keep it feminine with a few lacy details or accents.

Flattering bustline Choose a dress that has some extra fabric around the bust so your blossoming bosom can fill it out, yet you won’t feel self-conscious about clingy fabric. One of my favorites is the Charlotte Dress in Emerald.

Superior posterior If you are loving your derriere, then highlight it in a tight style made in a thicker fabric that incorporates spandex. Be sure to pick a dress that generally covers up elsewhere to keep it tasteful.

Beautiful baby bump Show off your growing belly in an empire-waist dress or a look that belts just above the bump.

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Rosie to the Rescue: Tired of the “Trying” Question

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Rosie PopeCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com! 

When I got married, I remember my husband slipping that sparkly ring onto my finger, and, almost as soon as I skipped out of the chapel, I was bombarded in droves with the question, “When will you start trying for a baby?” As you can imagine, I spluttered on the celebratory champagne I had just starting sipping! While we were planning on starting a family soon, I certainly hadn’t expected to talk about it at my wedding. For whatever reason, the question of “trying” always made me uncomfortable, especially since this question generally came from older generations. I didn’t like the idea of them thinking about the intimate evenings between my husband and I…. You know what I mean! After we had our first baby, no sooner had I had gotten home from the hospital and cuddled up with our newborn on the couch before I was already being asked, “Will you try for a second soon?”

As time went on, this never-ending questioning went from being simply annoying to actually rather painful. My husband and I experienced a very difficult journey and battle with secondary infertility on our way to our second child. I suppose people assumed that because we had one, it would be easy for us to have another. Well, let me just tell you, it is not like riding a bike, as some less than helpful people, however well-intentioned, might suggest. It was then that I began to wonder: What is everyone’s obsession with tomorrow? Can we not just enjoy the here and now?

When we were blessed with our second son, I was sure the “trying” questions would cease. Alas, they did not, and somehow I think my ovaries heard them because I became pregnant just 5 months after my second child was born. Now that’s packing it in!

So at long last, after years of fielding the question, “Will you try for another?” I can tell you that the questions have finally slowed down. In fact, it’s those same people who often asked the question who are now shocked that we have three children!

What is everyone’s obsession with getting to the next “stage” or the next “big thing?” It is as though our society is obsessed with the next event rather than enjoying what’s right in front of us. Will I have a fourth child, or even a fifth? To be honest, I don’t know, and that’s okay. If you are struggling with the question of whether or not to have another baby, don’t feel rushed to make a decision. Often there are factors, such as finances, age, and career, that unfortunately have to play into our decision making. While you are deciding, focus on enjoying the here and now, and have trust in your ability to work through these big questions over time.

And if you aren’t thinking about trying yourself but are wondering if the lady in the office next to you is, try not to ask her the next time you’re on a coffee break together!

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