You have often heard entrepreneurs referring to their creations as their “baby,” and that is a very accurate comparison. Babies grow up, they go through adolescence and eventually leave the nest. I started FuzziBunz as a young mother (28) and it was born out of a need for a better diapering solution to help heal my son’s raw and rash-prone bottom. It was the love for my own children that birthed the brand and I suppose you could say we all grew up together. In the beginning I did what every mother would do for her own child. I nurtured it, encouraged it and I watched it grow. I cheered it on during its brightest moments, and cradled it during its lowest points. . There were many sleepless nights to be had, especially in the early years when nursing a baby and nursing a business were simultaneous. For 13 years I lived and breathed FuzziBunz, all while raising my 3 real life children on my own. The “adolescent” stage was certainly the most challenging. Then comes young adulthood. There comes a time in every parent’s life when they need to let go and allow their children to sow their own oats and find their way all by themselves. And I am sure every parent can relate to the self-consciousness one feels when their children DON’T turn out as they had hoped; when they run into problems; when they make bad choices, etc. It is all too easy to blame ourselves as parents for what went wrong. We only HOPE that once we let go that we have guided them, nurtured them and have instilled enough wisdom in them that they are OK without us right there, holding their hands. In 2013 it had come time for me to let go and allow my baby (FuzziBunz) that I had nurtured for 14 years to move on and either blossom and thrive or fall flat on its face. My oldest child, Sarah, was graduating and also leaving the nest. I felt I had taken FuzziBunz as far as I could possibly have taken it on my own, with no investors or partners to help me. I was a single parent of 3 kids in real life and I was a single parent of FuzziBunz as well. Many people don't realize I was a one woman show running a 3 Million Dollar company. So I did exactly that, I let it go and hoped that all of my hard work I had put into it would pay off under the guidance and care of others that might have known better. I did what I felt was “in the best interest of the child.” While my daughter (now 20) thrived on her own with all that I had taught her, FuzziBunz did not. I had to sit on the sidelines (as many parents do) and just watch and wait for that fateful moment when that child returns home and asks for your help because they can’t seem to figure it out on their own. That is exactly what happened with FuzziBunz (details spared). In December of 2014 I was able to pick up my baby - now a little bit on the beat - up side, and somewhat depressed after its year of struggle and failure - and give it the love and nurturing it deserved once more. BUT……. FuzziBunz wasn’t the only part of this equation that had changed: so did I. I had a lot of time to reflect on my parenting skills. What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What mistakes would I never repeat again? And what - if given a second chance - would I most certainly do differently? Now being an older and wiser parent from a business perspective was one thing, but being an older and wiser parent needing to “cloth diaper” was another. I didn’t have a baby in cloth diapers anymore. My real life baby was 13 years old! I had also been out of the diaper industry for almost a year and so I was somewhat out of touch (intentionally). What had changed in the world of cloth diapers, and in the world of parenting in general? Clearly there was research to be done, so we went to the very source – the parents themselves. This is who we do everything for (and their babies of course) and this is the lifeblood of our company. The result???? A whole new FuzziBunz that encompasses quality, durability, functionality and fashion and a company that can now grow and meet the needs of the very people that make it possible for it to exist in the first place. For that...I am truly grateful. Parents are typically given one shot at child rearing. You learn as you go and hopefully apply lessons learned with the first child to the second and so on. Not many entrepreneurs are given the luxury that I was given to take stock of a situation and walk back in and make it better. I get a do-over. How lucky am I?? Very. It has been 6 months in gestation but in that short timeframe a new company was built, a new and exceptional team established, a complete product makeover completed and a product launch in full swing. 6 months has passed in the blink of an eye and just like parenting a newborn, I have loved every minute of it. Our new collection has been aptly and meaningfully named the “Sweet Beginnings” collection for a reason. Babies mark the beginning of life, which is always sweet, and we wanted to capture that essence in our new line. But it is also about the new and very sweet beginnings of a new brand, new company and new opportunity for me as an entrepreneur and I plan on cherishing it, valuing it and making my partner, team, family and loyal FuzziBunz fans proud. I cannot wait for July 6th. The anticipation is incredible for all of us here at FuzziBunz, and I hope you’re just as excited to see what’s in store. Thank you for sticking it out with me on this long and crazy journey! The future is looking sweet indeed!! Tereson - Single mother of 3 and FuzziBunz Diapers
There are some days when I feel like I can't get anything done. My house is a mess; my kids want to play, but I don't have the time; meals consist of bacon and eggs because it's quick, easy, and I know my kids will eat it.... etc cetera and so on. Then there are days when I feel like Super-Awesome Mom, and I come up with all kinds of ridiculously awesome things for the kids to do while I clean my house till it sparkles and make a huge, nourishing, delicious meal. I'd like to share some of those awesomely creative ideas here, and I would like to hear about some of YOUR awesomely creative ideas, too, because it's nice to share. 1. Build a Fort! I know, most of you have probably built forts for your kiddos, but it never gets old! We have built some pretty epic forts using the couch, the kitchen table chairs, huge blankets, pillows, those big giant foam blocks, and whatever else is sturdy that will hold things together. One of my girls' favorite things to do is lay a blanket down underneath the "roof" of their fort and have a snack while watching their favorite movie. They also like to play pirates, which brings me to my second idea... 2. Build a Pirate Ship! I sometimes fulfill orders for returns/replacements from my home office, and sometimes when I receive an office supply order it will come in a big box with these really huge flaps on them. I took one of these the other day and made a super fun pirate ship out of it! We made portholes, a pirate flag (because you have to have one of those) and the girls spent quite a lot of time coloring the inside and outside of the ship. I had planned to attach one of their Barbies to the front of the boat as the figurehead, but we got so wrapped up in everything else that we forgot. Remember the figurehead! Note: Boxes can be used for so much more than pirate ships. One day we put together a pretty large box-building with really random sections. I hung long socks from the interior "ceiling" of the main box so that it would tickle the girls as they crawled through, and we had another section dedicated to Weeble Wobbles, and another section dedicated to talking on the "box phone." You get the idea, and it was a blast! 3. Paint the Bathtub You may have just cringed reading that, but allow me to elaborate: I allowed the girls to bring their watercolors into the bathtub one day, and they had so much fun! The bath water swirled with color, they used their fingers to make pictures on the tiled wall, and they painted whiskers and cheetah spots and all sorts of things on eachother which rinsed right off because they were already taking a bath. 4. Make Magic Water Fill up a water-table or other big, clean vessel with water, a little Dr. Bronner's, and some glitter. During the warmer months, the kids love splashing around and washing their bikes in the "magic soap." The glitter sparkles in the sunlight and their hands splashing around make more bubbles! The girls literally play with their water table for at least an hour usually. And as an added bonus they're clean when they come inside! 5. Create Nature Bouquets My girls love picking flowers, and I don't blame them! It's fun to go out into nature and gather interesting-looking greens and beautiful flowers. In our yard, we tend to have a lot of Yarrow, Dandelion, Bluets, Wild Mint, Clover, Sweet Grass, and other various grasses that I haven't yet identified. Put the bouquets in a little mason jar or other vase (or you can decorate your own.... another creative idea!) and enjoy the bounty of nature for days to come. These are just a few ideas, though there are thousands of others. What are some of your favorite crafty ideas to help your kids have fun during "boring spells?"
I caught Baby Fever around 2006. My husband and I had been together for almost two years, and I knew that we were going to stick it out until we were two old farts spraying kids off the lawn with the garden hose (okay, my husband will probably do that... I'll bake them cookies and knit them sweaters). He wasn't quite into the idea yet, and for any woman who has the primal urge to procreate, but has a partner who isn't sure about it, you know that the disappointment can be intense and the urge to persuade your significant other is great. And I did try to persuade... quite often and with gusto. Eventually, he warmed to the idea, so we began trying. And trying. And trying. For the next two years, we never used protection and I did "Happy Baby Pose" to try and direct the flow of sperm, and I rubbed the Goddess' belly in our local metaphysical store, and visualized my big, happy pregnant self over and over again .... but nothing. I was trying too hard, and it wasn't happening. In November 2008, I learned about charting your cycles to pinpoint ovulation. So I tried it, and miraculously within a month I was pregnant! Our daughter was born in a hospital (induced/epidural/episiotomy) in October 2009, and while the hospital portion of the labor and delivery was not at all what I had wanted, once we got home I could finally focus on bonding and creating a connection with this beautiful soul. Baby Fever: BROKEN. For the first year. I didn't get my period back until Maya was 19 months old, and by that time I was chomping at the bit to get pregnant again. After discussing our sporadic moving habits, our frequent job changes, and our general wanderlust however, we decided that it probably wasn't the best time to try conceiving again. We had almost accepted and become comfortable with only having one child, though we both had siblings and reminisced about how much fun (and how many fights) we had with them growing up. Didn't we want that for Maya? Would she be "missing out" if she was an only child? Or would that just mean more attention and love just for her? We never really figured out the answer to those questions because in September of 2012, after being only 3 days late for my Moontime, I decided to buy a pregnancy test just to reassure myself that I was definitely not pregnant. As it turns out, I definitely was pregnant according to that blinding "+" sign in the little test window . Sophia was born at home after a very quick 2.5 hour labor, one day after we moved in to our very first mortgaged house. The birth went wonderfully smooth, but was followed by a horrendous bout of mastitis, which reoccurred (though to a much less degree) a few months later. Aside from that ordeal, things have gone pretty well. Having two children has it's benefits for sure: they can keep each other occupied. They are eachother's best friends, even though they can also be eachother's worst enemies. The younger learns so much from the oldest (and yes, there can be a few downsides to that, but for the most part it's great), and the oldest protects the youngest. Having two (or more) children can also be more exhausting. Resources must be doubled (clothing, food, toys, etc) though breastfeeding, growing some of your own food (if you have the time, know-how, and/or desire), purchasing used clothes or using hand-me-downs from siblings or friends with children, and keeping the toy situation simple and easy can really make a huge difference in how overwhelming acquiring and maintaining those resources can become. Our youngest daughter is about to turn 2. I haven't gotten my period back yet, and honestly this time I'm fine with that even though it would be useful to begin charting again. As of this moment, I am firm in my decision that I do not want any more children. I love my daughters immensely, and I am so grateful that they exist here with us, but I feel like I am done with that part of raising children from sprout to beautiful flower. My daughters are still young; the youngest still breastfeeds, and my oldest nursed until her 3rd birthday so I have to be prepared that Sophia may do the same. Maya actually would have nursed longer, but I was pregnant with Sophia then and I simply was not physically comfortable sharing my body anymore. I love that I chose to breastfeed my daughters, but I am getting to that point where I want my body back. I want to sleep through the night and feel truly rested in the morning. I want to be able to leave the girls with a relative for the weekend while my husband and I take off on a romantic excursion somewhere along the coast. I am grateful for these experiences, and I would not change it for anything (and I mean ANYTHING). I take joy in watching our girls grow and develop their own personalities; I love snuggling with them and comforting them and playing with them; and I love their beautiful energy that is tangible whether they are sleeping or creating a gigantic mess. That being said, I do not want to go through the process of pregnancy, or taking care of a newborn and then a toddler all over again. The direction that I am heading in life, and the person who I am, needs more time for creativity, passion, and freedom, and with each passing year it seems to get a little easier, and I seem to become a little more relaxed, and excited even, knowing that little by little I am more and more free to pursue what I have longed to pursue. I am not a woman who can devote her entire life to raising children. I know some woman who are, and they are some of the most patient, loving, nurturing women I've ever met. I can be patient, and I can be extremely loving and nurturing, but I want to focus more time and attention on me. And I want my girls to grow up knowing that it is okay, and necessary to focus attention on yourself sometimes; that by nurturing yourself you are better able to nurture others; and to spend time doing the things you're passionate about. Some women can do that while raising a lot of children, and others choose not to. I am choosing not to, and I'm okay with that. How many children do you have? Do you want more? Why, or why not?
Growing up as a pre-teen/teenager in the 90's, my attitudes and ideas surrounding menstruation were by and large formed by various media outlets, health class at school, and by fellow peers who were only slightly more knowledgeable than I was about the function of the female reproductive system (which isn't saying much). My mom and I didn't really talk about menstruation much. She may have mentioned that at a certain point in every young girl's life, she will begin bleeding from her vagina. It's called a period, and it's normal. Health class went over the clinical aspects of how it happened. Stephen King's movie "Carrie" gave me a pretty horrid vision of what to expect if I was an outcast (which I sort of was) and happened to get my period during gym class. And of course, you had the tampon and maxi pad ads that seemed to indicate that by wearing one of these popular company's products (especially if they're scented!) during your period, you will be happier, more popular, and ultimately be able to kick ass playing soccer in your white shorts without embarassment. In fact, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I was actually introduced to a new way of seeing our menstrual cycles as something to be celebrated, and even honored. It wasn't until my lifestyle shifted and I started meeting like-minded women who felt empowered by their monthly moontime... who felt that their cycles were sacred... that I started to also shift my ideas and feelings surrounding my own Moontime. Our ancestors knew that our blood held power, insights, and gifts which were ours and ours alone. Native Americans created Moon Lodges for females who were bleeding so that they could rest and focus on their dreams, ideas, and messages from Spirit. For an average of four days these women (who usually bled at the same time with the New Moon) did not have to worry about cooking or caring for their children, as the older women who no longer bled would bring them nourishment, and relatives within their tribes would care for their children. The only thing that women in their Moontime needed to concern themselves with is going inward and allowing deeper wisdom and intuition to come. Nowadays, we are made to feel like our periods are something to be laughed about; something disgusting; something that should be hidden. The fact that we should stop the flow of our blood by "plugging it up" with tampons, or collecting our blood in a chemical-filled pad only to be thrown away in the trash, is proof of how far removed many of us have become from Nature and from our own power. Jokes and comments around PMS abound. Most men in our modern day cultures fear our blood, and even we as women have been "trained" to detest our Moontime... to deem it an irritation or a nuisance... Instead of focusing on our pains and allowing ourselves the space to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us, we suppress them with Midol or Pamprin or whichever other drug that will simply make it "go away." We ignore the messages from our bodies urging us to nurture ourselves and honor this sacred time, and so our pains become worse. There are many cultures in which women in their Moontime bleed freely, offering their sacred blood to the Earth. "The plants that are watered with it seem to grow much faster and are much healthier. It is a natural fertilizer. Blood also carries all information about humans and when it is given to Mother Earth she recognizes it and feels nurtured. Just like plants grow better when they are talked to, Mother Earth is happy when women share their fluids with Her." (Kasia Emilia Bogdan - http://www.taraka.pl/moon_time_is_blessing) Understandably, many women who read this are not necessarily going to want to begin free-bleeding, or water their plants with their blood, or feel like they can rest for four days while someone else takes care of their children and the cooking and cleaning. I wish it were so, but I realize that these ideas are so foreign to so many women that our generation may never make the collective choice to put these things into practice. Even so, I feel like we can at least begin to honor ourselves by being okay with our Moontime. Allow yourself to feel empowered by your blood; to understand that we are the only species who regularly bleeds in order to cleanse, prepare for new life, and move deeper into our primal rhythms which bring us incredible gifts. Just as it is important that we honor ourselves when our Moontime comes, we should also pave a new path for our daughters, and our granddaughters, and for every girl for generations to come. We should try and be brave, and revere this rite of passage from Maiden to Mother, by celebrating their first Moontime in a way that lets them know that they are experiencing something truly beautiful, powerful, natural, and important. Shame, embarassment, and disregard should never be a part of a young girl's first experience with menstruation, as "(t)he reaction of the parents and people around towards the first menstruation usually shapes the attitude for the rest of the woman's life. If the reaction is one of shame and guilt, which is usually the case in a dominant society, it is probable that a woman will not be happy with her body. It is extremely difficult to erase and transform it into something positive." (Kasia Emilia Bogdan) If you are looking for ways to honor your menses in a more natural way, I highly recommend reading about the Red Tent Temple Movement (http://redtenttemplemovement.com/). This is a quickly-spreading phenomena where women are supported and accepted by one another, and encouraged to become their best self by recognizing their beauty and power through vulnerability and connection with other women. It may help you to find the inspiration you need to begin your own journey towards honoring your feminine Self. Regarding tools for collecting your monthly blood, if you wish to stop using commercial pads and tampons which contain toxic ingredients, there are more natural options such as the Lunette Menstrual Cup (http://www.lunette.com/), and cloth menstrual pads. Not only are these safer and healthier for your body - especially when you are using them in such a sensitive area - but they are much more cost-effective and Earth-friendly because you reuse them! To honor yourself during your Moontime, create a sacred space that is only for you. Light candles, play your favorite music, cook (or have someone cook for you) your favorite meal, have a glass of wine, eat some dark chocolate, read, and just relax. Allow yourself to turn inward; keep a journal nearby to record new ideas, thoughts, fears, or images that come to you. Breathe deeply and relish this time. You are a powerful, emotional, beautiful woman, and you ARE sacred!
Some children have their own rooms right from birth, and so are used to sleeping in their own bed, in their own space. Many other children, however, co-sleep with their parents/caregivers, whether that be in the same room or in the same bed, and when the day comes to transition to their own room, there may be challenges. When I told our family members that we co-slept with our first child, most of them responded somewhat negatively. The most common response was, "That's a bad habit to start! They're never gonna want to leave your bed!" At first I rolled my eyes, and a few times I got a little irritated, but after awhile I just had to laugh. After all, very rarely do we hear of a 15 year old who still sleeps with his/her parents. And really, if everyone involved is fine with that arrangement, who cares?? (Oh, and my daughter is now 5 1/2 and she sleeps in her own room for the most part.) Still, for many parents who share their room or bed with their children, there comes a day when they feel their child is old enough to sleep in their own room (plus, the privacy is a plus). If your child is reluctant to move to another room, what do you do? 1. Don't force it if your child seems fearful. It is more traumatizing to a child to be forced into something unknown than to gently and gradually make the transition. Listen to your child to see what it is that makes them hesitant about sleeping in their own room, and ask them what might make it feel more comfortable. 2. Try to make it fun! Use this opportunity to focus on the most awesome parts of having your own room. Let your child pick out paint, bedding, and accessories (like night-lights), and furnish the room with all of your child's favorite toys, books, and art supplies. Dream up a theme with your child if they're really into one particular thing (fairies, robots, outer space, etc) and emphasize how much fun s/he will have once their room is finished. 3. Don't bribe them. You want your child to sleep in their own room because they want to, not because they think they're going to get something if they do it. Understandably it can be so much easier to say "If you sleep in your room tonight, I'll buy you that giant Lego set you've been wanting tomorrow!" but this completely defeats the purpose of getting your child comfortable with the idea of having their own room, and it will likely backfire the next night when you don't have something quite so grand to offer as a reward. (On the same token, do not punish your child for not sleeping in their own room. I don't think an explanation is necessary as to why.) 4. Be willing to spend time in your child's room at night. Even if your child is over-the-moon excited about their new room, when night comes and it's time to go to sleep, your child may suddenly begin thinking about the fact that s/he isn't going to be in the same room as you anymore. Comfort your child and offer to stay beside him/her until they fall asleep. Read, sing, or talk softly to create a peaceful atmosphere for them. Over the course of the next few days or weeks (let's be realistic), you can begin to leave the room before your child completely falls asleep, until they are able to fall asleep on their own. 5. Spend some time in your child's room during the day, too! Show your child how much you love their new room by playing with them in it. Build with blocks, make a lego city, dress up Barbies, read, play a game.... By spending time in their own space, they will know that it isn't just a room to sleep in, but a room where everyone can come and play! Remember that your child has been used to a particular sleeping arrangement for some time, so transitioning may bring some hurdles and upsets. Try to remain calm, compassionate, and nurturing, letting them know that you understand their fears and hesitations, and that you will work through it together. Our Resident Mom, Lindsay Lewis