Give thanks for Small Business!
The holiday season is upon us (we know, can you believe it?!) And once again this year, American Express has proclaimed November 26th to be Small Business Saturday. On this day they will actually GIVE their cardholders $25 for spending $25 or more at a small business. Why would a giant like American Express be willing to give away thousand and thousands of dollars to support small businesses?
Top 5 Reasons to Shop Small and Local this Holiday Season
5) By supporting your local small businesses, you're keeping them in business and giving your children the gift of also experiencing the friendliness of shopping small local stores with their own children.
4) Your tax money helps your neighborhood's parks, streets, schools and more! (Online purchases, in most cases, help noone but the company you purchased from.)
3) You are helping your neighbors because the lovely salespeople who are helping you are staying employed because of you! (And, because of this, they pump money back into your local economy.)
2) Products and services at small businesses are hand-picked - they are there because the owners believe they are something you need or want. (Big box stores pick products because they sell and do not take into account what might be truly better for you and the environment.)
1) Your favorite small business cares about YOU. The people there are genuinely interested in what is happening in the lives of you and your family, are always happy to see you and will always work very hard to make sure you enjoy your visit and find what you are looking for!
The New York Times printed a a wonderful article last week about shopping local from a Chicago perspective!
So, this holiday season, take back the sidewalk! Get together with friends and enjoy your neighborhood shops - you'll feel great, make a difference and you'll get the best service in town!
We wish you and your family many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!
Posted on 11/02/2011 Email to a Friend
The Baby Experts
A mother walked into our store this week with her one month old. She was clearly distraught, with her fussy baby on her shoulder. We asked her how she was doing and, trying to hold back tears, said, "Oh, I'm okay." It was clear she was not. After a bit of conversation, it came out that she felt caught in the middle of all of the advice she had been given about how to mother her baby. Her doctor told her she was nursing too often and to get him on a schedule. Her mother-in-law told her not to pick up the baby so much, because she would spoil him. Her friend (who had no children) told her that she should leave her baby with a sitter and come out for "girls night."
She sat in one of our nursing chairs and said, "How am I supposed to know what's right?" We asked her, "If you didn't have anyone giving you advice, what would feel right to you?" Her body visibly relaxed into the chair and she teared up again. "I would nurse my baby whenever he wanted. I feel right picking up my baby when he cries and holding him. And I'm not ready to leave him yet - he's so little and I need him as much as he needs me."
This mother is not unusual. So often we mothers are bombarded with advice (often unsolicited) and we struggle to figure out what is the "right" thing to do, so that we don't "mess our kids up." There are days, like the one when this mother came in, when we wish we could close the door on all advice and help the mother listen only to herself. She is the one who carried her baby boy for 40 weeks and she is the one who now spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with him. If you think about how many hours you've spent with your child inside and out by their first month of life (over 7000 hours continuously), you have more experience with this little being than almost anyone else in your life.
They say it takes over 1000 hours of practice to master anything. If that's true, you are more than an expert on your own baby and your instinct can be one of your best teachers.
That's not to say that all advice should be thrown out the window. There is definitely very useful parenting advice out there. However, we have witnessed too many mothers ignore their own gut responses because someone else told them what was "best."
What would happen if the "experts" started asking the simple question, "What do you think your baby needs?" and then offering advice based on that response? More mothers would feel confident, respected and make decisions based on their own expert understanding of their particular baby.
So all you mamas, take ownership in your expertise! Demand respect for this knowledge! No one knows your baby as well as you do. Think of yourself as President of Babyland and all "advisers" are there to help you, but you're the one who was elected to either veto or pass on all decisions for your baby. Even the Vice President (aka. husband or partner) does not have the superhero instinct power that you, Madame President, have!
Time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done, you expert, you!
Posted on 09/30/2011 Email to a Friend