The Mommies Network Introduction

Our Mission is to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents and community leaders
The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. We were founded April, 2002 and currently have 119 communities in 33 states, with over 30,000 active members nationwide.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

If I Could Mom...... #MothersDay

photo credit Janet Zeh 

If I could, I'd change the world for you,
I'd create sunshine in each corner
and make sure that only warmth
and beauty
would touch your life.
I'd make sure that only the best 
came your way~~~
beginning with each sunrise~~
so that in each hour of each day,
happiness would touch your heart.
If I could, I'd put a smile on every face
that looked your way,
so that you'd only see 
the friendship side of life.
I'd make your world so perfect
that every morning
would renew your spirit
with the great anticipation
of blessing yet to come.
I'd bring each corner of your world 
the light and beauty it deserves ~~
so that each second, each moment,
and each hour of every day
would be the best for you...
so you would have perfect happiness
~~~ Barbara J. Hall ~~~

Happy Mothers Day from all of us here at The Mommies Network, we hope you enjoy your day today!  Take time today to feel the sunshine, smell the flowers and enjoy all those hugs. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Michelle In The Middle Summer Camp!

Last year we partnered with Michelle Icard, author of the phenomenal parenting book Middle School Makeover, to share advice on how to help preteens and teenages through the troubling times that come with transitioning to Junior High. Her book covers everything a parent should know-- from dealing with bullies (or dealing with your child if they ARE the bully), social media rules, sex talks, and everything in between!

Now you have the opportunity to take her advice a step further with Michelle in the Middle Camp! This experience is a fantastic way to get your preteen excited, and prepared, for the new world waiting for them. Through team building exercises and plenty of fun games they will learn about problem solving, empathy, critical thinking, and of course-- confidence! This year they have partnered with SparkPoint Studios and Painting with a Twist to bring some great creative aspects to your child’s experience.

Spots are limited, so be sure to check out what Michelle in the Middle Camp has to offer below, and help your child learn the tools for successful Middle School years (Not to mention a relaxing week to yourself)!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Global Day For Hope - Planting Awareness #HOPE2015 #PLANTHOPE #iFred

A recent study shows that 1 in 9 kids attempt suicide before graduating high school. The good news: this is preventable, and there are ways to help. The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) uses their Schools for Hope to teach parents, teachers, and students how to fight the leading predictor of suicide-- hopelessness.

This year iFred is starting the first annual Global Day for Hope, this Saturday, May 2nd.  They would like to invite people from all over to spread awareness about depression and how to get help when you need it. Participation is easy! Just wear yellow (the color of joy and happiness) and/or plant a sunflower (or many) for yourself or with friends to take part in this celebration of HOPE!

Don’t forget to share your enthusiasm with your favorite social media sites! Post, tweet, or instagram using #HOPE2015 and #PLANTHOPE. Don’t forget to tag @ifredorg and check out how other people are using this day to shine a positive light on depression and battle the stigma and hopelessness people face every single day.

Check out their facebook event and the Global Day for Hope map to see where sunflowers are being planted for the cause. Together we can work to help those with depression find hope.

For more information on iFred and all of the exciting work they’re doing check out their sites:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bring Your Table To Life, Produce A Better Mother's Day

Spring is here and Mother's Day is just around the corner. Bring some color, creativity and life to your table with this produce flower vase that mom will love.

Marzetti® believes in celebrating Mother’s Day with plenty of creativity! Check out this video for inspiration and to support The Mommies Network. For each like and share, we’ll donate $1 (up to $5,000). Check out the video on Facebook to share HERE  

So how do you make this fun looking arrangement for mom or yourself? Check out this video for complete instructions:

Make sure to check out all the good stuff that Marzetti® offers, salad dressings, dips, slaw dressings, deserts, and salad toppings. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.
The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around.

This year is ultimate Pi day, 3-14-15 ........

Pi Day Countdown
Learn more about Pi day at Watch a cool video showing the domino effect of Pi .

Friday, March 13, 2015

Are you crying all alone? PPD and "Baby Blues" are real #PPD #depression #supportforwomen

As a new mom approximately 21 years ago I can remember feeling so all alone and sad, I was was embarrassed to tell anyone my feelings or that I sat and cried all day and night. I was sure that something was just wrong with me and that I was a terrible mom for feeling so bad. Little did I know that I was suffering from the baby blues and then later postpartum depression that lasted for months. I suffered all alone when I really did not have to. My ex-husband was not supportive at all, he just thought my hormones were off and I was crying "just because".
As a nurse I would have told my patients to talk to their doctor, but as a new mommy I was out of nurse-mode and was unaware of what was going on, so I never said a word to my doctor. Fast forward years later I can look back and see clearly that I needed help and would have loved to find a group like my local Mommies Network chapter to join and have friends to talk to that were going thru the same thing that I was. The TMN PPD support forum's are private and confidential, only moms that have the same common bonds as you are there and will welcome you with open arms and understand what you are going thru right now. If you are not in an area with a local chapter and need support for PPD, find support on our National Chapter. You can check for a group in your area by going to The Mommies Network Here.

Below is some information from that I found helpful and hope you do too.

Are mood changes common after childbirth?

After having a baby, many women have mood swings. One minute they feel happy, the next minute they start to cry. They may feel a little depressed, have a hard time concentrating, lose their appetite or find that they can't sleep well even when the baby is asleep. These symptoms usually start about 3 to 4 days after delivery and may last several days.
If you're a new mother and have any of these symptoms, you have what are called the baby blues. The baby blues are considered a normal part of early motherhood and usually go away within 10 days after delivery. However, some women have more severe symptoms or symptoms that last longer than a few days. This is called postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is an illness, like diabetes or heart disease. It can be treated with therapy, support networks and medicines such as antidepressants. The symptoms of postpartum depression include:
•Feeling sad or down often
•Frequent crying or tearfulness
•Feeling restless, irritable or anxious
•Loss of interest or pleasure in life
•Loss of appetite
•Less energy and motivation to do things
•Difficulty sleeping, including trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep or sleeping more than usual
•Feeling worthless, hopeless or guilty
•Unexplained weight loss or gain
•Feeling like life isn't worth living
•Showing little interest in your baby

Although many women get depressed right after childbirth, some women don't begin to feel depressed until several weeks or months later. Depression that occurs within 6 months of childbirth may be postpartum depression.
In rare cases, a woman may develop postpartum psychosis. This is a very serious disease and includes all the symptoms of postpartum depression and thoughts of hurting yourself or hurting the baby. If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk with your doctor immediately

Who gets postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is more likely if you have had any of the following:
•Previous postpartum depression
•Depression not related to pregnancy
•Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
•A difficult or very stressful marriage or relationship
•Few family members or friends to talk to or depend on
•Stressful life events during pregnancy or after childbirth (such as as severe illness during pregnancy, premature birth or a difficult delivery)

Why do women get postpartum depression?

The exact cause isn't known. Hormone levels change during pregnancy and right after childbirth. Those hormone changes may produce chemical changes in the brain that play a part in causing depression.
Feeling depressed doesn't mean that you are a bad person, that you did something wrong or that you brought this on yourself.

How long does postpartum depression last?

It varies for each woman. Some women feel better within a few weeks, but others feel depressed or "not themselves" for many months. Women who have more severe symptoms of depression or who have had depression in the past may take longer to get well. Just remember that help is available and that you can get better.

What kinds of treatments help with postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is treated much like any other depression. Support, counseling ("talk therapy") and medicines can all help. Talk with your doctor about what treatment is best for you.

What can I do to help myself?

If you have given birth recently and are feeling sad, blue, anxious, irritable, tired or have any of the other symptoms of postpartum depression, remember that many other women have had the same experience. You're not "losing your mind" or "going crazy" and you shouldn't feel that you just have to suffer through. Here are some things you can do that other mothers with postpartum depression have found helpful:
•Find someone to talk to and tell that person about your feelings.
•Get in touch with people who can help you with child care, household chores and errands. This social support network will help you find time for yourself so you can rest.
•Find time to do something for yourself, even if it's only 15 minutes a day. Try reading, exercising (walking is great for your health and is easy to do), taking a bath or meditating.
•Keep a diary. Every day, write down your emotions and feelings. This is a way to let out your thoughts and frustrations. Once you begin to feel better, you can go back and reread your diary. This will help you see how much better you are.
•Even if you can only get one thing done on any given day, remember that this is a step in the right direction. There may be days when you can't get anything done, but try not to get angry with yourself when this happens.
•It's okay to feel overwhelmed. Childbirth brings many changes and parenting is challenging. When you're not feeling like yourself, these changes can seem like too much to cope with.
•You're not expected to be a "supermom." Be honest about how much you can do, and ask other people to help you when you need it.
•Find a support group in your area HERE They can put you in touch with people near you who have experience with postpartum depression.
•Talk with your doctor about how you feel. He or she may offer counseling and/or medicines that can help.

Just remember that you are not alone in your journey, many women suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. I myself have suffered with chronic depression for years, yes I do take medication for it and don't mind telling my story and sharing with others my struggles in order to help other women. Hiding and being ashamed of your struggles will not set you free, talk about them and get help, I did and it has set me free from the monsters that were hidden in my tears for years.

Thank you for letting me share ~~Leslie~~

Thursday, March 12, 2015

And The Winner Is.....Drum-roll Please!! #contests #mommiesnetwork

In February we hosted a recruiting contest for all our local Mommies Network chapters across the country, challenging the chapters to promote, recruit and bring in more awesome moms to join their local communities. All of our chapters did an awesome job! But only one chapter can win!

To determine the winner we took the greatest percentage increase in the number of members, so that each and every chapter both large and small would have equal chances.

Rising to the occasion with the greatest increase in percentage of new members was our Winners .......

Awesome Sauce!!!

 AnnapolisMommies increased their membership total by 22%.  To help them celebrate, The Mommies Network will be sending them a gift card to treat their members to coffee at an upcoming meet and greet. 
AnnapolisMommies was founded by Kristin Hurff on April 15, 2014 to provide support and friendship for moms in Annapolis and southern Anne Arundel county. 

A Woot Woot!! shout-out to our 2nd place winner UpStateSCMommies, great job ladies!! 

Our chapters did great across the board, bringing in over 400 new members.  Keep up the great work everyone!!

Stay tuned for our March Madness contest! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Moms On A Mission, Moms In Action

Moms don't need another social network. They need real friends. They need to actually talk to people.  They need to get out of house and into the presences of other adults who understand them. They need a life!
Our mission at The Mommies Network is not to give you just another place to chat online, because we know that we need more than that. Parenting doesn't happen behind a computer screen, and neither does the support you need to help you in your parenting journey. We are Mommies in Action! We meet with each other for coffee. We get dressed up for a Moms Night Out. We compare stories on the playground. We have a community of moms that we look to and depend on for friendship, for advice and for a few moments of relief from this roller-coaster ride called parenting.

Every quarter of 2015, we will take one week to take a look at our Mission in Action:  what it looks like when one of our chapters is executing the Mission of The Mommies Network, and asking for your help to continue to execute our mission.
Between now and March 1st, you can visit to check out our page that celebrates this quarters Chapter on a Mission, LouisvilleMommies, and read all about how LouisvilleMommies are accomplishing their mission in their area.  

Every bit of help in reaching our $2,000 goal is appreciated.  Our site quickly accepts Paypal or Credit/Debit cards, making it quick and simple for you to help us as we look forward to all of the possibilities that 2015 holds for The Mommies Network and your chapter.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from the Queen of Pink

Originally posted on CharlotteMommies blog:

OK, I'll admit it. I am a Valentine's Day freak. I know, I a society, we have commercialized Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day, and I am guilty of contributing to the growing pocketbook of the executives at American Greetings. I am the answer to Hallmark's prayers. The makers of pink icicle lights - they love me. They send me a birthday card every year. The genius who invented Valentine's Day GARLAND? My contribution to her cause has undoubtedly paid for at least two of her cars.
So what is the lure? I'm not sure, but speaking for myself - it could have something to do with my fascination with the color pink. Trista Rehn - HA! She's got NOTHING on me. Good thing Maryelise was a girl. "Grayson" would have looked a little ridiculous in pink dresses I bought! My husband declares our house hyper feminine. I suppose the predominantly pink and floral decor, coupled with the lovely violet basement could be construed as such, but come on...I let him decorate the porch with all the sports paraphernalia he wanted! In honor of my adoration for all things pink and girly, I would like to take this opportunity to uncover some of the myths, history, and traditions surrounding one of my favorite days of the year...February 14.
Valentine's Day is based on a pagan holiday, the festival of Lupercalia. St. Valentine the martyr soon became associated with the day. He was known for secretly marrying couples during a time when marriage was banned, as it was seen as an obstacle to building a strong army. (And we wonder why men get offended when we question if they can do two things at married and fight in the army.... Hmmmm). But back to St. Valentine...he was eventually caught performing marriages and beheaded. On February 14. Yes, a celebration on the day of someone's demise. Isn't that American? When the beheading was over, St. Valentine's jailer found a note written by St. V himself, to the jailer's daughter. He had signed the note, "From your Valentine." Eventually the leaders of the Christian church replaced Lupercalia with the feast of St. Valentine. So thanks to the famous last words of St. Valentine, the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia now celebrate Valentine's Day. The residents of these countries send approximately 1 billion Valentine's Day cards...just a few short of the 2.6 billion Christmas cards sent out by people all over the world each December. Hallmark alone has over 1300 different cards specifically designed for Valentine's Day.
Let's talk candy. You know that adorable clucking Cadbury bunny? Cadbury also invented the first Valentine's Day candy box back in the 1800's. It's a good thing they did. The Chocolate Manufacturer's Association of America says that 36 million boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine's Day...and Americans spend more than $1105 million each Valentine's Day on candy alone. I wonder how many Weight Watchers points that is?
I have to say - Valentine's Day wasn't ALWAYS a great holiday in my book. I was a single mom for many Valentine's Days, and while the first one did get me down, I soon realized that getting into the kids' spirit of the day wasn't such a bad idea. I decided to send cards to everyone in my address book. This caused an enormous response, mostly because I don't send Christmas cards (shame on me), so the lucky recipients of my valentines had to call to see if I'd lost my mind or was given a shortened lifespan.
The next year, I bought some roses from the Lions Club (yes, the inexpensive ones) and left one on the doorsteps of all the widowed ladies on my street. This was a huge hit, and we became a neighborhood of Valentines without lovers...and didn't dread the holiday so much. In fact, we became well versed in what the colors of flowers mean. It's universally known that red roses are extremely costly around Valentine's Day. This is because the demand is so high that florists can't keep up. Red roses are the epitome of romance. Think about the first time you got a red rose. Do you remember how warm and fuzzy you felt, or how you giggled to your best friend for 3 days recanting the whole experience? But if you want to convey grace, gentleness, and gratitude, go for the pale pink. Light pink roses express fun and happiness, while deep pink convey, "Thank you." As far as determining the exact hue of your pink roses, you're on your own...and be sure to keep pink separate from coral (desire), peach (sympathy), and orange (enthusiasm). Or you could combine 2 roses, each a different color, and create a new meaning, like red and yellow for happiness and celebration, red and white for bonding and harmony, or dead roses - to say, "Sayonara" loud and clear! Lilac roses mean enchantment, and white mean truth and innocence. So don't be afraid to mix and match. Or take the easy (and expensive) way out. Buy hybrids with every possible color somewhere in the petals. Not only do they cost a fortune, they create an everlasting memory and are conversation starters for all who see them.
If you're so inclined, start talking about the roses on your love seat...which was first made to seat a woman her wide dress, but which evolved into a small couch designed for a courting couple. And while you're on the love seat, grab an apple and twist the stem while you recite the names of 5 or 6 people you'd like to marry. When the stem breaks off, that's the name of your future mate. And after you have that perfect mate, blow the seeds of a dandelion into the wind. However many seeds remain on the stem is the number of children you will have. What a scientific method!
Or throw caution to the wind. Forget all these conventional ideas. Why not wake up early and make heart-shaped pancakes (all you need is the batter and a heart-shaped cookie cutter - you can make your own perfect pancake). Or have the shower nice and hot for your beloved when he gets into the bathroom for his morning primping. How about a game of pin the arrow on the heart with the kiddies while they are waiting for the bus? Why not eat only red or heart-shaped foods today? It may be a challenge finding foods that fit the bill, but how many people have you heard of who are forever challenged in finding food period, let alone red or heart-shaped (never forget how blessed you truly are!).
For me, I am content with my Valentine's Day manicure and the joy Maryelise finds in all the trinkets I pick up from the middle of January until the big day. I challenge you to search deep in your heart this Valentine's Day and convey nothing but warmth and love for the 24 hours of February 14. I guarantee even if you don't get a valentine yourself, you will feel fulfilled from the love you have spread. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Have A Heart , A Healthy Heart #goredforwomen

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women dies of heart disease or stroke each year. To help fight the high rate of heart-related deaths, every February the American Heart Association directs their attention to awareness days and campaigns that teach the general public about the importance of adopting behaviors that lead to improved heart health. February 6 is National Wear Red Day and the health professionals from NurseWise – a multilingual nurse triage and health education provider – are encouraging Americans of all ages and genders to wear red in support of the American Heart Association’s quest to decrease avoidable heart issues.
"At NurseWise we believe in and continuously promote health education and empowerment," said Kim Tuck, RN, President and Chief Executive Officer at NurseWise. "In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. We encourage everyone to wear red on Friday, February 6, to increase awareness about heart health and behaviors that can easily be adopted to reduce the chance of developing heart disease, stroke and other serious heart conditions."

To help you remember, the nurses at NurseWise have created a set of health tips in honor of National Wear Red Day using the acronym “HEART.”
H – Have heart awareness. Know your status! Make, schedule and KEEP routine appointments with your medical provider to stay abreast of your specific heart-health status and to learn warning signs that might indicate the need for specialized medications, lifestyle changes or testing. Knowing your heart stats and family predispositions for diseases of the heart is the first step in achieving more informed and improved heart health.
E – Exercise regularly. Your heart is a muscle, and just like the rest of the muscles in your body, it needs regular exercise to operate at its best. Start small by adding a short, slow-paced 10- or 15-minute walk to your day at least twice a week. Ask your medial professional for exercise recommendations based on your health status.
A – Always side with safe over sorry. You know your body better than anyone. If you start noticing an irregular-heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, frequent headaches, impaired vision, tingling in your left arm or short memory lapses, see a medical professional immediately. Never hesitate to see a doctor if you notice a change in the way you feel or notice an abnormality in your breathing or heart rate. Seeing a medical provider could save your life and uncover budding health conditions before they become serious health conditions.
R – Rest is essential. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep on a regular basis is essential to your health. Despite your busy schedule and long list of things to do, if you aren’t getting proper rest, you will stifle your body’s ability to repair itself during the sleep cycle. Find a sleep routine that works to help you get to sleep at a set time every day so your body can perform its natural healing processes.
T – Take time to decompress. Stress is a leading factor that contributes to conditions like high-blood pressure and stroke. Explore exercise and breathing techniques to help you find calm even in the midst of a busy workplace and personal schedule. If stress ever becomes overwhelming or your feel like you’re going to do something to hurt yourself or someone else, please call 9-1-1 right away to speak with someone who can get you the help you need. There’s no need to ashamed of stress. Every animal and human experiences it in some form, because stress is a natural function of the body. How you treat stress is what makes the difference in your quality of mental and physical health. There are techniques, medications and homeopathic remedies that can help you find the balance you need to keep your heart and body functioning at their best.
For more information about National Wear Red Day, please visit:

About NurseWise
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