A night with my girls and the Chicks

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The girls and I had a wonderful night on Sunday at the Dixie Chicks concert. The concert started at their bedtime and I wasn’t sure if they would make it, but they held in there and had an amazing time.

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The Dixie Chicks have not been performing together very much over the last few years. But I read that they find Canada a safe haven for them, away from the politics and the chaos of when they play in the United States. Heck, what is considered very liberal in the US is par for the course in Canada. I not only love their music… It’s brilliant! But I also think that women should be able to express their points of view without getting harassed, threatened or food off the stage. What an amazing opportunity to not only see a good band, but for my girls to learn about other real, amazing women who stand up for their values!

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Sugar and Spice were so excited, they could barely stand it! The girls had an absolute blast, even though they were teetering and almost falling over with tiredness at the end. They sang the songs, stood on their seats, cheered, and laid their heads in my lap when Natalie sang them lullabies.

Spice wanted me to share the video she made of the Chicks singing wide open spaces… She was so proud.

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I didn’t realize until the beginning of the concert when they played a couple of music videos, that Natalie Maines had a new album. It’s absolutely fantastic! Rolling Stone called it one of the best albums of the year. I totally suggest you check it out.

When I asked the girls what their favorite part of the night was, They said the music, the dancing, the earplugs, and “Natalie… She’s cool like Ena!” So, auntie Ena, apparently the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks is almost as cool as you.

Mompreneurs: it’s not just me; it’s a social phenomenon

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As mom who runs her own business(es,) I was looking forward to a segment on Mompreneurs on the local CBC radio station yesterday. Unfortunately, they just showcased one lady’s business and missed the bigger picture. (I know the producer reads my blog occasionally, so yes! I think you should do a follow up.)

Mompreneurs, or moms starting their own businesses so they can work from home is more than one or two cases of ladies selling jewelry or clothes on Etsy. It’s a social movement, with big economic and demographic drivers behind it.

Let me out my Business Professer hat on. (Yes, that’s really one of my other jobs. This is not a figurative hat.)

Firstly, a lot of parents my age grew up as latch key kids. Our parents the Baby Boomers were the first generation to have the majority of women working outside the home (go Boomers!) but the side effect was that most of us didn’t have a parent stay at home for the majority of our childhoods. Demographically speaking, Baby Boomers were driven by career achievement and often viewed their success in their parenting years as holding down a job, advancing in that job while raising children and financial stability (remember, their parents had lived through depressions,) as key success factors.

Each generation tends to swing the pendulum. In my generation, we already saw our moms (and in my case, grandmothers) working and had those role models. We started our careers first and started having kids when our jobs were in full swing. As a new mom in my early thirties, I’m pretty par for the course. I had already been a tenured professor for five years, and didn’t have much to prove, career wise.

So how does my generation of Baby Boomer kids define success during our own parenting years? Well, the pendulum swings back,and I think we’ve refocused on family life. The attachment parenting philosophies (started in the 70s, thanks hippy parents!) have taken root, along with a comfort level with ourselves as already established professionals.

So for the first time in over a hundred years, you see more of one parent staying at home than the previous generation. I’m not making this stuff up, by the way. Look it up if you think I’m full of phooey.

But then the financial realities hit. (Again, look it up if you think I’m full of it.) Our generation has way less disposable income between two parents than our parents did. Some of the key factors are the history of real estate inflation and the flatlining of salaries relative to disposable income costs. In other words, my generation doesn’t make as much money (in context) as our parents did. Yikes! And we want one parent to stay home?

So enter the Mompreneur Movement. Moms (and a good handful of dads,) want to stay home, or work part-time, but we can’t afford it. I repeat… I could not afford to stay home or even work part time. (When I went to work part time, I went to a third of my take home salary, which is less than receiving unemployment insurance.) So we have to be creative about income generation. AND, as a group of people who have already had success and/or experience in the wide world of work, we are more confident in our abilities to start our own businesses.

I started AfricaSleeps a few years ago, partly because the lady I was buying sleep caps from stopped selling them and I needed those caps, durn it! And partly because we needed the extra income for our second adoption.

But the reason I expanded our shop this fall was definitely in response to wanting to go part time at my professoring day job and get off the hamster wheel. I knew I could do it.. I just needed the right products (and they are FABULOUS!!) and the time to invest in expanding my business. So my husband and I made the choice for me to go to part time work and spend the rest of my time on my business, and on saving money (which takes its own time and attention.)

I see more and more Moms like me making similar choices to jump off the wheel and do it our own way. We are different from our own moms, as we are stepping out of the career hierarchy, but make no mistake… We couldn’t do this if they hadn’t walked in front of us balancing work and home.

Thanks Moms! For enabling us Mompreneurs to find our own solutions to the demographic and economic pressures of being a modern parent.

Africa Sleeps: Tub Time Challenge! Win conditioner and curl definition

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I admit, sometimes I just don’t have two or three hours to set aside and do my daughter’s hair! So we have perfected the art of the super quick style done while my girls lay in the bathtub. That’s right… Fifteen minutes, that’s all I get!

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This is one super quick style we did last week. I just picked her hair out with Sweet Orange Cardamom Moisturizing Conditioner, cornrowed big sections of her hair and pulled them back into a puff. A little Mixed Citrus Curl Definition tapped into her curls to finish, and voila! Simple, but super cute.

I would love to see some of your super quick styles… Please feel post your pics on our Facebook page! Let’s show the world what we can do with 15 minutes!

The best picture posted before October 31, 2013, gets 4oz bottles of the two products I mentioned above. How about them oranges?

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