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Mom Non Negotiables MNN Guide by Pamela Pekerman

Mom Non Negotiables, How to Discover & Demand Your Desires

Happy New Year, Mamas. I hope you all had an amazing holiday week full of the cuddles, the cuties, and the crazies, that is motherhood.

In an effort to be of more service to you, and keep our mom tribe conversation flowing, I spent some time processing the mommy moments of 2017 where I felt happier, calmer, and more impactful as a mom/mompreneur/domestic goddess/story teller/TV host/human being.

Amidst lots of reflection, one big aha kept rising to the top.

It wasn’t extra help at home, more interesting TV or hosting projects, or even less temper tantrums (although less tantrums are always a winner!) that gave me the feeling of contentment and control.

I was at my happiest, tranquil, flowing-in-the-now, getting-shit-done zone, when I refused to cave-in on a few key calendar items, i.e. non-negotiable activities and events that I felt allowed me to be the best me I could be, in all corners of my life.

Over the past week, I tasked myself with outlining my MNN – Mom Non Negotiables – which you can read here.

Below,  I’m sharing some tips I hope will help you not only uncover your own MNN, but create a blueprint to truly make your mom non negotiables a meaningful part of your life. And, as with anything in mommyland, there’s always an out button, because almost nothing ever goes according to plan!

Mom Non Negotiables Step 1 – IDENTIFY DESIRES

Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela PekermanThe hardest part of being a mom is uncovering your desires. Believe it or not, not all moms are the same. (Insert sarcastic voice!) You don’t have to mother like your sister, your friends, or some influencer mom (me included) that looks like she has it all figured out.

Figure out your own formula for a happy life. Here are some prompts, to get the mama musings flowing:

  • What are your favorite moments from your own childhood? (I loved family dinners … before it got dark … this was, of course a different era, and my parents were not growing businesses and working in the capacity that my hubby and I do)
  • Can you incorporate your favorite childhood memories into your family formula? (I had to give up the notion of family dinners ever night at 6:30pm. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I’ve negotiated one dinner for all four of us on Friday. And, I have dinner with the kids a minimum of 3x per week. The options are finding another career or not having one for myself, moving to a less-hectic city, or finding a hubby with 8-4pm job.)
  • Is being the drop off, I’m-there-every-morning mom more important than the I’ll-read-you-a-book-and-put-you-to-sleep-mom? Can you afford to be both? And, if you canafford all the help in the world, does that mean you have to use it!? (Believe it or not, many women are torn about using or not using help. I was one of them! #NotAMamaMartyrAnyMore and no judgement on myself when I enlist paid help … usually)
  • Do you care to be on the PTA or is Personal Time Away going to make you a happier mama? (I need me time, and that might mean skipping out on a bake sale or other events/kid projects that don’t’ rank high on my happy-making list)
  • If your day flowed exactly as expected what three items/actions would you like to invite into your daily life? (For me, it’s creating useful time-saving content for you mamas, 1hr fitness which always feels like meditation, and crafting with kids. That’s my dream day, and sometimes this actually happens! You need to know your dreams, in order to drive the ship in the proper direction.)
  • Do you have a passion for your career? Is it time to off-ramp and be a stay at home mom? Do you care to be a full-time stay at home mom? Can you be a stay-at-home mom and explore a new professional endeavor? (Ya, these are heavy questions, but it’s key to pause and think them through. It’s taken me years and tears to be honest with myself about wanting to be more stay-at-home than I ever thought I could tolerate. And, yet, I still must be of service outside my family unit, hence our mom tribe community and my volunteering with The Vasculitis Foundation.)
  • What and whom do you want to put first? How much me is in mommy? (All I’ll say here is that you always have time for the things you put first, and putting yourself first will make you a stronger mother. So, yes, ask the hubby, sister, friend, babysitter to watch the kids for three hours, so you can indulge in Mom Sunday Spa Night).Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

Which brings me to ..

Mom Non Negotiables Step 2 – SHARE YOUR DEMANDS

Demands is a strong word, but I like alliteration so “desires” flows nicely into “demands”.

You need to share your wishes with your hubby/partner, daycare helpers, family, friends, whomever needs to know your non-negotiables. Don’t be afraid to share, and don’t feel that you don’t deserve to have the you time, or the simple fun time with the kids (i.e. just the crafting, without the dinner making, dish washing, laundry washing … just the fun stuff … you know, like most dads get to do just the fun stuff … just saying).

 

 

Your hubby/family want you to be happy. Tell your nearest and dearest what you need in order to be the best mom you can be. They will, hopefully, help you achieve your desires, as your joy is their joy.

And, your nanny is paid so you can be free and happy. Be clear with your desires of them and yourself. Don’t be a slave driver, but don’t be afraid to ask them to cook, or lightly clean, if that means youwill have the time to create unique works of art, with your unique works of art. (Did you figure out, yet, that I love crafting?)Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

 

Mom Non Negotiables Step 3 – DON’T DAMN YOURSELF

Sure, I’m all about non-negotiables, but I’m also a very realist mom, with very real kids, and very real mama drama.

If your kids get sick and you can’t make your monthly spa appointment, that’s okay. Mom life happens. We adjust, when needed.

Now, if your kids happen to get sick every month, at the same time, then you should talk to the hubby or other parties about pitching in, so you can commit to your non-negotiable.

Also, don’t set yourself up for failure by created a non-negotiable that’s unrealistic for your current situation. If your non-negotiable is exercising three days a week, or being home by 4pm so you can spend an hour practicing reading skills, but you begin to see that it’s just not feasible – you don’t have the job, the nanny, the extra hours to make it happen – that’s ok.

You may need to pause or edit the framework of your non-negotiable. Maybe you do a yoga video athome, and in a few months when the kids go to school or you convince your boss it’s a good idea to work from home twice a week, that non-negotiable can go back on the list.

Mom life is about being flexible.Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

I truly hope these prompts help you, as much as they have helped me, to craft MNN (Mom Non Negotiables, which will feed you more vitamins of vitality and joy, better than a bag of pink M&Ms!!

Drop a comment and share your top Mom Non Negotiables or find me on Instagram @PamelaPekerman where I’ll be sharing how I hope to stay true to my own MNN.

 

 

 

World Kindness Day: NEON by Paul Mitchell Supports Anti-Bullying & Positivity

Hey Mamas,

It’s Sunday night, and I hope you had a kind, cozy day, because today is World Kindness Day. And, with the angry, bitter presidential election behind us, I wanted to spotlight a brand that’s actually putting more positivity and kindness into the world.

Recently, I attended the launch of NEON a new teen-focused hair care line from Paul Mitchell. The event was a feel-good gathering of women in media, surrounded by inspirational quotes and neon bright lights — and yellow rock candy!

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Aside from being powered by sugar ingredients that allow for sweet, endless styling possibilities (Ya, I’ve tested the goods and rediscovered my teen spirit) NEON is also all about #StandOutStyle.

It’s about you being you, not following the herd. Or, as I always preach, Always Be YOUR Best YOU.

NEON aims to empower teens, at a time when social media is bringing the bully home. As a mom, I worry about cyberbullying, not to mention the overall negative tone our media and political leaders are projecting to our youth.

That’s why I want all you moms to support companies like Paul Mitchell, that are leading the charge against bullying and putting more kindness into the world.
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Let’s empower our girls to be unique, love themselves, spotlight positivity, squash negativity, create positive changes within their schools and communities, and be leaders we can admire.

Via NeonHair.com as well as the NEON instagram feed, you’ll find a space for anti-bullying advocates and organizations to share their message in order to drive awareness and create a conversation to inspire teens.

There, you can get to know Britain Bennett, an amazing 17 year old who blew me away at the  NEON press event, two weeks ago. She’s turned her own bullying hardships (including not wanting to get it of bed, and even wishing she were dead!!) into a movement dubbed TBH to show all girls we are united against negativity.

The TBH platform, stands for

T – “talk to someone”

B – “block harmful words from your head and your heart”

H – “help others”

Here’s to girls like Britain Bennett, brands like NEON by Paul Mitchell, and anyone else that’s putting a little kindness into the world.

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With the kind and sweet Brittney Levine, host of Marie Claire’s The Fix.

As my mom always says, “Kindness counts.”

Happy World Kindness Day! And, have a kind and happy week!

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momBOSS Interview: Cozy Friedman founder SoCozy Salon Formulas for Kids & Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon

Youth has its perks – you have an idea, jump right in and lead with your ambition. That’s what I did after graduating college and launching my first business BagTrends, with a gorilla marketing campaign during New York Fashion Week. And that’s exactly what Cozy Friedman did 20-years ago when she decided their was a need for kid-friendly hair salons, and she would be the one to fill the void with the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.

But time and age have their own perks, as well. Great listening skills and team building on all fronts – personal and professional – has allowed Cozy to braid together a successful and family-full life, and continue to expand her SoCozy line of salon formula hair care products for kids. I’m so proud to share my new friend Cozy Friedman’s entrepreneurial tips and momBOSS journey.

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Cozy Friedman posing with her expanding SoCozy collection of salon formulated hair care products for kids.

Pamela Pekerman: Risks can be scary. What gave you the courage to go into a field in which you had no experience or education?
Cozy Friedman: This may sound naive, but I was young and didn’t see opening a kids salon as a risk, just an exciting opportunity. I was raised by courageous business go-getters and that focus and drive was instilled in both my brother and I. It just never occurred to me that the concept wouldn’t work out. And for that mindset, I’m thankful.

Pamela: Many moms have dreams, but don’t know how to take the first steps. What tips would you have for a mom who wants to launch a business?
Cozy: Take one step at a time and educate yourself so that you’re confident and prepared. Knowledge is power, and you should never go into a new venture blindly. In my case, I enrolled in barber school, worked at many different children’s businesses, and absorbed as much experience and information as I could, before launching my first salon on Madison Ave. Education is still at the pulse of my brand. It’s important to me that SoCozy is always offering the latest advice, solutions, tips, and trends.

Pamela: With Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Cozy: When I was looking for a location for my first salon, I couldn’t find a landlord that was willing to rent me the space. They considered my business a risk because they didn’t understand the concept. However, I finally found the perfect location to launch my salon and within a few months, a landlord that had previously turned me down promptly called to offer me my next salon location. The tables had turned, and that’s when I felt I was onto something big.

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Cozy Friedman of SoCozy on TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

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Cozy Friedman with Ivanka Trump, at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Salon.

Pamela: It’s been twenty years and two kids since the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and the start of what has become a hair empire. What was it like growing your baby while raising two boys?
Cozy: There’s no doubt that it can be tricky to grow a business and raise a family together, but “together” was always essential for me. I never saw my family and my business as two separate compartments. They were always very intertwined. My sons grew up at my salon. As kids, they would play there while I worked and as teens they experienced their first part time jobs there and often work at our corporate SoCozy office. It was always a family effort, with the support of my husband, friends and family. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great “team”, and as a mom of two boys, it’s all about balance. I’m either leaving a soccer game to go to work or leaving work to go to a soccer game.

Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Cozy: I wake up at 5am and meditate for 20 minutes. I’ll then run, spin or do yoga, which gets me ready to conquer the day. Next is breakfast with my boys and I take them to school at 7:30am. I’m then off to work. While commuting into the city, I work on our SoCozy social media, which is such a big part of our business. I love connecting with our consumers. Once I’m in the office, my days always vary. I consult with my team on various initiatives and then may head out for a speaking engagement, retailer meeting and/or event and of course visit my salons. I always enjoy wrapping up my day with family dinners and time to connect.

Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?
Cozy: I fully believe it’s all about being part of a strong team. I wouldn’t be able to manage it all without my salon team, corporate office team and of course my family “team.”
What was the most difficult part of creating your hair care line, SoCozy? How did you deal with obstacles in productions, packaging, wholesaling etc.?
I faced the biggest obstacle when I needed to create custom formulations in small batches. I had to find manufacturers, and this was before the Internet days! That meant heading to tradeshows and networking the old fashioned way. I then had to convince the right manufacturer to take a risk and invest on creating these custom formulations. I’m proud to say that 14+ years later, we’re still working together.

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Cozy Friedman with her teenage sons and husband.

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Cozy Friedman and her family team.

Pamela: What differentiates SoCozy products from other hair care lines for kids?
Cozy: We specially developed salon-quality formulas that boast multi-functional use, so parents have a “go-to” that gets the job done quickly with great results every time. It was created for all kids and all hair types! We pride ourselves on SoCozy being safe with “no nasties” (i.e. parabens, phthalates, etc.)- just good, clean and completely non-toxic formulations that perform at the highest level. SoCozy also has incredible fragrances that kids and parents equally love- from notes of Peppy Pink Guava to Creamy Vanilla, Orange Blossoms and more. I’d also say our sophisticated packaging sets us apart as well as our motto, “Being You is Our Idea of Cool.” As a brand, we encourage and support individuality. For all kids and any hair type—our mission is to build confidence and inspire originality.

Pamela: What’s next for SoCozy and Cozy’s Cuts for Kids?
Cozy: SoCozy is really growing leaps and bounds. We’re increasing our distribution by teaming up with new retail partners in different verticals and expanding our product offerings – it’s an exciting time! In fact, I’m thrilled to share that our new Splash collection (for swimmer’s hair) will be hitting shelves this month- just in time for summer.

Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? AKA what do you love to do during Meaningful Me Moments?
Cozy: I wake up an extra hour early so I have time for myself physically, mentally and emotionally- which makes me happy. By starting my day on a positive note with meditation, a good workout and family time- I’m able to pass on that positive energy to my family and colleagues. I think it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you feel happy and strong you can perform at your optimal best- whether that’s at home or the workplace. I’m actually hitting a Soul Cycle class with my team later- and we’re all looking forward to it.

Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Cozy: I’m honestly not a big makeup person- it only takes me about two minutes to apply. I’m currently loving IT Cosmetics mascara and then I use eyeliner and BECCA blush. For me, it’s more about my hair. I use our new SoCozy Boing products for my curly hair and then I’m out the door.

Pamela: What’s your Happy Formula for managing marriage, two kids, your growing business, and finding time for yourself?
Cozy: The secret to my happy formula is to not view my marriage, kids, business, etc. inseparable compartments. I believe in teams and I’m just one part of those teams. Whether it’s my marriage, my business, child rearing- it’s all a team effort. I also take one day at a time and do my best to stay focused and present in each moment.

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Currently reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I love motivational books.

Currently drinking sparkling water or an evening Cabernet Sauvignon

I hope my kids think mom prepared them for everything that comes their way in life- and that they feel confident in themselves to go after their dreams.

Motherhood is everything! Nothing will ever prepare you for how incredible it is and how it changes you in the best possible ways.

The best advice my mom ever gave me was that everyone complains they don’t have enough time. However, she told me that if I wake up an hour earlier everyday… it’s the equivalent of adding an extra day to your week. That advice has always stayed with me and that’s why I start my day at 5am. Having extra time is so empowering.

 

Want more momBOSS inspiration? Check out my interviews with DivaMoms founder Lyss Stern and fashion designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook

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