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To Divorce or not to? A personal experience :)

Posted on February 10, 2015 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Four years ago, I went through the most scary period of my life, in a foreign country. It was a period  of time which I was not ever prepared for having married for love and with our family being complete with our adorable twin boys. All of a sudden, I saw my husband of now 20 years as a complete stranger as he too did in me. The stresses of our careers, very different from each other coupled with bringing up and educating  two active boys in a small two bedroom apartment finally took the toll on us. 

My late father said marriage is hard work and you need to keep working at it, not to be taken granted and I thought I have kept doing to ensure we would never be where we were, as sure as did my husband. Without any family close to us, I was feeling helpless and scared about what could possibly happen next. There was complete utter confusion and I was induended with conflicting opions, the most response was you must consult a divorce attorney and be prepared :roll:

My brother is law is an attorney, whom I confided in as he is family and I knew he would give me honest advice. His advice to me was 'Do not see a Divorce Attorney as they will force you to get a divorce as this is how they make their money'. With that thought, I was even more petrified than I already was, alone in a foreign country, not knowing my legal rights as I was not a citizen in the country I was residing in at the time. So many questions were in my head. I am a non materialistic person by nature and although I was willing to forego everything life has blessed me with to have a comfortable life, I was not willing to consider the possibility of losing my children, not even for a day. I knew I had to find out my rights if I chose to file for a divorce although I was hoping that will be the last resort I would ever do. My closest friends started making enquiries to refer an Divorce Attorney who will be able to help me with the assurance I will not be forced to make any decisions I am not ready for.

One of my best friends recommended I have a consultation with a Divorce Attorney by the name of Rachel Ehrlich. It was after several cups of coffee and a few cigarettes, I had the courage to call Rachel's office to make an appointment to have a consultation with her. Her office was able to give me an appointment within 24 hours which was a great relieft apart from the fact my first phone call was answered which I am sure a lot of you know is very unusal in most attorneys offices :) The next 24 hours leading up to meeting Rachel felt like an eternity. I am surprised I did not vomit or faint on my cab ride to her office. I was greeted at rachel's office by her lovely PA who immediately put me at ease, but I was still very tense waiting for Rachel to appear. Rachel walked in with a smile on her face and as I shared what was going on in my marriage, she started telling me what my rights were and within 20 minutes into the consultation, she said, 'Chini, you are not ready for divorce':roll: WOW :) I was taken back by this response from a divorce attorney who thought would simply pull up the paperwork for me to sign to retain her to file for a divorce as allegedly, this is how she will make more income rather than through consultations which are very reasonably priced. I immediately trusted Rachel totally and knew she is looking out for my interests and I chose to have two more consultations with Rachel to find out more about my rights to be ready to face any eventuality in my marriage. 

With the knowledge Rachel gave me, myself and my husband had a starting point to start communicating and to work through our differences and to agree on a way forward to ensure the happiness of myself, my husband and our children whom we both love very much. Years on, I could not be any happier nor can my husband although we still have our ups and downs as most couples, but we no longer make false threats or make assumptions about each other which we did before Rachel was introduced to me. Since then, I have heard from a lof of women, just like me, who are scared and disillusioned about their marriages or is looking for an attorney who will work with them and not come with her own agenda who all think the world of Rachel as she is truly exceptional in the field of matrimonial law :) 

Rachel has over 20 years of experience in matrimonial and family law and is a recognized member of the bar. Representative of her success is the fact that she is referred business, not just by satisfied clients, but by other attorneys, court personnel and judges. Rachel believes that personal attention, responsiveness and a straightforward approach is essential to the attorney-client relationship. She is a skilled negotiator and zealous advocate and often times guest speaker. Rachel is a 1994 graduate of New York Law School, is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey. In addition to successfully litigating and negotiating complex matters in both states, Rachel has successfully secured the return of internationally abducted children under The Hague Convention.

Rachel has two young children of her own and has two step sons, so she gets the full picture :) 

Most couples need some guidance at some point and I recommend all should have Rachel's contact details on hand any time they feel they neeed someone they can TRUST :) I refer all my contacts to Rachel and will continue to do so with pride. 

Rachel's Offices :                                                                                                 

New Jersey

636 Jersey Avenue

Jersey City, NJ



p. 201.489.2788

f. 201.876.2894

New York :

200 Park Avenue South

Suite 1205

New York, NY



p. 212.827.0555

f. 212.827.0999

Time to fight for a Child Abuse Registry in the US!

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The picture above is a Nanny we head hunted for an American family relocating to London with two children under five years old. Denisa a European Union Passport Holder, tri-lingual,  had apart from several checkable childcare references, a Paediatric Certificate, is flexible, willing to travel domestically and internationally, willing to work weekends, and most of all she passed a UK background check with flying colours and came out with a clean sheet. This is typical in the UK where Nannies are regulated and a fully comprehensive and thorough framework exists to ensure parents can hire a legal, trustworthy caregiver, after all, UK is the land of the Nannies and where Mary Poppins comes from :) 

UK background checks for Nannies is called an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). In order to apply for this check, an applicant has to be resident in the UK for at least 6 months and must verify identity by having 2 forms of photo ID and 2 proofs of address. The check costs less than $100 and without an DBS, no sane parent would hire an applicant as a Nanny in the UK.

This check gives UK parents a peace of mind. The US does not offer the same level of screening by the State and parents are misled by online agencies who claim an applicant can be checked out with a press of a few buttons which is a gross misrepresentation of facts, misleading and very dangerous.

UK background checks for those who wants to work with minors and vulnerable adults has to pass a enhanced DBS/CRB.

A DBS/CRB Disclosure is a document containing information held by the police and government departments. It can be used by employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions. Disclosures are provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service(Criminal Records Bureau), an executive agency of the Home Office.

The DBS/CRB’s Disclosure service provides access to a range of different types of information, such as, information:

•Held on the Police National Computer (PNC), such as convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in England, Wales and those recorded from Scotland. There is also some Northern Ireland data held on the PNC.

•Held by local police forces relating to relevant non-conviction information

•From the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s Vetting and Barring Scheme

•Held by the Department for Education (DfE) under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99)


At the moment, in the US, parents cannot find out if someone has been arrested, or have had a previous caution or warning which means in some States, ie Arkansas, for example, Arkansas Act 346, gives first offenders who've pleaded guilty and are sentenced to probation the chance to have their record expunged once they complete their probation - meaning someone who has abused a child can reapply to work as a Nanny and her future employer will never find out.

We were touched after speaking to a Mom with a mission who is now fighting to have a child abuse registry in every States in the US, starting in Arkansas where she lives.


Whitney Matney caught her Nanny abusing her daughter after running a background before hiring her and also spending a couple of weeks with the Nanny before returning to work.

"For a young family, finding child care for a baby can be an emotional, stressful time. It’s likely the first time that new parents are handing over the care of their child to someone else, in many cases a stranger. It’s the ultimate level of trust, and when a nanny or daycare worker violates that trust by abusing a child, it creates national headlines as disturbing as they are despicable. "


“You see these horror stories on TV, and it’s like a surreal feeling when it happens to you,” Whitney Matney, a 28-year-old mother from Springdale, Arkansas, told ABC News' "20/20." We called Whitney to find out how we can all help her to make the changes necessary to create a framework just like in the UK to ensure American parents can be sure the Nanny they choose to hire is trustworhy.


Whitney said “In 2015, we’re going to send out a bill asking that they actually implement the child abuse registry. Arkansas will be the first state to have one, if it passes,” she said, adding she hopes it will motivate other people to lobby their state representatives into creating similar registries.


“I want all of the states to adopt it. What I want is for anybody who has been criminally convicted of child abuse, or any crime against a child, that they be listed on that registry so that parents can check before they leave their children with a babysitter, a nanny, a neighbor,” she said.



Why is it that only in California, Nannies do have to register with law enforcement prior to commencing work as a Nanny?

Trust line, which is only enforced in California – an invaluable resource for parents.TrustLine is a database of nannies and baby-sitters that have cleared criminal background checks in California. It’s the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

If you would like to join Witney and Mom to Moms Advisor LLC on joining our mission to implement a child abuse registry in your State, please get in touch :) 

Can I trust a male Nanny with my child?

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A 'Manny' is a male Nanny :) We have never specified the sex of applicants when we search for a trustworthy caregiver. However, less than 10% of applicants for childcare positions are male. Recently, we did a search for a part-time caregiver for a 5 year old boy. In our initial consultaion with the parents, we were informed they were open to considering a male or female Nanny. What was most important to them was that they  wanted to be able to have 100% confidence in their chosen choice. Our search led to us meeting several male applicants out of which we forwarded on 1 male applicant to be considered who had an immediate connection with the parents and their son and therefore got hired :) 

There are males working in every other field related to childcare from teaching, tutoring, enrichment clases to social services and nursing, however, in other fields, they work supervised and never alone with a child. So, if an Male applicants prove to have excellent checkable references, has a clean criminal background and has already shown they have worked safely previously in a private setting, then it is just a question of whether the personality will fit in with the dynamics of a particular household,

Male Nannies could be great with energetic children, and can provide a male role model for single Mothers and lesbian parents. For boys with very busy fathers, male Nannies could also give the child more male attention and do boys stuff like playing football and go cycling which the father cannot always find the time to do due to work commitments. 

If your child is disabled, then a male Nanny would be great as with a growing child who needs lifting or has mobility problems, a man will definitely have more strength to manoevure around and to complete tasks more at ease :)

For high profile families, a male Nanny can also double up as a Bodyguard :)

Some mothers feel threatened their place could be taken over by a female Nanny, so a male Nanny could then be your best option as he will never be Mom/Mum:)

So, male applicants for childcare can be trusted as much any female applicant, but as parents, we must take every step to be as thorough in investigation the full background covering the lifespan of the applicant as we would do with a female Nanny :) To find your next Nanny or Manny whether it is in the UK or in the US, please contact us as we are your trusted source for all your childcare needs :) Unlike other organizations offering similar services, we focus on building long term personal relatiionships with our families and applicants :) 

Would you hire a Male Nanny? Would love to hear from you :)

With a Manny we have head hunted and placed for a position for which we screened 75 applicants out of 150 responses to our ads :)

Choosing your Nanny - Great on paper v Personality:)

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The world has been watching the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's journey into parenthood and eagerly awaiting to find out what kind of Nanny they would hire for their first born, the 3rd in line to the throne, born in the land of the Nannies to a family whom have hired Nannies for generations. We waited eagerly to find out what kind of Nanny they would hire and I am sure most assumed they would get the most qualified, most skilled and most talented for Prince George;) Instead, they chose Prince William's ex Nanny who is 71 :)

Just like HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, your maternity leave is almost over and you have just started looking for a Nanny to take care of your baby(ies). This would be possibly the first time you would be leaving your baby with someone other than you, your partner or a family member - you are so full of anxiety and overwhelmved with having to make your choice. You are left with deciding between applicants with multiple degrees versus others who are very experienced, but does not possess a college degree. How do you choose? What is best for you and your child? 

In our experience of having placed Nannies of all different levels of educational backgrounds, what we have found is what is most important is to identify the applicants true motivations and commitment to working in child care in the long term. By conducting a thorough interview and an background investigation, you should be able to get a gist of the true motivations.

Due to the current economic crisis, graduates from all fields are turning into working as Nannies, but for how long? What if you hire a debt ridden Ivy league Graduate who then after working with your child for 2 years return to the corporate world? You would be left having to start the process all over again which will cost you a lot of time, and will no doubt be very stressful for a working parent.When it comes to choosing your Nanny, please do NOT use the same recruitment tactics as one would to hire an office employee. An office employee is not responsible for minors, nor left unsupervised  - most corporations have cameras and surveillance to monitor employees at all times. Your Nanny will not be supervised at all times, neither do you want to start off with thinking about installing surveillance to track her as that is stating very categorically there is NO trust. 

More than qualifications, you want to feel comfortable around your Nanny as must your baby. Your Nanny should be an open book, easy to read and relate to. Your chosen Nanny should be someone you can do lunch with, to be able to openly discuss your child's development needs and someone equipped emotionally, not just intellectually to be a great mentor to your child :) 

When interviewing applicants, ask yourself, do you feel comfortable about instructing her? Or do you feeel she will be instructing you instead? :)

The Nanny chosen by you should be a very personal choice - someone that meets your needs, not necessary the brightest and the most talented, someone who will love your child(ren) and follow your instructions, someone who is healthy, someone who will be your right hand, someone who will go out of the way to meet your needs, someone who can use their own initiative and be proactive :) If you are currently, thinking about hiring a Nanny and would like to know what you can get in the current market, whether you are in the US or the UK, please refer to our site www.momtomomsadvisor for more information and we wish you the very best of luck in finding a great fit for your family:)

True story of a emergency and an Angel that came to the rescue

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Five  years ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I received a call from a NYC Mom of infant twins in tears. She has been on maternity leave for 18 months working with her Nanny looking after her twin girls who were born prematurely, only to have her suddenly leave the day she went back to work. The Mom said she cannot afford to take more time off and need a Nanny to start on Monday. I thought of two applicants for her right away - one young and energetic, but did not have any in home childcare experience, and another who was middle aged, had grown kids. Both were legal, fluent in English and both multi-lingual. Both applicants met the family on Sunday and did half a day trial each while I chased their references, followed by the Mom who wanted to double check the references. The family liked both applicants for different things, and although they liked the younger applicant, Marcia who was in her early 20s, they were worried about hring a young girl to look after their infant twins when they were used to working with middle aged Nannies to date. Pressure was on for them to make a decision and they decided to give Marcia a chance pending her beibng submitted for finger printing by the NYPD on Monday morning to start on Monday afternoon. I met up with Marcia on Monday morning and she submitted for finger printing after which she walked straight into her first day at work. A neighbor and a friend has been there when Marcia walked in and said the tiwn girls ran to her and all felt this was a good match. :)



This was the testimonial received a few months after Marcia started from her employer :


Working Mom of Twins in New York City talks about needing a Nanny ASAP!

Elif 05:20 PM on February 19, 2009

My Nanny of 18 months suddenly left me after I went back to work. I contacted Chini on a Saturday afternoon and asked her whether she can find me a Nanny who can start on Monday. Through, I met two Nannies on Saturday evening and chose one to be our new Nanny. My twin girls bonded with my new Nanny straight away. She is young, energetic, punctual and totally interactive with my girls. Chini helped me with details of the salary and benefits for the Nanny and now I have a peace in my mind when I leave in the morning to go to work. Chini is always is in contact both with myself and my Nanny to ensure everything is going well. The service offered by is invaluable and I highly recommend Chini.:)

A few weeks ago, I heard Elif and her family are relocating to Boston, and I was forwarded this recommendation letter by her employer of 5 years! :)



"Marcia Bonilla has been with our family for almost 5 years. She joined our family in 2008 when our twins where 18 months old. Unfortunately we must now part ways because my family and I are relocating to Boston. During the course of her employment, Marcia’s responsibilities included school pick-up and drop-off, play date and activity scheduling, accompanying them on doctor’s visit if either my husband or I were unable to make it, and many more. During the last 5 years Marcia has consistently shown a great work ethic.



Marcia is great with children; loving, caring, nurturing and does a great job of keeping them engaged. She also knows how to establish boundaries and makes sure that everyone follows the rules. Marcia always has a positive and upbeat disposition when she’s at work.




During her time as our nanny Marcia consistently came up with new ideas and solutions with regards to encouraging the right behaviour and rewarding the twins. In doing so she was able to transition seamlessly as they moved from toddlers to preschoolers to kindergarteners. For example, when the twins were 2.5 she came up with an award chart to promote nice behavior. She had consistently handled any meltdowns with positive attitude.




Marcia is reliable with schedules, she has not missed one work day in the last 5 years. She was always on time, if not early.




One of the most important things to us is the safety of our children in the city and during the past 5 years having Marcia as our nanny has brought us peace of mind with regards to our children getting to and from various places. Marcia was able to navigate the busy streets while steering a double stroller. As the twins got older she used public transportation more frequently as they commuted back and forth between UWS and Chelsea on a daily basis. In doing so Marcia has demonstrated great judgment and shown that she would not compromise the safety of my children. As an example she had waited sometimes more than 10 minutes just to avoid extremely crowded trains with 2 kids.




She has been the liaison between us and the teachers, coaches and the therapists in the last 5 years. As working parents, we relied heavily on Marcia in this area and she did a fantastic job.




Marcia believes in healthy nutrition, she would avoid sweets and the like. She would not use sweets as a reward. Before she had joined our family, she worked as a teachers’ aid in a special needs school and she had seen the effects of healthy food and avoiding excessive sugar on children. Part of Marcia’s responsibility as our nanny was preparing meals for the kids. Given her prior experience and philosophy on food, we knew that we could count on our kids having nutritious meals while in her care.




Last but not the least, she is responsible for arranging play dates and organizing activities. She is not the type of nanny that would turn the TV on or let the kids play with the ipads, and that’s not because we told her not to, it is because she does not think it is right for the kids. With her warm, fun and calm personality nannies and moms always seek Marcia for play dates.




Marcia has been a great addition to our family and we are very lucky to work with her. We are very saddened to part ways with her. She has become part of our family over the past five years and we hope strongly that she will have the opportunity to share her caregiving strengths with an appreciative family.




We would be more than happy to speak with/meet in person to discuss Marcia in more detail, as it is difficult to fully capture everything in writing"

Marcia is looking again for another loving, down to earth family to work for full time as their Nanny. Marcia would be an asset to any family with working parents. Marcia is looking to make a long term commitment. If you would like to consider hiring Marcia or another Mary Poppins from Mom to Moms, please e-mail us for more information : [email protected] :)






Mastering the Work Mom Juggle!

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Did you know working mothers are now the sole breadwinners for 40% of US families? This is a dramatic cultural shift brought about by a record number of married women out-earning their husbands and more women bringing up children alone.


The number of "breadwinner moms" has soared in the past five decades, up from just 11% in 1960, according to an analysis of US census data released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.


This new development in the family dynamic is caused by two distinct groups of women. Sixty-three percent American mothers – 8.6 million – who provide the primary source of income for their families are bringing up their children alone, while 37% – 5.1 million – are married mothers who earn more than their spouses :)

Great news, but this means women are taking on a lot more on their own compared to the previous generations - having careers, but still doing the majority of the childcare and house work themselves. If you are a working Mom, check out this amazing seminar created specifically with working Moms in mind by the Founder of In Our Shoes, full time working Mom to two, Marisa Santoro!

Marisa Santoro, Founder of In Our Shoes

Marisa says, "Smart ambitious women know that success lies not just in the drive they possess. Getting comfortable with self-promotion, creating strategic network alliances and embracing opportunities promptly and without second thought to raise your rank in business, garners visibility kicking your leadership rank up a notch.


Delivering tactical proven solutions for women to high-five their way towards advancement, In Our Shoes’ seminars, workshops, webinars and events offer a professional training program and toolkit, a compilation of everything Marisa Santoro has learned from a 17+ career in the global financial services arena, negotiating with internal and external partnerships, growing her own business and female community spanning the US and UK, her interviews with senior level executives, successful entrepreneurs and topic experts which she now shares with clients to help them own their power when working a room in any role, industry and at any stage in their career.


In Our Shoes programming results in a mindset shift towards being assertive (not aggressive) while remaining authentic to your true nature in business. Reach out to [email protected] for registration and scheduling information.

Marisa's course for working Moms will cover the following :

Mastering the Work Mom Juggle

When the rubber hits the road: an opportunity to shine without taking a step back in your career.

• Compartmentalize your time so you are no longer “half there” for work & family commitments.


• Establishing repeatable procedures to put on auto-pilot saving your energy spent.


• Recognizing your breadwinner role and communicating financial expectations with your partner.


• Picking your spots at work to negotiate the flex-time you need.


• Maintaining a consistent image and perception of your continued commitment at work.

For a list of all courses run by In Our Shoes, click here!

Why I cannot get Martin Luther King out of my mind!

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Six years ago, I had a dream, just like Martin Luther as he said in one of his speeches :

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.s "


My dream was different. After recognising the gap in care for expectant and new parents in the United States compared to most other first world countries, my vision was to be able to offer the same level of professional, qualified care when you bring your baby home:) Having given birth to my twin sons in the United Kingdom, I feel every new parent in the US should get the same level of quality care and qualified help:)


In most other first world states, a midwife and social services make several home visits paid for by the State to new parents, but not in the US:(Bearing this in mind, or therapist, Alisa Hafkin can come to your rescue:)


Up until 2007, the only option parents in the East Coast of America had when they bring their baby home is to hire a Baby Nurse at a cost of $250-$450/a day payable in cash. Baby Nurses are not qualified and I recognized the need to find Nurse, legally authorised to use the term 'Nurse' to work with new parents. We are at the forefront of now working with US Trained Nurses led by our Maternity Nurse Consultant, Magdala Fabre, RN:)


Our latest addition to the team, Lisa Shulman joined our team having felt very passionate about our cause to ensure the safety of all children in the United States and shares our vision and supports our campaign to offer every expectant and new parent in the United States what they need to bring up the next generation of the United States:)


I will pen off with another quote from Martin Luther King


"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.":)


We look forward to heping many more expectant and new parents in years to come and to be able to offer qualified professional help for every parent in the US when they bring their baby home:) Taking this opportunity to thank our loyal Clients, our amazing Nannies, our partners, friends and fans from all over the world - without whom we would not be able to fight our campaigns:)





Breaking the silence on Infertility with Celebrity Elisabeth Rohm

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Elisabeth Rohm, Actress, Author and Activist with her daughter Easton

Growing up, I imagined when it came to the time I decided to have a baby, nature will take its course and a baby will simply just pop out 9 months later. However, it was not meant to be as my first pregnancy ended in a cruel missed miscarraige, shattering my dreams to become a Mom. The guilt that follows a loss and the sense of failure of not being able to do what I felt every other woman could do so well was over whelming. No one else I knew apparently had any problems in conceiving and I remember feeling it was some fault of mine. Although I did go on to conceive twins, it was a roller coaster ride ridden with complications - bleeding and  TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) lasting 32 weeks. I reached out to the online community for support while trying to conceive after my miscarriage and discovered a whole new world of women who have had much bigger challenges in their journey into becoming a Mom including going through fertility treatments and countless cycles of IVF and multiple miscarriages. We were all bonded by what celebrity actress Elisabeth Rohm says in her book 'Baby Steps' - a dirty little secret' - infertilty.

Here is a video summarizing my own journey into becoming a Mom which led to me wanting to help other Moms:)

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I was thrilled to be invited to an event hosted by The Moms to discuss Elisabeth Rohm's new book Baby Steps. Baby Steps is a story about mothers and children, love and sex, career and body, and ofcourse conception. I read the book within two days as I felt I got to know through Elisabeth's eyes, her experience of having her parents separated when she was a little girl, her relationship with her unconventional mother, her struggles with her own body which she says is not the Hollywood norm, but she learns to love and accept, her experience of searching for and finding true love, her decision to have a baby and realizing she will have to 'go to extreme lengths - financial and emotional and physical and intellectial, to have a baby, using every bit of modern technology. But, she shares, 'sometimes it works and sometimes it does not':( 

There was so much I could relate to in Baby Steps as most women would do from spending our 20s focused on our careers as we assume we will just have a baby when we have stable careers, having travelled the world and not for one second thinking our eggs might be good enough or we could have early menopause or that it might cost thousansds of dollars to make a baby. Baby Steps breaks the silence on infertility and I applaud her for doing so:) 

Mom to Moms Advisor with other Moms who have also have had a journey into becoming a Mom:)

Here is Elisabeth Rohm discussing Baby Steps with The Moms!

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I was not paid to write this review and all opinions are my own:) 

Do you have W.M.G.?(Working Mom Guilt) Get over it!

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

When I was 5 years old, and my sister 3 and my brother just 1, BOTH my parents moved to England, UK, leaving us in Sri Lanka with relatives and Nannies. During the five years my parents were away, 2 of us were hospitalized at 2 different hospitals. We were without either parents and we were just fine! When I became a Mom myself this is when I asked my Mom how she could leave her babies and go. Her response was that was what it took to keep our family together in the long term and the necessary sacrifices that had to be made. Her sacrifices paid off as she continued to work until her retirement and beyond and has always been a strong advocate for working women. You might wonder whether being away to work from her children made it hard for her to bond with her children, especially, my brother who was just a year old when she left. Today, out of the 3 of us, he is probably, the closest to her, taking her on vacations and being there for her for everythig since my Dad passed away 10 year ago So, why make working women feel guilty?

How often do you hear about Moms feeling torn between family and work? Since when was it a universally accepted notion for women to give up their passions, ambitions or interests after giving birth? Victoria Beckham has been quoted as saying she often feels pangs of guilt over her work schedule and is often torn between working and and her family.


The fashion designer has confessed that she is a complete workaholic and finds it difficult as a working mum to juggle time with her hubby David, three boys Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and her daughter Harper.


''As a working mum you feel guilty, you feel torn. That's the biggest challenge, it's a tough thing,'' she told Elle magazine.

I have met many professional women who have taken a step back from their career to stay at home and raise children, enabling their spouse or partner to focus on bringing the bread home. After many years of not working, these women will struggle to get back into the working world as they would be competing with those with more experience and they might need to re-train or gain new skills to re-enter the work force. However, these stay at home Moms are guilt free as they can say they were there to witness every milestone, every step their baby took to being able to get actively involved with the PTA and volunteer many,  many hours to get involved with focusing on your child's education and be the hockey Mom and the soccer Mom all together:)

Then you have the working Moms, vast majority who will hire help whether it is in the form of a day care or a Babysitter/Nanny in order to return to work after having a baby. Working Moms are often torn about the amount of time they spend at work away from their children. You rarely hear about working Dads feeling the same way and the wider public seems to expect Dads to work late, to be away for that weekend to unwind playing golf or to be away on that 3rd busines trip in the same month because he is the 'man':)

It is fascinating and annoying that in the 21st Century, there is a huge disparity in our Western society regarding the role of a woman after doing one of the greatest jobs of all : giving birth:)

My grand mother was a working Mom as was my own Mom. Coming from a family of working women and even non working women who have hired help with childcare, I have always been encouraged to follow my passions, my ambitions and always expected to be the best in what ever I choose to do in life. As a result, I have hired help with childcare and was not made to feel guilty about hiring help and it has only made me a happier Mom. Hiring help with my twins boys from infancy helped me to give them freshly cooked meals 3 times a day, to work, to get them the level of exercise they needed as opposed to sticking them in front of the TV:) I have also always made time for my girl friends, to get my spa treatments and most importantly, SLEEP! :) 

What ever path you choose after having a baby, whether it is to stay at home or to go back to work, neither will result in your children not succeeding or suffering provided YOU as their parent being happy. 

Just had a baby and thinking about childcare options? Daycare versus Nanny or part time help? Contact us at [email protected] and book an Consultation to help you figure our all your options! 

Are you a working Mom and do you feel guilty? 

Should I get a Nanny Cam?

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Your Maternity leave is almost over and you want to hire a Nanny or you need to hire a Nanny and return to work. The thought of leaving you child with a stranger already gives you goose bumps, make you have panic attacks, over anxious and then freinds or neighbors mention Nanny Cams. Answer to all your prayers you think or is it?

Over the many years of having Consulted with full time working parents who hire Nannies to care for their children, some have mentioned they were considering installing Nanny Cams and have asked what I think about them. So, here is my opinion, first as a parent myself who have lived in the New York City area for many years, while privileged to be working from home.

A NannyCam is a type of wireless or wired video surveillance system marketed to parents who want to use an in-home surveillance device to monitor their caregiver's interactions with their children. Many video surveillance systems used as nanny cams can be hidden in small objects such as a child's stuffed toy. There are privacy and legal issues to consider when using a nanny cam without permission being given by the caregiver to be recorded.

Hiring a Nanny you can trust with your child is never easy and installing a Nanny Cam might appear like the answer to all your anxiety and guilt about leaving your child with a stranger - a non family member.  My advice to parents is to conduct a full and thorough background investigation on any applicant you consider, irrespective of references as you alone need to make a decision about trusting your caregiver. If after receiving satisfactory references and a trial with an applicant which gives you time to get to know your Nanny, even if at this point, you do not feel you can trust a caregiver, a Nanny cam is not going to reolve the problem. A Nany Cam will only give you a false sense of security and will go on to prove your instinct. Do NOT take a chance by resorting to using a Nanny Cam with a Nanny you cannot trust anyway. You might also need to ask yourself if you are ready to go back to work leaving your child with a Nanny. Maybe you are not and that is perfectly normal. The answer therefore is not to make yourself be so full of guilt and to feel you have to log into your Nanny Cam throughout your working day when you should be able to relax and focus on your job as you are paying someone else to focus on your child:)

IF, however, your reason to installing a Nanny Cam is to have a peace of mind, but not because of a trust issue, then discuss your wish to install a Nanny Cam with Nannies you are considring to hire. You will find, most Nannies will not be happy about having a Nanny Cam used as they will only see it as a issue with trust.

There are other ways of checking up on whether your Nanny is providing the level of care she is expected to.
  • Drop in on your Nany and your child sporadically or get family members to do so.  
  • Have the Nanny keep a daily log of activities for the day
  • Be aware of your Nanny's moods and temperament so that you will pick it up if she is going through a illness or a personal issue. Does your Nanny lool tired or fatigued? Is she able to sustain working as many hours as she has been?
  • Have regular meetings with the Nanny to discuss where your child is at developmentally, socially and at school. 
  • Know your Nanny's financial situation - can she manage her living expenses with what you are paying her? 
Bottom line is never ever leave your child with someone you have just met as it takes time to get to know a Babysiiter or a Nanny and allocate time and resources to conduct a full and thorough background investigation which should include a national finger print search conducted by non other than the FBI:) The finger print search is the only way you can verify the identity of an individual as a basic name check will not cover aliases in  a time frame where identity fraud is rampagant and everything is for sale:)

Are you a Nanny or a Parent? What do you think? I would love to know your opinions, so please comment away! 

Why France Pays for New Moms to Re-Educate their Vagina

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Now that I got your attention with the headline, please read through my analysis on the disparity in post partum care in the US versus other countries:) 

Home visits after childbirth by health-care professionals are provided in all northern and western European countries.

FRANCE : Slate writer Claire Lundberg lives in France, and recently gave birth there. Soon afterward, she discovered her follow-up care included “perineal re-education,” aka vajayjay rehab. She was asked frank and exhaustive questions about the state of things below the belt, and then prescribed a variety of somewhat intimate therapies, both manual and biofeedback. Although she admitted the whole experience frequently sent her into embarrassed giggles, she appreciated that the state cares that you have a comfortable post-baby sex life, as well as the ability to sneeze without peeing yourself. Contrast this with the US, where you only found out if what’s going on down there is normal if you dare to ask at your one postpartum check-up. 

Part of the standard postpartum treatment in France, which happens about two months after baby is born, is 10 to 20 sessions of what the French call la rééducation périnéale. It's like physical therapy for the vagina, and includes retraining your pelvic floor muscles, including the proper way to do Kegels. Yes, it's paid for by the French Social Security and has been in effect since 1985, and is one of the only countries to have this type of program. How amazing this sounds!


Lundberg says the reasons behind it are to help mama get her groove back (oui oui!), and the government wants you healthy so you can have another baby safely (merci!), and they believe no woman should have to suffer incontinence (c'est vrai!). Wow, they really seem to care! Viva la France!

UK : Usual postnatal care in the UK consists of six or seven home visits by a midwife during the first 10—14 days after birth (extended to 28 days if needed), occasional general practitioner (GP) home visits, health-visitor care after 28 days, and a check-up with a GP at 6—8 weeks.

NETHERLANDS :  Women with normal pregnancies can give birth at home or birth rooms, which are operated by midwives or general practitioners in a hospital. A continuous 1-week home care program covered by insurance for normal birth mothers is provided by kraamverzorgsters, who receive a 3-year training program. This postpartum home care includes care for children and mothers and housework services (De Vries, Benoit, van Teijlingen, & Wrede, 2001).(In the Netherlands, a kraamverzorgster is a versatile, trained woman who provides a family with in-home postpartum care for 1 week to 10 days. Her care includes medical checks, assistance in feeding and bathing the newborn infant, cooking, and general household duties. The mother can relax and recover, secure in the knowledge that her needs, as well as her family's needs, are taken care of.)

Norway : maternity centers established near hospitals are hotel-like environments where new mothers, newborns, and their families can stay together for postpartum care (De Vries et al., 2001).

Taiwan : New mothers can choose to stay in private maternity centers where mothers and newborns are taken care of by nurses.

China : A majority of Chinese mothers who choose to stay at home are cared for by their family members for about 1 month to prevent diseases and promote health (Lee, Yip, Leung, & Chung, 2004; Matthey, Panasetis, & Barnett, 2002).

Parental leave is another policy that facilitates maternal and children's health. In Sweden, new parents can take, at most, a 1-year leave at 80% of their salary (De Vries et al., 2001). In Finland, mothers have the chance to take a 1-year maternal leave supported by a state grant (Tarkka, Paunonen, & Laippala, 1999). Whether provided at home or a facility, postpartum care helps new mothers to recover from physical changes of pregnancy and to learn child-care skills.

In the US, new parents have just 24 hours paid for by their insurance to stay in a hospital and are not tracked by the State after they bring their baby home. I found this shocking as I received excellent care from the State in the UK where I delivered my twins. It is because of this first hand knowledge, I was determined to find qualified newborn care for new parents in the United States. 

Our , Newborn Maternity Nurse Consultant, Magdala Fabre (RN) has been delivering babies at the number one ranking hospital in NYC - Cornell and herself is a Mom to 2:) and a NYC resident:)

Magdala with her son, daughter and her husband.

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Magdala talks about newborn care, here in the US. 

Magdala is a Licensed Registered Nurse with a B.S in Nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center with 19 years experience working in the nursing field. For the past 10 years she has been working in Labor & Delivery and in OB/GYN Outpatient Care at the number 1 ranking hospital in NYC.

As Maternal Newborn Nurse Consultant, Magdala will provide new parents with professional in home guidance with intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn issues that may arise. For example, what to expect during labor and delivery, feeding (breast or formula), washing your baby, performing umbilical and/or circumcision care, newborn safety, etc.


For the mother, Nurse Magdala will reinforce your discarge instructions pertaining to proper diet, medication, pain management, special treatments and instructions on proper hygiene.


Her role is to provide expectant and new parents who want to be hands on when it comes to caring for their babies, but still need initial guidance and steering to build their confidence.

As a child Magdala was determined to pursue her dream and started her nursing education in high school. Later, completing her BS in Nursing with many years in the field of elderly patient care and with several years of med-surgery under her belt, Magdala was ready to embark on her journey to explore Obstetrics. She started working on the labor and delivery unit at NYP Weill Cornell in 2001 and absolutely loved her role as caregiver, coach, and educator. She assisted her patients through the labor and delivery process and during the initial phase of postpartum; helping parents bond with their newborn and instructed them on how to properly breastfeed. After 10 years of Labor and delivery, Magdala shifted gears recently and migrated to the outpatient facility where she is able to educate patients throughout their perinatal and postpartum phase, thereby formulating long term bonds with her patients through their pregnancy.


Magdala is a wife and a mother of two. And having endured two Caesarean sections, she breastfed her first born for 14 months and then, two years later, her second born for 22 months, she has been able to relate with and assist a number of patients whom expressed their difficulties with the postpartum process. Magdala is more than eager to share her knowledge and experience of nursing and the postpartum process with new mothers and their newborns to help with their uneasiness, fear, and/or doubts.

Contact us for pricing and more information.


[email protected]


What you need to know about Background checks!

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

It is a gross misrepresentation of facts to claim an individual can be checked out ONLINE!

Hiring a trusted caregiver for your child in the United States can be one of the most daunting parenting tasks. In a market driven by referrals, it is very common for parents to hire someone recommended by a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker or a doorman. Parents are also tempted by the low cost online Nanny agencies which offers access to 1000s of applicants for a small fee. Some online agencies claim to have conducted background checks on applicants. The fact is, it is NOT possible to run a fully comprehensive and accurate background check online to verify identity nor to check an applicants's criminal history across the United States ONLINE.

For the safety and well being and to have consistency in your household, hire an applicant authorized to work in the US. The main reason for this is because of your child's safety - ask yourself if an illegal Nanny would respond the same way in an emergency as a legal Nanny?

The only way to verify identity and to ensure a criminal records check is done covering all 51 States in the US is via a finger print search conducted by the FBI. This is because, if you were to search by just a name, you will not be able to uncover aliases in a country where identity fraud is very common. Everything is for sale in the US, including identity, hence the reason one must ensure, a finger print search is conducted across all States as caregivers can have worked and resided in more than one State.

At a local level, if an applicant is residing in the State of New York, a local criminal background check can be executed at 1 Police Plaza

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An applicant for a Certificate of Conduct (formerly known as a Good Conduct Certificate) must apply in person between the hours of 9 A.M and 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday (the office is closed on legal holidays), at the Public Inquiry & Request Section, located at Police Headquarters, One Police Plaza, Room 152-A, New York, NY 10038. The applicant will be fingerprinted and is required to submit a fifty-dollar ($50.00) money order or certified check payable to the New York City Police Department, or credit card. The applicant must also provide identification, see additional requirements. Processing takes approximately ten working days.


Additional Requirements


A United States citizen is required to submit the following as proof of citizenship:


Valid U.S. Passport OR

Original Birth Certificate (U.S. born) AND A valid Driver's License or DMV issued Identification Card OR

Voter's Registration Card AND A valid Driver's License or DMV issued Identification Card OR

Naturalization Certificate

A Non U.S. Citizen is required to submit the following when submitting an application:

Valid Passport or Alien Registration Card or Employment Authorization OR

Letter from the Department of Homeland Security (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) indicating applicant's name, address and current status in this country AND valid U.S. government photo identification OR

Letter from the applicant's Consulate which contains applicant's physical description and date of birth AND valid U.S. government photo identification.

Public Inquiry and Request Section

The Mission of the Public Inquiry & Request Section is to process applicants for Certificates of Conduct, which are criminal history searches within the environs of New York City, indicating whether or not the applicant has a criminal history. Certificates of Conduct are only issued under specific guidelines (see additional requirements). The Section also takes Non-Criminal Fingerprints ($25.00 fee) which may be required to obtain certain permits or licenses.


One Police Plaza - Room 152-A

New York, N.Y. 10038-1497

(646) 610-5541


Monday through Friday; 9 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Mom to Moms Advisor accompanies all applicants considered by our Clients for employment to Police Headquarters in New York City, prior to them working unsupervised in a private home. We have found over five years, an applicants irrespective of their references or appearance, for reasons unknown, are not willing to submit themselves to be finger printed by law enforcement :D Parents, please ensure no stone is untrurned to ensure a full and thorough background investigation is conducted on any applicant prior to them being hired:) 

Check out Super Dad David - the Broker to go to for Families!

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Mom to Moms is always on the look out for amazing Moms and Dads who seem to juggle parenting with a demanding career, actively get involved in the local community, follow their interests outside of their family life and career and still make time to be hands on with raising a child - in the most fast paced town in the world - New York City:D We are proud to have interviewed David Perry, a licensed Broker, a Dad to a 2nd Grader, co-Vice President of the PTA at one of the best elementary schools in NYC, PS199 apart from being one of the most relaxed Dads we have met to date:) So, we wanted to know more and how he does it all - read on!

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Q : What led you into a career as a Broker?

A : My older brother was my mentor. He felt that finance was the best career choice for me even though I wished to go into sales. He convinced me to seek employment in finance. At this time I had an internship at American Univesity in real estate and knew that this was going to be my chosen career path. I began working for a real estate developer in 1988. In 1998 I met Veronica Hackett one of the most powerful women in real estate. She was working in development at Woolworths and hired me as a development associate. After working with her for a year (and selling the Woolworth Building) she started her own development company and took me with her. We built 10 high rises in NYC. As the company grew I fell into the sales position when the first broker we hired on our first development walked off the job. It was a small company so you would do everything. I walked in and leased up the rest of the building in two weeks. I then managed the leasing and sales of all of the projects going forward. Eventually we hired more development staff and I was running the sales. We sold over $2.5 Billion dollars of NYC real estate during the ten years that the company was developing properties.


Q: Your record for sales in 2011 for sales was over $120 million of apartments in less than one year. What is your approach to sales and what makes you exceptional in the field of Real Estate?

A: I sold $120M of real estate in about 11 months. I am not a salesy salesperson. I state all the facts, good and bad, and sometimes say things like. “I wouldn’t buy that one if I were you.” I might have sold more had I not said those words. I would say my finance and development background offer a different perspective than the average real estate broker. Not many people have seen the volume of sales that I have in my career. I would say my one approach is honesty. It has lost me a few sales in the short run but has given me the only thing I can take with me everywhere I go. My reputation.

Q:You have a daughter in 2nd Grade. How did life change for you after you became a Dad?

A: The changes are gradual, the most significant change is when you realize that there is a larger purpose in your life than just yourself.

Q: What do you wish you knew now about being a parent before your daughter was born?

A: It goes by so quickly. Spend as much time as possible with them while you can.

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Q: If you can offer a new parent one piece of advice, what would it be?

A: There is a book called “Babywise” I credit this book to the attitude of my daughter today. Other than that get down to their level so they can see eye to eye with you and listen to them. Children need parents, and they are looking to you to set a schedule, set an example and be a parent.



Q : You are a VP of Brown Harris Stevens - can you tell us more about their services for families looking for housing in the one of the most expensive cities in the world? What can BHS offer families which similar service providers do not in New York City?

A : BHS only hires experienced individuals. It is a smaller firm with no training program. What people should take away is that our firm handles over 40% of the transactions in the luxury market even thought there are two firms which are substantially larger. This firm knows how to market and sell million dollar listings. And as a result, its agents know what to look out for during the purchasing process.

Q: Apart from working full time in a highly pressurized and demanding profession and raising a child, you are also very actively involved with the PTA of your daughter's school. Tell us about PS199 and what led you to be very involved with volunteering your time for this school?

A : Before My daughter was born I was on the board of a charity that built low income housing which provided services to those that needed it most. This charity built over 300 units during my tenure there and I facilitated the transfer of an entire building to the charity. All of the units in that building will forever be used by the families that need it most. I felt that as my daughter reached kindergarten age I should devote more time to the facility responsible for her education. PS 199 has an active PTA and I felt this was a good place to focus my efforts.



Q: What do you do in the little spare time you do? (yoga/gym/camping etc)

A: I do yoga 4 or 5 days a week. When I am not running around this city with my daughter I enjoy playing golf, but that has amounted to only a few rounds a year.


Q : The Founder of Mom to Moms first connected with you through our mutual interest in volunteering for PS199 - what do you think about our approach to finding childcare solutions?

A : Moms to Moms provides an excellent solution to finding vetted childcare for your children so you can maximize your career and spend the most quality time with your child. 

Families! Whether you are buying, selling or renting in Manhattan, call a Dad who gets it:) 

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David can be contacted at his office on 212-588-5697 or his cell phone : 917-496-5081. David's office is located at:

Brown Harris Srevens

1926 Broadway

New York, NY 10023


Can we make all our kids social butterflies?

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

At a recent cocktail party for parents of my 6 year old twins, a Dad of two sons, explained how different his two sons are. He said the environment has remained the same when the younger son was born and both boys live with both parents and nothing has changed in their approach to parenting with the second son, but he said they are as different as light and day. So, I asked him, how does he explain the differences and he said 'Nature and Nurture'. I also shared with him that I am trying to figure out if I can make one of my sons more sociable within his peer group and about the differences in social skills between my own identical twins who have had the same environment and have not had any differences in their upbringing to date.

Is a child's development influenced primarily by genetics and biological predisposition? Or, could the majority of influence be found in the child's environment? This nature/nurture question is possibly one of the oldest theories debated in psychology (Bee, 2004). Today, it is commonly accepted that most aspects of a child's development are a product of the interaction of both nurture and nature (Bee). Both sides of the nature/nurture argument present compelling evidence of how each factor impacts development. It is no longer a question of whether it is nature or nurture, which influence development, but more importantly in what ways, and to what extent.

I asked some parents what their thoughts were on one particular aspect of a the twins personality - social skills. Are they both equally sociable and if they think genetics has more influence on social skills or whether we can help them increase their social skills. Here are some of the answers I received :

Dede Daquilante, Mom to twins + 1, Tampa, Florida

"My twins (boy/girl) ARE in the same kindergarten class. They are both very social children and have no problem making friends with others on their own.....however, they are each others "best friend" and they do tend to be friends with the same kids. Although they each have their "best friend" of the same sex. They both prefer to just have one bestie because they always gravitate to each other as well. Almost as if their is not enough time for more OR... a bit of jealousy. Especially if the bestie is playing with someone else, choice two is the twin. This becomes a problem because it doesn't always happen at the same time and someone usually gets their feelings hurt because (they ignore the other at that moment) and yet I hear about it immediately when I pick them up, even if it only happened for a minute or so. Quite the impact others have on each other!!!! 

Next year I do plan to separate them in first grade classrooms. Mainly because they have completely different learning styles and personalities. I will admit, I selfishly would love to keep them together for convience sake, but I know that I really need to give them this opportunity to find there way on their own. Because my 3 are so close in age, I forsee them always having the same group of friends and being very close thoughout their school years. My son is probably the most dependent on the girls for social situations and he tends to be the "funny guy" and spook/bother the girls. This always makes him popular with the other boys because they are not as comfortable "playing" with the girls, but for my son its easy."

Hayley Cartridge, Mom to 4, UK

"Strange answer but both it depends on the mood they are in. One day they are both friends with (a) the next only one likes (a) and they prefer to play with (b) if you know what I mean:)  I do think with ID twins other children find it hard, only today when I went to pick them up another child (who's in the same class) said theirs the other one! They didn't know who was who, Isabel was with me and she was talking about Fern who was getting her coat and one had trousers on the other a skirt. So I do think sometimes its easier for others to play with both that way they don't get their names wrong.

In classroom they are ok in reception they did 9/10 tasks together, Isabel didn't like it if Fern got called to do something and she would sit or stand next to her thus joinging ferns gp, but if Isabel got called Fern wasn't too bothered, so one has more confidence than the other"

Anthea Barton, Mom to identical twins + 1, UK

Aneira & Rowan have the same and separate friends. They're one of the most mature in the class and have no problems at all socialising, learning etc. they are very very sharp and have learnt quickly a hierarchy of befriending ... Adults first, older kids then class mates;)Friendships change as they move through the school. Tarran only really cemented her core group of friends in the school year 6-7 years. Aneira & Rowan are still working their core friends out. Also the school deliberately mixes the classes up each year so the children make new friends and learn to work with others/handle change.

Carla Greeb, Mom of fraternal twins, New York

"They share friends, but they have their own too!!!

I also looked back into my own family to see how influencial the home environment has been, especially in my father's family. My father was one of five brothers in one happy family, raised by two happy, successful parents and ONE Nanny:) Yet, I remember being told by my own father 'five fingers in one hand are all different':) My own father is no more, so I reached out to one of his brothers and asked for his opinion.

Preethi Perera is also the Seceretary General for UNESCO and based on his life experience to date and having brought up a daughter himself, this is what he had to say : 

First, I asked him about his twin brothers and their social skills :

"Both S (Srian) & J(Janaka) Twins were a strange mix,sometimes together and sometimes apart in their activities.Together with friends, sports and mischief, with the S being older by 10 minuites, usually taking the initiatives.Studies and interests were different.

Being of same age they were in the same class at a very young age,but separated in class as they grew older.They had common friends in school and often did things together,including sports and partying.Of course,as they got old,they each went their separate ways,with family,friends and professions and occupations. However,no doubt,the family bonds were always there and continued to the very end.

Srian was always the more talkative,Janaka was less,when young. I was quiet then and even now, where talking out is concerned. But,we all had our own inner strengths.

Difficult to change what one is. But,influence,you can. I totally agree that social skills are important even from a vey young age. But,it can come by way of different means.

In my view,what is most important in the early stages and even right throughout life, are the following;

1.Learning to learn

2.Learning to do

3.Learning to be(to harness ones inner potential)

4.Learning to live together.(Most important,to be cohesive in society,respecting the other and the environment you live in).More important than a PHD.

Then comes the transferable skills,such as;

Ability to communicate well(Including in other languages,where possible,as per aptitudes),be positively critical,analytical,take initiative,be able to think and decide and take action as appropriate,be entrepreneurial.

The transferable skills can gradually emerge,as you move on to be in the age group of 14-16,which will help enhance life skills,beyond the academic aspects.

My thinking is that at this stage and age,they should concentrate on the first 4 straits,learning to learn,learning to do,learning to be and learning to live together with others and respecting the environment that surrounds you.Above all,to be a positive thinker,which is the first characteristic of a peaceful person.Sports and games will also help a great deal at a young age. It will help in being more sociable and to act less silly.

Below is a detailed explanation of the nature versus nurture debate, which can be found at  for thos who would like a detailed explanation. There seems to be general consensus that parents can to some extent influence social skills of a growing child, maybe not to be able to turn every child into a totally confident social butterfly, but through leading by example and increasing the confidence levels of a child, it will most certainly help the child become more socially confident. 

The Impact of Nature on Development

Nature, which is also known as heredity, is the genetic code you are born with. It is passed on to you from your parents. Some examples of nature or heredity could be your height, behavior, and IQ just to name a few.


The issue of nature having a great impact on a child's development can be illustrated in the studies of twins. Flanagan (2002) explored the Minnesota study in which a set of twins was raised separately. In one case, a set of identical twins was raised apart, known as the Jim twins. They did not meet until they were almost forty and had many similarities even though they were raised apart. There was no real explanation for all their similarities except that nature must play a crucial role in development. "The Minnesota twin study concluded that on multiple measures of personality and temperament, occupational and leisure-time interests and social attitudes, mono-zygotic twins reared apart are about as similar as are mono-zygotic twins reared together" (Flanagan). This is a prime example that nature plays a significant role in our development.


Another example of nature is the study of adopted babies. Families with adopted children share the same environment, but not the same genetic code (Flanagan, 2002).


The Texas Adoption Project found "little similarity between adopted children and their siblings, and greater similarity between adopted children and their biological parents" (Flanagan). This example also shows how important the role of nature plays on a child's development.


Knowing that nature plays a role in a child's development, educators can use this to determine possible disabilities. For example, if two parents have a reading disability, it is more likely that their child may develop a reading disability as well. It gives teachers a heads up on what to look out for. This can help educators be proactive and intervene at earlier ages.


The Impact of Nurture on Development


The influence of a person's environment on their behavior is a very commonly accepted factor. The question is how much can the environment affect the behavior and abilities of a person. Some basic factors such as nutrition can be shown to have an important influence on the abilities of a person. It has also been demonstrated that fears, through the experiences of children, can be learned. Most importantly, some behaviors, if not learned from the environment, will never develop. Environment plays a significant role in development as humans.


When considering a person's environment in influencing ability, nutrition plays an important example. In one study, a group of children were given vitamin and mineral supplements for eight months. They were given intelligence tests before and after the eight-month treatment. The result was improvements in scores as compared to another group whom we not given vitamin and mineral supplements ("Nature vs. Nurture", 2001). The results suggest that environment plays a role in the intellectual ability of people. It is not an illogical leap to understand this will probably extend to physical abilities as well.


Another example of environmental influences in the behavior of people comes from a study done to an infant of 11 months. The infant was subjected to a terrible noise whenever he attempted to touch a white rat in the room with him. The child later displayed fear whenever he came in contact with anything white or furry ("Nature vs. Nurture", 2001).


A last example of environmental influences in behavior comes from France in 1799. A boy of 12 or 13 was found running with wolves. When he was discovered he was brought back into society. He never developed as a normal human and had tremendous difficulties in society ("Nature vs. Nurture", 2001). This suggests that much of what we consider human behavior is socially learned.


While no one would suggest that nurture is the only factor that needs to be considered in discussing behavior, it is definitely a significant factor in how we behave as humans. By ignoring the environment, we would miss a large part of what shapes and guides us in life.


In conclusion, both sides of the nature/nurture debate present evidence which supports its impact on development. Studies have shown that heredity is a major factor in developmental similarities among twins raised separately (Flanagan 2002). Studies have also shown that nutrition plays a significant role in cognitive development ("Nature vs. Nurture", 2001). Most experts agree that most aspects of a child's development are a product of the interaction of both nurture and nature (Bee, 2004). Interestingly, in recent years, new technology has enabled scientists to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic component of development, increasing interest on this side of the debate (Bee). Although no longer an "all or nothing" issue, the extent to which nature and nurture affect development will likely be debated for years to come."

 What do YOU think? Comments welcome:)


Annie! on Broadway and unexpected consequences:)

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When 'The Moms' sent me an invite to attend 'Annie' on Broadway, I was thrilled to bits as it is a childhood favourite of mine and my 6 year old twin boys who were so very excited. Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre). It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Me with one of my sons, all excited waiting to see Annie on Broadway:)

The show started at 8 pm and as we sang along to "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard-Knock Life", we did not see the time soon reaching 11 pm. We got back home after enjoying an amazing show which I am sure my sons will never forget, and nor will I. We cannot wait to see Annie again:) I recommend the show to all families with children. The story of a orphan is an eye opening tale to most of us whose children are privileged and are from loving homes. My sons got a glimpse of what it is like for those children who are without parents to take care of them.

My sons, who normally go to bed at 6.30 pm and are fast asleep before 8 pm went to sleep by midnight. In their lifetime, we have never taken them out in the evenings past their bed time, and have always stuck to a rigid routine of not commiting to any social functions after their bed time or we go alone without them. Being a school night, was not sure how my sons would feel the next day. I let them sleep until they got up by themselves the next morning and both were up at 7.30 am and got ready to go to school appearing their normal active selves. 

One of my sons has acted up in school the whole day, and got himself into trOuble, having now been disciplined for his bad behavior. I felt so bad as a parent when I heard about his behavior as it was my fault for having taken him out well past his bed time and expected him to function well having lost 5 hours of sleep which he normally get. My other son said he was too tired to misbehave and it is easier for him to behave when he i stired:roll:

The next morning, I was approached by a senior member of staff who suggested I get my son evaluated due to his behavior on that one day where his behavior was exceptional and not the norm. My response was he certainly does not, he has lost 5 hours of SLEEP!!!! He was then interogated for 30 minutes by this staff member and then cleared of any need for therapy of any kind or an evaluation:)  I was disappointed educators are quick to make judgments and refer for evaluations or therapy without taking the time to figure out and understand the cause of the behaviour as in this case, there was an explanation to my son's behaviour. With hindsight, I should have mentioned to the class teachers both boys might be out of tune that day as they went to bed at midnight, as opposed to 6.30 pm and to send them home if they show signs of being over tired. 

Lesson learned from this experience is that 6 year olds need 10-11 hours of sleep a day and it is best not to keep school aged kids up beyonD their usual bed time on school nights and if possible, any night as a small change in sleeping time can have an impact on their performance in school the following day and children cannot 'catch up' on their sleep at weekends. 

Lack of sleep is a national epidemic for today's children, and the consequences are serious.(

Why aren't kids getting enough sleep?


Children ages 5 to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Yet studies show that most kids are getting about an hour less sleep each night than they did 30 years ago.


Why? Extracurricular activities, such as sports teams and arts programs, may schedule events at night. Working parents who get home late may feel guilty and want to spend time with their children in the evening. Too much homework and the many distractions of television, video games, and computers all play a role. In addition, all the pressures and stresses of today's frenetic lifestyles may make it difficult for kids to calm down so they can fall asleep.


Catching up on sleep is not a good option


Parents may think they'll let their children catch up on sleep on the weekend. But sleep experts at the Mayo Clinic advise against this practice as irregular sleep schedules can affect the biological clock, hurt the quality of sleep and cause greater irritability. Children who sleep in on the weekend may have an even harder time getting up for school on Monday morning, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It's better, the experts say, to keep similar schedules during the week and on the weekends.


Make sleep a priority


Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, teacher, parent educator, and author of Sleepless in America, says parents can play a key role by placing a high value on their children's sleep. She says the first step for parents is to "make sleep a priority."


"Scientific research links heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity with lack of sleep. There's also a study out of the University of Michigan," adds Kurcinka, "that shows that 20 to 25 % of kids with ADHD have sleep disorders. Sleep is not a luxury. This is about health and well-being."


Some parents may think that their child isn't sleeping much because he just doesn't need as much sleep as other children. But Kurcinka doesn't buy that argument. She says, "When I hear a parent say, 'He is a kid who doesn't need sleep,' generally this means he is a kid who can't sleep. He needs help learning to calm himself to get to sleep. If I see a child who has behavior problems, can't focus or pay attention, a child who's getting sick a lot, craving carbohydrates, I'll want to look at how much sleep he's getting. Maybe the child is just exhausted."

Lack of sleep is linked to a multitude of problems


Several studies presented at Sleep 2007, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, highlighted some of the adverse effects caused by lack of sleep — aggressive behavior and bullying, poor grades, poor attention span, disruptions in cognitive and linguistic function including the skills necessary for reading and language development. A few scientists theorize that sleep problems at a young age can cause permanent changes in a child's brain structure.


Lack of sleep may be the cause of behavior problems


Sometimes lack of sleep will be the reason behind temper tantrums, morning meltdowns and irritable behavior. Your child may not be able to tell you that's the problem and you may not see it because a tired child may become a wired child-full of energy. "It's as though their body is out of control," says Kurcinka. "And it is."


Kurcinka says parents need to set limits on extracurricular activities and computer time, and become advocates at their school for reducing the amount of homework, and encouraging schools to adopt later start times.


More and more children lack sleep — a disturbing trend


Kurcinka argues that lack of sleep among children is more common now than ever before and attributes this trend to three factors: science, safety, and achievement.


"Science — The research on early brain development and the importance of brain stimulation has meant kids are overstimulated starting at a young age. They begin by watching 'Baby Einstein' videos and continue from there. Safety-parents are afraid to let kids go out and play so they provide more structured activities which tend to be organized around adult hours and schedules. Achievement-so much is competitive and overly achievement oriented for kids, from soccer to gymnastics to academics."


To counter these factors, Kurcinka says, parents should "create an environment that values sleep and is conducive to it. The bottom line is that parents of children who are successful have a secret weapon — they protect their kids' sleep. Kids who get more sleep have higher grade-point averages. In a study reported in the journal, Child Development, in 2003 entitled 'The Effects of Sleep Restriction and Extension on School-Age Children: What a Difference an Hour Makes,' Tel Aviv University researcher Avi Sadeh found that even 41 minutes less sleep each night can affect memory and attention."


Managing sleep patterns begins in the morning


Kurcinka says managing sleep problems and controlling stress levels begins in the morning by making time for a peaceful family breakfast. She sees it as a way to take time to sit and talk, to "check in" and connect with your child. By starting the day without rushing, you set a calm tone for the rest of the day.


Avoiding bedtime battles


To avoid bedtime battles at night, Kurcinka advocates establishing a calming, predictable bedtime routine attuned to your child's needs that will help her wind down. In her book, Sleepless in America, she compares the process of getting your child to bed to landing a jumbo jet:


"Landing a jumbo jet is not a simple process. Miles from their destination, the pilots begin to prepare. They check the weather, determine which runway to utilize, the level of instrumentation to use on approach as well as the optimal speed. Once those decisions are made, they start to configure the aircraft appropriately…What the crew is trained to know is that conscientious preparation and a gradual descent lead to a soft landing and satisfied customers. When it comes to bedtime, most children are like those jumbo jets. Their days are often spent 'flying' from one activity to another, and they need to gradually 'glide' from the 'high' of their day to a 'soft landing' in bed."


Spending 20 minutes with your child before bedtime in a soothing activity, such as reading, quietly catching up on the day's activities, or telling stories, can help provide the calm that will help your child transition to going to sleep. Adjusting the routine, depending on your child's mood and needs, (just as the pilot adjusts the plane's landing pattern depending on the weather) will help, too. Some days kids just need a little more connection and attention.

Seven ways to be your child's sleep advocate



  • Talk to your child about sleep. Have a conversation with your child about the importance of sleep. "Educate your child about how much sleep he needs and how it will affect his performance," advises Kurcinka. "If he wants to do well in his soccer game, or on a test, make him aware that he will do better if he gets more sleep."
  • Encourage your child to establish a sleep routine. Encourage your child to stick to a regular sleep schedule. School-age children need an average of 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Insist on a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Have a regular quiet, relaxing bedtime routine such as reading to your child or reading together to help him slow down before going to sleep.
  • Say no to late-night TV and computer use. Keep the computer and TV out of your child's bedroom. It's a good way to monitor his screen activities and make sure he doesn't stay up past his bedtime. If he insists on watching TV right before bedtime, you can tell him to start getting ready for bed during the commercials and to record "must-see" late-night shows and watch them at another time.
  • Check in with your child's teacher. Ask your child's teacher if your child is alert or sleepy in class. If he is frequently sleepy in class, that's a sign that you need to help him get more sleep.
  • The pros and cons of naps. A short nap after school (no more than 30 minutes) may be refreshing, but don't let your school-age child sleep for hours during the day as this will throw off her natural sleep schedule. It may be a stretch to convince your school to provide a time for naps, but it is done in Japan. Schools there encourage "power naps" at lunchtime, when students put their heads down on their desk for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Exercise plays a role in keeping a regular sleep schedule. "Exercise is very important, particularly getting outside and getting morning light," says Kurcinka. "But exercise raises the body temperature so it is not a good idea to exercise right before going to sleep. That means it's important to regulate organized soccer and baseball games so they are not scheduled too late into the evening."
  • Be a role model. Show your child that you make sleep a priority in your own life. Children are more likely to follow your advice if you follow the same rules for yourself.


In Honor of the Krim Family and a message to all parents

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)



Kevin and Marina Krim

On Friday, 25th october, I woke up early and logged in to check my e-mails as usual. It was in tears I read about the tragic incident in my own neighborhood, the Upper West Side about two children found stabbed allegedly by their trsuted long term, legal Nanny. A naturalized legal resident with a child of her own. When I started the business in 2007, my greatest fear was that I would place a unsafe caregiver in a private home. Following through a very long and gruelling process with each of the applicants considered by Mom to Moms along with a open dialogue with my Clients who work very hard along side me, to date, I have not had any surprises. I do not trust anybody except my Clients, the NYPD , FBI,  and my amazing business attorney Charles Gaynor  when it comes to the screening process, irrespective of how great the references are of an applicant.

Over the five years I have been screening applicants who wants to work in child care, I have met in person 1000s, but only a handful has got placed. I would say one out of every 100 applicants or more would be successful at being placed by Mom to Moms. Some I never see again and many are unsuccessful at following through a very long, gruelling screening process in place. Vast majority of my Client base are attorneys, doctors and investment bankers who are very smart themselves and having met them all in person to begin the process, we establish a very open, honest dialogue between Mom to Moms, the family and the applicants. Unlike other service providers, my search process does not run on the clock - the quickest I have placed a Nanny is within 3 days, but am known to spend on occasion weeks and months in searching and screening to ensure we have done everything possible to ensure an applicant is safe to be working with children in a privare home setting.

In today's fast paced moden life in the Western world, a lot of families are liviing away from their extended family or in some cases, there is no family members around to help out with child care. Even if a parent is not working, we are today expected to do so much more than a parent from a generation ago starting from facing the challenges of running our homes along side with raising our children, participating in schools, meeting family commitments and ensuring we remain sane. Raising a family in Manhattan has its unique challenges. From the day you give birth, after a day, you are sent holding a baby with no post partum care offered by the State. So, unless you can afford paid help, you are left holding a newborn, now knowing what to do next. If you then survice the post partum period without developing post partum depression,  then the next challenge would be facing the challenging process to secure a pre-school place, a day care or a Nanny and still be able to pay your mortgage or your rent in Manhattan.  Even if you do secure a place in a private pre-school for your child which has a range of fees between $15-40k per annum, you are still expected to particiapte in your child's school as often as every other week and also to be able to make donations - preferably more than the Jones' and the Smiths' otherwise your child might not get preferential treatment as the high donaters:) 

Hats off to those parents who can juggle it all without hiring help,  but most of us need to hire help to remain happy and sane. I am  a true believer in doing everything possible to stay a happy Mom and encourage all my girl friends and Clients to do the same. As if Mamma is not happy, then no one is happy.  I chose to hire help even before I started my business and ofcourse it was a luxury, but looking back, I also feel it was a real need as I was able to work on myself, the woman I was before I became a parent which is so very important.


Whether you are a stay at home parent, a work at home parent or a full time working parent, it is ok to hire help. This tragic incident should not deter you and make you feel guilty about having help or should lead you to be more anxious and paranoid if you are considering hiring help. There are good, credible, trustworthy caregivers out there and provided you allow sufficient time to screen and check out an applicant, you would have done everything possible to ensure he or she is safe with your child. 

It is important to work out a schedule with your caregiver that is sustainable in the long term and to maintain an open dialogue and regular meetings to discuss your child's development goals, any concerns either you or the caregiver has and also to drop in at unexpected times to be drop in on your caregiver to see if he or she is conducting themselves around your child the way you expect him or her. 

Since this tragic incident, I was asked whether psychological testing in addition to the tools I currently use would help to weed out applicants who could develop mental illness. The answer is NO - no one can predict mental illness in an individual and that would just be an expense parents can do without as it will not give you the guarantee you might be seeking about a caregiver. 

TRUST YOUR INSTINCT is the best advice I can give you. I live, breathe and dream about my Clients. To me, their child and mine is all the same - and vast majority of my Clients have multiples just like me. I never rush through  screening an applicant, however urgent a Client says his or her needs are and keep on emphasizing the importance of following the screening process through as thoroughly as possible.

Tomorrow,  8th November, 2012, I will be hosting a FREE Seminar on everything you need to know about hiring a Nanny - please join me!



Shaken by a Baby Nurse

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)


The picture shows Sarah Jane Donohue,  who was violently shaken by her baby nurse when  she was only five days old, breaking four ribs, both collarbones and causing a severe Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury – PABI.

It was with tears in my eyes I read newspaper reports of Sarah Jane Donohue, who was shaken by her Baby Nurse. Sarah's parents, residents of Manhattan thought they were doing the very best for their newborn

They hired a baby nurse because they wanted everything to be perfect for their first child. So they did not understand why their newborn suddenly became lethargic and could no longer nurse at her mother’s breast.

At the time the Donohues hired her, in June 2005, Ms. Allick was legally permitted to call herself a baby nurse, even though she was not a licensed nurse and had taken only a three-day training course.

Ms Allick, a so-called "baby nurse" confessed to violently shaking and seriously injuring two babies in New York City. Sarah Jane Donohue suffered brain damage, two broken collarbones and broken ribs after their baby nurse Noella Allick, 29, shook her violently when the baby was 5 days old and have worked for about 12 families in the Manhattan area.

First-time parents Patrick and Vanessa Donohue thought they had done everything right when they chose their baby sitter, interviewing 20 different candidates before hiring Allick. They checked her references and ultimately selected her because she was a mother and appeared to have a calm demeanor. The parents are quoted to have said "We had no idea she had evil in her heart, and we couldn't have known that," (

These so called “baby nurses” qualification consists of a three-day course in infant and child health. They have no significant education and are illegally using the protected title of nurse, they are misleading parents and endangering infants They are not nurses as they lack the education an experience of a licensed nurse and should stop deceiving the public and begin portraying themselves as what thy are – baby sitters.


As of July 26, 2007 the New York State Nurse Practice Act reflects the passage of an amendment to Section 6903 forbiding individuals who are not licensed either as a registered professional nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) from portraying themselves as nurses or using the title “nurse” or any abbreviation or reference thereof


The “baby nurse” scam uses the reputation of the Nursing Profession to overcharge for babysitting service and to give parents a false sense of security. One should have the right to earn an honest living but to market oneself as a nurse in any form should require the proper education and licensure. To do otherwise is a violation of the law and a violation of the public’s trust.


Educational Requirements to become a Maternity Nurse:


  • The educational qualifications can be any or all of the following:
  • Registered Nursing degree - approximately 4 years
  • Associate Degree in Nursing - 2 to 3 years in college
  • Diploma in nursing - 3 years in a nursing training program
  • Diploma or other in midwifery
  • Other diploma or degree in related nursing fields.




In the United Kingdom, you can become qualified in maternity nursing if you are a


  • Registered general nurse (RGN)
  • Registered Sick Children’s Nurse (RSCN)
  • Registered Midwife (RM)
  • Registered Health Visitor (RHV)
  • Cache Diploma in Nursery Nursing
  • BTEC and NVQ in Childcare
  • Maternity Practitioner Award (MNT)


More information on Maternity Nursing in the UK can be found at


Mom to Moms Advisor works to empower parents and give them the tools to do the greatest job in the world - raising our children. After searching for qualified professionals who can offer affordable QUALIFIED help in the United States, we finally have found a Team of Qualified Nurses, who are all licensed in the State of New York City. Our team consists of Dr Jane Weiser (Lactation Consultant), and Nurse Magdala Fabre (RN, Newborn Maternal Nurse Consultant)


Nurse Magdala, RN, Chini Perera-Lunemann and Dr Jane Weiser (from left to right)


More information on the above professionals can be found here :


Advantages of Hiring a Qualified Maternity Nurse v Baby Nurse :

• Expectant and New Parents can have a Consultation via Skype/telephone to discuss specific needs

• You do not have to worry about accommodating a stranger in your home 24/7 when you bring your baby home

• You can budget hourly or daily to keep your costs to an absolute minimum

• You can meet and interview our Maternity Nurses in advance to ensure it is the type of personality that would be compatible with those in your household and YOU::)

• You will see the Nursing license and proof of eligibility to work in the United States, so that you can have the assurance your chosen Nurse can be trusted to care for you and your baby:)

• You can hire a Maternity Nurse just for a date night or to get much needed time for yourself and you will have a great time knowing you have someone qualified and trustworthy with your little one or two.


Now taking bookings for Fall 2012 Save $$$ and call us today to check availability +1-646-596-6436 and we look forward to hearing from you.




Parents, Depression in you can harm your child!

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

First published in a Parenting Blog in the Bright Mountain Blogs :

In a recent article in the New York Times, Perri Klass, MD says it is vital to check up on the parent’s mental health in the first months of a baby’s life. Unlike in most other first world Nations, no specific national strategies, plans, or policies are in place to encourage new mothers to obtain postpartum health care in the United States! In addition, the United States remains one of three countries that don’t mandate paid maternity leave


One of these things is not like the others: Mongolia, Chad, Mali, Cuba and the United States. if you guessed the United States, you’re right—but not for the reason you’d expect. What sets us apart from the others isn’t our economic power or global political clout, but rather our lack of universal paid leave for new mothers, offered by 178 nations around the world, including some of the poorest.

“The U.S. is the only high-income nation not to have paid maternity leave, while almost all middle- and low-income countries offer it, too,” says Jody Heymann, founding director of McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy and author of Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth That We Can’t Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone.

Many traditional cultures have new mothers rest for 40 days after giving birth. The new mother and baby are cared for, feed and, in some cases, massaged daily after birth. Special foods are prepared to encourage healing and restoration, as well as good milk.


And even as these cultures develop, they are finding ways of integrating traditional ways into more modern practices. For example some Chinese women are again adopting the policy of confinement after birth. They hire special "confinement ladies" to help them after the baby is born. In certain developed countries, this kind of postpartum care is paid for by the government.


In the United States, new parents can hire postpartum doulas and baby nurses, but at $25.00 to $60.00 an hour, these caregivers are often a premium for most new parents. So women are left largely on their own or with limited family resources for their short recovery period. And often the father is left out of it all together as paternity leave is a very new concept in the American workplace.

Lack of qualified post partum care in combination with lack of maternity leave increases the risks of depression in new parents as before they are physically and emotionally adjusted to the role of being a parent, they are back at work


Mom to Moms Advisor works with Alisa, a Licensed Clinical Social worker and herself a parent, whom has submitted her professional opinion on this very important topic of ensuring new parents take adequate steps to take care of themselves as otherwise, she says, the ones who will suffer the most will be the children.

This is what Alisa has to say:

“Very often people who are depressed don't seek the care they need.” A most important statement made by Dr. William Beardslee, professor of child psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in a May 8, 2012 New York Times article. Dr. Beardslee went on to say that “untreated, unrecognized parental depression can lead to negative consequences for kids ranging from poor school performance to increased visits to the emergency room to poorer peer relationships and adolescent depression.”

Strong statements indeed but necessary to educate parents on the consequences of not treating their depression.

Imagine a new born baby, dependent on his primary parent to convey an emotional road map through life. First impressions are so significant as they create the environment for a path of emotional well being or anxiety. We all have times when we feel a little sad or blue and babies are able to withstand short periods of exposure to that. Unfortunately, ongoing exposure to depression can be detrimental in the long run. The New York Times article explains how “children with a depressed parent are themselves more likely to manifest symptoms of depression, research shows, along with other psychiatric problems and behavior issues. They are more likely to make visits to the emergency room and more likely to be injured.”

New parents need more information and guidance on what to look for. The need is growing for more general practitioners and pediatricians to screen for depression and take the initiative to encourage parents to seek help. There is no positive side to being stoic when feeling depressed. You think you can disguise your depression but babies are acutely aware of their care giver's emotional state. A baby needs to feel safe and that is not an easy task for them when a parent is anxious or depressed. Ask your doctor for help if you are experiencing difficulty coping with the pressures that come with caring for a a new born. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your baby's future emotional health.


Alisa Hafkin, LCSW



Alisa works with individuals, who are experiencing difficulty with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, work and interpersonal conflicts, all within the context of the conception, pregnancy and the post-partum period. She says how you feel about your self, your life, your relationships and your pursuits can drastically change when trying to conceive, during pregnancy and after delivery.

Alisa's expertise with individuals & couples during their childbearing years developed from over seven years experience as a doula (teacher, guide, caregiver for pre & post partum families). Forming a trusting bond during this vulnerable time period enables Alisa to help people understand and cope with the feelings such as powerlessness while undergoing fertility treatments, anxiety about the future during pregnancy, helplessness when dealing with a newborn and confusion about relationships and roles.

Alisa says many individuals and couples struggle with powerful emotions that emerge during this time in their lives. She says if you feel sad, over whelmed, confused, angry, stuck or afraid, you may need help dealing with this significant change in your life. Together, with Alisa, you CAN uncover your personal resources that will provide you with feelings of competence and insight as you progress through this period in your life.

To book an appointment to have a 'chat' with the lovely Alisa, please e-mail [email protected]. Please give a contact number and a convenient time to return the call.



Alisa earned her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. She combines her phychotherapy practice with seven years experience as a doula to create a unique expertise with individuals and couples preparing and/or deaing with pre and post pregnancy issues. Her distinctive practice includes home based therapy sessions when office visists are not feasible. In addition, Alisa works in the creative arena, providing therapy for muscians through The Jazz Foundation of America. Alisa maintains a private practice in Manhattan's Upper West Side.



Post Mother's Day thoughts from Moms

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

What did Mothers Day mean to you? Did you get what you expected? When I was growing up, Mothers Day did not exist. I was brought up to show respect and appreciation to my Mother every minute, every day, although it does not mean I did:) Ofcourse on her Birthday, my Father ensured a card full of phrases to make her feel special was given and as we got older, we saved our own gifts of cash or income from our weekend jobs to buy her something we can afford. Since I have become a Mother, myself, now there is 'Mothers Day'. 

 I got to know Mothers day was approaching this year as my two 6 year old sons started class projects on working on making publications or cards for Mothers Day. Then I wondered what exciting activities we are going do together to celebrate Mothers Day. I automatically knew my partner and husband of 17 years is already stressing about how to get up at 6 am on Sunday to take the boys for Ice Hockey and then to have a plan to entertain me as well as take care of the boys:) 

What did I get for Mother's Day? I went back to bed after having breakfast and got up leisurely to have a long shower while my husband took care of our children, cleaned the kitchen and tidied up. We then decided to go to a low key Restaurant which does not charge different rates because it was 'Mother's Day'. The Restaurant was not packed and the children thoroughly enjoyed taking their time to sample the variety of dishes and I guess my husband was breathing a sigh of relief at this point noting he has saved $$$ by not being expected to go to a Steak House on Mother's Day with two high energy twin boys who are still learning to eat in a formal setting without wrecking the decor in the process:) 

After lunch, my husband and the boys went out on their bikes and rode all the way from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to South Ferry and back while I 'rested';) By 5 pm, I felt so rejuvenated and felt like the luckiest Mom alive to have been given gifts of 'sleep', and 'rest' for a whole day:)

I asked other Moms what theor 'post Mothers Day' thought were and here is what they had to say :

"It doesn't mean anything to me other than hallmark and flower shop businesses make a boat load of money. I feel the same way about valentines day!!!!! My husband, children and I don't need a fake "holiday" to appreciate each other. We try to do that each and every day. That's what makes a strong marriage and family." - Stay at home Mom to 3 - New York City

"I am very blessed, I remind myself regularly. This Mother's Day I had the joy of spending the day with my mother, Joy, and my three beautiful children. I also had the pleasure of lunching with my ex-husband. Yes, I said pleasure and ex-husband in the same sentence. I have what most will call the best divorce ever. My ex and I get along brilliantly because we recognize that is what is important for our children. I am very blessed. If Mother's Day happens to fall on a weekend the kids are with their Dad, which seems to be every year, we always have lunch together and turn it into a transfer of the children as well since I love to put my little ones to bed on this very special day. This year was no different. We met at "our" Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for Dim Sum. The boys picked out two beautiful bracelets for me from a funky shop in Brooklyn (see image).

The only help from their father was at the register (he swears!) As our peaceful and yummy lunch ended and the boys and I went off smiling one way and their father grinning another, I realized yet again, how truly blessed I am.

I hope no matter what your family looks like that you enjoyed as blessed a day as I did. Stay well." - Julie Stampler, Mom to 3 and Founder of Totem Tamers

"This Mother's day I shared things my mother taught me. I find it extraordinary that my mom who was always a stay-at-home mom, taking a weekly "salary" from my father, silently taught my sister and I to be financially independent, never relying on a man and hard working successful women in business today."

Marisa Santoro, In Our Shoes and supporting working women who Juggle it ALL. Seminar leader, Writer, IT executive at a Wall Street brokerage and a single working mother.

What is important is teaching our children to respect their elders at all times and to teach them good manners so that they learn to show their appreciation to the person as opposed to expect  them to lavish us with extravagance on just ONE day:)

All comments are welcome and please feel free to express your opinion and your experience of Mothers Day! 

Hear from the SUPER Dad running the Biggest Network of parents of Multiples in the World!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Mom to Moms is always on the lookout for products and services which will empower parents and we are thrilled to have interviewed Keith Reed, CEO of Twins and Multiple Births Association. The Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) is a charity set up by parents of twins, triplets and higher multiples and interested professionals. Keith is a father to two young children runs the biggest network of parents with multiple births in the world with a membership of 10,000 families from the UK. About 11,000 women a year in England and Wales give birth to twins, triplets or, more rarely, four babies or more simultaneously. Multiple births account for 3% of the 700,000 live births a year in the UK. 

M2M :What led you to join TAMBA?

Keith : My peer group all started getting pregnant around the same time (when we were in our 30s) and a number had twins. They were members of Tamba and knew that I had a campaigning background and suggested I might like to help the charity. Being instinctively nosey, I looked into everything about multiples and was shocked to see the higher risks in pregnancy and birth, the difficulties families faced during the early years and general lack of support. I wanted to make a difference and applied for the job.

M2M: Apart from being the CEO to TAMBA and raising a young family, you are also a honorary researcher at Birmingham University and reviewer for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth group and have contributed to publications on Multiple Pregnacy, Neonatal Care, Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and research into the educational and financial issues associated with multiple births. How do you do it all?

Keith: In my spare time, I’m a school governor and committee member of a local residents’ association. I don’t have much time for watching television but that’s a good thing.

M2M :You have worked tirelessly, having made so many changes to the well being of your members for almost 5 years. When you look back, what do you feel is the biggest change you have made for families of multiples in the UK?

Keith : I’m not being falsely modest but there are a team of 12 part time members of staff, 100s of volunteers and 1000s of supporters giving their time effort and money for the cause. Together, we’ve helped prepare over 20,000 expectant parents with free guides and classes on what to expect both in terms of the challenges and the positives. Our latest research shows that there are 1000s of happier more contented families out there as a result of our efforts.

M2M : What does TAMBA offer those expecting multiples in the UK? Are there classes locally across the Kingdom?

Keith :Yes, we keep building the network year on year. We are testing feeding classes in the coming months too.

M2M : What are the benefits of joining TAMBA?

Keith :Fundamentally you can help us to campaign, undertake research and support other families. Our families also can access a huge range of free guides, videos and discounts to a range of store and then there is our every popular, evidence based, quarterly magazine Multiple Matters.

M2M :Most pregnancies are successful and parents can look forward to having their family completed with two or more to complete their family. However, it is inevitable some of these pregnancies end in a loss. How can TAMBA help those who have experienced a loss or bereavement?

Keith : We have a dedicated and trained bereavement support group, with free guides, telephone based bereavement befrienders and active facebook page.

M2M :You do not have twins yourself, but two children of separate ages. Do you get asked how YOU know what it is like to have twins or triplets and what would you say?!

Keith : It’s not been a big deal. Even within families of multiples, the differences between the experiences can be enormous. It means I have to base all my decisions and views on the research and keep checking in with our supporters to ensure we are doing the right thing.

M2M : How did your life change after becoming a Dad for the first time? Was it different second time around?

I had to grow up when my first child was born and it meant being less selfish. It was a continuum with the second and tiredness became the norm.

M2M : If you can offer a new parent one piece of advice, what would it be?

Prepare yourself for the journey ahead rather then trying to pick everything up as you go along.

M2M : Mom to Moms Advisor was founded by a member of TAMBA, after her move to Manhattan with infant twins and a British Nanny. Tell us what you think about us!

Keith : Always supportive and always helpful.

You can REGISTER FREE with TAMBA from anywhere in the world and get immediate support and invaluable information regarding what you need to know when you are expecting twins or more!!! Join now!

Why Register?

Download their  FREE Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, Neonatal Care & Twin-To-Twin Guides Download our full range of guides and factsheets for FREE. These include: Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, Neonatal Care, Twin-To-Twin, Breastfeeding, Expecting more than one, plus dozens more, or watch our specialist dvds online -information you can trust 24:7 (worth over £100 where sold)

Order 1 hard copy of the above guides for FREE (UK Only) Order 1 hard copy of the first three guides listed above for FREE

Access to view message board for 1 month Full access to view & post on Tamba message board

Receive FREE monthly Tamba Talk e newsletter

Why Join? It will be a life saver as you will connect with other parents expecting multiples and will make friends for a lifetime!

Great savings with over 100 companies including Clarks, Mothercare & JoJoMamanBebe (money off all year round on the things you need)

Receive quarterly Multiple Matters magazine (worth £12 where sold)

Exclusive access to Tamba's unique online buggy guide and Schools Admissions & Appeals Pack

Priority invitations to Family Days, Conferences & Courses

Free access to support groups and consultants who specialise in multiple births.

Your donation goes towards our campaigns, research & support services which save and improve lives.

All this for just £2.25 per month



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