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A Rookie Dream

Advice offered from one new mom to another motivated Heather and Whitney to start Rookie Moms.com– a website devoted to sharing easy ideas to help a new mom take those first steps out into the world, babe in arms.

Name
Whitney and Heather

City / State
Berkeley, CA

What was your big dream?
Our big dream was to encourage new moms to have more fun in their first year of motherhood. We wanted to do something to both support them and to challenge them to get back on their feet and be themselves – with a baby.

How did you accomplish it?
We created Rookie Moms.com and began publishing ideas for activities that moms could do with babies in tow. We focused on activities that are good for mom as much as good for the baby.

Where did you find inspiration to get started?
Whitney was about 6 months ahead of Heather in our concurrent first pregnancies. She quickly learned that staying home with a baby all day can be lonely – and boring. When Heather’s baby arrived, Whitney gave her the strongly worded advice to get herself (and that baby!) out of the house. Heather’s very organized response was to make a list of things she liked to do and then figure out how she could do those things with a baby.

Together we discovered that many small pleasures can be enjoyed while pushing a stroller or wearing a baby. For example – go to a café to get a hot chocolate. While you are there, buy some pastries to have for dessert that night.

New moms who are still in that tentative, fragile place that we all start in should build their daily schedule around a very simple goal – to do one thing that they enjoy doing.

What motivated you to keep going?
When we began posting our activity ideas on a blog (Heather’s husband’s idea) we loved getting responses from other new moms. They would say “I wish I thought of that!” or “You are keeping me entertained!” This really fueled us to keep going. Eventually, we realized we had enough content for a book, so we shopped around a book proposal and Voila! The Rookie Mom’s Handbook: 250 activities to do with (and without!) your baby came out in 2008.

What’s your next Big Dream?
We’d like to keep growing our brand to have it stand for “fun for moms.” Whether it’s an activity or event, a book or a website, what makes something RookieMom-approved is that it satisfies a woman’s need to maintain her sense of self, relationships with friends and her partner, and/or makes her laugh. Even moms need these things.

Who is your hero?
Whitney says “If we’re stepping away from this conversation, I would say my hero is Martin Luther King Jr or Madonna or Frida Khalo.”

Heather laughs and says “if we’re keeping with the theme, my hero is Gwyneth Paltrow for making motherhood look cool or Julie McCoy for making sure everyone is having fun!”

What do you wish you did better?
Heather wishes she were better at saying “no” and guarding her boundaries. Whitney wishes she could actually finish one tenth of the projects she starts.

What book is on your night stand?
Whitney: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Heather: Just finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

What is your favorite lipstick?
Whitney: I’m still searching for the perfect one. I had one I loved for 3 years by benefit that got discontinued when I was ready to replace it.

Heather: I mix them up. Mac Dubonnet is my power lipstick; I blend it with L’oreal Real Raisin that I bought a dozen years ago to calm it down.

You read it here first: Neither of us replaces our make-up as often as recommended.

What is your favorite quote?
Either “The days are long but the years fly by” Or “Always make new mistakes”

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