Page 1

January 2020

newyorkfamily.com

Latham Thomas Doula & Activist

Winter Skin

A Seasonal Survival Guide

Sleepaway Camp 101 Workspaces & Support Groups Best Options for Moms


Saturday, January 25, 12:00 - 4:00 PM


contents

January 2020

NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 18

pg. 28

pg. 38

pg. 32

FEATURES 18 | Sleepaway Camp 101 A guide to how sleepaway camp builds life skills and independence in kids 22 | Spaces for Moms Our local picks for co-working spaces and groups that support moms 28 | Coffee Date Grab a coffee or tea latte at one of these NYC healthy cafés

pg. 14

Stories & columns 4 | Editor’s Note January Reset 6 | Mom Hacks: Beauty Our Winter Skin Survival Guide will get your skin back to glowing in no time 10 | Health Tips on dealing with an emergency room visit

30 | 5 Mom Friends you Need Which sort of mom friend is the best fit for you?

14 | Education Rich in history and curriculum NYC Catholic schools provide a strong education for students

32 | Latham Thomas: Doula & Maternal Health Advocate How this powerhouse advocates for mothers at every stage of our lives

20 | Family Day Out: Sloomoo Institute This 8,000 square foot pop-up is full of slimy fun for the entire family 74 | Last Word Trusting the magic of beginnings

Family fun 38 | Calendar Unmissable events in Brooklyn and beyond for January

Directories 12 | Activities Directory 16 | Catholic Schools Directory

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Éva Lukas Roston | evalukas.com

January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Hester Aba Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Katarina Avendaño Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Director, Business Development: Mary Ann Oklesson Partnership Managers: Erik Bliss, Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Ad Ops Coordinator: Charlotte Sauvagnat Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Nina Gallo Photography

January Reset As parents, especially moms, we tend to check-in with ourselves when the New Year arrives. We may contemplate how we may run the household more efficiently, be a better parent, and receive more support in this parenting journey. Of course, “we’re all in this together” isn’t just an empty phrase; it honestly helps to have reinforcement in life. For our January issue, we wanted to feature a mother we felt inspired us as editors of this publication to be and do better. Latham Thomas (page 32), who graces our first cover for 2020, is a leading doula and the founder of Mama Glow. We chatted with Latham about a woman’s needs in all stages of her life, as well as the serious issue of the

25-year increase in black maternal deaths in this country. If you’re searching for a space to work outside of the home, we have a great roundup of Spaces and Groups for Moms in NYC (page 22). And it’s winter, which means along with stress and fatigue, your skin may be taking a hit. Luckily we have amazing tips and products in our Winter Skin Survival Skin Guide (page 6) to get you back to a healthy glow!

Graphic Design Intern: Elvia Caballero Editorial Contributor: Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Taryn Schofield, Keana Demming

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com

Address: New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

Happy New Year! Donna Ladd Executive Editor

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps Group Publisher: Clifford Luster

New York Family has been recognized for editorial and design excellence by PMA. New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in the city! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2020 Queens Family Media, LLC


January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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mom hacks

Winter Skin Survival Guide It’s time to make your skin a priority with tips that will reward you with a healthy glow By Melissa Matthews Brown

E

ven if winter is your favorite time of year, you have to admit that it can be a little harsh on your skin. From the cooler temperatures to the whipping winds to the lack of humidity in the air, your complexion faces it all and shows it. So, what can be done? We asked a few dermatologists in New York City to dish on the four biggest winter beauty hang-ups and how to help your complexion glow all season long. Your Winter Hang-Up: Dry anD Flaky Go right ahead and blame the cold weather for your dry patches but don’t stop there.

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

Smart Tips

• Run a humidifier while you sleep to help parched skin look supple. • A daily dose of Aloe Vera gel will soften dry patches. • After a workout use micellar water, which helps remove impurities without stripping your delicate skin, to freshen up. One to try: Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water ($5) • Avoid excess consumption of alcohol and coffee, which can cause your body to lose water.

We hate to say this but you’re most likely the culprit for your dehydrated skin. Taking long, hot showers (when you can!) and over-cleansing can have your face begging for moisture, according to New York City dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Josh Zeichner, MD. These habits can disrupt the skin barrier and lead to dryness and inflammation. Dr. Zeichner recommends keeping your shower routine to 10-minutes or less using only lukewarm water, never hot. Then, always apply moisturizer immediately after. Skin can be slightly damp, to seal in hydration. When it comes to selecting a facial lotion, “look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which binds


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mom hacks

up to 1000 times its weight in water or one that contains ceramides to help strengthen the surface of your skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. In the winter, you’ll also want to limit the use of retinols, manual facial scrubs or chemical exfoliates to once or twice a week. Exfoliating more often, especially when experiencing dryness, will cause irritation and redness. Your Winter Hang-Up: DULL COMPLEXION Remember a few months ago when you were basking in the sun at the beach or enjoying a walk through Central Park? Well, as nice as it was, all that excess sun exposure and environmental pollution has a habit of catching up with your skin. “It causes uneven tone, texture, plus, it breaks down collagen adding wrinkles,” says cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, Y. Claire Chang, MD. When winter hits, your skin starts to dry out and this highlights the appearance of those fine lines making your complexion look like you haven’t slept in weeks. But before you throw a pity party for your skin, there are ways to fight back and get your glow on. Before applying your daily moisturizer with SPF, add a light layer of facial serum enriched with antioxidants like vitamin C or niacinamide to your regimen. “These ingredients help your skin stand up to the elements while evening out pigmentation and ultimately brightening up your entire face,” says Dr. Chang. She also recommends exfoliating at least once a week with an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) like glycolic acid or a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) like salicylic acid to gently dissolve dead skin cells that clog pores and bring down your radiance. Your Winter Hang-Up: STRESSED SKIN Sure the holidays might be over but they’re probably still affecting your skin. One of the biggest factors is psychosocial stress, which increases cortisol levels and causes inflammation in the skin. “Add the many nights of poor or lack of sleep and you’re left dealing with unhealthy looking skin,” says Dr. Chang. What’s worse is that these culprits can cause inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis to flare up. Chronic stress also has been shown to accelerate aging of the skin, adds Dr. Chang. So yeah, the holidays take a toll on you in more ways than one. She recommends practicing regular de-stressing techniques (go ahead and book that yoga class!), sleep well

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

Pamper Y�ur Skin

Soothing Cleanser Remove a days worth of dirt and oil with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ($10) without drying out your skin thanks to the built-in glycerin, a humectant that attracts water to boost hydration.

Hit up your local drugstore to score one (or all!) of these complexion heroes. Facial Mask Carve out 15-minutes and apply the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb The Super Hydrating Sheet Mask ($3). There’s half a bottle of serum packed with hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract in each packet to help you look radiant, instantly.

Day Cream Protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun (yes, even in the winter!) with La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid and SPF 20 ($36). The combination of hyaluronic acid and glycerin will keep your skin looking plump.

Lip Protection The magical mix of beeswax, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil and shea butter found in eos Super Soft Shea Lip Balm Sphere ($3) will treat your lips while sealing in moisture.

Night Cream Bring balance to your face while you sleep with Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream ($19.50). Within a week you’ll notice softer skin and a lot less redness thanks to the oat and calming feverfew complex. Bonus: It’s fragrance-free!

Hydrating Serum Vitamin C doesn’t just ward off a common cold, when applied topically it boosts radiance and neutralizes aging free radicals. Wake up your skin with a daily dose of L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum ($30).

(if only the kids would!), and eat a healthy diet (you can do it). You can also try antiinflammatory ingredients like tea tree oil and green tea to soothe and calm skin from excess stress. Your Winter Hang-Up: CRACKED LIPS “Unlike the rest of your body, your lips have no sweat or oil glands, meaning they lack the protective layer that keeps them smooth and moisturized,” says New York City dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weil Cornell Medical College, Marnie Nussbaum, MD. The skin upon your lips is also extremely thin and delicate. So

it’s no wonder you have more issues with them during the colder months. The constant change from cool outdoor temperatures and dry indoor heat causes your lips to dry out fast. When you’re battling cracked lips, never pick or peel them. This can make them feel worse, advises Dr. Nussbaum. Also, avoid licking your lips since the saliva quickly evaporates and makes them even drier (it’s a vicious cycle!). The best way to prevent or treat dried out lips is to apply a hydrating lip balm after you cleanse your face, brush your teeth and before going to bed at night. Invest in one that’s formulated with oil and wax. These occlusive ingredients give you a better chance of sealing in moisture.


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family health

Preparing for an Emergency Room Visit Helpful tips for those unexpected emergency room trips by Pramod Narula, m.d.

My friend recently took her toddler to the emergency room after a fall. The child was okay, it turned out, but my friend said the visit was a mess: the child was terrified and screaming and my friend’s stress level was overwhelming. Knock on wood, I haven’t yet been to the emergency room with my little one; however, I know that there is always that possibility, and I want to be prepared. Any advice to keep stress levels low for everyone?

N

o one ever plans to be in an emergency room — but you are wise to try to be mentally prepared. To best answer your question, I spoke with Erica Titlebaum, Child Life Specialist in the pediatric emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. “When things are chaotic or stressful for a patient and family in the emergency department, my job as a child life specialist is to ease their anxiety and help them to feel safe,” says Ms. Titlebaum. “Part of my job is to explain things that are happening in a simple way and use play to help patients and

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

families understand what will be happening during their visit.” “Due to our location near Prospect Park and its playgrounds and ball fields, we see many children who need stitches,” she continues. “Before the procedure, I will help the patient and family create a coping plan using medical play. Using a doll and real medical equipment, I teach them about getting stitches and we rehearse coping techniques such as deep breathing and ways to stay still even when you are scared. “Familiarizing them with the procedure ahead of time helps them to process and understand what will happen, which helps the child cope better with procedure and creates an overall better experience for everyone involved.” Titlebaum offered the following suggestions should you find yourself in the emergency room: 1. Comfort and distraction. Comfort items such as a blanket or a favorite toy from home can help your child to feel safe and secure. During your visit, using play to keep your child distracted is a trusted technique for reducing your child’s anxiety and fear.

The game “I Spy” is a great way to distract your child during the doctor’s exam. 2. Use positions that are comfortable for your child. Children feel most vulnerable when they are lying flat on their backs. While there are certainly times where this can’t be avoided, there are many times when changing your child’s physical position can ease their anxiety. Ask the physician if your child can sit on your lap or if you can lay next to your child to help them feel safe and secure. 3. Let your child feel in control. Allowing your child to have an active role in their healthcare ultimately provides them with a sense of security. Kids need to have a sense of control in unfamiliar situations. Offer choices that are realistic, such as “what ear should the doctor look in first?” gives your child some much needed control. 4. Be calm. It can be hard to keep calm when your child is nervous or anxious. However, children can sense your emotions. When you have a calm demeanor, often times your child will mimic your emotions and it will help set a tone for your visit to the emergency department. 5. You know your child best. Let us know what works best for your child and we will try to accommodate their needs. Little things such as letting us know how your child prefers to take their medication will help your child cope better during their emergency department visit. Pramod Narula, M.D. is the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at NewYorkPresbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.


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activities Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts Midwood 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 718-951-4111 BCPrepCenter.org Almost 40 years of music, theater, and dance instruction for children ages 3 to 18. MUSIC: beginner to advanced instrument and voice lessons, group classes, Suzuki study in violin, cello, and flute. DANCE: classes for ages 3 and up, from ballet to tap and hip hop and beyond THEATER: audition prep, acting and musical theater classes. Additional classes in liveaction film-making, puppetry and beat making! Their professional teachers, well known experts with extensive performance experience, encourage students’ growth at all levels in a nurturing and supportive college environment. Registration is currently underway.

Gotham Gymnastics

The Huntington Learning Center

Gowanus 315 Douglass St., Brooklyn, NY 718-722-7122 gothamgymnastics.com info@gothamgymnastics.com A seasoned group of coaches, trainers and parents, who all know the good that gymnastics has to offer. Presenting a variety of classes for children beginning with toddlers and then ranging from beginner, intermediate and advanced classes for older kids. Team registration is also available. Their mission is to instill the passion, skill and art of gymnastics in all their participants. The spring semester begins in February and registration is ongoing.

Locations throughout Westchester County, Rockland County, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. 1-800 CAN LEARN Huntingtonhelps.com Huntington is the leader in K-12 tutoring and test prep. Their certified tutors provide children with individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry, and other sciences. They also help prep students for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington’s proven programs help children develop the skills, confidence, and motivation needed for academic success. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.

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315 Douglass St, Brooklyn NY

NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020


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education

NYC Catholic Schools Their history, curriculum, admissions, and more! By Mia SalaS

W

ith the plethora of school options for your little ones in NYC, from public to private to charter, you may not have considered: NYC Catholic schools. Faith-based schools have a unique curriculum and environment that can be beneficial to all students regardless of their faith. We’ve outlined the many aspects of NYC Catholic schools so that you can learn a quick rundown of what we wanted to highlight an option that these schools encompass. History of Catholic schools in NYC In 1800, St. Peter’s Parish founded a school for 100 students on Barclay Street in Lower Manhattan, six years before the first public school in New York opened. The next Catholic school to open in Manhattan was St. Patrick’s (Old) Cathedral School in 1817 on Mott Street. By 1870, more than 22,000 kids were enrolled in Catholic schools. The Department of Education of the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn which encompasses both Brooklyn and Queens continues to develop the Catholic system in NYC. Over the years, many notable people have graduated from New York’s Catholic schools, including Al Smith, the first Catholic to run for president, and Sonia Sotomayer, the first Latina Judge on the Supreme Court. The Catholic school experience NYC Catholic schools foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for kids of all backgrounds. The Catholic faith is very much a part of the educational experience. Gospel ideas guide the structure and content of lessons, and students might participate in daily prayer and the regular celebration of Mass. As character formation and personal spirituality are integral aspects of Catholic teachings, the schools put forth a valuecentered curriculum that not only focuses on academics, but fosters social, emotional, and spiritual growth. While the Catholic religion is practiced and taught, it is also the model for shaping

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

the goals and environment of Catholic schools. In Catholicism, this means an encounter with the Spirit, the message, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Teachers focus on molding students intellectually, socially, and morally. Structure of NYC Catholic schools Catholic schools start as young as Pre-K and continue through high school. Little ones can enroll in Pre-K, free universal Pre-P (UPK), or free-standing private Pre-K. Not all New York Catholic schools offer all three Pre-K programs, so be sure to check if your local option has the Pre-K program you’re looking for. Elementary schools accommodate students in Pre-K through eighth grade, so there are no designated middle schools. High schools are then from 9th to 12th grade. Curriculum and academics Technology plays a big part of education in all NYC Catholic schools. With some schools utilizing Chromebooks, Google Classroom, SMART Boards, and MAP, students get to engage with technology from a young age. The Pre-K and UPK programs use Center-Based Learning, which encourages little ones to make their own choices about selecting activities. The goal is to instill self-motivation, independent thinking, and social skills. Many kindergarten programs feature the new Dash and Dot pilot, which introduces students to robotics. We also love the emphasis on community service for kindergarteners, in which little ones get to participate in service projects and learn to care for others and those in need. The elementary school curriculum follows the National Common Core Learning Standards. The English Language Arts explore language and writing while including discussions on Catholic values and ethics when reading religious and secular literature. Schools offer music theory and performance at every grade level, as sacred music is a central part of the Catholic Church. They

also teach that science and religion are not separate spheres; kids can seek out scientific knowledge and still be devoted to their faith. In the transition to high school, students can choose either co-educational or single-sex education. Admission & tuition for Catholic Schools Catholic schools welcome children of all faiths, so you do not have to be Catholic to apply! The first step to apply is to visit a school and take a tour. Once you’re ready to apply, fill out the online application, and call the school to schedule an interview. Next, consider whether you want to apply for financial assistance or scholarship awards. Admission to high schools requires the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools, which eighth-graders take in November. Many elementary schools allow you to enroll your kids at any time, provided there is space in the class. If you’re looking for a faith-based education that emphasizes morals and values, boasts strong academics, and creates an inclusive atmosphere, then consider enrolling your kiddos in an NYC Catholic school for the upcoming school year.


OUR LADY OF TRUST CATHOLIC ACADEMY 1696 Canarsie Rd Brooklyn, NY • 718 241-6633 www.ourladyoftrustca.org

St. Edmund Elementary School Your child is cordially invited to join our vibrant school community!

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Personal Tours Available Upon Request Nursery to 8th Grade For registration information or to schedule a tour, please call 718-648-9229 Ext 21 1902 Avenue T Brooklyn, NY 11229 Website: stedmundelem.org Email: saintedmundelem@gmail.com Scholarship Information is available at: futuresineducation.org

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January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

15


catholic Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Par�ner wi�h Us

Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy

Canarsie 1696 Canarsie Road, Brooklyn, NY 718-241-6633 oltca.org Pre-K3 (3-year-old program) through grade 8 instruction. Smartboard, Computers and Internet access in every classroom. Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy provides all students with a Catholic faith-based education rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ. They strive to facilitate each child’s optimum growth and development – spiritually, intellectually, and socially. Under the guidance of Our Lady of Trust, the school fosters and creates an atmosphere of warmth and caring; a place where the development of confident, self-sufficient, responsible, moral human beings may flourish and grow. The school provides a safe, nurturing learning environment for each child.

Prospect Lefferts Gardens 400 Lincoln Road, Brooklyn, NY 718-778-3700 sfabrooklyn.org office@sfabrooklyn.org This school has educated children for over 100 years in the Catholic tradition of excellence, and follows the NYS curriculum for the core subjects. Specials include physical education, technology, music, art, and performing arts. Students are instructed to act as peer mediators, classes include focus on conflict resolution and non-violent behavior and the school’s Peace Garden is a continual reminder of their commitment to creating a peaceful society. Students graduate equipped with strong study skills, time-management and note-taking techniques that prepare them for High School and College. Tuition Assistance is available through programs sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the SFACA Alumni Scholarship Program.

St. Edmund Elementary School

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Sheepshead Bay 1902 Avenue T, Brooklyn, NY 718-648-9929 stedmundelem.org saintedmundelem@gmail.com A coeducational elementary school serving students from Nursery through 8th Grade. The school endeavors to educate the whole child: Spiritually, academically, socially and physically, in order to become responsible moral citizens in today’s society. The school envisions their program an academic center founded upon solid Christian and academic principles serving children and reflecting their multicultural backgrounds. St. Edmund Preparatory High School is located next door and they enjoy a close, ongoing relationship. Many of their graduates go on to high school at St. Edmund Prep.

St. Patrick Catholic Academy Bay Ridge 401 97th St., Brooklyn, NY 718-833-0124 stpatrickca.org Intelligent, Spiritual, and Compassionate/Catholic Education at its Finest since 1863. Students (age 3 to grade 8) are critical thinkers and thoughtful critics; they respect one another and are compassionate. Early Childhood Program students explore, discover, imagine, and learn in nurturing spaces under the watchful of experienced, caring teachers. The curriculum prepares students to reach their goals and meet the challenges of high school and beyond. Early Bird (7am) and Extended Day (ends at 6pm) programs; Nursery half and full-day options; Literacy & Laughter Toddler Program. The Principal is Kathleen Curatolo.


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Sle�paw�y Camp 101 A GUIDE FOR THE HESITANT PARENT

BY JESS MICHAELS

Y

our husband has been telling you for years that camp changed his life and he would like your child to have the same experience. Your best friend tells you all the time that sleepaway camp made her into the person she is today. But you never went to camp and you just don’t get it. What’s so special about camp and what can your child gain at camp that they can’t get at home with you? If this sounds a bit like you, read on to learn more about why camp can be such a wonderful growth experience for your child. Camp is a gift for your child Parents who never went to overnight camp themselves often think of it as a punishment – why else would you send your child away from you for the summer? “Many parents who never went to camp think a parent who sends their child to camp must not love them but it’s the contrary,” says Michael Baer, owner and director of coed camps Chipinaw and Silver Lake in Swan Lake, N.Y. “You are giving your child a gift. Children get the chance to gain independence and build life skills that they don’t get at home. I know this is an extremely difficult decision for parents who don’t understand camp and you may not understand until your child comes home from a couple of weeks away but they will return feeling good about themselves and confident, which is really gratifying to see.” Lauren Bernstein, owner and director of Camp Walden, a coed overnight camp in Diamond Point, N.Y., agrees. “It’s hard to wrap your head around sending your child away but remember that it’s not something you are doing to them. It’s something you are doing for them. Even though it’s hard to not have your child home, and you will miss your son or daughter, the upside is the growth experience you are giving them.”

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Camp fosters independence It’s very hard for children to truly gain independence when they are at home with mom and dad. Being away at camp allows for a healthy separation, giving children the opportunity for personal growth. “Once you are a parent, you spend all this time nurturing your children and setting them up for success. It’s hard to think of trusting someone else and taking a leap of faith by sending them off to camp,” explains Bernstein. “However, camp is a time for children to foster independence. We are a generation of parents that are so involved in our kids’ lives. It’s important for children to have the opportunity to go to camp and learn to navigate things on their own, with the help of caring adults other than their parents.”

generation of young people is that camp may well be the last unplugged environment for children. Children often have their heads buried in their phones and playdates consist of kids hanging out together, texting away. Bernstein says that parents don’t even realize this benefit of camp when they are choosing one for their 8-year-old but learn to appreciate it when they are 11 or 12 years old. “Camp gives children a break from social media and the pressures that go with it. There is no filter at camp, allowing campers to just live in the moment without staring at Instagram to see how many people like their photos or watching friends have a good time at an event they aren’t involved in.”

Camp builds resilience Experts contend that today’s children have very little resilience and have trouble coping when they don’t do well at something. “Unfortunately, we created this. We live at a time when everyone is a winner. There is no question that this is mentality detrimental to kids,” says Baer. “When they get into the workplace, there will be times when there will be winners and losers, and if we don’t prepare them with coping skills and how to work through these disappointments, we are doing them a disservice.” He also encourages parents to have a realistic view of camp. “Camp is not a utopian experience and we try to educate parents that not every day at camp will be perfect. The beauty of camp is there are highs and lows, which is representative of life. “We work on helping campers build skills to help them get through the low times without the help of mom and dad. They come to realize that there are counselors and friends to help pick them up when they fail.”

Strong friendships are made at camp Camp is a place where strong friendships are formed and where kids can just be themselves. “I always encourage campers to go to camp on their own and not where all their friends from home are going,” says Baer. “As much as it’s a safety net, it’s nice to go to camp independently and have the opportunity to reinvent yourself and move away from the stereotypes people have boxed you into at home. Children can be themselves at camp and be accepted for who they are and not who they are at school.” Bernstein adds, “When children live together 24/7, they have no choice but to peel back the layers and share, whether it’s the good moments or the hard ones. They support each other and when they have a disagreement, they work it out face to face and talk it through. Camps work hard to create an environment that is less judgmental and one where children are accepted for who they are.

Camp gives a break from technology One of the best parts about camp for this

Jess Michaels is director of communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey.


January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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Family Day out

Slime of

the Times

The new Sloomoo Institute in Soho features a DIY slime bar and lots more sensory fun By Hester ABA

S

loomoo Institute in Soho, Manhattan, has been generating a ton of buzz among those moms and dads who are always in search of fun indoor things to do with kids in New York, especially when it’s either rainy or face-numbingly cold. Sloomoo Institute opened at the end of October 2019, and will be open until April 2020 in NYC before moving on to another city. However, as we’ve seen with Color Factory, experiences initially conceived of as pop-ups can go on to become permanent! We went to check out this new opening to see whether it lives up to the hype, and to understand whether a whole experiential space dedicated to slime could entertain both me and my 9 year-old daughter. Sloomoo, which is located on Broadway near Canal Street Subway Station, is in a regular store-front, meaning you can see inside from the street. However you don’t get a sense of just how big the 8,000 square foot space is until you “check in”, as only Sloomoo’s retail area is visible from the outside. You can enter the Sloomoo store to purchase slime and slime accessories (yup, that’s a thing) without needing a ticket. After checking in with a welcoming staff member, you are given a sticker with your “slime name” which is just your name with all the vowels changed to “oo”, so my name was “Hoostoor”. All Sloomoo staff members are dressed in colorful jumpsuits covered in cute patches (also available for purchase). Once you receive your sticker, you can line up to enter the main experience space as they (sensibly!) control the flow of people to ensure the space doesn’t get overcrowded. Visitors are encouraged to sanitize their hands before playing with any of the slime exhibits, and you can then set off on your slime journey. Different masses or lumps of slime are displayed in sink-like ceramic containers

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around Sloomoo, each with the type of slime, color and scent noted on a caption on the wall next to it. You can reach in and play with the slime, and kids do this enthusiastically, with the adults around me being a lot more tentative. It’s definitely enjoyable from a sensory perspective though as my daughter’s default speed setting through any kind of museum is “sprint”, I couldn’t slow down and enjoy playing as much as I would have liked to! Aside from the individual slime stations, there are several other fun components to Sloomoo, including a glow-in-the-dark slime tent, an EEG machine where you can see your brain “on slime” and an area where (if you buy a premium ticket) you can have slime rain down on you while the Sloomoo song is played. Or as we decided to do, you can just watch other people getting slimed, which is much more enjoyable! The highlight of the Sloomoo Institute for us was the 150 foot “DIY bar” where you can custom-create your very own slime to take home. You start by picking your texture of slime by touching un-colored samples, which is when you realize that the different

slime exhibits were actually opportunities to discover what your favorite kind of slime is. My daughter and I chose the “glossy” slime type, which actually ended up being a little bit sticky, so I’d probably recommend trying a different type! After you’ve chosen your slime texture, you’re handed a plastic tub with your plain slime in it, and move along to choosing the scent for your slime. Demeter Fragrance Library have provided all of the scents for the slime bar, so they’re genuinely delightful, and if you’re not under too much pressure from people behind you in line, it’s fun to smell widely before making your choice and some of the fragrance is dropped into your tub! Next up is choosing the color for your slime, which you can do from a color menu from around 40 different options. The powdered color is also popped into your tub. Next up was choosing “charms” for your slime, which was genuinely confusing and my daughter got a bit upset at the idea of getting these really lovely charms covered in slime so ended up not choosing any at all. I think the charms really only work if you have chosen clear slime


The Sloomoo Institute has a window to the street, and extends to a huge 8,000-squarefoot space that includes a glow-in-the-dark slime tent (above) and the walkable “Lake Sloomoo” (right). initially, otherwise you’ll just end up with hard, lumpy pieces in your slime. I felt like that was the one part of the Sloomoo experience which didn’t quite make sense, or perhaps just wasn’t communicated very well. Once you’ve made all your choices, you’re ushered into a room with different desk stations to mix up your slime, which is done by hand with an assist from another jumpsuit-clad team member. At this stage both my daughter and I did get some slime and color on our clothing, so I’d recommend not wearing your very best clothes to Sloomoo, and wearing sleeves that can easily roll up. Slime will come out of clothing with a bit of vinegar, or you can just do as I did and wait for it to try before picking it off. After we had finished making our slime, we headed to an area where you can actually

take your shoes off and walk on slime. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it at first but my daughter insisted, and it was surprisingly pleasant if you don’t think too much about other peoples’ feet! The final stop before heading out is to walk through the gift shop where you can buy slime and slime accessories (little packs of glitter and balls for example that you can mix in with your slime). We had been in Sloomoo for almost exactly one hour, which I think would be about the average if you’re moving at a reasonably swift pace. My daughter gave it two thumbs up and said she had loved it. She has also played with her slime several times since we visited. From my point of view it’s a fun outing for a special treat, and as an adult there is definitely

enough to keep you engaged. Sloomoo have started doing adult-only “Sip and Slime” events as well as events incorporating CBD which I can imagine being very fun! Sloomoo Institute is located at 475 Broadway, between Broome and Grand, and will be open every day from 10 am – 9 pm from October 25 to April 18. Tickets are on sale at sloomooinstitute. com. General admission tickets are $38 and come with an 8-ounce custom slime. For an additional $30, guests are able to don a custom poncho and participate in a photoshoot at Sloomoo Falls, where slime will rain down on you. January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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SpaceS for Moms

Our local picks can give moms the support they need or just a place to call their own By Mia SalaS and donna ladd

W

omen need to have a space just for them: a space to share ideas, connect, and support each other. In these all-female spaces, women can truly have a voice, surrounded by other inspiring and encouraging women who are ready to listen. Moms are often even more in need of a space to call their own, so we’re rounding up the best Spaces for Women in New York! Co-Working SpaCeS

The Wing the-wing.com Bryant Park, Flatiron, Dumbo, Soho, Williamsburg (coming soon!)

The Wing strives to carry on the spirit of the women’s club movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In terms of community, the Wing provides a space for female friendships, support circles, professional mentoring, networking, and bonding. The Wing is your personal office with phone booths, conference rooms, showers, a pumping room for mamas, and an in-house cafe. Enjoy speedy wifi, free coffee, quiet rooms, charging stations, lockers, the library and beauty rooms. What we especially love about The Wing’s Soho location is The Little Wing, a place for kids to play while their mamas get to work, catch up with friends, or relax. The Little Wing offers childcare, classes, and playtime. The Little Wing is the perfect compromise: keep your little ones close and feel comfortable knowing

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that they are nearby as you make your way through The Wing. The Wing is also very involved in civic and community engagement, supporting women political candidates and partnering with organizations that work with underserved women and girls. Memberships start at $185 per month for a single location and are annual commitments. Application required. Scholarships are available. Maison thisismaison.com 1264 Lexington Avenue, Upper East Side, NY 10028 917-463-3888

Ashley Wu founded Maison to create a space for mamas to reconnect outside their responsibilities as mothers, wives, or caregivers. Maison provides a space for women to work, meet with friends and colleagues, partake in social events, and just be their best selves! Events include meditation sessions, learning lunches featuring speakers on current events, visiting authors, cooking demonstrations, trunk shows, and beauty treatments. Members have access to private and shared working space, rooms to relax, events, and the kitchen with healthy eats. Maison members also get perks from partners like Club Monaco, The Surrey Hotel, FAO Schwarz, and more. Maison encourages mothers to use the beautiful space for “me time” and as a way to focus on their own self-care. Membership is $325 per month and is an annual commitment. Application required.

Luminary 1204 Broadway, NoMad, NY 10001 646-876-8680 luminary-nyc.com

Luminary focuses on self-development, wellness, flexibility, and giving back through a vibrant community interested in professional development and network expansion. The 11,000 square foot space includes complimentary wine on tap, a private rooftop, fitness studio and classes, beauty bar, wellness & lactation rooms, conference rooms & event space, changing room, lockers, showers, wifi, printing, phone booths, and workspaces. What really distinguishes Luminary is its commitment to advancing the careers and aspirations of its members through weekly programming. Programs include Real Talk: Women and Work Series, Female Founders Support Group, The Whisper Network (dinner series), Illuminations Sessions, and more. These groups and series initiate productive conversation and introduce resources and mentors to members. Memberships start at $150 per month and are annual commitments. No application required. Limited Illumination grants are available with priority given to those from historically marginalized backgrounds. Wonder 174 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10013 thewonder.us

The Wonder, a cool members-only club located in Tribeca is designed especially for


the needs of New York families. The Wonder occupies a light and airy 8000 square foot space on the first floor of a corner building, with floor to ceiling windows. The vibe is very different from the usual expectations of an indoor soft-play area! When you enter via the reception, which features a stunning architecturally-inspired floral display, your first port of call is the stroller parking area, where Dyson have sponsored a Stroller Detailing area, where you can get your stroller spruced up (goodbye cheerios stuffed down the sides!) and squeaky wheels oiled. The Wonder was created by two New York moms: Sarah Robinson and Noria Morales, who wanted to create a space that could meet the needs of parents and families in search of

community and connection, at the same time as spending time with their kids. This space is perfect for a mom who needs a few hours to work while their child participates in a class or two. Parents can hang out in the co-working room and at the communal table as well as order from the Cafe window (away from peeking children) while you get some work done. For mamas of tinies, there is a soothing nursery space, where you can feed your baby in a comfy armchair or pop your bub down for a little rest, stocked with Coterie diapers and skincare products from Hatch and Ever Eden. Membership at The Wonder is a fixed $450 per month for the whole family, no matter how many kids you have, and you

can add a caregiver, babysitter, or nanny to your membership. Most classes, events, and workshops are included in this monthly fee. Groups that support the Camaraderie thecamaraderienyc.com

Friendship-focused, The Camaraderie is a space for women just to be themselves and form long-term bonds with other women. The Camaraderie is all about having fun, creating a support system, and seeking personal happiness. Members get complimentary admission to monthly cocktail parties with wine, snacks, giveaways, guest speakers, live performances, and friends, discounts on workshops, classes, outings, activities, experiences, priority signJanuary 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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spaces for moms

up for events, and surprise deliveries to their mailbox! Past events included salsa dance, indoor rowing workout, fall clothing swap, book club, and a financial planning workshop. If you’re looking to form more female friendships in the city, look no further than The Camaraderie. Membership $35 per month, $195 per 6 months, or $360 per year. No application required. Mompreneurs at Edamama 568 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-388-3669 edamama.com

On the first Sunday of each month, head to Edamama to connect with fellow Mompreneurs! Edamama is a kid-friendly haircut salon that has much more than haircuts: toys, books, sweet treats, classes, and more. The owner of the salon has seen so many amazing entrepreneurial ideas from Brooklyn moms over the years, and she wanted to create a space where these amazing moms can come share their ideas together. Local moms are invited to sell their goods, connect with other mompreneurs, shop, and discuss. You can even showcase items if you call ahead of time! Open drop-in hours are 3-5 pm. Mindr mindrglobal.com

Known as the “TED talks of the parenting world,” Mindr is a bring your baby, toddler, and kids to their talks and summits where a parent can learn from a variety of topics. Past events include issues such as mothers losing 7% of their earning ability for every child; a baby meet up of 600 parents at the United Nations Headquarters on International Women’s Day for a discussion featuring Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu and male champions for women and parents in the workplace. HER Global Network herglobalnetwork.com

Bringing together a diverse group of women in age, profession, experience, and background, HER Global Network is a community of genuine connection. HER Global Network believes in women learning from and supporting each other. Founders Aleksandra Avli and Sofia Kacim found their support systems amongst their girlfriends, but they did not feel this same support existed with women in the workplace, so they started HER in 2014. HER is now present in 14 cities around the world, and thankfully

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Emily Gilbert

The Little Wing playroom at The Wing. NYC is one of them! HER events spark interesting and uplifting conversations with founders, creators, and change-makers from across many industries. HER members are invite-only, so you would either need to have a HER member refer you or you can refer yourself. There is currently a waitlist for HER NYC, so it might take longer than usual for you to receive your first invitation. Heymama Community heymama.co

Heymama was founded by two moms Amri Kibbler and Katya Libin, who started this membership base community for careerdriven mothers when they saw a void of networking communities for working mothers. With an online and offline platform Heymama offers support for where mothers are presently in their working journey. You’ll find resources, inspiration, and connect with other like-minded women that help support mothers as they navigate work or are looking to thrive in a new career path. Membership presently runs around $350 for the year which includes access to a professional network, connect with others in your industry, network with working moms in your area, attend exclusive HeyMama events, and exclusive discounts on products and services. Application required for membership. OKREAL hey@okreal.co okreal.co

We love OKREAL’s mission, which is to support women through building self-worth. OKREAL hosts workshops, online content, mentorship, and panels that initiate change both in how women value themselves and how women are valued by the greater world. OKREAL offers mentor circles for women to con-

nect, share ideas, build community, and work towards their goals. These circles cover a lot of ground, with topics ranging anywhere from business to self-development. OKREAL events include mentor circle masterclass workshops, #GirlsTalkReal conversations with amazing women like Tavi Gevinson and Cleo Wade, Sisterhood & Business panel, Single Motherhood panel, conversation with NikeWomen, and morning workouts with Adidas. If you have questions to ask the founder of OKREAL, submit your inquiry to “Ask Amy,” and Amy will respond and post her answer on OKREAL. Past questions included, “Can I love my baby and my work?” and “I failed. Now what?”. You can read both the letter to Amy and Amy’s response. All you have to do to join OKREAL is sign up online. Events, mentorship circles, and workshops vary in cost. Ladies Get Paid hello@ladiesgetpaid.com

Providing women with the tools, resources, and community to help women negotiate for equal pay and power in the workplace, Ladies Get Paid is an empowering group of 50,000 women worldwide. When you join, you’re invited to the private online network where thousands of women share advice, resources, and job opportunities. You’ll also get the Ladies Get Paid weekly newsletter with events, workshops, webinars, blog articles, job postings, and more. We’re big fans of the webinars, covering topics from Know Your Worth, Show Your Worth to Protect Your Energy, and Let Go of Perfectionism. The best part about these webinars is that you can watch wherever, making them super convenient to fit into your schedule. Not only will you have a digital, global network of women, but you’ll also meet the Ladies Get Paid NYC community at events, such as Ladies Get Coffee, a monthly meetup with caffeine, pastries,


What are your kids doing this summer? Come to a New York Family Camp Fair to Get Organized • Daycare & Childcare • A Patchwork of Summer Activities • School and Education Programs Saturday, February 8th

Sunday, February 9th

12 – 3PM

12 – 3PM

PS29 425 Henry Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Congregation Beth Elohim 274 Garfield Place Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sponsored by

REGISTER FOR FREE TODAY AT:

NewYorkFamily.com/camp-fairs/registration January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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spaces for moms

and amazing women. Membership is free, but various costs for other opportunities, including webinars. No application required, but there are a few questions about your profession and interest in Ladies Get Paid. A.I.R. Gallery airgallery.com 155 Plymouth St., Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201 1-212-255-6651

If you’re looking for a support group for women in the arts, then A.I.R. Gallery is for you. A permanent exhibition space that supports women artists, the gallery displays the artwork of hundreds of women artists every year. The gallery provides numerous opportunities for women interested in developing their artwork and career in the arts. The New York Artists Program works with chosen self-identified women artists to push their artwork with experimentation, provide resources and exhibition space, and allow artists to shape the gallery’s programming. The National Artists Program is for mid-career professional artists or emerging artists with exceptional talent. Women accepted into this program make up a network of support for each other and their artistic ventures. The Fellowship Program chooses six artists each year to develop and exhibit a project in the gallery. If you’re not ready to commit to a program, fellowship, or internship, A.I.R. Gallery also hosts lots of events, such as panel discussions, artist presentations, and performances, that bring women interested in all forms of art, from creative writing to visual art, together. We recommend The Unforgettables Reading/ Working Group, which meets once a month to examine texts, artwork, and films and discuss historic feminism, queer manifestos, science fiction, new feminist fiction writings, and theory pieces. Each session is led by a different member of the group. A.I.R Gallery is free and open to the public. Application required for programs. She Runs It sherunsit.org 1460 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 212-221-7969

Holding events in New York and Chicago, She Runs It has been invested in women’s achievement for over 100 years. Shifting their goals over time, She Runs It describes how, when they started, they wanted to give more women a seat at the table. Now, they state, they want to see more women at the head

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The Wonder offers stylish design from their co-working space to their nursing room. of the table. She Runs It specifically focuses on the marketing, media, and technology industries. Events include member meetings, panels and talks, dinners, brunches, workshops on leadership, and mentorship meetings. Members get access to networking, cutting-edge content, mentorship programs, education loan relief, career development, discounted events, and a supportive community of women. There are three membership options: Young Executive for women under age 30, Resident Member for women executives who are age 30 and over, and Executive Class for C-level executives and those on their way. Memberships start at $80 per year. No application required. New Women Space 188 Woodpoint Road, Brooklyn, NY 11211 hello@newwomenspace.com newwomenspace.com

At New Women Space, you both attend and run events. If you have an idea for an event, you can rent the space and work with the New Women Space team to design the structure of the event. Past events include movie nights, book club meetings, classes on styles of communication, photography workshops, and events geared specifically to women of color, queer, transgender, and nonconformity individuals. Pay as you go for the events. $25

per year to be a New Women Space supporter, in which you get discounted rates on space rental and discounts to partner events and businesses. Not Safe For Mom Group notsafeformomgroup.com

A group, unlike the usual mom meetups, nsfmg offers support and a stigma-free digital space with a community of mothers from all over the world. This is a safe space where you can express anything on motherhood. Founder Alexis Barad-Cutler founded the group when a popular parenting website took down an essay she had written, deeming it “too controversial.” An excellent platform for mothers who wish to vent and read others stories from all walks of life as well as participate in sharing how they are feeling via nsfmg’s popular Instagram Stories, which offers moms to be anonymous if they choose.


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Coffee Date Grab a coffee or tea with a friend at one of these super cute and healthy NYC cafés

By Denise nicole

I

t’s winter in NYC, and what’s more comforting when trudging the cold slushy streets than a cup of something warm and a healthy treat? Whether you prefer coffee, tea, or the newest plant-based latte, NYC has some of the best healthy spots serving up matcha, gluten-free pastries, golden “milk,” adaptogens and elixirs! From Bedstuy to the Upper East Side, here are the best spots for healthy coffees, teas, and yummy snacks that will even please picky little eaters. HealHaus HealHaus is a wellness studio and café in Bedstuy Brooklyn that houses everything from daily yoga and meditation to therapy and acupuncture. The café is warm and welcoming with earthy tones throughout. The staff is kind and the adaptogens are aplenty. The cafe serves Intelligista coffee and powerhouse smoothies like The Healer with spirulina and activated charcoal. Other favorites are Green Peace with spinach, pineapple, coconut water, and Gold Mind which includes turmeric and bee pollen.

HealHaus’s menu also includes three kinds of matcha, root coffee, and other adaptogen mixtures. Come for the café, stay for the mediation and community feels. You’ll leave blissed out. Supernatural Located inside Brooklyn’s bustling Industry City, you may find owner and herbalist Rachelle Robinett behind the coffee bar serving up your root coffee. Supernatural is a great spot full of natural light and magic. Visit for their Cinnamon and Chill medicinal milk and liquid sunshine tea. Also worth trying is the Rasa tea and a tin of HRBLS, Rachelle’s signature herb-infused gummies. These de-stressing treats are like tinctures you can eat. You can also get tinctures in liquid form added into your drink for free every weekday afternoon. If you want to be elevated and feel a bit supernatural, give this shop a visit. Tulo House The first of its kind here in NYC, Tulo House is a nut-milk bar, serving up freshly made vanilla bean almond, tiger, and cashew cream milks without fillers in Nolita. Drink solo or

add to a coffee, latte, espresso, or a cortado. Also, on the menu, you’ll find customer faves like matcha and turmeric, along with a cacao elixir for good measure. You can also purchase their gum and refined sugarfree nut milk to go. Snacks are gluten-free, refined-sugar-free and dairy-free. The space is quaint with a sweet interior of bright white and blue. Be sure to get one for the gram and snap a pic in front of their wall sign that playfully asks, “Did you nut today?” Pitanga A cozy and cute local spot that is well known in its Williamsburg neighborhood, Pitanga is great for post-yoga or a quick stop on the way to the office. The menu has everything, from oatmeal to açaí bowls, a seasonal quinoa bowl, and more. They are known for their delicious Pao de Queijo, which is a delightful Brazilian cheese bread that’s also gluten-free. They serve strong drip coffee, a Brazilian roast as well as green smoothies. This cafe is all local charm from the decor to the service. The Alchemist’s Kitchen If you’re into wellness, you may want to designate a nice chunk of time for exploring

(Left) The Alchemist’s Kitchen in the East Village is full of wellness goodies. (Right) Tulo House in Nolita is completely dairy free.

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020


this gorgeous space full of wellness goodies, crystals, tinctures, and more. The lower level also houses events like herbalist classes and workshops. The café menu upfront is seasonal and full of healthy snacks and delights like matcha milkshakes. Cha Cha Matcha This bustling local favorite is the motherland of matchas, especially for the matcha-loving circle. All three NYC locations serve a variety of matchas starting with the most basic, as well as lattes to lemonade. They also have a selection of matcha flavored pastries and matcha soft-serve ice cream. Long lines are standard at this popular spot, but once you

take that first sip, it will definitely be worth it. The matcha is green, the vibes are solid, and the photo-ops are built-in. Springbone Kitchen Bone broth is the star of this show. The collagen boosting, bone-strengthening, is a gut-healing super drink. Bone broth is said to heal many things, and Springbone is the authority on pure bone broth; they even have a vegan broth! Their bone broth is made with 100% grass-fed, free-range meats. The vegan version is made with seaweed and mushrooms. It is also gluten and soy-free with no refined sugars. If the bone broth isn’t your thing just yet, they also serve drip

and butter coffee. Clean Market Clean Market is full of healthy giftable goodies (for yourself and others). Randomly you’ll also find an infrared sauna and cryotherapy as well. The café has a selection of functional lattes like Majik matcha and Golden Immunity. You can also find delicious clean energy superfood smoothies, bone broth, roasts, and organic coffee and teas. There’s also an apothecary with great medical supplements, adaptogenic herbs, and CBD products. If you’re looking for some tasty, clean beverages, beauty, or food, this is your spot. January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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5

M�m Friends Y�u Ne�d

Moms. We need each other. Parenting can be rough, and we all need mom friends to both lean on and support. What sort of mom friend is the best fit for you? And which friend are you? BY DONNA LADD

HOT MESS MOM

She doesn’t care if she walked out sporting this morning’s breakfast on her sweater or if her hair isn’t brushed. She embraces the mess, literally, and you appreciate her real-ness.

MOM 101 She showed you how to cut a cake with tooth floss and get a piece of gum out of your kid’s hair. She knows where you can score the latest it mom jeans and can quote Nitzseche while she swings her babe at the park. She isn’t a know it all, but she seems to know it all, and you love her for it.

WINE MOM The mom who loves to socialize and get out of the house, listens, is supportive, all the while enjoying a nice glass (or two) of vino.

FITNESS MOM She just ran her third marathon and loves to bench a few (hundred) pounds before she drops the kids off. The best part is she doesn’t judge when you’d rather have a donut than do a pilates class, but she is there for you and supportive when you are ready to get your gym on.

THE RIDE OR DIE MOM Your (other) soul mate. The one who ‘gets’ you and you can say anything to each other. You may have many other friends or just this one, and honestly, she is all you need to get you through this parenting journey. Illustrations by Elvia Caballero

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NewYorkFamily.com NewYorkFamily.com | | Month January 2020 2020

Hot Mess Mom


Mom 101

Fitness Mom

Ride or Die Mom

Wine Mom January Month 2020 | XXXXXX Brooklyn Family

15 31


Latham Thomas

Powerhouse How this doula and maternal health expert is looking out for mothers

By Donna LaDD

W

hen you meet Latham Thomas, it is hard to not become a little obsessed with her. As one of the world’s leading doulas, the founder of Mama Glow and the author of not one, but two books, her roster of famous clients is impressive. Latham never name drops however. She shares stories and insights about the lives of mothers, and acknowledges that motherhood can be a hard journey for everyone. I have many doula friends who speak very highly of Latham. She was even named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100. However, I really got to understand who Latham is as a person when I attended her inaugural Continuum Conference this past November. This gathering was intended to focus on all the stages of women’s reproductive life, from period to menopause. When I walked into the Continuum Conference, I was struck by the diversity of the women attending. I have been to many a “mom summit”, and have, for the most part, left disappointed. I did not feel connected to the women at these previous events, and frankly, we go to these things to connect. At the Continuum Conference, I immediately felt welcomed. This is Latham’s vibe: she creates a space you feel you can be who you are, at whatever stage you are in this crazy journey of being a woman. Latham is also a very busy mama, and we are so grateful she is gracing our first cover of this new decade! Mama Glow is a maternity lifestyle brand that focuses on doula support and the

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

“childbearing continuum”. Can you explain what you mean by the “childbearing continuum”? The childbearing or reproductive continuum includes menses, pregnancy, abortion and loss, birth, breastfeeding and peri-menopause. We acknowledge that life for women is punctuated by reproductive events that are rarely celebrated in western culture. Other global traditions support women during these life phases, which are an integral part of an arc of our lives. Each is distinct and leaves an impression. You are forever changed when your period begins, you are never the same after you give birth. How did you come to discover that maternal health was your calling? Many people describe their work as a passion. I am passionate about the work I do, but I’m clear, it isn’t a passion — it’s a calling. A calling drives you to do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t desire to do. My calling is what wakes me up in the middle of the night to serve a woman and family in labor and help carry them to safe passage during birth and postpartum. My calling to do this work led me to create our Global Mama Glow Doula Immersion Program, which has hubs in NYC, LA, Miami, and Paris. I didn’t plan to start a professional educational program for doulas. I was compelled to do it. And I’m so thankful that I listened to the call because, in only a year and a half, we have more than 300 women who have taken our course globally. People have traveled from as far as Thailand and Madagascar to take our professional immersion program. This is incredible and a testimony of the times we are living in.

The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, and according to the CDC, AfricanAmerican, Native American and Alaska Native women are three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women. Can you share more on this? Well, in the US, Black women are actually 4-5 times more likely than white women to die during childbirth or due to childbirth-related causes. That number jumps to 12 times in places like NYC. The health disparity is greater here, and black women are at tremendous risk. This number is similar for Native People who make up 2% of the population and are often misclassified racially. Their stats are under-reported, and there is significantly less research on this population and the factors that contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity. There has been a 25-year increase in black maternal deaths in this country. It’s been only in the past 4 years that we have seen a surge in reporting that has led to action, addressing policy gaps, racial bias, and accountability. For maternal deaths, the U.S ranks 55 of all developed nations. This is unacceptable. A poor White woman with a high school level of education will statistically have a better birth outcome than a highly educated and economically mobile Black woman. We know that these factors do not protect black women in birth. We know that the lived experience of race in the medical system greatly impacts Black and Brown women during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. This is why we at Mama Glow are so avid about education, advocacy, and access to culturally competent care.


What can we do as mothers and as a community to address the issue of maternal mortality? Educating ourselves, learning, and practicing informed consent, becoming confident in asking questions, trusting our intuition. All of the information can be daunting and frightening if you become consumed by it. It’s important to be informed, but it’s also important to protect your energy and be mindful of what media you consume. Join community groups, attend workshops and gatherings that will help to further educate you and connect you with others. Let’s also remember that those whose lives were lost were not numbers; they were women who had purpose, who had dreams, and when mothers die, communities are fractured. Women are the crux of community. We need to speak up as a community and center this crisis- not as a black issue or something affecting women of color — but ALL of us. It’s a human rights issue. The same energy we give to the conversation about reproductive rights we need to bring to this issue! Maternal health should be at the top of the feminist agenda. For new mothers, what do they need to thrive as they enter into motherhood? I believe community is so important. Mothers need exactly the same thing that infants need. They need to be swaddled with support. They need to be affirmed and held. They need to be fed and changed and cleaned. They need the folks surrounding them to anticipate their needs. In the U.S, one in four women goes back to work ten days after giving birth. That is insane. We are the only industrialized nation that doesn’t offer federal paid parental leave. Women who have given birth need time and space to heal. There is no postpartum tradition in the U.S, but there are incredible global postpartum traditions that are alive and well. We need to restore and protect the sanctity of the postpartum period. Moms should not feel alone. Postpartum doulas can fill a gap for women and families that need extra support to get through the postpartum period.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

Latham Thomas is the founder of Mama Glow and the author of two popular books, Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy and Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within. For more on Latham visitmamaglow.com. January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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family fun

10 MUSEUMS

MUSIC

THEATER

Great Kid-Friendly January Events in Brooklyn By Mia salas

FAMILY MOVIE at the library : Smallfoot (2018) January 4 Spend your Saturday afternoon watching a movie as a family at the library! A young yeti discovers a human, something he thought was impossible. Later, it leads him to wonder what else could be out there? Follow this yeti’s journey of friendship, courage, and discovery. Free, 2-4 pm. Homecrest Library, 2525 Coney Island Avenue at Avenue V, Brooklyn, NY 11223, bklynlibrary.org

FAMILY WORKSHOP: PRESENT BODIES: PAPERMAKING AT DIEU DONNÉ ATTRACTIONS

FOOD

Outdoors

January 11 Bring your family for this artistic workshop that encourages creativity and teamwork! First, get inspired by the artwork on view, Present Bodies: Papermaking at Dieu Donné. Afterwards, families get to engage in handson activities directly related to the exhibition. Embrace your inner artist along with your little ones at this family workshop. Free with RSVP, 11 am-2 pm. BRIC House, 647 Fulton Street,

Brooklyn, NY 11217, bricartsmedia.org

FRIDA KAHLO-INSPIRED FELT CROWNS January 12 Bring your imagination and creativity to this family art workshop. Little ones ages 3 and up are welcome to join in on making Frida Kahlo-inspired crowns. This is a great way to introduce your kids to art, learn more about Frida Kahlo, and take home a mini masterpiece! $40 for one parent and one child, 15% discount for second sibling, 10:30 am. Private Picasso’s Art Studio, Brooklyn, NY 11215, privatepicassos.com

NATURE WALKS WITH BRADLEY KLEIN: WINTER NATURE WALK II January 12 While the gardens surely flourish in the spring and summer, there’s still magic to be found in the winter! Join naturalist Bradley Klein on a winter nature walk to learn about the survival strategies of plants and animals. Kids will love spotting the animals and hiking through the wintry gardens. Free with garden admission, 11 am-12 pm. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225, meet at Magnolia Plaza by building steps, bbg.org

STORY TIME: ERIN MCGILL January 12 Kids ages 3 to 8 are invited to a story time with Erin McGill. The author and illustrator will present her two latest children’s books, Matchy Matchy and I Do Not Like That Name. Little readers will also get to design their own mix and match paper doll or paper dog, in theme with McGill’s books! Free, 11:30 am. Greenlight Bookstore, 632 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225, greenlightbookstore.com

MLK DAY STORYTELLING & MUSIC EVENT Brooklyn Botanic Garden / Mike Ratliff

Discover the unexpected wonders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in winter with a nature walk on January 12.

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January 20 Learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this kid-friendly celebration that emphasizes literacy and awareness of the Civil Rights Movement.


There will be a storytime for little ones with Sharee Miller, author and illustrator of Princess Hair and Don’t Touch My Hair!, and a presentation by Anastasia Higginbotham. Hosted by the Prospect Lefferts Garden Neighborhood Association, enjoy music performances, fun activities, arts & crafts, and lunch at this fun-filled, educational gathering. Free, 11 am-3 pm. Grace Reformed Church of Flatbush, 1800 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225, greenlightbookstore.com

BROOKLYN NETS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS January 23 Do your little ones love basketball? Are you a Brooklyn Nets fan? If so, come cheer on the Brooklyn Nets as they face the Los Angeles Lakers. A sporting event that all ages can enjoy, the basketball game is the perfect idea if you have little ones and bigger kids who tend to like different activities. Ticket prices vary per seat, 8 pm. Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217, nba.com

CHARLOTTE’S WEB January 26 Watch the E. B. White’s classic story of Charlotte’s Web come to life on stage! Little ones will learn all about friendship through a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Recommended for ages 4 and up, this cast has something special in store for your family at the theater. And kids can even meet the cast after the show. $13, 2 pm. On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11235, onstageatkingsborough.org

Jeremy Daniels

Beaux-Arts Court and Egyptian Galleries, 3rd floor, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052, brooklynmuseum.org

FAMILY PARTY 2020 January 26 Support the Brooklyn Museum and their educational programs at their Family Party. There will be artist-led activities, mindexpanding projects, bouncy castles, treasure hunts, goody bags, snacks and drinks for kids and adults, a dance party, and even a photo booth to capture all of your family moments. There’s something for everyone during this afternoon of art, learning, treats, and fun! $50 adults, $25 kids ages 2-13, various other packages available, 2-5 pm. Brooklyn Museum,

HOLDING HISTORY

The classic tale of Charlotte’s Web comes to On Stage at Kingsborough on January 26.

January 26 Your mini historians will get a kick out of this workshop! Kids will learn what makes an object “historical” and why the Museum keeps objects behind glass. Recommended for ages 4 and up, little ones will hold, touch, and feel historical artifacts, learn about the objects’ stories, and relate the artifacts to their own lives. Free with museum admission, 11 am-1 pm. Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213, brooklynkids.org January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

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family fun

Featured event

Events Around the City By Mia Salas

NEW YEAR’S DAY FAMILY BOWL January 1 Keep the celebration going on New Year’s Day with a fun, family bowling competition. All ages are welcome to attempt to knock over the pins! Featuring a brunch and kids menu, you can enjoy a delicious meal or snack in between bowling games. $25 per lane, per hour, up to 8 per lane, 12-6 pm. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, New York, NY 11249, brooklynbowl.com

PRETZEL TWISTS CLASS January 4 Learn how to make hot pretzels from start to finish in this tasty workshop. Kids ages 6 to 8, along with their caregiver, are invited to master the pretzel twist and make an accompanying Cardamon Honey Dipping Sauce. Designed for kids and parents to cook together, the class is a unique way to spend quality family time (and leave with delicious pretzels!). $45 per kid with one caregiver, 9-10 am. Taste Buds Kitchen, 109 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001, tastebudskitchen.com

JUST KIDDING: THE JUNGLE BOOK January 11 Little ones will feel as if they are seeing the illustrations from The Jungle Book come to life on stage with this Just Kidding performance. The new theatrical adaptation re-imagines Kipling’s classic stories through modern eyes. Come to watch Mowgli’s childhood in the jungles of India with Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther, and more. $17, $14 members, 11 am and 2 pm. Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020

Two-Point Perspective Dream Homes January 2-3 Ages 5 and up are invited to design their own dream home at the museum. Explore what makes for a good home and then learn how to build realistically. Kids will get to think about where they would like to live when

Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, symphonyspace.org

Dress Like Your Favorite Hero Dazzle Disco Skate Party January 11 Get your hero costumes ready for the ultimate family skate night! Adults and kids ages 7 and up are invited to this 10,000 square foot roller rink to skate to retro and contemporary tunes, take Instagram-worthy photos on the red carpet, enter the Costume Contest or Skate Dance Competition, and play games led by the MC. While your little ones aren’t allowed to skate, they are still welcome to join in on the fun! Presale skating admission (includes skate rentals) $18, Non-Skating Guardian $12, prices subject to change, 2:30-4:30 pm. Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink, City Point BKLYN, 445 Albee Square West, Brooklyn, NY 11201, eventbrite.com

they are older, with creativity always encouraged! They’ll leave with a mini version of their dream home. Free with general admission, 12-6 pm Jan. 2, 12-5 pm Jan. 3. Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014, cmany.org

MEET THE MUSIC! LEAVE IT TO LUDWIG January 12 Learn about the stories behind Beethoven’s music at this exploratory performance by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Beethoven will help a young pianist play his music as it is meant to be played, full of actions, emotions, and the quality of everyday human life. Kids ages 6 and up and their families are welcome to join in on the musical fun, as well as check out the Musical Instrument Petting Zoo in the lobby before the performance from 1-1:45 pm. $10-$30 depending on seat, 2 pm. Alice Trully Hall, 1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, lincolncenter.org

NEW YORK BOAT SHOW January 22-26 You’ll never see more boats in one place than at the New York Boat Show! Check out the world champion boat Miss GEICO, which can reach


speeds in excess of 200mph. There’s plenty for kids to do, including BuildA-Boat, the kid’s toy boat building workshop. Little ones get to create their own miniature boats and take them home as souvenirs. And, of course, there will be delicious food and beverages for your family to enjoy. $16 adults, free for kids ages 12 and under with a paid adult admission, 12-9 pm Jan. 22-24, 10 am-9 pm Jan. 25, 10 am-6 pm Jan. 26. Javits Center, 625 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001, nyboatshow.com

PIRATE PETE’S PARROT January 25 As The Secret Theatre’s longest-running musical in Queens, your family is sure to love Pirate Pete’s Parrot! With music, mischief, and plenty of laughs, the show engages both little ones and adults through audience interaction and a photo opportunity with the actors afterwards. Feel free to dress in costume as you follow the story of Pirate Pete and his quest to find his runaway parrot Polly and his buried treasure. $20 adults, $15 kids under age 17, $40 family 4-Pack, 2:30 pm. The Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101, secrettheatre.com

TROLLS LIVE! January 25-26 Trolls LIVE! embarks on their first ever world tour, so don’t miss out

Dance Classes

Trolls LIVE! will inject some color into Radio City Music Hall on January 25 and 26. on seeing Poppy, Branch, and their friends on stage. The Trolls’ Hug Time is in danger, and the only way to save it is by hosting a Trolls-tastic show with music, glitter, humor, and happiness. Join the VIP Party for even more time with your favorite Trolls. Tickets start at $35, Free for kids under age 1, 10:30 am, 2 pm, and 5:30 pm on Jan. 25, 10:30 am and 2 pm on Jan. 26. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10020, msg.com

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION FOR FAMILIES January 26

Music Lessons

Piano Lessons For Everyone 135 Eastern Parkway

across from the Brooklyn Museum

Experienced, friendly teacher with MA in Music Student recitals twice a year • Six foot concert grand piano Near 2, 3, 4 & 5 Subways

Call me and let’s talk about what you or your child would like to learn Call Beth Anderson-Harold: 718-636-6010 or Email: beth@beand.com

The New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC) brings its signature program to Queens Museum for the sixth year in a row to celebrate the Lunar New Year. There will be folk dances, the Lion Dance, traditional arts & crafts, and hands-on Chinese Calligraphy workshop. Get ready for the hourlong performance program featuring professional artists and students of the NYCCC’s School of the Arts. Free with Museum admission, Performance Program 1-2 pm, Chinese Calligraphy Workshop 2-3 pm. Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona, Queens, NY 11368, queensmuseum.org

Ice Skating

Steeplechase Ice Skating Center

at the Abe Stark Skating Rink West 19th Street & Surf Avenue Ages 4–Adult

718-253-8919 • 347-628-0663

LEARN TO SKATE PROGRAMS

Classes Saturdays 2-4pm

Basic Skills 1-8, Hockey 1-3 Adult 1-4, Freestyle 1-6 & More Weekend classes • Credit cards accepted

Have Fun While Building Strength, Confidence & Coordination January 2020 | Brooklyn Family

37


last word

and suddenly you know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of

beginnings — Meister Eckhart Illustration by Elvia Caballero

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NewYorkFamily.com | January 2020


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Brooklyn Family January 2020  

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