Your career path spans the U.S. Navy and cloth diapers. How did you end up in your current position?
I joined the Navy right out of high school and served for nine years. Joining the Navy was an awesome experience, and it allowed me to travel the world, meet great people and develop into a well-rounded adult. I separated from the Navy in 2008 and moved to Columbus to be with my husband. While pregnant with my daughter, I started researching natural childbirth and natural parenting, and I was fascinated about what I discovered. I learned more about the benefits of natural childbirth and also about all the benefits of cloth diapers and other natural products that were available for parents and children.
I knew that working for someone else was not for me, and I had always dreamed of being my own boss and owning my own business. When the opportunity arose, I went for it. The best part was I didn't have to compromise my job as a mother. I also love that I'm doing something I've always wanted to do, and I get to provide a service to the community that I am very passionate about. That's how I went from U.S. Navy sailor to being the owner of Natural Generations. So far it has been the best experience.
What should parents know before trying cloth diapers?
Deciding to use cloth diapers can be exciting, but it also can be very overwhelming. The modern cloth diaper has come a long way, and there are so many options to choose from. It can become very intimidating for parents. I always recommend trying multiple brands and styles before investing in a large amount of one particular diaper. It's also important to know that most of the time choosing which cloth diapers will work for your baby and your lifestyle is going to be a personal choice that only you can make. I always say that every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Of course asking others' opinions or getting tips from other parents who have found what worked for them is a great start. But the best way to start is to jump right in and start experiencing the wonderful world of cloth diapers and deciding what works best for you and your little one.
It's National Breastfeeding Month, according to the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. What's the biggest misconception about breastfeeding?
I think the biggest misconception about breastfeeding is that it will be easy. Now don't get me wrong, it can be very easy and instinctual for some moms, but I think that most people just assume that because you're a mother and you have the equipment to breastfeed your child, it's going to just come natural for you. I think that this is a big reason why some moms give up so soon. For a lot of moms, and especially first-time moms, breastfeeding can be a challenge. Having the misconception that it's going to come natural or be easy can sometimes be discouraging to moms who are having difficulties.
Having more of an open mind about the journey of breastfeeding, and knowing that you may have some bumps along the way can help moms and give them the strength to continue. I also think that educating yourself about what's ahead, and that support system -- whether it be your spouse, family, friends, a lactation consultant, or a combination -- can help ease the stress, and help to make it as wonderful of an experience as you hope for.
Your store specializes in "natural parenting." How can parents experiment with "natural" methods without compromising a child's health?
I feel the key to anything is to make sure you do your research and decide what is best for your child. I think finding a balance and a comfort level that works for you and always consulting a professional if trying something new is always the best way to ensure you're not compromising your child's health. I have always felt that when it comes to your children, going with your instinct is more often than not the best way to judge whether something is best for you and your child.
What's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
I'm not a native of the Chattahoochee Valley, but I've been here almost four years so I would like to say I'm hip to what the Chattahoochee Valley has to offer. My choice for Chattahoochee Valley's best-kept secret is a restaurant that my husband and I have really enjoyed. That restaurant is Meritage Cafe. Meritage Cafe is a locally owned and operated restaurant with a great atmosphere, great service, and most importantly great food. Whether you're looking for a nice place to dine with the family, a romantic setting for a much-needed date night or a relaxing evening of drinks and appetizers with friends, Meritage is the place to go.