I wish I could say there was a definitive “ah-ha” moment that started it all. But that’s not quite how it happened.
Instead, there was just a slow realization that nothing was helping. My daughter was 3 and I was feeling overwhelmed in my “less than perfectness” as a mother. At the end of a long work day, I often found myself coming home to make dinner, flipping on the TV for my daughter, and routinely underwhelmed with the preschool programming options out there.
As a mom who carefully monitored her pregnancy, tries to buy organic, and basically, aims to make the best decisions for her kid she can, I found the selection of gently paced and aesthetically pleasing preschool shows to be extremely limited. I searched for something that would help reiterate the messages that I was trying to teach my preschool daughter. Messages like “use your words” and “share your toys” and “don’t bite your friends.”
I started thinking about the kind of show I wished was out there. One with a main character that she would look up to and want to be like. A real-person hero — not a cartoon character or puppet — with a calm demeanor, gentle voice, and good grammar. One that I would trust my daughter to be with for 30 minutes when I needed a break. And I wanted that hero to teach her all the things I was trying to teach her, but with a magical touch and a special twinkle. A modern Mary Poppins, if you will — or a female Mister Rogers.
And what if this show also had resources for parents like me. Resources for becoming a more patient parent, or a more confident mother (because let’s face it, being a mother is hard and sometimes lonely).
Soon, I started talking to friends to see if they needed what I needed out of a children’s show. I talked to moms in parks and on playdates and at ballet class and at birthday parties. I wasn’t alone: We all seemed to be looking for the same thing. Help with our children — help for ourselves — in a well designed package.
I joined forces with a like-minded mama, Sam Kurtzman-Counter, who became my amazing business partner, and little by little this idea grew until it took the shape of what it is today: The Mother Company.
I wanted The Mother Company to offer resources from other mothers and experts. To answer those burning questions we all have swirling in our heads. Please someone tell me how to cope with tantrums in grocery stores! And what in the world do I say when my 3-year-old is curious about private parts?
This would be my answer to all those unread parenting books on my nightstand.
In our mission to redefine children’s media, we wanted a healthier, more helpful alternative. We dreamed up a series called Ruby’s Studio and focused each episode on a theme that would be helpful to our children. Episodes like “The Feelings Show,” which helps young kids identify, appropriately express, and move through their many emotions; and “The Friendship Show,” which explores ways to foster empathy, confront bullying, and hone problem-solving skills with the goal of growing and maintaining great friendships.
We first launched several years ago, and thanks to the power of moms, we have grown so much in that time — from a small, but powerful idea in my head right into a full-fledged series you could buy in-store, on the shelves of Whole Foods and Target. You can even download our shows on Amazon and iTunes, and as of September, stream them on Netflix.
The one thing I can say from these past few years is that if you have a dream and it matches your determination, you can do anything if you just keep plugging away at it. For me, that dream was to help millions of children keep themselves safe from predators, communicate how they feel, and exhibit compassion and empathy. And watching it become a reality has been nothing short of thrilling.
Got a Netflix account? Starting September 2016, Netflix members can stream all four award-winning episodes of Ruby’s Studio! Learn more now at TheMotherCo.com.More On