Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Thinkerella, a new local company created by a fellow mom.
I am an autism mom, so all I ever want is for my kids (and their friends) to smile. My 11 year old daughter Anabelle sacrifices so much for her brother; she DESERVES whatever something special I can find energy to give her. So sometimes I cut her sandwiches into the shape of Hello Kitty or stuff hand written notes into her lunch box. I even had a Lorax brunch once for her and a few of her friends, complete with rainbow pancakes, mustaches, giant truffula trees made of tissue paper and a green eggs and ham candy dessert .
But I’ve read these … blogs. The ones where moms talk “you know what” about other moms who try to make their children’s day magical. The ones with hateful speech towards Pinterest moms and anger about over the top birthday parties. The ones that call me the worst and tell me to stop.
Well, here is my rebuttal: you stop. Stop judging. As parents, we should not judge other parents. A mother knows her reason for doing what she does. None of it was meant to show you up or make you feel inadequate.
Because of my extra effort, my daughter and I grow closer every day. Kids roll with the punches and will take what they can get. Sometimes my kid gets a mom too emotionally exhausted to do anything but cry. But most of the time, I am working my butt off to make sure that she doesn’t look back on her childhood and remember only that. She needs the magic in her life.
All of this got me to thinking: I can do better. I can help mothers encourage their daughters to do anything they want in life. I love STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities because they are fun introductions to scientific principles. What a perfect way to mix Pinterest activities with science! Throw in lab coats, safety goggles and the soundtrack to Frozen. What a recipe for fun! And suddenly Thinkerella was born in New Orleans and I wasn’t hated anymore. I had unveiled an empowerment program for little girls and “Thinkerfellas” and started booking birthday parties and workshops. So far we have learned about Newton’s Law of Motion, how to turn a liquid to an ice cream solid in 5 minutes, made fake snow with highly absorbent polymers, made a reusable magnetic maze and blown square shaped bubbles.
And I have expanded to DIY Nights for moms. Why not create an environment where Moms can come together over wine and music and show them how to make some of those Pinterest crafts for themselves and their kids? Not everyone is crafty and most moms are incredibly busy. But who doesn’t have time for a 2 hour DIY Moms Night Out at Thinkerella? Since all the supplies are included, moms just buy an online ticket via Eventbrite and show up with friends and their favorite beverages. If you have 12 or more friends, book it just for your group. All of the pressure is off. No one is judging you. We are just moms happily enjoying the company of other moms. Over drinks! Together we can make something unique and amazing. And then everyone gets to see the look on their kids’ face when you show up with something you made just for them. It’s a pretty wonderful thing.
I actually started Thinkerella because I thought that in a world of princess parties and spa experiences that I could send a better message to our girls. I could show them that beauty is found within. Smart is pretty, and they are all pretty smart. And a concept so simple has created something absolutely lovely and unexpected. The moms are no longer judging. They are joining in on the fun.
Thinkerella is now offering visits to summer camps and in-school field trips in addition to birthdays, workshops, and DIY Pinterest Nights for moms. We will be expanding and soon offering our own summer camp, after-school school sessions, preschool workshops, on-site field trips, and eventually franchising in other cities. We hope to spread the message that girls and “Thinkerfellas” can do anything. We think that as mothers, it’s always better to encourage each other than to judge. Oh! And brainy is beautiful.
For more information or to book a party you can reach out to our sponsors Thinkerella on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you would like the opportunity to try out a Thinkerella class enter the rafflecopter below. Two lucky winners will each win two tickets to a Thinkerella/Thinkerfella workshop of their choice ($40/value per winner)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cherie Melancon Franz is Founder/CEO of Thinkerella, a STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) empowerment program for young girls and “Thinkerfellas.” Launched in January 2014 and the first of its kind in New Orleans, Thinkerella aims to break stereotypes by introducing complex scientific principals while performing fun, safe, non-toxic experiments at birthday parties, workshops, and private sessions. Cherie has a background in Journalism and community activism, having planned and executed the Back to the Breach meeting for Lakeview residents after Hurricane Katrina. She has become a vocal advocate for children with special needs in Louisiana. In 2013, she was named Mom of the Year by NOLA Baby & Family Magazine. Cherie resides in Lakeview in New Orleans with husband Art, daughter Anabelle (11) and son Ethan (7). She loves nothing more than experiencing her native New Orleans through the eyes of her children.