Join Arianna’s ‘mom tribe’
Covid-19 hit Bermuda just as Arianna Hodgson was about to officially launch her brand, Pink Onion. Her idea was a network for mothers, a “safe place” for them to come together, share their stories and get support.
Ultimately she saw it as a stepping stone to an even bigger dream: a company that produces homemade foods for babies and toddlers.
“I realised that I can't sell a product if I don't have a network of persons to sell it to,” said Ms Hodgson, who has a five-year-old daughter, Xari.
“That led me to thinking about how I can create a network of moms that will support my business, spread the word and just identify with what I'm doing
“At the same time mothers were reaching out, my own friends were reaching out, [saying] we need a space where we can talk to other mothers, where we can laugh and joke — a mom tribe, basically.”
She decided to form her own mom group and organised “a walk and talk” for March 29 under the Pink Onion umbrella as its first event.
“I said, what's something that I can do that's a bit different? My daughter and I, we love going outside; I grew up with a mother who always had us outside exploring through the trees.
“I said, you know what, people usually feel more comfortable in nature so let's take it outside. We were getting ready for our first walk and talk event and then ‘Corona' happened.”
Initially discouraged she then decided to do what she could with what she had.
From that came The Good Mom, a weeklong conversation with Bermudian moms on Instagram Live that started Monday with Chauntee Thompson and Melanie Scanlon.
Also on the line-up: Alyssa Smith, Sinead Simmons, Jaleesa Holdipp, Kamilah Cannonier, Kimberlee Tankard, Carrie DeSilva, Kidiste Emery, Nicole Golden, Jasmine Desilva, Cyniqua Anderson and a number of surprise guests.
“In our first week we're going to be hearing from some amazing Bermudian moms,” Ms Hodgson said. “The focus isn't going to be entrepreneurship although, ironically, all of these women have something entrepreneurial going on.”
Viewers can expect a range of topics revolving around motherhood, parenting and how families are “coping during lockdown”.
She added: “Do you have a routine? What types of snacks are you giving your kids? What does discipline look like at home? Are you guys getting outside? What's your priority as a parent at this time?
“People are home. I would like to think that they have nothing better to do besides homeschooling, working from home and washing endless dishes,” she laughed. “I said, you know what, let me just create an online platform and see where this goes.”
Although she gave it the name The Good Mom, Ms Hodgson insists she doesn't have all the answers to being a perfect mother. “I'm not great, I'm not the best, I do things that I'm not proud of. But, at the end of the day, I know that I'm doing the best with my daughter front and centre.
“Everything I do is to make certain she has the best possible future. But I can't raise a strong and capable young person, if I'm not a strong and capable woman in myself.
“We will be starting our conversations by focusing on the individual. Who are you? Don't talk to me about your partner, don't talk to me about your kids. Who are you?”
Happy she made the leap, she's also learnt from the experience.
“I guess I've come to realise that sometimes, you have to create the one thing you've been looking for. People will always find a million reasons they can't do something instead of the one reason they can, or the one way it will work. And so I'm trying to make less excuses and do more.
“Although there's little pockets of mom groups, I think we can do more as Bermudian moms — there's not that many of us.
“There's a way for us to be more supportive of one another, and I feel like the best way to have empathy for one another, to be able to help one another, is to listen to each other's stories.
“Nothing brings people together better than a good story and a common understanding that we're all human.”
• Follow The Good Mom conversation at 6pm every night this week on Instagram, @the.goodmom