If you’re new to parenting, chances are you’ve found yourself in a situation for which you weren’t prepared, more than likely several. You might have even read some articles and books on the topic beforehand as a means of preparation, but there’s never enough when it comes to responsibly planning for being a parent and starting a family.
That was the experience of Melissa Bondy and Dana Denha, who live in South Lyon and Ann Arbor, respectively; while both working in the city together. In addition to sharing the same workplace and a good friendship, circumstances have led to both women entering the world of parenting only six months apart after each gave birth to their first child; both of which were girls making for yet another thing in common.
“We would update each other on what we’re doing or what situation we’re currently in over coffee in the morning, because we wake up at the same time,” Bondy said. With their children currently transitioning from infancy to toddlerhood, this sorts of interactions are frequent, sometimes lengthy, and always absolutely necessary.
The value of hearing the voice and sometimes seeing the face of the person giving advice or guidance with regard to parenting is something that both women appreciated and felt was a great help in driving the information home in a way that made implementation comfortable and easy. As more and more of the experiences and bits of advice these women shared with each other improved their parental experience and their lives in general, the idea to share the concept presented itself and was seized upon.
Bring home to work
Bondy and Denha both work for CTN, the former in communications and the latter as a producer, so when a client joked that they should make a show out of their personal dynamic as co-supportive mom-friends, there wasn’t all that much discussion that needed to be had on the topic.
It just made sense.
And so “Adventures in Parenthood” was created as a concept last year, and now the show airs its first episode this month (the week following this article’s publish date). Each episode will feature a guest with expertise in a specific area or topic of parenting. The first episode will feature employees from Ann Arbor-based company Hope Carried, a company that sells baby wraps for carrying a child snuggly and comfortably arms free.
“We both have wraps but were hesitant to use them at first because we were afraid of hooking it up wrong,” Denha said. “I was afraid my baby would fall, which I feel is a normal fear that most parents have.”
Denha eventually got over her hesitation after she and Bondy tackled the matter together (Bondy decided to forgo the convenience of baby wraps when all was said and done), but what about parents who don’t have easy access to that kind of support? The pair wanted to address that specific concern with the first episode of the show.
Denha said she enjoyed learning about Hope Carried as a company in the process of putting the show together.
“They hire people who can’t find work and they make the wraps for them at their house,” she said. Each show will be an opportunity to gleam not just more information but a better understanding, as was done with Hope Carried’s unique background, that the pair hopes will give local parents more confidence and understanding, as well as information and advice.
Not just for mom
While “Adventures in Parenthood” is coming from the experience of two mothers with small children, their life experience will not narrow the focus of the program.
“The show is about things that you deal with as a parent or guardian, mothers and fathers,” Denha said. “We might have a show on learning CPR or one on getting children into daycare. We’ll tackle the first day of school, dance lessons, and generally things that people deal with on a day-to-day basis being parents.”
Whatever the topic, Bondy and Denha are on a mission to make people’s lives better with their parenting talk show.
“I know I’ve appreciated what Melissa’s shared with me about getting my baby to sleep,” Denha joked. “I have a baby that doesn’t sleep well and (Melissa’s) sleeps throughout the night. She gives me suggestions and some of it I try, some of if I don’t. But it helps me most of the time, and we’re hoping our show will occasionally have a positive impact on the lives of people who live in our community.”
Information on CTN is available online at a2gov.org/ctn. Content can be streamed on-demand at https://a2ctn.viebit.com/. CTN programming can also be found on the network’s Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/ctnannarbor. Follow them on social media with #ctnannarbor.
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