Renowned Artist Launches New Business; Paints Different Picture of Child Rearing in U.S.

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Tmuffin, a new parental support business, shows digitally-dependent parents how to reconnect with kids from the heart

At a time when so many websites, shops and classes seemingly revolve around the best way for babies, Tmuffin recognizes that parents are part of the equation too.

Raising a child during the pre-Internet era certainly offered its own unique challenges. But as nationally-recognized artist Gaby Merediz sees it, many of today’s new parents face a whole different hurdle: information overload. The founder of Tmuffin – a new parental support business affectionately dubbed after her son’s nickname – Merediz looks to help newbie moms and dads filter through all of today’s virtual noise.

With this in mind, Merediz simultaneously launched a brick-and-mortar business, as well as a national Web business, in May. Her mission is to help mothers and fathers muddle through the flood of parental minutia by providing balanced, practical support.

“So many mothering resources present an extreme view: crib vs. cosleep; attachment parenting vs. Babywise; public schooling vs. unschooling,” said Merediz, a certified childbirth educator who helped create several consumer-based nonprofit groups revolving around motherhood and also has dabbled in toy design. “On the Internet, mommy bloggers tend to present either an overwhelmingly idealistic, impractical view of motherhood or spread a negative attitude about being a mom.“

Merediz aims to counter this. In fact, she is part of a growing movement looking to reel in a child development industry that seems to be spiraling out of control with divisive language and one-sided approaches. A more recent example of this surfaced when a Time Magazine feature questioned the ethics of extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting.

“As technology and mass media inundate women with the latest methods, the rights and wrongs, many moms tend to lose confidence in their innate motherly instincts,” Merediz said. “I know from my own personal experience as a soon-to-be mom, I researched every avenue imaginable to find the ‘best’ parenting methods. By the time my son came along, it wasn’t so much answers that I needed, but the facilitation and the support to find the answers on my own.”

With a physical address based in North Carolina and an Internet home at Tmuffin.com, the operation started purely as a digital concept a couple years ago. Merediz began blogging about parenthood as a hobby in 2010 and quickly built a following with her “feel-it-out” solutions to child-parent bonding. Her approach included discussions of well-known but neglected topics.

“I simply encouraged mothers to explore development methods that came naturally to them and their kids,” she said. “Don’t get wrapped up in society’s ever-changing definition of ‘Supermom.'”

As Merediz continued to talk with mothers through her Web presence, she came to realize that many had questions, but were scared to ask due to labels and stereotypes.

“I saw a severe disconnect in the new-parent market and the child-development industry,” she said. “So many of the resources out there are terribly narrow-minded and completely nonflexible. It was either their way or no way. Many contradicted the other, making it nearly impossible to digest it all – and in turn – causing moms to feel inferior.”

After a push from her blog fan base to expand her message, Merediz officially launched a full-blown Internet resource center and bricks-and-mortar business on Mother’s Day weekend. Both now serve as a hub for information on four essential elements of mothering: birth, babywearing, play, and parenthood.

“At a time when so many websites, shops and classes seemingly revolve around the best way for babies, Tmuffin recognizes that parents are part of the equation too.” Merediz said. “It’s got to work for everyone involved to truly be effective – that’s the real differentiator. You won’t find a one-size-fits-all mentality here. We simply provide moral support and possible approaches. In the end, you must find your own way through the journey of parenthood.”

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Hilary Brady
Bons Eye Marketing
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