Wednesday, September 25, 2013

MommyCon: an interview with founder Alexzandra Higgins

You may or may not have heard of MommyCon, but it's coming to Portland THIS WEEKEND. Considered a boutique conference focused on natural parenting, its popularity is literally snowballing its way across the country. From the press release: 

“Natural parenting” is based on the desire to live and parent responsively as well as consciously.  It has increasingly become a hot topic for families in today's society and on Saturday, September 28, MommyCon will be coming to The Jupiter Hotel (800 E Burnside Street) to provide families with advice, inspiration, techniques, products and answers to all questions regarding "natural parenting. 

Portland's MommyCon's will include over a dozen workshops and seminars that cover everything from birthing, breastfeeding and babywear plus phenomenal speakers that range from birth professionals to inspirational parenting bloggers. 

I will be attending the conference, including VIP sessions this Friday, so be sure to follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to get all my "behind the scenes" updates as I experience MommyCon for myself - in real time and before I post to the blog about the event. 

I got the special treat of getting to interview the founder of MommyCon recently. This is the first time I've gotten the opportunity to do something like this, so I hope you enjoy. She really comes across as very genuine and passionate about what she does. 

Please share a little about yourself and your family.
My name is Xza Louise Higgins, I am a wife of five years and a mother to a nearly two year old boy named Atticus. We live in the beautiful city of Chicago. I am the founder and creator of MommyCon which is a natural parenting convention that travels around the United States bringing parents together for the purpose of building community, and empowering parents to follow their instincts when it comes to raising their children.

How would you describe your parenting style? How do you feel it's changed or evolved since actually becoming a parent?
That's an interesting question, because I consider myself a mother who wants to follow a natural lifestyle while being pulled in multiple directions by outside influences. The most common term that I have used to describe my parenting style would be "crunchy." I went into my pregnancy wanting a natural birth, and to cloth diaper my son, breastfeed, babywear and try to raise him by the most organic means possible. 

Not every parent has it as "easy" as me, because there really isn't anything we haven't been able to accomplish..

What does Natural Parenting mean to you?
Natural parenting means focusing the practices and products we use to the simplest eco-friendly alternatives. It means simplification of our home, and of our parenting style. 

How were you inspired to create MommyCon?

I felt really alone in the way I wanted to parent. I was pregnant, and had seen babywearers, cloth diaper users, and breastfeeders, but didn't know any. I started a blog, The Mommy Dialogues to help change that. From there it grew into MommyCon. A year ago today we were planning on first event, and today we are planning the next two years, it's pretty incredible!

What goals do you have for the future with MommyCon?
I would really like MommyCon to continue the track that we are on. We have been really fortunate to visit some beautiful cities, and meet some wonderful parents. 

What is your proudest accomplishment to date? (in general or with MommyCon)
We were able to take an idea to bring natural parenting to the masses and we were able to accomplish. Each day we hear from parents around the globe about how our event has impacted them, It's a really amazing feeling.

I think it's amazing everything she's accomplished in the past few years - including life as a new mom! Please let me know if there are any particular aspects of the conference you want to be sure I check in on and share with you. I'm especially excited to see Jessica from the Leaky Boob this Friday. 

If you are interested in attending MommyCon or just learning more, be sure to visit their website or Facebook page for more information. I was given a media pass for the conference. 
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