Missy is president of Babe Ease, LLC–The Clean Shopper
How did you come up with the idea for your product? I had previously seen a man sneeze into his hands then push his shopping cart through the store. He didn’t even wipe hands on his pants (not that wiping them would have been much better). It was gross, to say the least. I certainly didn’t want my son sucking on that! Covering it up seemed like a good solution. I don’t sew, so a colleague made my first Clean Shopper. After I started using it, I was practically mugged my other mothers every time I went shopping. They all wanted one.
How many children do you have and what age groups? I have two sons; they are now teenagers.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Expose your kids to lots of different cultures and experiences. When the boys were young, we tried to take them to a different cultural event every month. One month it was the Museum of Fine Arts, one month a Mark Morris dance performance, another month the Chinese Acrobatics show or the African Children’s Choir. We traveled with them to other countries when possible as well. I think the more opportunities kids have to enjoy other cultural experiences, the more open minded and interesting they become.
What has surprised you most about parenting? You can have two children, raise them in the same house with the same parents and they can still be total opposites. My sons are fabulous individuals, but they couldn’t be more different. One loves to read, bake, skateboard, and write. The other is a sports statistics fanatic who reads only when forced, and completes math problems faster than I eat chocolate.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I serve veggies at every meal and in between meals, too. They always had carrots, beans, peppers, cucumbers, etc. as snacks. I would cut up some veggies and stick bowls of them on the counter. To this day, they will grab veggies off the counter and down them like candy. Now that they are older and bigger than me, they can also devour a gallon of ice cream before I blink, but they also grab the veggies.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? I’m rather sedentary, and I only walk on the treadmill in the mornings, when the kids are in school. My husband runs with my younger one and we all ski, but I’m lucky that the schools my sons attend take physical fitness seriously. The boys are required to play sports through school, and they also both play tennis all year. So even though I’m not winning any physical fitness awards, the boys are on the right track.
How do you recharge your batteries? I take trips with the family and sometimes with just my husband. Getting away from my desk is key, and I do it as often as possible.