Thoughts on parenting in the U.S. + a trip to Honeysuckle Tea House

Main, North Carolina, People, Visit

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Lately it seems all the headlines I read online or in the paper sound something like: “What American parents are getting wrong” “American parenting is killing marriage” “French Kids Eat Everything” “Danish kids are the happiest in the world” and on and on.  I’ve even had articles shared with me announcing that parents these days are ruining their children, giving reasons that contradict each other. I’ve grown a bit tired of all the negativity around parenting in the U.S. and wanted to get something off my chest as I sit here looking at these photos from a rendezvous we had with one of my first “mom friends” and her adorable family. This might not be what you signed up for.  Like I’ve said more than once though, “I couldn’t help myself.”

Yes, maybe there is much to improve on, but there is one thing I believe parents in the U.S. are thriving at. From the start of your parenting journey, there is support and community in all forms and it doesn’t go away. When I had Grace two and a half years ago, I was quickly being told about “Mommy and Me” music classes, invited to baby storytimes, given pregnancy tips, added to breastfeeding support groups, baby-wearing meetups, birthing classes and basically anything baby/pregnancy/parenting related. Now, friends will even set up a meal delivery train for you so you won’t starve in those early months. This support continues well into parenting, whether it be a little comment from a stranger at a grocery store, small talk at the park or an invite to a kid’s birthday party. I hear and ask, “How are you doing?” and “How’s it going?” over and over.  Moms in this country support other moms. Even introverted moms who don’t want to get out much can find support on social media groups and have a good laugh from the endless Scary Mommy articles. Not to mention the wide range of organizations out there to help parents in need from birth and onward.

I have met, laughed and even cried a bit with moms of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, working, not working, older, younger, etc.  I have had some of the best conversations with moms I haven’t ever seen again, yet we happened to be at the same park that day, and we both were what each other needed, to be able to relate. I have become friends with amazing women who started out as my “mom friends” and now they are just my friends. I know that I can reach out to any one of them on any given day and they will be there, even if just to vent about something  trivial. I now look forward to getting together with them minus kids and plus lots of wine.

No job, no social status, no soul searching trip around the world, no advanced degree, no years of being a nanny and working with kids can prepare you for having your own. Some days are blissful, some are miserable. No matter what you’ve done in your life before kids, nothing will exempt you (apparently not even if you are the Duchess of Cambridge) from a teething clingy baby or an embarrassing toddler having an off day. When you have children, you are starting from ground zero and we are all in it together. You will need support whether you want to admit it or not. When they say it takes a village, it really does – parents in the U.S. get that and we take care of one another. We value the village, the tribe, and I’m glad to be raising my kids here.

Well, now that that’s off my chest, I thought I’d share a few pictures from a delightful day trip to visit the open air, seasonal Honeysuckle Tea House located in back roads Chapel Hill. If it’s any indication in the photos, we all very much enjoyed ourselves. Tea and treats for the adults, sand, swings and Locopops for the kids. I can’t even begin to describe their amazingly curated tea collection – so many I’d never even heard of before! The matcha lavender latte, the lounging in the hammocks, even with the heat and child monitoring, it all felt very Zen. It was a nice change of scenery from living smack dab in the middle of the constantly growing and developing Raleigh. Literally we are right next to a parking deck and there has been construction surrounding our neighborhood for more than a year! The Tea House on the other hand is surrounded by nature, thriving herb and flower beds, berry patches and more. They call it a pastoral oasis and it is. If you are anywhere in the Triangle area, it’s certainly worth a visit!

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Honeysuckle tea house

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Hope you enjoyed the photos! -Addie

Celebrity Dairy

Main, North Carolina, Visit

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What a weekend our family had. We kept Grace out “late”(as in 9:30) Friday night at the First Friday Art Walk downtown where we all devoured delicious tapas style food at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. Saturday night Chris and I went out sans baby to celebrate Mardi Gras at our friends’ annual soiree. I know I’m still in my 20’s, but I just don’t have the energy for all this socializing lately. Come Monday my feet were aching like crazy. The highlight of the weekend though, started around noon on Saturday. We loaded up and drove down the rural part of Highway 64 to spend the day at Celebrity Dairy. One of Grace’s best buds, Olivia, was cool enough to host her first birthday at this small goat farm and B&B.

Celebrity Dairy is located in beautiful and progressive Chatham County where they procure delicious goats milk items including cheese (or Chèvre I should say), gelato and yogurt. All delicious! Saturday they hosted an open house/barn where a home cooked lunch was served for a small price in their beautiful Greek Revival farmhouse. The day was filled with babies, laughs, delicious food, good friends and lots of goats everywhere. The main attraction (not including the birthday girl!) was the handful of baby goats being born what seemed like every 45 minutes. It was very cool to witness, but I will spare you the details and images. I was so impressed at how peacefully and quietly these mama goats welcomed their kids into the world. Having given birth once before and gearing up to again in a few months, I loved seeing how simple and natural it all was. While it’s been pretty cold and somewhat dreary lately, Saturday was sunny and a perfect day to be out in the country. See some highlights from the day below.

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Grace waiting patiently for her food, looking more and more like a little girl and less like my baby.

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Spicy vegetarian chili with goats milk sour cream & kale, beef stew, corn bread, sweet potato biscuits and scotch eggs.

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Clear skies

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Mama & kid just seconds after birth

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Double fisting gelato

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Cheese please!

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Birthday girl with her sweet parents. I think she liked the gelato 🙂

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So many cuddly baby goats.

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Happy birthday to sweet Olivia who we have loved watching blossom this past year into such a sweet spunky little gal. Love you and your parents to pieces!

P.S. If you’re in the Raleigh area, Celebrity Dairy is hosting another open house in March! You can find details here.

XO everyone,

Addie