Mothering is hard work. It takes management skills to juggle all the tasks and duties and different schedules. It takes creativity to come up with new ways to solve old problems. It takes stamina, wit, resolve and determination.
Yet for all this, there's little training beyond personal babysitting, reading books and maybe taking a parenting class or two.
Now comes the first Pittsburgh Conference on Mothering Studies, to be hosted at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Monroeville Center, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 6. The IUP Monroeville Center is located on the ninth floor of Building 4 at Penn Center East.
The conference was developed by Jen Primack, a stay-at-home mom herself who holds a master's degree from IUP's Adult and Community Education program.
"Whenever I'm hanging out with groups of moms, two things come up over and over," Primack explained. "One, there's no training for motherhood and two, we need a break. We need some rest."
When another mom mentioned she was going to a conference, a friend piped up that maybe there should be a conference for moms, too.
"It just sort of snowballed from there," said Primack, who has a 4-year-old boy and 15-month-old girl.
Featured sessions presented by doctorate and master's level experts will be "If Momma Ain't Healthy, Ain't Nobody Healthy," "No, Ice Cream Is Not a Vegetable," "Finding Time for Spirituality," and "Snap, Crackle, and Pop: Media Literacy for Families."
But there also will be some leisure time, too. There will be 15-minute chair massages and a three-course lunch at the nearby John Harvard's.
The keynote address, "Plan Your Life and Create the Work You Love," will be delivered by psychotherapist Jan Carlino.
Not to be left out, fathers and children will also break from routine by "day-camping" at a Pittsburgh park: pitching tents, cooking outside, and going on a nature scavenger hunt -- while the moms are at the conference.
The conference costs $50, and includes the lunch. Registration is requested by March 15. Space is limited to 30 people.
For more information or to request a registration form, contact Primack at 412-480-6484 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org