I first heard of MommyCon through the people in my local chapter of Babywearing International. MommyCon (a parenting conference) and Wear (a babywearing conference) were being combined into one big event, so from the moment I heard about it I knew I was all in. Sign me up! Three-day ticket! Let’s do this!
The conference was at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont starting Friday, March 3, and running through the weekend. I headed up to Rosemont solo on Friday as the sessions were just in the afternoon, but Ada came with me on Saturday and Sunday.
I’d been nervous about bringing Ada. That sounds silly in retrospect, but I imagined it would be a lot of informational sessions and she would be bored. Was it selfish to take her to a conference? Was I setting myself up for some kind of disaster expecting her to sit with me through lectures? Well, of course no one at MommyCon expects kids to sit through lectures! There was open space in the back of each classroom with toys for the kids. My view of the conference mostly looked like this:
I sat through sessions on talking to kids about money, potty-training, sensory play, back-carries for babywearing, and a musical performance by Miss Jamie from the Farm (we love Miss Jamie!). It was all low-key and casual so any worry I had about Ada was put to rest. People at MommyCon know kids and no one was going to look at you funny if your kid shrieked or you had to leave a session suddenly.
One of the big draws for me was the exhibit hall. I was excited to see all the different wraps and carriers, and perhaps get a new diaper bag from a brand I’d been eyeing (spoiler: I got it). I also got Ada a new teething bib (something like what she is wearing in the picture above, but a different pattern).
I brought food for Ada, but the exhibit hall featured all kinds of snacks for her (and me! I had a lot of snacks!). She especially enjoyed trying to drink from the tiny cups the Honest Tea samples came in:
I promise the wetness on her pants there is tea not … other liquids.
In addition to the sessions and exhibit hall, MommyCon also featured a feeding room, a sleep consultation room, and a quiet room. We tried to take a wee nap in the quiet room on Sunday (the event was full-day and going nap-less was getting hairy) but Ada wasn’t having it:
She’s a blur because her only interest in that pillow was to roll off of it. Too bad, because it was really cute!
Saturday and Sunday both ended with massive giveaways of all kinds of kid-gear donated by sponsors. People won strollers, wraps, cloth diapers, and more. It was intense (or, at least, it felt intense coming at the end of a long day right around the time Ada decided she was DONE and READY TO GO HOME NOW THANKS).
Would I do it again?
Yes, but probably only for one day. I knew some other mothers there on Saturday and it was fun to have friends in some of the classes.
I don’t recall if the class schedule was posted prior to my buying my three-day ticket. Had it been, I may have refrained from buying a ticket to the activities on Friday afternoon. Those sessions were all for the “Wear” (babywearing) portion of the conference, but were aimed at people who were or wanted to become babywearing educators. I’d signed up because of my intense newfound love for all things babywearing, so it’s possible that I missed that it was not geared for me, the novice adventurer.
What would I do differently?
Bring lunch? There was food and Ada was fine, but I had a hot dog both days (I didn’t want to leave the convention area, so this could be my own laziness as well as it’s possible there were better options elsewhere).
Anyway, overall, we had a great, if full, weekend.