While expecting her first child, Xza Higgins started a blog collective called the Mommy Dialogues for mothers and moms-to-be. Before she knew it, the tireless entrepreneur's informal gatherings and bonding retreats developed into a natural parenting convention series offering seminars and product demonstrations to new and expectant parents wanting something more.

“They can come together as a community and meet people who are like-minded,” explains Higgins, MommyCon CEO. “Whether they had a home birth, a hospital birth, they went into labor in the water or maybe even used a surrogate to become parents, they will be surrounded by people who want to learn about their journeys together.”

The natural choice

“The real-life motherhood stories are beautiful, with all the chaos, tantrums and the unkept house.”

Today, MommyCon has reached over 50,000 parents nationwide. The family-run business offers conferences that address holistic health, eco-friendly diapering, child safety standards and female wellness. Parents learn about the emotional and physical benefits of natural birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing.

“They want to hear from experts who are going to share information in a way that's non-judgmental and who listen to the individual caretaker's needs,” states Higgins, who believes natural parenting is about looking at what our ancestors did and making improvements.

"We live in a world today where there are so many options. Do we want to be putting the most natural things on our child's skin? I think most parents would say yes. When you have thousands upon thousands of choices, a lot of times natural just means simple.”

A juggling act

Higgins says to strike the right life/work balance, recognize that you can't do it all. “The best advice I have is to accept help,” she says. “If it's not available, seek it out.”

When friends and family visit, consider asking them to do a load of laundry, wash dishes or run the vacuum. “When you're a new parent, you need to spend time bonding with your new baby, not cleaning up after house guests.”

Lessons learned

Higgins also thinks moms should shed unrealistic expectations.

“The mother on Instagram who looks like she's doing it perfectly is all a facade. The real-life motherhood stories are beautiful, with all the chaos, tantrums and the unkept house. Knowing everybody else's life is just as chaotic as mine is really reassuring.”

As for the correct approach to motherhood, “This community has shown me there's no one right or wrong way to do it, as long as it's in the best interest of your child and your family.”