Mompreneur presents: Sarah Pagura, Tit for Tot, the breastfeeding emoji app.

Mompreneur presents: Sarah Pagura, Tit for Tot, the breastfeeding emoji app.

by Marta Conte

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Tit for Tot

Welcome to the Mompreneur series: Tit for Tot

“Bébé Voyage was co-founded by 2 moms who have spent countless hours pouring their energy into the business and the community. Between getting a startup off the ground and managing a family, we know what it feels like to be stretched! Along this journey we have met so many amazing mompreneurs. The “mompreneur” community truly feels like a sisterhood. We have been so grateful to the community, this series is about profiling our powerful “mompreneur” sisters out there, making a difference in your communities! ” (Juliet)

First up, on our brand new series, is Sarah Pagura, mum of three and co-founder of  Tit for Tot, the breastfeeding emoji app.

So, Sarah, tell us a little about how the business idea came about

Tit For Tot began as I was texting Tessa – my best friend of nearly 20 years and now business partner – about a pesky clogged milk duct. I had been trying for nearly two days to unclog this darn blockage, but nothing was working. I was convinced that I was going to get mastitis. Then, without warning or fanfare, my determined baby got things flowing. As I expressed relief and Tessa offered congratulations (all via text), we realized that no emojis existed to help us communicate this very common breastfeeding issue. We wondered what other universal breastfeeding scenarios existed. So we started a list and a company was born!  As we started to dig in, we stumbled upon a startling statistic – only 40% of women in the U.S. meet their breastfeeding goals and a major hurdle is lack of support. That really bummed us out. Tessa and I both had given birth to baby boys a week apart. Throughout our first breastfeeding journeys, we had one another to offer support, advice and share laughs. This helped us both stay the course and reach our breastfeeding goals. We decided to create Tit for Tot as a tool to help other women meet their breastfeeding goals. Our hope is that we can remove the stigma surrounding breastfeeding and make it fun for lactating mommas to share their stories in a modern way.

Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a family travel destination?

I live in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. I highly recommend Cleveland as a family destination. It’s a small city so you get some of the cool elements of urban life (world-class museums, beautiful parks, fantastic restaurants) without the stress of being in a major metropolitan area.  Cuyahoga Valley National Forest is also close. It’s a great location for hiking, biking and taking in gorgeous forest landscapes! And if you are more of a thrill-seeker (which I am not), you can enjoy the roller coasters at Cedar Point in nearby Sandusky, Ohio.

What’s your insider tip for families coming to your hometown? What are your favorite family-friendly hidden gems? 

Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square, which is the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York City. Playhouse Square offers shows for guests of all ages. If you are planning a trip to Cleveland, definitely check out their calendar of events and plan to see a show with your kids. And then eat at one of our amazing local restaurants. There are so many great options!

Is family travel part of your life? 

Yes, family travel is definitely part of my life. My husband and I have three boys, ages 8, 3 and 7 months. We are at a point in our parenthood journey where big family trips to exotic locations aren’t appealing; we find one-tank trips to be more manageable and rejuvenating right now. If we can get there by car in 5 to 6 hours, it’s on! Our kids are adventurous and curious so we usually plan weekends packed with trips to museums, meals at interesting restaurants, and exploration of charming neighborhoods. Our days usually end at a hotel with lots of swimming and room service.

What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?

My husband and I lived in Chicago for 13 years and we love to return with our boys. It’s so fun to show them all of our favorite places. Maggie Daley Park, which wasn’t around when we lived there, is truly the most spectacular park. A must-see destination for any family visiting Chi-town!

What’s your best advice for traveling parents?

Try to find a good balance between activities your kids will enjoy and ones that you and your spouse will enjoy. This will help everyone feel satisfied at the end of the day. And carve out time each day to allow your kids to be physically active. We find this helps on so many levels!

What is your favorite family travel product or service?

Hmmm, great question. I don’t know… But if anyone has a great service for locating trusted-babysitters in vacation destinations, I’d love to know more. I typically have a strong desire to go on a date night while on vacation, but I generally don’t because I am too nervous to leave our kids in the care of a stranger.

What item do you always pack in your carry-on?

Snacks (healthy stuff to nourish them and  sugary items to bribe them), a couple good books, and a handful of Matchbox cars!

How do you tackle the work/life balance (e.g., day care, babysitting, schools, etc.)?

With colorful language and under the influence of a lot of caffeine:) Honestly though, creating work/life balance is both a constant challenge and opportunity for creativity. I juggle Tit for Tot, freelance work, and my kids. I primarily work out of my home during the day while someone else cares for my kids. During the school year, I use a combination of school and daycare for my two big guys, and my parents generously provide a lot of support for our baby (thanks so much Mom & Dad!!!). I find summers to be challenging because of my kids’ ages. It’s hard to find a one-caregiver solution that fits all three of my kids. This year we hired a nanny and it was such a lovely experience. We hope to use her again next summer. My dream scenario would be to find another Mompreneur to share childcare with so we can both pursue our passions and keep our kids close by.

What are the advantages of being a Mompreneur while raising children vs. working for an outside entity? Disadvantages? 

There are PROS and CONS to both situations. For me, when I worked full time for an outside entity, I struggled with the hours. I would leave the house at 7:30 AM and return at 6:30 PM. Being gone 11 hours of the day left very little opportunity for family time and I often felt like I was missing out on too much of my kids’ lives. But the money and benefits were good:) As a Mompreneur, I have control over what I’m working on, the hours I keep, and the direction of my future, which is awesome. I am free to get my kids on the bus in the morning and greet them when they return at the end of the day. Their inevitable sick days are no longer a scheduling-crisis. And I don’t have to pay someone to take them to soccer practice. My biggest hurdle is time. Like most of us, I wish I had more of it. I miss the days of ole when I could focus on work for as many hours as I wanted. But with three kids, that just isn’t possible right now. For the time being, I just (try) to allow myself to be happy with the volume that our schedule presently allows … and I pray that my kids fall asleep early so I can squeeze in a few more emails in the evening.

What’s your shameless plug? 

Check out our Tit for Tot Breastfeeding Emoji App on the App Store and Google Play. Our emojis help lactating moms express the ups and downs of breastfeeding. Laugh. Support. Normalize!

Tit for Tot, the breastfeeding emoji app, now available on the App Store and Google Play !

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We hope you enjoyed this article… and since you made it all the way to the end, we suspect that it gave you something of value. Creating this type of high quality, authentic content takes a lot of work. In fact, we have a whole team that runs Bébé Voyage. Right now, they are all volunteers, but we would love to be able to start paying them. Here’s one way that you can help… 

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