Friday Close-Up:

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AdHocMom believes there's a better way. The three moms behind the site (Tonya Vernooy, Paula Balzer and Carrie Harvey ) think we need a new kind of work. This online haven is dedicated to moms seeking part-time gigs who also strive for balance.

These Brooklyn moms decided there was a need for a community for PT working moms since as they putit, "you couldn’t throw a pacifier in our neighborhood without hitting a mother who was also successfully managing a part-time career as graphic designer, real estate agent, book editor, etc," and was born. The manifesto goes something like this, if you work funky hours, stressing over deadlines, and still managing to make it through the day without a trip to the ER you need and deserve your own little pocket of support.

Best spot for a Brooklyn play date: It gives us great peace of mind to know that the New York Explorers play space is in the neighborhood. It can really save your sanity on a rainy afternoon. It’s big enough that our two-year olds can have a really good time – but not TOO big, in that “can’t look away for half a second lest your child be swallowed up by a sea of big kids” kind of way. Bonus – it’s behind Blue Marble, so you have immediate access to ice cream, bagels, coffee, etc.

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Most over-rated piece of baby gear:The Boppy. Shocking, right? We just didn’t feel the love for the boppy. Totally overrated for breastfeeding, since it has a tendency to slip and nearly take the baby with it. Plus, IT’S HUGE. Who needs that? It does make a really good cat bed though.

Favorite parenting resource in NYC: Our lives would pretty much suck without our local YMCA, especially since this winter has been a rough one. They have loads of classes and activities to offer kids of all ages. Our two year olds are total maniacs, and they are big fans of “toddler open gym.” Our husbands, who are officially in charge of the little ones on Saturday mornings have had success with the open art studio at the new armory location. And oh yeah, excuses be gone! You can put your kid in the daycare while you work out.

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Best spot for a family meal:Soy Pepperoni anyone? No worries, they have the real stuff too. Pizza Plus on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope IS the definition of family friendly. They have pizza (obviously) and all manner of Italian dishes. You could basically walk in with a family of eighty-five and they would totally deal – no problem.

Tourist attraction you've been meaning to see: While our kids are pretty lucky, they’ve seen more in their two years than I did in my first twenty-five, we haven’t managed to pull off the Bronx Zoo yet. A classic outing, but logistically, I guess it takes a little more planning. Who wants to be stuck in traffic on the way home from the Bronx with a screaming two-year old?

Who should be reading your is for women who are dealing with the challenge of raising kids while working part time or freelancing. There’s a unique set of issues that we’re trying to address; the crazy patch-work childcare, complete lack of benefits, unusual hours, etc. However, there are also some really wonderful things about being an adhocmom. Tonya, Carrie and I probably wouldn’t have developed such a strong friendship if we were working full time. It’s been a great help having such close relationships with other mothers. . and oh yeah, it’s obviously awesome to be around when your kid does something great – first steps, first words and so on.

Why do You Want to raise your kids in an urban setting? New York City has so much to offer. While Carrie grew up in Brooklyn, Tonya and I are from other parts of the country. I grew up in Milwaukee, and Tonya’s from Austin. I love knowing my daughter will have access to everything from world-class museums to good bagels. If June decides she wants to be a doctor – fantastic, New York is a great place to be. If she’d rather be a locksmith, I still can’t imagine a better city.

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