I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mom Blogs Have Become Obsolete

If you're a mom blogger and you're reading this, you may be in denial.  If you are just someone happening by reading this, you're probably nodding in agreement.

Back in 2008 when I started my blog and social media presence, Mom Blogging was huge!  Companies scrambled to get their name and products out to moms with blogs in order to get brand recognition.  Search engine optimization was a newer concept and everyone wanted their name to come up high on the search engine sites.  Moms were blogging... more moms were blogging... and eventually moms that should be blogging were blogging.

That's when it started to become ridiculous.  Although I think the idea of blogging in general is a dying art, there are a few great ones out there that still get mass readers- and hooray for them!  They have found their niche in a dying art.  Generally those bloggers who rose to greatness have found themselves published in some format that has gained them more notoriety.  However, the vast majority were mom blogs that were inundated with reviews.  And to make things worse, they were flowery reviews on products that shouldn't even be given the time of day.  It started to make the reviews lose their authenticity and people were no longer looking to mom blogs to determine whether to make a purchase or not.

Here we are today: the mom blog is dead... and bad bloggers killed it.  Okay, and blogs in general are being read less and less.  People just don't have the time (or make the time for them.)  We need our attention to be caught in 140 characters or less... be in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.  If a headline or a picture catches our eye, we click.  Otherwise, most people don't spend time bookmarking or seeking out the blogs that they once read.

And companies have started to realize this too.  Less product samples are being made available.  And the PR firms representing these brands are not all keeping up with these trends.  For instance, many of the old mom blogging experts that were big names in representing brands and passing along product or review opportunities are still hung up on the idea of UVMs- unique monthly visitors.  How many people are clicking on links to your blog?  How many people just stumble upon your blog?  How many searches are coming up with your blog near the top?  Brands want people to click on links that lead them to their product page or a place to buy it.  They don't care if people go by way of your blog first. 

So, I guess what I'm saying is not so much good-bye... I'm sure I will throw out a blog post here or there, but I hate being told what to blog about.  That makes it crap... you know, cause it's forced.  I am fairly active on my Twitter and Facebook accounts and mildly active on Instagram , Google+ and Pinterest.  I encourage you to follow me on those as I feel like I do contribute at least one piece of interest each day, but I make no promises.

I am only human and I do enjoy reviewing products, so you may see RARE posts on my social media sites from time to time that highlight a product, but don't worry, I've scaled so far back that I'm almost invisible.  I'll see you on the other sites!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Call me Bitter Betty but...

I want to post a Facebook message that I sent to a "friend" on May 26, 2014.  She never responded, yet we were still "friends."  Then when I moved away, which she knew was happening, I never heard from her.  I was bitter about that, so I unfriended her.  Since then, I've wondered if she needed someone to talk to and I felt bad and tried to friend her back... but she wouldn't add me.  I think this is something that will always bug me until I get some form of closure.  Maybe she doesn't like being around responsible adult friends.

Here is the copy/paste of the Facebook post (with names omitted):
I don't want you to read this in an animosity driven way, because that is not my intent. I have had this on my chest for years and if I don't ever tell you it will lead me to more years of regret.

I know you won't respond to this and that's okay. I just needed to say it.

It hurts me... HURTS ME to see you post pictures of you and all of your "friends" hanging out and yet you are never interested in doing anything with me.

Out of all the times you left **** after we met, I was always there to help you! I found you apartments, talked a landlord into letting you move in without a deposit, moved you twice, including once by myself!! I didn't have two nickels to rub together one of the times and yet I bought you cleaning supplies and some food for your kids. I was so good to you and them, yet now you couldn't give a shit less about me. I don't know at what point you decided I sucked at life, but I am a good person and I was soooo good to you and expected nothing in return. When I left **** I neither asked for your help or received it and I'm okay with that.

What gets me is that ONE time did I stop talking to you because of **** and it was because you stopped at the house to confront him with me in the car and he called me a piece of shit and tried to smash your window. I couldn't be around him after that and you went back to him, so I had to step back, but I was there for you again the next time you left.

And I don't know your friends well enough to even say anything as they've all been nice to me. I know ****** told me she quit being your friend in high school when you dropped out.

I just don't understand. I wish you would just express it to me that you don't want to be my friend. I'm a great mom, a great friend and it just blows my mind that we were so close and then nothing. I miss seeing your kids and being a happy, positive influence in their lives.

So, take this how you will. I'm not mad in the least and I do understand if you don't respond. I just wanted to express the hurt I've felt for a long time now.

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I'm snapping an #UltraHug selfie for Arthur Elementary to win them a $2k grant from Huggies!

I'm nominating Arthur Elementary for the $2k grant from Huggies Snug N Dry!  Our city has many elementaries spread throughout the town, which means that most of them have a smaller student population from towns with only one or two elementary schools.  They tend to be more blessed when it comes to extra money for playground equipment and renovations.  My children go to Arthur and I love taking my younger two to the playground to play.  Unfortunately I have to be constantly on guard when they are playing on the equipment because all of the equipment has wood chips
underneath.  And after it rains, the few wood chips there are, are mixed in with lots of mud- this means I can't take the kids at all.

There are parks located throughout the town, but it is nice for families to be able to take their children to the nearby elementary to play.  It's within walking distance and your kids don't have to fight for a turn on the slide.  It's a free and healthy way to get kids outside playing and unplugging from technology for awhile.

What I would like to use this grant for is to purchase shredded rubber playground mulch to put under the equipment.  This will help alleviate scraped knees, splinters, being impaled by wood chips and the icky muddy mess.  It would set my mind, and other parents' minds at ease as we watch our children play.  I've been to schools that have this mulch and it is fantastic!  I would love to see this on the playground at Arthur Elementary!!

Do you have a place in your local community that you would like to see get a $2k grant from Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra?  If so, here are the details:

From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I wore my bathing suit in public... and no one pointed and laughed!

How many of us are 100% happy with our bodies?  Don't all raise your hands at once... anyone... anyone... Bueller... Bueller...?

Last year I don't think I got in a swimming pool one time.  I can't remember, but I don't think I did.  The summer before, I went to the public pool in our small town a couple times, but grudgingly.  I only went so that my kids could go and enjoy it.  Oh how I wished I could be one of those parents who swam with their kids, jumped off the diving boards, went down slides... when I was younger I LOVED that kind of stuff and I was willing to wear a two-piece-- with no cover-up!  I just feel so much body shame that I only feel comfortable in a swimsuit around my kids- and that's only because they think I'm pretty no matter what (they're young.)

Anyway, two summers ago when I was at our small town public pool, a woman in her late 20s was there with at least one child.  She was having fun, jumping in the water, enjoying the beautiful day.  This is what I saw: she was wearing a two piece, she had that mommy apron that we all hate, stretch marks on her stomach and was very pale.  She was not very heavy-looking, it was just the stomach region that surprised me that she would be comfortable wearing a two-piece in public.  My first thought was, "I can't believe someone would wear a two-piece when their stomach looks like that!"  Then immediately my thought turned to how I wish I could be more like that woman!  She clearly did not worry about what she was wearing or what other people might think- she was there to have fun and enjoy herself, time with her kids, get a good tan... so why should she feel bad about that?  Why should she care that there are judgmental people (like I was initially being) who know nothing about her, but will think poorly of her because she chooses to accept her body for the way it is?  We should be using her as a role model!

So yesterday was a huge step for me.  My daughter earned a trip to the pool for having a great report card, and I couldn't back out on her.  So to avoid a hassle with the younger two (and some nasty sunburns,) my husband decided he would stay home with the younger two and I would take the older two.  So I reluctantly put on my swimsuit that I don't believe had been worn yet.  It was a tankini, but the bottoms were a skirt.  The top was made in a way that the midsection didn't cling an there was plenty of coverage up to my armpits.  I tossed a dress over the top and out the door we went.

The whole drive to the pool I argued with myself in my head.  We now live in the second biggest city in our state, and it is one of the better pools in the city, so I knew it would be packed.  This made me feel really nervous that so many people would be seeing me in a swimsuit, but I wanted to lay out and work on a tan while the kids played in the pool.  The place WAS packed.  As we walked out of the changing rooms into the pool area, I began seeing people of all sizes, ethnicities, heights, weights, builds, complexions, you name it!  Sure there were skinny women in bikinis, but there were heavier women in bikinis too.  And most of them weren't wearing skirted bottoms that attempted to hide cellulite like I was.

My kids begged me to go with them down the slide the first time because they were shy and a bit nervous.  I decided to suck it up, took the dress off and walked up the steps to the slide area, where I took my turn and went down a big, twisting blue slide- and it was FUN.  I tried not to think about what the young lifeguards thought as I approached in my bathing suit.  I instead tried to think about how excited my kids were that I went down the slide.

After getting out of the pool, I found a chair to lay out on, put my towel on it, put my headphones in, laid back, made sure my swimsuit was all in place, then just enjoyed the peace.  Was I feeling self-conscious?  Of course.  Was I letting it ruin my time there?  Not at all!  My psychiatrist once told me that if I'm afraid to be out in public for fear that people are judging me, that I should realize that 99% of those people "don't give a shit" about me.  I can tell you that at the pool yesterday, I did not know ONE person besides my kids.  So why should I care if one of them thinks that I'm chubby, that I have cellulite, that I've got a floppy mommy apron for a tummy... whatevs.  There were so many people that were heavier and didn't seem to care AT ALL.  They were enjoying themselves.

These lovely ladies have no body shame- color me jealous!

I feel like it was a huge obstacle to overcome and I'm nowhere near as confident as the woman in my old town in the bikini, but I just hope one day to get to the point where I can have fun enough in my full coverage swimsuit and not be worrying about what other people are thinking.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Pee in Post Partum (TMI Alert!) #parenting

I debated writing this post because it's a bit TMI, but I figured it's something other moms can empathize with and it's just a nice heads up for the moms-to-be out there.

I don't recall having this problem after my first two children are born.  Sure, when you're pregnant you have to worry about peeing your pants because you've got an 8lb baby pushing on your bladder.  But what about when that baby has been born and is about to get its driver's license??

Well, none of my kids are quite there yet, but I'm sure I'll have the same issue by the time they do get to be that age. 

Since my last two children were born only 18 months apart, I couldn't say for sure which one pushed my bladder over the edge.  But I've developed an all-too familiar problem that some moms have the pleasure of dealing with once their children have exited the womb and their bodies have started returning to somewhat normal.  Sometimes when I sneeze, I pee a little.  Yep, there's your TMI.  My most recent bout was a hellacious cold I just recovered from.  I would occasionally go through a coughing fit or let out a big sneeze and if I didn't cross my legs fast enough... I snuck upstairs in hopes no one would notice.

If you have this problem and haven't figured it out yet- cross your legs when you sneeze or cough!  Like I said, I never had this problem until after babies #3 and #4, so I know not all moms go through with this.  And I know there's a scientific explanation, that some day I will google, but that day is not today, therefore you will remain uninformed until you google it yourself.

There you have it!  So to those who may see me out and about and watch me cough or sneeze, pay no attention to me crossing my legs as I do so and especially don't think twice about it if I get a panicked look on my face and run for the bathroom.

Moms, can I get an Amen??