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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
It’s my turn!! I get to go out of town today. I get to sleep in high thread count sheets at the Ritz. I get to order room service and have two precious nights of uninterrupted sleep.
Since we moved to LA, Phil hasn’t had to travel nearly as much as when we lived in NYC. As a screenwriter, he was hopping on planes all the time to the west coast. Which is one of the reasons we moved here when I became pregnant with our second baby, Emmett. We both wanted to cut down on his time away from home.
However, he’s had a few trips. A couple different ones to London (he even got snapped by the paparazzi) and recently an 8-day trip to Atlanta where his latest movie is shooting.
So when Parents asked me a couple weeks ago if I could go to Mom2Summit in the beautiful area of Laguna Niguel, about 90 minutes from my home, I told them my bags were already packed.
Then I started reading about the conference and saw there was a whole lot of crazy/silly controversy surrounding it. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article called “The Mommy Business Trip.” I didn’t find the article as offensive as some did. Though the comments were pretty brutal. I mean the title is a bit demeaning, and some of the piece suggests that conferences like these are one big excuse for moms who have pretend careers as “mommy bloggers” to get out of town and party. I think because we carry “mommy” in our title as bloggers, people don’t take us as seriously. But they should. We moms are the demo most advertisers want. We DO matter.
One of my best friends is a businesswoman. When I told her I was going to a “mommy blogger” conference she scoffed a bit and a laughed. I had to explain to her that these are real conferences with thousands of attendees and corporate sponsors. But I didn’t take offense to my friend. She just isn’t in my world.
For most of us, including myself, being a “mommy blogger” isn’t what pays the bills. But as my good friend Liz Gumbinner put in her popular blog Mom-101, a blog… “is rarely the end–it’s the means.“
“…your blog can be a platform for visibility, a place to connect with your community, a demonstration of your writing chops or digital prowess–all of which can lead to those actual career opportunities.”
She is absolutely right. And for some of us, it’s just an extension of our career. She mentions me as an example, since I have had a television career for the past 20 years and blogging for me, is a natural progression of not only that, but for whatever I have to come. Be it a book, a show, etc. For now, I have put many of my career aspirations on hold in lieu of changing diapers–something that is my choice and my luxury, since Phil can carry the bills (Sheryl Sandberg would be disgusted. As if I care…). Phil and I have always had a mutual give and take relationship. I put him through film school; he is putting me through motherhood. I love the trade-off. But I digress…
For me, going on a trip is exciting in my post-kid world for all the legitimate and plain fun (i.e. illegitimate) reasons. Which is the same as any businessman or woman who travel on occasion. I don’t need to justify this to anyone. I’m just flattered Parents asked me to go and that I have a husband who can take the reigns for a couple days. I may even get really crazy tonight and take an Ambien since I don’t have to listen to the baby monitor. Ahh, the little joys in life.
Best of all, since the conference is close to home, should anything go wrong without me, since I’m a total control freak and expect everything to fall apart, I can just hop in my car and come home. But really, I don’t anticipate that.
Stay tuned for some cool updates. Most will come next week as I’m going to try and really enjoy myself. I think I’ll also be posting an interview I’ve been asked to do as well (with a surprise keynote speaker).
Okay, hitting the road! More to come…
Pic of business woman via Shutterstock
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving to Los Angeles
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
When Fia was born, the internet saved me. Now, it’s killing me. Lately I have been writing about how I decided to unplug and what I discovered in unplugging. In short, my mind isn’t constantly racing and I feel more in-the-moment with my babies.
It was a different story with Fia. The web was my connection to the world. I would spend hours giving and getting advice from moms. I’d scour blogs and read everything from sleep training to reflux. I’d write about my own mental health. I’ve often said it wasn’t my husband or my therapist who pulled me through those early months. It was other moms. Many of whom I never met in person.
So it’s no surprise a recent study says that new moms who are in the blogosphere feel more connected, less alone, less stressed, even less depressed.
“That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they’re feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression,” says Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies, Penn State.
He and his colleagues at Brigham Young University surveyed 157 new mothers who had babies under 18 months. They asked about their use of media, both in terms of blogging and social media like Facebook. The social media aspect didn’t have much impact. But writing and reading blogs did. I think therein lies the difference.
When you are texting and checking your phone all day for emails, your mind spins. You feel less-connected to just about everything. It becomes an addiction. When you’re blogging or reading blogs you feel more a part of something. I’m not tooting my own horn here. For me, the phone is my addiction, the blog is my salvation.
I think the author of the study explained it well. He pointed out several potential benefits for new mothers who blog:
- It gives moms a way to connect with family and friends who live far away.
- It gives moms a creative outlet. They can showcase their hobbies and accomplishments, especially the stay-at-home moms.
Both of these make sense to me. We moms often struggle with feeling under-appreciated. I know my blog gives me a sense of self that I may have lost otherwise.
In the study, the moms reported spending about three hours per day on the computer and using the Internet. That was only behind sleep at seven hours a day and caring for their babies at nine hours a day.
I think about the generations of moms before us. On the one hand, their lives seemed simpler. They weren’t checking iphones and texting all the time. What did they do with those extra three hours? I often wonder if they were more focused and present? Or if they were more stressed and depressed? We know by Betty Friedan’s, The Feminine Mystique
that many were questioning their purpose in life. Housewives were admitting their unhappiness and realizing motherhood wasn’t always enough. It still isn’t for many of us. In that regard, I think we are lucky to have all the technology at our fingertips. We can connect and feel connected. For many stay at home moms, blogging has even turned into a career.
How you manage it is the key.
There’s a fine line between fulfilling your life and dominating your life; between oversharenting
and not sharing enough. Should you be writing about your kids or spending time with them? I guess it comes down to finding your own personal balance. I know I’ve been working hard to find mine.
As for why social media like Facebook
did little for the moms? Here’s what I think: Social media, for all its good, is a time-suck
. I know it doesn’t leave me feeling content. Blogging, on the other hand, is writing. When I get to sit down and use my creative energy to put something organic out there, I feel purposeful and accomplished. Plus, if it helps others, I actually feel useful. Writing inspires me. It keeps my brain functioning in a way that diapers and breast pumps don’t.
But how do you embrace social media, disconnect from the internet/Blackberry, blog about motherhood, and not feel hypocritical?
I have said before that I’m going for quality over quantity. Set limits for your online time/your kid time/your wife time and stick to them. Put the phone away after a certain time of day. It takes discipline, but I think in this day and age, it’s the only way we can straddle all our worlds without losing sight of the most important one: our kids.
Image: Blog Pic via Shutterstock
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addiction, blackberry, blog, blogging, blogs, emailing, facebook, ipad, iphone, myspace, oversharent, oversharenting, social media, technology, texting, twitter, unplug, unplugged | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
I am so frustrated. I can’t get anything done. I am like a chicken with my head cut off, running on a treadmill. Which means I’m not getting anywhere. I don’t even know what I’m writing about now except to say I have all these thoughts on posts I want to write but I can’t write them because all the other “stuff” gets in the way.
This morning my plan was to take 3 hours to write. Cleo was going to take the kids to the park. But then we couldn’t install the car seats correctly in her car and things just went array. After 45 minutes of trying to make them work, I said forget it. I’d just take them and pick them back up. By the time we did that, it was 10:45 and I had two back-to-back work calls from 11-noon. Don’t get me wrong: the car safety stuff is my biggest priority. I knew I was doing the right thing. But it doesn’t mean I can’t get frustrated about this sh-t.
I sat in my car in the parking lot eating a chicken leg (just realized if I wanted to be “clever” I could say my headless chicken had one less leg on the treadmill. Analogy: even less being accomplished). My laptop sat in its case. Calls end and Phil calls.
“Hey, do you want to go to the movies?” Whhaaaatttt? He’s a screenwriter and has to do some research on his next project. I’m flattered he asked me, but I almost choked out the chicken leg.
“I can’t honey,” I said, as calmly as possible. “I have to go get the kids and Cleo.” He was there with the whole cluster-f–k carseat thing, so I’m surprised he didn’t sense how flabbergasted I was. He must really believe that I can handle all this. Ha! What a joke!
Call ends, I toss the chicken leg in the garbage, wipe the grease on my pants and went.
My problem is certainly not unique. But I keep saying I want to simplify. And for a time, I do. Then things build up and errands happen, calls come up and I’m back to feeling incredibly stressed.
I need to remind myself that I am incredibly blessed. I have two beautiful babies. I don’t work full time so I get to spend more time with them than most working moms. But I also think therein lies my problem. I am scattered because I don’t have a full time job. If I did, I’d go to the office everyday. Kiss them in the morning and then at night. Have a schedule. But having a “freelance” schedule can often mean no schedule at all, so I’m all over the place. Which leads to guilt. Lots of it. Should I be blogging about my kids or should I be spending time with them? It’s a conundrum.
Then, I wrote a post this week that I really loved (please read it). It came from the heart and was about how they grow up so fast. I think that is why I feel guilty for not holding on to every moment. Or when a day gets wasted, like today, I get so bent out of shape. I need to practice my hypnotherapy. In all my free time.
Oh, and by the way, I was already weepy from my writing the post on Tuesday when I went to get Fia from school. I walk in and guess what’s playing? Puff the f–king Magic Dragon. Seriously? That is arguably the saddest song on the planet. I almost crawled into a ball in the middle of Fia’s circle time. Yes honey, your mama is a whack job.
Thanks for letting me vent. Now that I am posting this one, I feel like I have at least accomplished something today. In other words, for these few minutes, I put my head back on and hopped off the damn treadmill. Lord help me.
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
Friday, June 24th, 2011
Hey everyone. We have gotten some great comments (and some not so great ones, and some downright nasty ones) on the My Sitters Are Driving Me Crazy posts. I think it’s all good though, to have this space to comment, give advice and tips to each other, or for some, to blow off steam (and maybe an anger issue or two).
When a new blog goes up, Parents often puts it on their facebook page. But I will also be posting the new links on my facebook page (click here) which you can “like.” That way you’ll know when a new one comes out (I think. I’m kinda bad on the social media front). Check back often!
You can also follow me on twitter. My handle: @jillcordes (click on to follow).
Both of these icons are on the right hand side of my blog page, if you scroll down past my bio, etc.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and comment. More to come!
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Fearless Feisty Mama, The Sitter Chronicles