The 10 Gifts Mom Bloggers Really Want For Christmas

 

Gifts, Christmas, Mom bloggers

As moms and as bloggers, there are plenty of things that run through our mind. Many of which get an “Oh, wouldn’t that be nice” and are promptly filed away in our brain as unattainable and forgotten. Well, I think it’s time to do what we do best: compile a list. This list, specifically, consists of all the things we really want for Christmas. And if anyone reading it is able to make it happen, I’d call you Santa, I’d call you Saint Nicholas… honestly, I’d call you anything you want.

Canva

So, if you’re curious what the mom bloggers in your life actually want for Christmas, check out this list:

  1. Canva to have an app for phones. If you haven’t used or heard of Canva to create your designs, pull your head out from under a rock and check it out! It’s such a simple and quality way to create awesome images for your posts and they have so many free options. There’s also the option to purchase some designs for $1. Either way, it’s a win, and if I could access it on my phone, I would be unstoppable via mobile. You can be happy that I did receive the response in the photo above from Canva when posting this request via Twitter. Click on the photo to go to their suggest-an-idea page and suggest it!
  2. The ability to schedule texts. As a blogger and social media manager, I’ve gotten in the habit of scheduling E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I make calendars for content an entire month in advance. I schedule posts weeks in advance. I schedule social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) posts days in advance. Basically, the second I think of something, I either set a reminder in a calendar or schedule it. Otherwise, there’s a certainty possibility I’ll forget. Lately, I think of a text I want to send someone but it’s either too late or not appropriate at the moment and all I want is the ability to schedule the text ahead of time like I would a reminder or a post.
  3. A tool that will preschedule across ALL social media platforms. No, it doesn’t openly exist yet. And you know what? I’d even be willing to pay for it. I said it. I would pay money for a tool that allowed me to schedule my posts across every single one of my social media platforms. I’m so tired of going from tab to tab and app to app to schedule posts to all of my platforms because there’s no tool that encompasses any and all platforms I want to promote on. Come on, creators! It’s almost 2016, and it’s time we have the option readily available. Bonus points if this tool includes tracking, statistics and engagement charts.
  4. The ability to “like” as much as we want on Facebook without receiving the infamous like ban. I’m a social person. I run both my blog and a growing company’s social media sites. I “like” things A LOT. And although I have strategically avoided the dreaded like ban, I think there needs to be some appeal process in place that allows those of us with legitimate promotional marketing strategies to heighten our “like” quota, within reason.
  5. A discount on Adobe–InDesign or Photoshop, specifically–products. Students and teachers get discounts. They get HUGE discounts, as a matter of fact (60% to be exact). And you know what? I’ll be damned if moms who blog don’t deserve a discount too.
  6. A photography class. Seriously, if there’s one thing on this list YOU as the reader can legitimately buy the mom blogger in your life, it’s a photography class at your local college or studio. Get on Groupon or just skim over some local college websites, and if they’re offering a beginner or general photography class, we would be so impressed with the person who gifted it to us. It’s something we all want to improve upon but one of the last things on our list to invest in.
  7. A photogenic house. Yes, the messiness is great for the posts where we reach out to other parents who deal with crazy children who are also terrorizing lives and homes, but once in a great while, it would be nice to be able to snap a photo of a picture-perfect, decorated home. No toys, no laundry strewn throughout, no food splattered on all the surfaces. Maybe just hire me a cleaning service for a month. I can’t speak for all mom bloggers, but I promise you that I, personally, will not be offended.
  8. More time. There’s never enough of it. By the time we take care of our children, try to keep our house under control, fix a few meals, possibly work or run errands (and also attempt to create a coherent post), it’s 12:10 a.m. and we still haven’t had time to finish putting away laundry, respond to 1/3 of our texts or finish any of the other 99 errands/tasks we have left to complete.
  9. To not have our greatest ideas come to us in the shower or at 1 a.m. At some point in my life, I’m going to need to sleep more than three hours a night, and as long as my creative juices flow at 1 a.m. and my children awake anywhere between 5 and 7 a.m., that’s not a possibility. If you want to offer babysitting services from the moment our children wake up until around 9 or 10 a.m., we’d be forever grateful. A waterproof iPad case and suction cup display for the shower would also suffice because shower time is about the only other time we get to think coherent thoughts by ourselves, and even that is hit or miss.
  10. An appreciation. So many times, I think we’re ashamed to tell people what we do because most people really don’t understand. They think we write some stuff and press publish, but the reality is–just like any profession–we put a lot of effort into what we do. The content is one thing, but there’s also the research that goes into the content, creating images, promotion, interactions, emails, tracking statistics, finances, design, HTML, SEO, website specifics, ads and the list goes on. We’re essentially running our own business, and although it may be much more plausible than a single person running a large company by themselves, it’s still quite an undertaking. Just taking the time to think about and recognize that is much appreciated.

Whether you’re a mom blogger or not, what do you really want for Christmas this year? Comment below and tell everyone about it!

Might I also add, drinking a cup of coffee while it’s actually still hot would be nice, too, but I’m willing to overlook that for any of the ten above.

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No, my husband is not a hero because he took our children to the store

A while back, my husband took both of our children to the store with him because I was cleaning like a mad woman to get the house ready for guests and working diligently to meet business deadlines.

On this trip to the store, a man saw my husband in the checkout line and made a comment that was something like, “You’re one helluva father to take both kids and grocery shop.”

Now, to many of you, this may mean nothing–and maybe it was nothing–but it rubbed me the wrong way. For weeks, I debated on whether or not I should write about it and have obviously come to the conclusion that it’s important I do. Because even if this particular instance wasn’t a backhanded compliment and insult towards the mother and wife on the other end of this man’s words, there have been plenty that are.

Let me preface any further argument with this: My husband is an outstanding person and father. He works hard but he devotes just as much time at home and even more time into our children’s lives. In my mind, he is the unwavering picture of a good man, and that’s why I chose to marry him.

Hold Hand

My husband Matthew holding our daughter’s hand.

I firmly believe that devoting equal time and effort as parents and as professionals should be the norm whether you’re a man, woman, mother or father. I also believe that if a parent wants to devote their entirety to working as a stay-at-home parent, that should be accepted as well and whether they’re a father or mother shouldn’t matter.

That being said, I don’t think any father deserves a pat a on the back for taking his children to the store. The majority of mothers take one, two, three, six, eight+ children to the store every week–and to school and to that dance recital and Billy’s basketball game yesterday and so on. Yet I don’t recall anyone ever calling me one ‘helluva’ mother for doing that because that’s what’s expected as a woman and mother.

For so long in our society, the norm was that men worked to provide for the family and women had children and stayed home to take care of them. It’s an ideal ingrained in several generations and it’s been a struggle to turn the corner. But, people, it’s time.

Today, women fight to have an equal salary while working twice as hard to get there, and we’re not there yet. Women hold only 4.8% of the CEO positions at large, multi-million-dollar companies, meaning men hold the other 95.2%.

On the other hand, only 3.5% of men are stay-at-home dads.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a woman who takes her children to the store and keeps up the home, but there’s absolutely no reason that a man can’t do the same. Men are not at a disadvantage as parents just like women should not be any less capable as CEOs.

There’s a reason that when a woman obtains a powerful career or position, the first question people want to ask is in reference to her motherhood–“How do you balance being a mother and having a career?” or “Do you regret not having any children?”–but as a father, the questions in reference to parenting are few and far between.

There’s also a reason that when my husband took our two children to the store, a stranger was proud to let him know how spectacular he is for doing something 96.5% of women do day in and day out. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds more offensive than it does complimentary.

It will continue to take people like my husband who work full time yet STILL come home to be a father to ingrain a societal norm. It will continue to take women who strive to climb the career ladder while STILL being a mother every single day. It will take men who like to cook dinner and women who don’t mind fixing cars. It will take a society who is willing to open their eyes to equality much like we, as humans and as a country, have had to do repeatedly throughout history. It will take time, it will take effort, it will take more blog posts…

…but to the man who thinks my husband is one ‘helluva’ father, you’re right, but it’s not because his wife didn’t take our two children to the store that day. It’s because that’s what a real father does: he parents, just like mothers.

Parenting: Level Up

Today, my mom-bff and I watched four children, all barely two and under, for the majority of the day. We managed to get ALL four down for naps for an hour and a half straight … at the same time.

If that’s not leveling up in parenting, I don’t know what is.

nap

Two of the babes, my daughter and hers, winding down.

Student’s University of Georgia Build-A-Bear Survey

Click this image to go the survey.

Here’s a chance to do a review of your own…
This is a survey being done by a student at the University of Georgia, and I more than want to help her out because
1. She’s a college student, obviously working hard to finish her education
2. She’s doing primary research
3. This helps and targets mothers (parents) and young children

So, please read through what she has to say below if you want but definitely take the survey!

My name is Channing Jones, and I am a senior undergraduate student studying advertising at the University of Georgia. As part of our capstone advertising campaigns class, we are responsible for developing a full advertising campaign for our client. Part of this includes conducting primary research.

We are working with the corporate office at Build-A-Bear and our target is mothers with young children … we wanted to reach out to you … All answers and information will be treated anonymously and will not be published. We believe you … could provide us with some valuable insights into your demographic that would help us and Build-A-Bear better cater to your needs.”

Click here to take the survey!

The Non-Health Related, Non-Judgmental Reason Breastfeeding is Best

Let me preface this post by saying, the word breast is used ALL throughout it. So, if you’re immature just don’t even bother reading it.

I have a friend who recently had her first baby. I’m so honored to say that she’s talked to me some about breastfeeding, and it made me reminisce.

I have no negativity towards mothers who choose not to breastfeed, I don’t look down on anyone’s choice and think that this decision is 100% up to each mom and their health or career or whatever situation individually.

That being said, for those mothers who are on the fence, struggling or just don’t know how much longer they want to continue, this one’s for you.

I’ll start my reasoning on why breastfeeding is best by acknowledging its struggles. Breastfeeding (having a newborn in general) is one of the hardest and most exhausting things I’ve ever done. It’s time consuming. It’s constant. At first, possibly, difficult or painful. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you don’t sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time, and you can never take a day off or even a break from having a newborn. It’s hard, and it’s new and lovely and scary and exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. So, I sympathize with understand what all mothers go through. I know that every mother has times where they wonder if they’re doing the right thing and if they’re ever going to sleep again. You are and you will. And if billions of other mothers can do it, so can you. After the first couple weeks, you hit a groove, and it gets much easier. Not too long after that, your newborn just slept 4-5 hours at a time. Before you know it, it stops taking 30-40 minutes to breastfeed and begins taking half that time. You may even get comfortable enough to stop hiding out and start breastfeeding in front of people. Yes, to answer the question always running through your mind, it will eventually and continuously get better as you go.

Now that we’ve got the hard part out of the way, let me tell you why it’s going to be worth it. There were many times during the first couple months of breastfeeding where my husband and I would go to a family dinner or play a game with friends or have a conversation with someone, and my daughter would get hungry. So, I would take her somewhere more private and breastfeed her. 30-40 minutes later when I got done and came back, everyone would be finished with dinner or the game was over or the conversation had stopped. I’ll be honest, during those moments I sometimes felt frustrated and completely disconnected from the world. Almost a year later, this is where my friend asking me about breastfeeding comes in. I really thought about it for the first time since I was actually going through that stage. While you’re in it, you never think it’s going to end, and it’s hard to look at the positive things right in front of you when you only see the negative. The truth is that even if I’d stayed at dinner, I never would’ve remembered what I ate. If I’d continued playing a game with friends, I probably couldn’t tell you what game we played now. And if I’d finished half those conversations, a week later I wouldn’t have a clue what we’d talked about. Looking back now, I can recall almost every one of those times I pulled myself away from those situations to feed my daughter. And I wasn’t disconnected from the world, I was just completely and totally intertwined with her. I was bonding with her in a way I will never be able to again. My daughter was completely and totally dependent on me, and there has never been anyone else who has ever or will ever rely on me more than that. She was 9 and 10 and 15 and 18 pounds, and she’s never going to be that size again. And I remember the majority of those times, vividly. I remember taking my daughter to the back room at my husband’s grandma’s house during Thanksgiving dinner. I remember closing the door and sitting on the bed in my aunt’s bedroom at a get together in her new home while my family played a game. I remember going back to the bedroom in our apartment to feed our daughter while my husband continued talking to our friends in the living room. Funny thing is, I don’t remember what we had for Thanksgiving dinner, I couldn’t tell you what game my family was playing, and I haven’t the slightest clue what I was talking about with the friends in our living room, but I do remember breastfeeding my daughter. I remember looking down at her, rocking her, talking to her, smiling at her and truly being happy with just her in those moments. Every. Single. Time. I got to experience that, and it was so worth it. And that’s why, in my opinion, breastfeeding is best.

When you find yourself frustrated at the things you think you’re missing out on, wondering if you’ll ever sleep again or just unsure if breastfeeding is something you really want to do, remember it is truly such a strong bond that only you can have, and it lasts such a minuscule amount of time in comparison to an entire lifetime. It may seem challenging, but nothing good is ever easy. You’ll never get it back, and it’ll never happen again. So, every minute you feel like you’re losing, you’re really gaining, and it’s so worth it.