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Goodnight SV Moms. You were more than just a collaborative site.

standard June 16, 2010 3 responses

Over four years ago I was an avid reader of the now defunct DotMoms site. It was a collaborative blog made up of mom blogging stars. I dreamed of joining the ranks of their elite. It was my blogging goal at the time. A lofty one considering I was still a hack and hiding behind a pathetic attempt at an alias.

One day when I was plotting how to become one of their team of writers I came across a posting on my moms’ group inviting bloggers to join a local collaborative blog.

What the heck, I thought, I can start small and work my way up to DotMoms.

Four years later and DotMoms is a mere memory for some while that small local blog is a social media powerhouse with blogs in 13 cities around the US and Canada. The 400 or so bloggers that are regular contributors are considered with respect. We are most definitely part of the blogging elite.

But being a part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group has turned out to be about so much more than clout and respect. Over the years the contributors have become my friends, my blogging family. I was proud to be able to say that I was part of SVMoms Group. It was like belonging to a club, a powerful club, one that opened doors where ever I went, one that was made up of friends in every city. A sort of blogging sorority if you want, but in a good way, without rushing or hazing, or skimpy tank tops.  

Yesterday the writers received an email from the SV Moms Group founder announcing the dissolution of the company and the closing of the sites. I read the email once, twice, and a third time. There was no way this was happening. And then the words sunk in and I started crying.

I sat there on my couch, tears streaming down my face and I thought of all the people I met thanks to Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Friends I would never have connected with if it weren’t for this group. I thought of the blogging opportunities that offered themselves up to me thanks to this group. Sites I’ve blogged for, companies I’ve connected with, jobs I’ve obtained. But again and again I came back to the friends I’ve made.

These women were my sisters in arms. We spoke the same language long before it was socially acceptable to use the words we bantered around – blog, twitter, RSS, widget…

Blogging is cool now. I don’t need to be part of a blogging group to feel accepted. I’ve also come a long way on my own and I probably don’t need the back-up clout of the SV Moms Group to give me authority as a blogger or writer. That’s not what I’m crying about.

I’m crying for the friends. For the community. And for the big waste that this all is.The missed opportunities. The connections that haven’t yet been made. The what-could-have-beens.

Yesterday we were a 400 strong blogging community. Today we’re 400 panicked writers, struggling to find a way to hold on to what we had. And in my heart I know we can’t.

And it’s a crying shame.

Half-Pint Travelers

standard June 2, 2010 Leave a response

We approach the stack of bins and both girls promptly drop to the ground, grappling with their shoes. I no longer have to tell them what to do. Two little pairs of shoes plunk into the gray plastic tray and they’re shrugging off their jackets.
Moments later they are standing in front of the metal detector, waiting to be waived through by the TSA agent who is beaming at them, delighted for once to be facing adorable half-pints thrilled to be there instead of impatient business travelers just bored with the whole process.
“This is my favorite part!” My five-year-old says to me, eyes bright with excitement.
“What? Coming to the airport?” I ask, assuming that she’s talking about the overall trip.

So starts my latest Silicon Valley Moms blog. Hop on over to read the rest!

Are Celebrities Lonely Too? When readers get all their news from the blog

standard April 27, 2010 1 response

A month or so ago I ran into a friend in a parking lot. I was shocked when she rushed over to give me a hug. The last 5 emails and text messages I had sent her had gone unanswered and I was convinced I had committed some egregious act that had caused her to stop speaking to me.

Turns out I was wrong.

“Oh! I read your blog! I’m so glad you found a Kindergarten for next year!”

Her comment left me at a loss for words. What do you say to that? “Hey, wow. Thanks, how about you? What have you been doing for the last six months? How come you never call, email, or send smoke signals?”

Click through to read the rest of my latest Silicon Valley Moms Blog post. I’d love to know what you think!

The Possibility Of Everything – The lengths mothers will go to help their children

standard March 5, 2010 6 responses

When Little L was a baby she didn’t sleep. At least not in her crib. Or her bassinet. Or the bouncy seat. She only liked to sleep attached to me, either in the sling or latched on my breast. At times I could swaddle her tightly and nurse her to a drowsy stupor and if I was lucky and did everything just so she would tolerate being put in her bassinet. She would even sometimes sleep in there for an hour or so.

Then she’d be up again.

 All swaddled up and definitely not asleep.

By the time she was five months old I was a complete and utter wreck. I was working full time and not sleeping at all. And I went a bit crazy.

Which is when people started telling me to let her cry herself to sleep.

Now, I’m not a masochist. And I don’t not believe in letting babies cry themselves to sleep. But I truly didn’t think that this was the right solution for Little L.

You see, she was all of 5 months old, but I had an older child with asthma, and in my gut I knew that Little L had it too. She had none of the classic symptoms that are usually associated with asthma – shortness of breath, scary non breathing episodes, wheezing…, but in my gut I knew she had it.

Everyone thought I was just making excuses so I wouldn’t have to let her cry.

It took a lot of me standing my ground and repeating again and again that babies who cough when they lie down and cough when they cry are showing symptoms of asthma. Babies who cough so hard when they cry that they end up throwing up are definitely showing signs of asthma.

It took all that and a smart and understanding doctor whose own children suffer from asthma for everyone to be convinced.

We started medicating right away and those coughing episodes stopped.

And no, she didn’t start sleeping. You wish the story ended so easily. But because she was being medicated and treated for her asthma we were able to start sleep training her. It paid off over a year later when, at the ripe old age of 17 months Little L slept through the night for the first time.

She’s still a terrible sleeper, but that’s not really what this post is about. This post is about moms knowing when something is wrong. It’s about moms saying “I know this could be nothing, but it’s not. There’s something really wrong here.” and then doing something about it, anything, to fix their babies, to make them feel better. It was inspired by Hope Edelman’s memoir The Possibility of Everything.

Out of the blue one day, Hope’s little girl Maya started talking about an imaginary friend, an evil imaginary friend. And it could have been nothing, one of those things that kids do. But Hope knew in her heart that it wasn’t, and she went to the ends of the world to help her daughter.

When I started reading her book I found myself rolling my eyes. I mean, kids get imaginary friends. It’s normal. But as I kept reading I felt compassion for this mom who knew something was wrong and had to fight not only what was broken in her child, but the skepticism of all the people around her. I’ve been there before, and while I didn’t have to go to Belize to find the solution to our situation, I was still able to relate from the beginning to the end of their journey.

If you’re a mom, or a dad, or just appreciate really amazing writing I highly suggest that you read The Possibility of Everything. It’ll help expand your mind in ways you never imagined. And it’ll make you understand how sometimes a parent really will go to the ends of the world to help their child.

This post was inspired by the Silicon Valley Moms Blog bookclub pick of the month The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman. Be sure to visit the Silicon Valley Moms Blog to see other posts inspired by this amazing memoir and to read a Q&A with the author. (One of my questions about their experience is listed!)