If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
This week you will see pictures of me standing next to the Jimmy Dean sun or by a giant roll of toilet paper because I’m going to one of the biggest social media conferences of the year: BlogHer.
Leading up to this super huge conference, there are a lot of posts, tweets and status updates about what to wear, what parties to go to, and how many shoes to pack. Frankly, it is like this before every Blogging-related conference, but one that has over 3000 women? Well, the social media stream is a bit more frenzied with it.
Since I am the type of person that can pack two days worth of clothes in a large Louis Vuitton bag, I wasn’t one to Facebook disparage my shoe wardrobe. I even took the time to write a post about being Brand Ready for something to break up the shoe fetish. But secretly, I have been worried about this conference, and my attendance at it. It does relate to my wardrobe after all.
For the first time, I’m going to a conference with a newborn, which means I have a baby pooch. As a second-time Mom, my uterus refuses to shrink. So I am always having to tell people, who excitedly ask me when I am due, that the baby I am pushing in the stroller is actually my child. (I’m not freakin’ Giselle people.) So I’m in the lovely place of looking either fat or pregnant. Not a place you want to be – with 3000 other women observing your fashion and fitness train-wreck.
I’m probably going to have to breastfeed in front of people. (Well, discreetly of course, but it will be totally obvious what is going on.) This is totally opposite of my very professional demeanor and I hope it doesn’t peg me as an unprofessional woman. I know, I know. Female power and all of that. But I worked in a male dominated profession prior to becoming a Blogger and old perceptions die hard. So I can only wonder. Will a woman-dominated conference with women-focused brands be open to a woman such as myself? Do they know I’m an attorney? That I once worked in the White House? That I am devoted to my business of blogging? Or will they only remember me as the lactating Blogger? And what is wrong with that anyway?
Despite my worries, I didn’t publicly complain about certain woes (other than here because you rock….or are family – Hi Mom) because that is unprofessional in my opinion. I can assure you that the legal and health care conferences I’ve attended didn’t have a discussion about whether or not the attendees would wear Spanx.
But then again, those conferences didn’t give me a chance to workout with the Rockettes.
There are many opportunities for Brands and Bloggers to connect at Blogging conferences. Brands spend big dollars to connect with influential Bloggers at these social media events, and most Bloggers attend such events to show how they may be a good fit for a Brand campaign or ambassadorship.
If you are one of the latter, then you want to put your best ‘tweet-foot’ forward when attending a blogging conference. With BlogHer just days away, here are my top five things you need to do to be Brand ready:
Have good business cards.
I’ve seen beautiful business cards with stunning logos and stylish die-cut edges, but it falls short if you are missing your Twitter name or your blog seems ambiguous (e.g “Susie’s Blog”.) So make sure your business card indicates your blog topics, and have your relevant social media contacts on your business cards too. Note I said the word relevant. For example, don’t include your inactive Google Plus account. It doesn’t do anything for the Brand to look at your Google page if you aren’t even there. If you are active on Facebook, or pin a lot on Pinterest, include those to show Brands your social reach and full engagement potential.
Dress the part.
At conferences, most Bloggers interact with Brands to get selected for a future campaign, ambassadorship or a review. In essence, you are interviewing for a job each time you interact with a Brand. So treat your time in front of the company or PR rep as a job interview. You shouldn’t go to a job interview with the CEO of Hasbro in your tight jeans, halter top, and hung-over from a party the night before. So don’t it when you are meeting Hasbro’s PR agency.
Have an About Page.
Now that you have the attention of the Brand, they are going to visit your website. Make sure you have an About Page that highlights who you are and what your blog is about. Make sure that your About Page can be easily found on your website too, and it shouldn’t be a cut and paste of your resumé. Make it about your work, or your desire to work, in social media, and provide a link to your LinkedIn profile for your entire professional background and connections.
Have recent posts.
Since the Brands will be visiting your blog, have you posted recently? They are going to want to see that your blog is active and relevant. Also skim through your recent content to see if you need to make any edits or fix any typos. These will be the first posts they see, and you want to make a great first impression.
Make yourself accessible.
You have wowed them with yourself and your blog. Now they want to work with you. Do you have a clearly defined contact page on your blog? Is it just a form? Brands want your email address to plug into their databases and a contact form is not going to cut it. Make it easy to find too because there is nothing more frustrating than hunting around a website trying to find someone’s email address. Lastly, show how they can find you on social media sites and be willing to share some analytics, with a media kit available upon request.
While many Bloggers will attend blogging conferences to catch up with friends, meet new people or pick up free goodies, many Bloggers attend to connect with Brands that are looking for the next great Blogger. So make sure you put yourself forth as a contender.
Charlene is an attorney turned blogger and has spoken at a variety of conferences on legal issues in social media. She recently had a blog post featured on Parents.com, and she’ll be attending BlogHer with a newborn baby girl. Charlene will be doing her best to put great foot forward too.
I knew having another baby would be tough: no sleep, constant breast feeding. I also knew it would suck tenfold having a toddler at the same time. Try to pour apple juice with one hand while a baby is nursing at your boob with the other hand, while a toddler screams he wants pretzels and not animal crackers, without losing your mind.
At the first pediatrician appointment when my newborn was just 5 days old, I pretty much cried the entire time. This prompted a referral to a psychologist who, because of the nurse’s concerns, saw me an insurance-defying two days, where I cried that entire appointment as well. By Friday, when I went back to the pediatrician, and continued to blubber the entire conversation, I knew something was wrong.
I needed help.
At this point, my husband was back at work and no family member had called that week to see how I was doing with my c-section recovery, two hernias, two dogs that were crapping all over the place, and a newborn that was awake from 6pm-4am, and a toddler that was awake from 6am-8pm. (You do the math.)
I was doing laundry and making meals within two days of arriving home from the hospital, and wasn’t too shocked that on two occasions I need help getting up from a chair because I had back seizures. I was popping Motrin like it was no tomorrow, and dealing with a couple of professional issues where people were causing me unnecessary grief to boot. I wanted to drive to another state, check into a Motel6 and hope no one would find me.
We decided to take the pediatrician’s, nurse’s and shrink’s advice, and hire a short-term nanny. So we reached out to a woman that our neighbor had used & was known by others in the neighborhood.
But I decided to put up with it because I was so exhausted. However, when I cut back her hours going into the following week because I wanted to visit a friend one of the days, she didn’t want to show up for any of the days. I was left holding the bag….again. And I was seriously freaked.
Luckily, through all of this, with family MIA, neighbors MIA, and nannies MIA, my blogging friends rocked. In fact, I shouldn’t even quantify them with the blogging preface. They are friends. Period. Offering to stop by so I could take a shower or sleep, offering to make a meal or drop off food. Then actually doing it.
It meant so much.
I also learned which people in my life I could count on…and those who I couldn’t.
Have things gotten better? No. But I’m learning to adapt. Err…kind of. I know that my Mom had three kids under three. I know my friends have had twins, I know that others have dealt with two kids of their own. But this is my first foray into second-time Mom-dom and I’m still learning the ropes. Maybe I’ll never be good at it or love it like others, but I need to figure it out. And I will. Today is my first day on my own. No daycare, no nanny, no husband. Not sure how I will do, but I know that I’ll make it to the end of the day regardless of what mental state I will be in.
All in all, in the weeks ahead, I can adjust knowing that there is a group of people that care. And you know what? Back atcha my friends. Right back atcha.
There are so many people who rock, but I want to give a special thanks to Sarah, Cindy, Kelly, Liz, Melanie, Sharon, and the awesomeness of Christy, Kim T., Jessica, Amy O., and more. Thanks guys. And thanks to many of my non-blogging friends, who keep cheering me up on Facebook too!
This post is sponsored by Boudreaux’s Butt Paste®, the effective diaper rash cream that treats and prevents diaper rash with every change. Let’s kick some rash!
I have two kids in diapers now. Which means wet sheets, blowouts, leak throughs, at least ten changes a day, and a constant stream of UPS diaper deliveries.
But the thing I hate most, is when I change a diaper and see the tell-tale ‘Butt-Burn’; bright red skin that causes your little one to scream when you wipe their bottom.
Raise your hand if you feel the Mom guilt when that happens.
When it does happen (not if…when), you want to clear it up…and fast. After almost three years of diapers in this house, there are only a few products that I find work well. Some are natural, and some are not. Some work with cloth diapers, and some do not. One diaper rash brand to consider is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Not only does the name shoot straight, so does the actual product.
My pediatrician told me about it a couple years ago, and I liked the range of the product line. You can pick up the Original (16% zinc oxide), the All Natural or the super duper Butt Paste (with 40% zinc oxide) so the ‘bottom line’ is that there is something for everyone. You can get a tub of it, or a less messier version with a cap top that you can flip open with one hand. You can find it on Diapers.com and you can see that it gets great ratings too.
Remember to throw a tube in your diaper bag in case you discover a diaper rash when traveling, or to treat an existing rash when you are out and about. Always wash your hands after an application, and it is best to have a tube of diaper rash cream for each child to minimize contamination between kids.
However, while it is great to find a product that kicks diaper rash, it’s better if you minimize the amount of diaper rash you have to kick. If you find that your child gets frequent diaper rashes, here are six ideas to reduce the rash repetitiveness:
Change diaper brands. Not all diaper brands work for every child. If you see some irritation, try another brand.
Change the size. If a diaper is too small, it can reduce airflow making a wet diaper sit on the skin, which can cause irritation. So size up to see if that helps.
Change diapers often. Leaving a wet diaper on a baby can cause irritation so make sure diapers are dry most of the time by changing the diaper every couple of hours.
Change rash cream brands. Frankly, you may need to try a different cream. Every child is different, including those in your own family, so don’t assume that what works for your daughter will work for your son, or what works for your baby will work for your toddler.
Use a stronger diaper rash cream. Fussing around with creams that don’t work just prolongs the misery for both the baby and you. So pick up stronger cream with a higher zinc oxide percentage to see if that will take care of the rash.
Visit the doctor. Sometimes it isn’t diaper rash. So if nothing is working, check in with your doctor to see if it may be something else.
Diaper rashes are an inevitable parenting issue for most of us Moms and Dads. However, having the right products on hand like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, can go a long way in minimizing occurrences or minimizing the length of time of a rash.
I’d love to hear your tips and trick for handling diaper rash, so leave a comment below! To say thanks, one of you will win a great Baby prize pack with an assortment of gift cards to Walmart, Babies ‘R Us, and Target ($150 value)! Then head over to the Boudreaux’s Facebook Page to share stories and tips about your parenting chronicles with diaper rash! They’d love to hear from you!
Contest has ended. Congrats to Samyra!
Rules: (Gotta have them)
+Leave a comment about this post; US entrants welcome. Include your name and email in the appropriate fields so I can contact you if you win. (Including just first name or first name + last initial is OK!). For your safety, please do not put your email in the actual comment. Anonymous or SPAM-like comments will be discarded. Entry period closes at 11:59PM ET, Tuesday, August 7, 2012.
+ + One lucky winner (drawn randomly via “And the Winner is” WordPress plugin) will receive one baby prize pack from Boudreaux Butt Paste/Daily BuzzMoms containing an assortment of gift cards valued at $150. No substitutions and the winner will be notified directly via e-mail who has roughly 48 hours to respond and claim their prize. They then will be listed back at this post using first name only.
+++A minimum of 5 people must enter in order for the Giveaway to occur. Winner must comply with all rules mentioned here or linked here, or a new winner will be selected. Charlene Chronicles has the final decision on the winner and is not responsible for wrong email addresses or notification being tagged as spam. Prize will be fulfilled by the Third Party mentioned in these rules and any issues with prize fulfillment shall be directed to said Third Party. Charlene Chronicles is not responsible or shall be held liable for said prize fulfillment. Entry into this giveaway/contest means you agree to all the terms listed and the full legal disclosures found here.