Fohr Freshman Class 2018 Needs a Mommy Blogger

Fohr Freshman Class 2018 Needs a Mommy Blogger

Mommy Blogger relaxing on a dock with an Oxford Mule MomBod Mom jeans
When there is a bar, Capsize, around the corner from the Scottish Highland Creamery you load up the toddlers with Ice cream and get Momma and Dad a drink.

Not another Mommy Blogger –

Why would I join a crowded market of similar voices? Because I NEEDED to.

Pregnant with twins at 40 (Yes, they run in the family and No, I never imagined it) I messaged a friend with 20 yo twin boys and asked her how in the world I was going to do it. Her reply was concise “I blocked out the first four years”. For sure, I barely remember the first year (thank goodness for tons of pictures). A year ago my boys were 18 months old, I’d finally stopped breastfeeding, and was finally starting to feel like a human being. Mommy was a new role, but one I was finally feeling.

Selfie with a rose. Green eyes and braids Mom life so hard Mommy blogger in the making
The hallmark of a busy mom is her absence from photos. When they were infants, I have lots of selfies. Once they were toddlers I was always chasing them and never/rarely in front of the camera. For two months I think this is the only picture of me – a late night selfie with a rose in my hair.

An urge to create and a push from a friend

Herringbone vinyl tile floor laid out grey and white gorgeous Mommy Blogger DIY
DIY is my wheelhouse. And my first project in the Re-awakening was a tear out and remodel of my laundry room. And gadang, this herringbone vinyl tile came out looking bananas. It reminded me I love making and being a maker.

Monica Navarro Leonard gave me the final push. “Let’s do it together,” she said. “We can do this,” She said. And so I jumped in. I started with IG and built a website and wrote mommy blog posts. My first post actually went up Dec 19, 2017 – You gotta start Somewhere.

Monica set me up with the most amazing group of Mom Bloggers (see some of them below) who held my hand, gave me tons of support, and cheered me on through the last year.

Christmas pictures gone wrong Mommy Blogger misadventure
I am so about this picture. Its one of my favorites from my IG because it is really really me. Wrestling twin toddlers who are over it. Realizing, that like much in life, my fantasy of how its going to go is not necessarily going to match the reality.

Fohr Freshman Class 2018

Today I applied to be part of a group of ‘influencers’ traditionally ignored that will be featured as the Fohr Inaugural Freshman Class. Here’s the interesting part and why I’ve bother putting this post together today. The application was challenging in the sense that it made me really think about what I am trying to do as a Mommy blogger and why I have bothered doing it for the last 10 months. In the spirit of transparency, I’d love it if you went to Fort Birthday’s Fohr Testimonial page and said some nice things about me. But really I’d like to invite you to see the questions they asked and my responses to them. They are all the things I try to be: honest, funny, and totally me.

Application questions:

What compelled you to start your Instagram?

When I began coming out of the coma that was the first 18 months with surprise twin boys I began to feel the urge to create again (I spent 10 years as a general contractor restoring a 100 year old farm house from electrical work to plaster and plumbing). I’ve always been a writer and a doer and Instagram became a natural outlet for sharing the adventures and projects that were important to me as a mom. After a few months of sharing on a daily basis it became obvious to me what an amazingly powerful tool IG is for storytelling. And I LOVE telling a good story.

2. Why do you want to be part of Fohr Freshman Class?

Mommy blogs are a dime a dozen – part of the reason I dragged my feet on starting Fort Birthday – but I have a unique, high quality voice that is beyond Mom Buns and wine in a yeti cup – that’s what Fort Birthday’s twitter is for, after all. I want to be part of Fohr’s Freshman class so I can take my content and exposure to the next level. I’m an old mom learning new tricks and trying to do it in an authentic relatable way. I want to build something that endures and think Fohr’s Freshman class would give me the tools to do so.

3. What’s your favorite thing about having a following online?

Momming, especially as an old mom, is exquisitely lonely, sometimes you are surrounded by little people who want and need all your attention and you feel so very alone. My favorite thing about having a following online is that the Moms and Dads in Fort Birthday’s Club House are my lifeline; they validate my worries and fears, they celebrate my joys and victories. During long nights parents find voices online regardless of timezone. Fort Birthday’s followers are primarily USA based. I am amazed at the diversity of people that have grown into real friends and even like family.

4. If you woke up tomorrow and you had 500,000 followers, what is the first thing you would post about?

How Potty Training and the book Oh, Crap is the worst Mom shaming pile of shit out there . Not really, Fort Birthday tries to shine a light on social justice because It’s MY responsibility to raise my twin white sons to Learn Better and Do Better. If I suddenly had 500,000 followers I would post my favorite social justice trope: Love is Love, Black Lives Matter, Science is Real, Vaccines Save Lives, Trans rights are human rights, No Human is illegal, Feminism is for Everyone, and All Bodies are Beautiful

5. What are some of the sacrifices you had made to build your brand?

Sleep and Time: Before I started Fort Birthday I would have told you sleep is the MOST important thing in my life. The sweetest most desirable reward I have to look forward to at the end of the day. Before I was blogging I’d have throat punched my mother (who I share a HOME with) for an extra hour of sleep). These days I’m more likely to be sneaking one extra interaction in with a fellow Mom than some extra shut eye.

Twin toddlers are my full time job along with feeding and running my multigenerational home (Grandma and Grandpa live with us). Building the Fort Birthday Brand means giving up ‘me time’ it means giving up down time. When the day’s work has been done (this week – rehanging a door, and rewiring some sketchy wiring.. and it’s only Tuesday) and dinner is cleaned up and put away, instead of some TV and a reasonable bedtime I start working. Editing pictures, writing blog posts, and interacting with all my Fort Birthday Fans. Building the Fort Birthday Brand means giving up ‘me time’ it means giving up down time.

6. The lack of diversity in the industry is a driving force behind us starting this program, do you think you’ve been affected by the industries blind spots? If so, how?

Yes – I had an epiphany when my sons were a year old about white privilege and racism in America. And I got all excited and went all White Woman Activist and started writing and talking about ALL the things I’ve learned about racism and what it must be like to be black or a person of color in the USA. I was proud of and talked about how diverse my organic following was <– and that there was my blindspot. Since then I’ve had the privilege of being involved with a number of social justice groups that educated me about the insufferable and ineffective way White Women sometimes go about ‘getting woke’ *barf face emoji*. I’m now trying to focus my energy on recognizing (and checking) my privilege, LISTENING without voicing my opinion, and amplifying the voices of black women and other women of color.

I am aware that this means that I must be ok with giving up my spot at the table so a less privileged voice can be heard. And I have to sit with the disappointment of that, if your goal is to bring more diversity and discussions about diversity to the forefront.

7. Increasingly brands are reengaging influencers based on having a positive collaboration experience, rather than working to uncover new talent. When you work with a brand, what should we know about you that we can’t see from looking at your content?

I fall into the new talent category – you should know that Fort Birthday is me, more than a marketing arm for various brands. I’m not promoting products or brands that I don’t feel passionate about or don’t speak to my audience. I really AM sharing the things and experiences I am EXCITED to talk about. I want Fort Birthday readers to trust that I am authentic. That I am real and the things I write about are the things that I find delight in sharing.

8. What challenges have you overcome to reach where you are today?

Like many people, depression and Anxiety are my day-to-day companions. And not in a weepy-type-A kinda way, in a sometimes-brushing-my-teeth-and-taking-a-shower-is-too-much kinda way. Without daily medication my life falls apart. And Sometimes just refilling my monthly meds is a victory.

At nearly 40, after 18 years of marriage, my husband and I decided to ‘see what happens’ and try and get pregnant. Two months later I was pregnant with twins (yes, they run in the family. No, I had never imagined it as a possibility). The joy of such an unexpected blessing slowly was outweighed by an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy. We made it to 32 weeks believing we would only bring home one of our sons. We got lucky. Luckier than we ever dreamed – after 7 weeks of nicu time in another city we took home our two boys. People scoff about birth trauma, and jealousy, and postpartum depression and anxiety and they can all suck a dick. The first year and a half of their life was the most difficult thing I have ever endured. It’s become a blur, nearly literally, and I for certain use blogging and IG to remember and mark special moments that otherwise I would forget.

9. Send us a link to 5 of your Instagram posts that best define you and your passions.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bne3DxSBRyV/?taken-by=fortbirthday – the simple moments of life that make magic are everything

Mom and Twin boys having slurpees Mommy Blogger life in front of a red brick wall
a get to know you post that celebrated slurpees on 7-eleven day.
Letterboard sign Oogiebear Mommy blogger
OogieBear – IT GETS OUT BOOGERS, PEOPLE. IT GETS OUT BOOGERS. And dont get me started on ear wax…
Happy Birthday Cake for Fort Birthday Mommy Blogger Fohr Freshman Class 2018
The actual Fort Birthday is an Actual Fort and it had its 1st birthday this year – thats right, I built a cardboard fort that stood 1 year – 18 months now.
Info graphic post about how teasing girls does not mean boys like them Fohr Freshman Class Mommy Blogger
I’m a retired attorney and when I craft words well, dangit, I’m proud of it. And this means a lot to me about defining how girls get treated by grown ups and with respect to how I am teaching my sons not to be entitled assholes.

10. Of the hundreds or thousands of people who will apply for this program, why you?

Why me: Because for a year and a half I have been responsible for the care and maintenance of three adults and twin 2.5 year olds with only one day off (a whole 36 hours). And that’s not even counting myself because self care is the first victim of motherhood and depression. So why me? Because when I finally started Fort Birthday I was putting myself, my voice up front and in first place for a change. My growth as a blogger, writer, photographer, and influencer is getting priority this year because I am more than a mom, damnit. I’m a Mommy blogger.

Part of the many people who have made this year amazing can be found here: check out their work.

Monica Navarro Leonard – Without her, there would be no Fort Birthday Blog – http://iloveparentheses.com/

Amanda Seghetti – https://bephoenixfit.com

Quincy Smith – Sunshineframeofmind.com

Alethea Middleton – www.midkidmamablog.com/blog

 

We share in Fort Birthday

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