February 9, 2012

an open letter to moms

photo by momp photography
Ladies, we need some new terminology.

One day in the car, my son asked me, "If a baker bakes and a teacher teaches, does a ninja ninj?"

We moms have the same problem as ninjas.  The names that we have for what we do, well, they do not actually describe what we do.  I first started thinking about this while I was catching up with a friend, the mother of twins, at the beach one summer.  In the course of the conversation, I asked her if she was working, part time or anything.  She started to answer, but her mom piped up from her chair.  "I hated when people used to ask me that.  Yes!  I have two young children!  I am working 24 hours a day!"

She was right, of course.  I myself am a teacher with two young children and a small business.  I am a "working mom".  But what mom isn't working?  Similarly, in an understandable attempt to get away from the completely inaccurate title of "stay-at-home mom", women have started to self-identify as a "full-time mom".  OK, that's more accurate, but does it imply that I am a part-time mom, letting my familial concerns float away as soon as I clock in at school?  Perhaps that is overly defensive, but the reality is that many of these terms are loaded in a way that we, as women, have allowed.  Many of our descriptors have taken on a this-not-that element that somehow passes judgement. 

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe the negative connotations are in my head, the result of the guilt we inevitably feel no matter the path we take.  I would like to think that women are rooting each other on, thinking that each of us is just doing what's best for us and for our families, though that might not be what's best for the mom or the family next door.

What do you think?  Do we need a branding overhaul on motherhood?

February 4, 2012

a new design and my first-ever giveaway!

There's a new car mat in town. 

Girls like to play with cars, too, right?  And certainly plenty of little gals have played with the original On-the-go Car Mat, but when a friend suggested that her sweet niece would love one with more feminine flair, I thought--why not?
Here's the thing: I don't want to call it the Car Mat for Girls.  First of all, there's no reason why a boy couldn't play with it.  But also, the original Car Mat is for girls if they feel like playing with it.  I say, let kids play with whatever they want!  Well, maybe not power tools or broken glass, but you catch my drift.

So, I am leaving it up to YOU.  What should this car mat be named?  I want a name that indicates that girls might like it, but not a name that excludes boys.  It could be a town name or whatever you can dream up.  The new name will appear as "On-the-go __________________ Car Mat".  If I choose your name idea, you win one!

Take a good look and then enter below!

Who can enter?  Anyone 18 years or older in the US or Canada.

How do I enter?  Simply use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter your name idea.

When will I find out if I won?  I will choose a winning entry within 48 hours of the contest's close at midnight on February 11.  I will notify you via email and will also announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter.  I will get your mailing address at that time.

You may enter once only.  Good luck!