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Author: Claire Webb

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Pete Wilgoren

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Pete Wilgoren

Pete Wilgoren is a TV journalist by day and a doting dad the rest of the time. He has won numerous Emmy awards for his work in TV news. Pete’s kids are glad to use the Emmys to hang their swim goggles on, or to make goals for floor soccer. Read more about his life, from the dad’s perspective, outnumbered with a wife and two girls at Dadmissions.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

I was working nights and feeling really disconnected from my family. Writing about my kids and wife made me feel closer to them even if I wasn’t seeing them. Plus, they were just so damn funny.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

Funny, honest, from-the-heart-in-an-endearing-wonderful-sort-of-way

What is your favorite blog post to date?

Why Men Peek

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

 Coffee. lots of good coffee.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Ray Romano: “Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.”

What’s a typical day like for you?

I work a full dayside shift in a Los Angeles newsroom and then come home now in the nick of time and get to put my kids to sleep at night. The 15 minutes of bedtime is the best, most fullfilling, wonderful time ever. As a longtime night shifter, I never realized what a HUGE thing I was missing out on.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Write because you have things to say, things you want your kids to read one day, things that deserve to be heard. Write because you love to. Don’t write to become famous or to get a book deal or to stir up phony parenting controversies. Write because it feels good.
Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Jill Robbins

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Jill Robbins

This week we catch up with Jill Robbins of Ripped Jeans & Bifocals. She’s a wife, mom, freelance writer, blogger, speaker, producer and a proud Texan. When she’s not busy raising her three children, she can be found sipping a cup of coffee, jogging or writing her next masterpiece. She likes to think of her blog as a place to find the funny in the mundane parts of parenthood, aging and life in general.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

I started my blog to document my adoption stories. When we started to struggle, I painted a super rosy picture of our adoptions. I started writing some more raw, honest essays and found it cathartic. I decided to drop the act and tell it like it was…and people started reading. It’s been a really fun journey.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

Honest, funny, hot mess

What is your favorite blog post to date?

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

Balance is something I struggle with. I don’t have a good answer for this. Some weeks I feel organized and balanced like I have it all together and I’m convinced my list making and all those books I read on being organized are paying off. Other weeks I’m running around like a crazy person because I can’t find my car keys and I forget to pick my kids up.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

“You are the mom.” You can read all the parenting books in the world but at some point you have to trust your gut and your instincts. You will get it wrong sometimes…even a lot. But you are the mom.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My husband brings me coffee in bed…don’t hate me. He goes to work really early so he does that for me as an alarm clock. I get my two boys dressed and ready for school and make them breakfast. After I walk them to school, I exercise and then start writing. I don’t really have a typical day. I spend about 30 minutes curating content for social media and reading other bloggers’ work. I’m super disorganized and easily distracted so it’s hard for me to give you a picture of a typical day. My kids are involved in sports so that always involves a lot of running around and outfit changes. The one thing that’s constant is that we eat dinner as a family every night. It might be canned soup or frozen pizza but unless something out of the ordinary is happening, we eat dinner together.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Be yourself. Learn all you can. Find your people. Your people are out there. Be humble and gracious. Say thank you.
Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Courtney Barnum

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Courtney Barnum

Courtney Barnum is a stay at home mom blogging about her experiences with a special needs child at A Legion for Liam. She tells it like it is, with a healthy dose of compassion and humor. Read on to learn more about what motivates her to blog, and the best parenting advice she received.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

When my son was first diagnosed with Autism, I needed a way to release my thoughts and feelings. It’s easier for me to write than it is to speak, so I turned to writing.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

emotional, loving, sarcastic

What is your favorite blog post to date?

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

Take notes on your thoughts and feelings. When and if your child sleeps, sneak in some writing time. The house will always need to be cleaned. Take time for yourself, because your mental well being is important.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t yell at your kids. Lean in real close and whisper. It’s much more effective.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Hectic. Between home school lessons, in home therapies, out of home therapies, and doctors appointments, we’re always on the go. When I’m not doing those things, I work part time for a review blogger, and clean my hog hole house.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Write from your heart. Be real. Stay true to yourself.
Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Billy Kilgore

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Billy Kilgore

This week we catch up with Billy Doidge Kilgore (aka Wrap Daddy) to find out how this stay-at-home parent uses blogging as a creative outlet, in addition to caring for his adorable son Henry. Every day on the blog he invites readers to join him on the parenting learning curve, and maybe find a little bit of humor in everyday life.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

I started my blog because I needed a creative outlet and a parenting blog seemed like a logical choice because it allowed me to write about the thing that dominated my time. It is a great tool to keep me writing and reflecting on experiences with my son. Also, writing for my blog has inspired me to write lengthier articles published on websites like Mamapedia, Scary Mommy, and Washington Post On parenting. Most of all, it has kept me sane as a stay-at-home father and given me something constructive to do every week.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

thoughtful and reflective with a touch of humor

What is your favorite blog post to date?

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

Before you launch your blog, decide how much writing is realistic for you. Don’t attempt to write everyday unless you know you call pull that off because if you can’t it will lead to quick burnout and an abandoned blog. Set a reasonable goal like one to two quality posts a week. Also, plan to revise your writing. Try to find a system that allows you to write drafts so that you have a chance to revisit your work before you hit the publish button.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Breath deeply. Parenting is overwhelming, especially when caring for small children. Make sure you step away from your child a few times a day and take deep breaths to regain perspective. This is what gets me through the day.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I wake with my son around six o’clock in the morning and, typically, spend the entire day with him until my wife gets off work at five o’clock. We spend the early morning around the house eating breakfast and reading books and playing. Around mid-morning we go to the playground, library, or park for a change of scenery and stay there until lunch time. After lunch, I do a quiet time with him in the bedroom, which is followed by a trip to the grocery store to get a few ingredients for dinner. I start cooking dinner around 4 o’clock and we eat together as soon as me wife is done with work. Between the grocery and dinner my son plays in the backyard. When do I write? In the evenings after my son is asleep or on the weekends.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Try to avoid diary writing and shift towards topical writing. If you want to engage others you need to find points of shared interest (toddler discipline, sleeplessness, coffee addiction) and use them to give your unique perspective.
Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Yanique Chambers

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Yanique Chambers

This week we catch up with Yanique Chambers, of Kiddie Matters. Chambers is a mom of three and a clinical social worker dedicated to sharing creative ways to help develop children’s social skills, emotional skills and quality of character.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

I started my blog because I missed working! My passion has always been to work with kids to build their self-esteem and confidence. Prior to becoming a stay at home mom I was a school social worker and I enjoyed it. My blog allows me to continue sharing information and activities that help children develop good social skills and positive character traits.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

Informative, Creative, Professional

What is your favorite blog post to date?

Childhood Emotional Abuse:Signs We Often Miss

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

When you feel overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take a break and regroup.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Cherish every moment because it goes by very quickly

What’s a typical day like for you?

My typical day includes me getting the kids up and out the door for school on time. Once they’re gone I take in the quietness and indulge in reality TV or Dr. Phil. Then I break out the pen and notebook and let the creative juices flow until it’s time to make dinner and get the kids from school. There’s also a decent amount of time wasted surfing the internet and promoting blog posts.
What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?
Stop trying to figure out social media algorithms and focus instead on creating awesome content. Content is still king.
Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Phyllis Pometta

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Phyllis Pometta

Phyllis Pometta started Verified Mom as a way to release her creativity and rediscover her voice as a woman after becoming a mom. When she’s not spending time with her husband, three teenagers and two pets — phew! — she loves sharing about products she loves, DIY projects, organization, travel and her journey with relationships and parenting.

What 3 words would you use to describe your blog?

It’s in my tagline actually – Family *Lifestyle* Fun. My family is my life and I love sharing my family stories. I am living my own “new” lifestyle. And Fun, because it’s always important to remember to have FUN!

What is your favorite blog post to date?

My favorite blog post is one I wrote about my experience with letting my daughter cut her hair. I shared my transition as a mom who has many fears of how outsiders place judgement on children and how I learned to accept my daughters need for individuality. It was a hard post for me to write, but it was also so personally rewarding. I titled it “I Feared My Daughters “Boy” Haircut and it can be found here.

What’s your go-to tip for balancing blogging with parenthood?

My go-to tip is, no matter what, I am a parent before I am a blogger. Even though I share a lot of information and experience, I do it with caution especially now that my kids are all older. They may or may not want me to share their personal stories with the world. There is a thin line that I try not to cross because I do not want it to negatively impact their lives now or in the future.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

I have based my entire way of parenting on this and I am so proud of the relationship I have with each of my children. You can be a friend and a parent. The key though is knowing when to you “can” be a friend and when you “need” to be a parent. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate but it is possible to be both.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Basically, it’s get up at 6am and see two of the three kids off to school by 7:30am, then answer some emails, and jump on social media for a little bit. I also have a small part-time job outside of the home so I run and do that for a few hours and come back home to answer more emails, blog, edit photos, take care of virtual assistant clients, and hop on social media again. Before I know it, kids are all home from school, and dinner needs to be started. After dinner I completely crash on the couch and watch anything beginning with “The Real Housewives”, or “Chicago”….Then, I get a second wind and end up in my office catching up on any loose ends and signing off about 1am.

What’s the best insight you can offer other parenting bloggers?

Be true to yourself. Don’t change who you are! I spent many years trying to figure out my voice in this big world of blogging. I am still a work in progress but I am happy to say that I have finally found my own voice and I am being as true to myself as I can be at this time in my life. Also, as your kids get older and their experiences aren’t as cute, they are going to think you are crazy for sharing them….and that’s ok, let them think you’re crazy! 😉