Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Melissa Bowers

Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Melissa Bowers

You can take the girl out of the Midwest but you can’t take the Midwest out of the girl — at least according to Melissa Bowers. The mother of two began her blog MichiforniaGirl as “a place for beachside chats about all sorts of things, like moving and teaching and motherhood and marriage.” Since then, she’s learned to embrace change and share her journey with parents everywhere. After all, it’s life’s surprises that make for the best stories. Bowers shares more.

What made you want to start your own parenting blog?

I’ve kept a diary since I was in fifth grade — there are 52 (melodramatic) volumes stored somewhere in our garage — but blogging was always out of the question because its public nature didn’t seem to mix well with teaching high school. And then, two years ago, my husband got an un-turn-downable job in California, and we moved across the country when I was six months pregnant with my second child. Writing has always been my outlet, my coping mechanism, and it was the only thing I knew how to do in those times of transition.

What three words would you use to describe your blog?

Vulnerable. Hopeful. Wry.

What is your favorite blog post to date?

The Space Between Baby and Boy” is very special to me. It documents such a sweet, magical time in a child’s life, and as a parent, I always want to remember that feeling.

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

Oh, man. I write everything a paragraph at a time. If the Heavens part and both kids somehow take a simultaneous nap, I can write in slightly longer chunks; but generally it’s a stop-start-stop-start process. Not the best for creative flow, but that’s the only way anything gets accomplished these days!

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

I’m still learning, and most pieces of advice that worked with my kids yesterday do NOT work today, but here is one constant: Read to them. Start early and do it often. Books — and the conversations they encourage — teach compassion and human understanding more effectively than any smartphone or tablet.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My days look very different now than they did when I was teaching high school! At the moment, they involve a lot of cutting food into tiny bites, convincing small people that sleep is necessary, running fifteen-minute errands that somehow take all morning, and still trying to fit in some writing time. It’s chaotic, monotonous, and beautiful.

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

Do it because you love it — because you feel the words in your bones — and not because someone asked you to review a coffee mug or a baby carrier. It’s the real, authentic posts that introduce your blog to the most loyal readers.

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