DIZMOMMY > August 2014


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August 27, 2014

List: 6 Reasons Why I Won't Blog For Free

Here’s an unapologetic fact about me: I don’t work for free. This means when I’m pitched a product to review, a site to visit, or an “opportunity” that involves me posting something on my blog for someone else's benefit, I ask (but in much savvier terms): Are you paying me? And if the answer is “no,” then it’s also a, “No thank you.” Receiving gratis products in the mail can be super tempting but here’s why I won’t work for free: 

Someone’s getting something. PR agencies, marketing firms, brands, they all have some sort of budget. Paying bloggers might not be in the budget but it should be, because paying the PR agency or the marketing firm to get online exposure is. Reviews are a form of product promotion and I cannot bring myself to promote something for someone else without getting a piece of that pie. So if someone’s getting something but that someone isn’t me, I’m not starving. I’ll make my own pie. 

I don’t want to sink my readership. Most readers won’t be phased by a review or two because they’re loyal, amazing, and know what to expect from me content wise. BUT- Ya’ll also know I’m not a review or beauty blogger, so the day my content primarily consists of those things, my Readership is going to sink. I can already hear the, “Ugh, another review?” And I don’t blame ‘em! People get accustomed to things and they’re going to be thrown off if I go from Dizmommy to Reviewmommy. If I’m not picky, I risk losing my people…and I love my people! 

Time is money. Reviews, posts, informative content et al. requires taking time out of the day to do. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an hour to spend drafting content to increase exposure for a product, brand, or person at no cost. It’s one thing to write about something you actually want to write about, and it’s another thing to write something just because someone asked you to. If there’s anything I’ve learned in life, it’s that time is our most precious commodity and must be spent wisely. I’m not donating an hour of my time in exchange for $5 spoons that I can buy at Target. An hour in my life has far more value than that. 

This is my platform baby! I was invited to participate in a brand’s campaign that involved writing a story relevant to their product, then ask other bloggers to join in on the fun, all for the chance of being selected as one of the “best” posts contributed which would later be tweeted by the brand. Though I had no plans on writing such a story, I did have a pretty good one I could share if the brand was willing to pay me for all the plugging and linking that was required. But noooo, they stated it was “against their policy to pay bloggers for their participation.” Funny! I have my own policies. I have a “no-accepting work without compensation” policy, and a “no encouraging other bloggers to work for free” policy. You see, I built this platform without said brands help so they can keep their dang tweet! At the end of the day if someone wants to stand on this platform, they can pay for it. Otherwise, this ride doesn’t run on chance so keep on truckin’. 

“One Day” don’t pay the bills. I had a celebrity’s “people” contact me for some product placement on my site and of course, they didn’t want to pay for it. But hey! We can work something out, right? How about an interview, or an exclusive-anything! Well, once the handlers realized that any relationship between us would have to be give and take, I was offered “one day” promises. Big ones that daydreams are made of! But there were problems. I mean, aside from taking the idea I pitched to a bigger blog (ouch), it became apparent that “one day” isn’t on a calendar, promises aren’t contracts, and “one day” don’t pay the bills. Duly noted. 

It should go unsaid...but fine, I'll say it. I'm worth it. If you're spending time contacting me to do something for you, you've admitted that you see a value in me. And guess what? So do I. 

Look, turning a blog into a source of income is the ultimate achievement. And when some of my favorite bloggers’ write product reviews and sponsored posts, you can find me in their comment section cheering them on because I know what it takes to get those posts done: WORK. And sure, there are many things I would LOVE to write about for product only (Macbook Pros, a Ford Explorer, anything BB Dakota makes…lol), but it wouldn’t stop be from disclosing that, “I’m willing to waive my fees in exchange for…” Because the assumption that I am merely a blogger that eats chance for dinner and gets paid in promises should never exist. My time, my platform, and my message is all worth compensating. I mean, they are contacting me for something, right? 

So...do you work in exchange for products?

August 26, 2014

Money Money Money, Must Be Funny

What Dylan says and what I hear are two very different things, so when I finally figure out what he’s telling me, it’s as exciting as solving one side of a Rubik’s cube. Sure, I only got a single side to be a solid color which isn’t conquering much of anything at all, and yes, the “one side at a time” strategy is entirely impossible, but HEY! It’s still something! And I’m all about making little victories BIG. So YAY! I have TWO little victories to celebrate because Dylan taught me two words! 

Merk! Last Friday during dinner, Dylan kept whining and whining for “merk, merk.” He was obsessing over merk and kept repeating his request. I had no idea what he wanted and my confusion was driving him to Breakdown City. He slumped in his highchair and began crying for merk and I finally had enough. I set him down on the floor and told him to, “Show mommy,” offering my hand so he could lead the way…to the fridge. Which he opened. And pointed to the milk. OH! Milk! Merk! Duh. Major accomplishment there, thank ya very merk. 

Money! A couple weeks ago in the midst of our mom/son daily play session, Dylan began our typical shouting game in which he bellows like an old bear, "MOMMA!" I’m then to roar back, "YEAAAAH," and we repeat our calls of the wild back and forth several times because we’re weird like that. (And I wonder why he’s such a freak.) Only on this particular day, Dylan didn’t call me momma. He called me, "MONEY!!!" Huh? I laughed, how to heck did he learn “money?” And his pronunciation? On point! So I rolled with it, accepted my new name and taught him the hand gesture of rubbing his thumb and fingers together when he’d say it. It’s irresistible! 

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon when I looked to Dylan mid-goof-off to say, “That’s funny!” He replied, hand gesture and all, “Yes, money.” Ohhhh! This whole time I thought he was calling me money but he actually thinks I’m FUNNY! I still haven’t decided what I’m more excited about, the fact I decoded his message or that he actually thinks I’m FUNNY! Okay, I’m lying. Definitely more pleased with the fact I’m funny. 

So hooray! Though I did set Dylan up to confuse a lot of people when he hand gestures for money when he’s really saying funny, who cares?! I’m practically toddler-talk fluent! And hey, if you consider one side of a Rubik’s cube an accomplishment too, I’m totally available for any of your translation needs.

August 22, 2014

Teaching Kids How to Bend Spoons With Their Mind

Before I was a parent, I was a child rearing expert with big ideas of how I was going to raise the next generation of superior beings. My efforts would be revolutionary, I thought, certain that I’d produce children whom believed in magic, rejected limitations, would have crazy strong thinking abilities capable of reducing physical pain into a mere external distraction, and whose potential would be blown out of the water until they achieved super human status. My kids would bend spoons Matrix style because my kids would know anything is possible, even invisible paint! Even levitation! I would outdo anything and everything my own parents did- despite 5 jobs well done (five daughters, ‘nuff said). 

…And now that I AM a mom, if my kid ate, slept, and went 24 hours trauma free, it was a good day. Oh, the inflated confidence of youth! So cute, isn’t it? I can’t help but laugh at my overzealous and enthusiastic ambitions. I mean, who knew I was so funny?! My sci-fi parenting model was fully equip with a blueprint to yield end results in my favor, and included all kinds of pretentious and self-righteous phony baloney tricks that would send any actual parent into a tizzy fit of STFU. I want to share some of that blueprint with you…and then I want to chin-check it with the harsh reality because there’s no such thing as a 16 year old child rearing expert with no kids:

There will be NO television, it rots the brain.
Yeah, it does rot the brain. And I earned it! Keeping the kid occupied with moderate T.V. time is going to ensure I don’t torch the neighborhood to the ground, so you’re welcome.
Sesame Street isn’t going to be responsible for my toddler’s lack of telekinetic ability. If anything, I need to turn Maltida on repeat, stat!

Classical music will be playing all day/all night. I’m going to get that baby brain neuron’ed the ‘eff out!
Really? Classical music? Who has time for that? I can’t even listen to classical music in thirty minute increments, let alone all day. Oh, and good luck getting a kid to actually LISTEN to anything.
Classical music isn’t Miracle Grow for baby geniuses, and Drake isn’t gonna dumb the baby down. Get real girlfriend!

Absolutely no junk food, hormone riddled items, pesticide treated or processed foods.
I can’t intercept every damn food item with Red Dye 40, account for every ingredient that the FDA doesn’t even track, and I certainly don’t have the skills or resources to man my own farm. Do you see Oprah anywhere? No. So eat this cracker and shut up.
Good news? Eliminating this one rule adds 17 hours to each day. Bad news? Those 17 hours are already spoken for. I buy organic potatoes, Dylan primarily drinks water, and I make dinner from scratch a few times a week. Therefore, I’m winning.

My kid will only have educational toys and books.  
Suddenly, whether or not a toy is teaching my kid numbers in Spanish is less important than whether or not he’s showing an interest in anything at all. If all he wants is a car that flashes lights and sounds sirens, great! Who am I to deny his happiness?
Everything has its purpose, even toy cars that are annoyingly loud. Lighten up, for real!

I guess you could say I was a little bit of a know-it-all na├»ve. Apparently, babies aren’t the little robots that do whatever I want, when I want, like my 16 year old self imagined. And apparently, life is a helluva lot more hectic and busy once you grow up. Who knew there’d be no time to practice levitation and mind control!? Oh, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed charm of youth…so precious…and distorted. It's no wonder everyone laughed at me.

August 20, 2014

Cuddling Is Overrated

I had a planned to post something great yesterday (and by “planned” I mean I had an idea and said “oh that’s good, I’ll write that one tomorrow!” cause I’m lazy like that), but a little something called life popped up and ruined everything. (Yes, I’m pouting.) Remember back in the day when (like a fool) I said that I kind of regret sleep training my kiddo because it turned him an anti-cuddler that demands "space?" Well...I take it back, BIG TIME. The chance to co-sleep popped up, I seized it, and I learned an extremely valuable lesson: cuddles are overrated I need a bigger bed. 

Everything has a price and the opportunity to “cuddle” with Dylan was no different. Long story short, he burnt through my ten minute rule. (Meaning when he cries instead of sleeping, he has ten minutes to pull himself together and soothe to snooze.) On this particular night, the typical, “I’m all alone!” sobs were replaced with, “I’m in pain!” shrieks. Interception was unavoidable so I went into his room to see what was up. His cries ceased the moment I picked him up, which is a giant red flag for I’M BEING PLAYED. I promptly left him in his crib. A half hour later it was round two of screams, then round three, and finally when round four struck, this fool concluded there was something wrong. Dylan was in pain! The cause? A mystery. And you know what mysteries do? They keep you up. 

It was one of those parenting moments when you have no freaking idea what is wrong with your kid and you wonder if a trip to the emergency room is necessary (it totally wasn’t). Airing on the side of caution, I took my inconsolable and very squirmy Dylan into my room and tried to con comfort him into a deep sleep whilst keeping an eye on him. I didn’t understand what was going on as I went through the laundry list of agony-riddled possibilities: Earache? No. Teething? No. Fever? No. Stomach ache? Maybe. But because Dylan didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary, I spent way too much time wondering if somehow, while I was busy making dinner or doing dishes, Dylan managed to eat/drink something he shouldn’t have…like pennies…or Windex. Which, of course, he absolutely did not do, but leave it to sleep deprivation and a screaming baby to kick your imagination into overdrive and make anything seem possible. Dream land! 

The rest of the night went something like this: Dylan kicking, squirming, and crying every other hour; Dylan randomly sitting up to request a, “Bottle? Truck?” (not happening, go to sleep); Dylan using my head as a pillow; and me floating in and out consciousness as to be alert but still rested (I’m ambitious like that). By the time my alarm buzzed at 5:30 am, I thought “Psh! I’m not even tired. I can do this any day!” So foolish, the girl! So I got ready, went to work, and began falling apart. My eyes were first to go, burning and heavy. Then it was my motor skills, no focus, klutz. Then finally, an “I wanted to cuddle and be super mom soother” migraine hit me like a glass vase to the head. I left work early, I picked up Dylan, we went home, and we slept. He slept for THREE HOURS! Obviously he hated sleeping with me, too. 

So I take it back, I don’t need a toddler in my bed. Even if I had the biggest bed in the world, it wouldn’t prevent or deter the kid from climbing over me throughout the night so he can rest cheek to cheek on my face. And like a fool, I don’t move him because I want him to be comfortable. Clearly I’m not cut out for co-sleeping. BUT! If there’s ever a reason I need to pull an all-nighter, BINGO! Just add Dylan. 

Really though, how big of a bed does it take to co-sleep with a toddler? Tamara probably knows the answer- girlfriend's bed is HUGE.

August 15, 2014

The Thing About Toddlers: They're Weird

Once your baby becomes a toddler, things get weird. I’m talkin’ SUPER weird…aka your child becomes a bathwater-drinking nudist who steals your sunglasses, prompting the most illogical sentences to roll off your tongue in such a natural way that it even throws you off. Though finding a toddler’s stash of week old blueberries hidden beneath the couch is far from fun, it’s so typical that I ain’t worried ‘bout nothin’! 

You see, these experiences have expanded my threshold for [pretty much] anything and very little surprises me these days. So aside from having to “explain” to my 1 year old that no, that dog poop IS NOT a cookie on a regular basis, I look forward to the weird. It’s fun! Until it gets too weird…e.g. Dylan, no feeding strangers…especially old men sitting alone at the park, and especially when you won’t share with me, thanks. What can I say? Tyke logic is nonsensical, unpredictable, and founded on the grounds that just because they can…they should. Here’s proof:  

  • Just because Dylan can put his foot in his mouth, he should eat his shoe. And I’m like, “Ew, No Dylan. Yucky.” Germs, ya know? And he’s all, “HAHA yucky so funny! Look, I can do it!” It’s the texture thing isn’t it- it’s why he hates broccoli, and why he loves the rubber taste of footprint. Cool.
  • Just because he can climb atop our beagle, he should ride him. And the dog is like, “No, please! I’m 9 years old and my back is killing me!” Degenerative disc disease, ya know? And Dylan is all, “HAHA! FASTER! Again, again! Good doggy!” Shouldn’t have given him a taste of that County Fair pony, my bad. 
  • Just because he can yell out the bedroom window, he should howl at neighbors. And I’m like, “Dylan, shh! No screaming out the window!” This is a private freak show, ya know? And he’s all [in his deepest voice possible], “HEEEEEEEEEEEY!! HEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!” Great, now everyone knows we’re the weirdos. 
  • Just because he can obstruct his view with a bucket on his head, he should. And I’m like, “No Dylan, you’re gonna get hurt!” This isn’t Jackass, ya know? And he’s all, “HAHA! I can’t see, look, I can’t see!” Yup, that was a wall, and that is the ground. Told ya. 

I can go on and on but the picture is clear: toddlerhood is weird. And when I’m not trying to keep my son from chewing on the dog’s tail, or squinting in preparation for what may be hidden beneath the couch cushion, I’m surpassing my laughing quota on a daily basis. Best weird EVER.