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Posts Tagged ‘mom 2.0’

As the announcer’s voice boomed off Nominees for Mom Blog of the Year I had about a dozen things running through my mind.

Oh shoot! I forgot to send them a photo. What picture will they use? Will they just have a blank screen? Or a horrible picture from middle school dug up by some relative who hates me?

Oh good! That picture is ok.

Wait, if I win, what in the world am I going to say? Oh, don’t worry about that, look who else it nominated! 

It was the last award of the night. Months before I debated going to Mom 2.0 this year because I’d be 7 ½ months pregnant. But I had the honor of passing on the award for Best Photography. Then I found out I’d been nominated in the Best Sponsored Content and Mom Blog of the Year categories and my mom was all “honey, yea, you’re going, and you need a new dress.” 

I had taken the stage earlier in the event to give the 2018 award for Best Photography to LaShawn Wiltz from Everyday Eyecandy. We actually roomed together and did a presentation on photography two years ago, then roomed together this year. So it was a special moment. I am so proud of her.

IRIS Awards Mom 2 Summit

While getting ready together earlier that evening I asked her if she’d thought about what she’d say if she won. She said she’d been thinking of a few things but didn’t want to plan anything concrete. That’s exactly what I thought I’d do. But what I’ve come to realize from this experience is I’m not a spur of the moment speech-giver. You think I would have realized this last year as I stumbled through thank yous on stage.

Brandi Riley from Courage to Earn won an award for Entrepreneur of the year and literally ran up on the stage and proceeded to bring us all to tears as she said “I deserve this!!” “I work HARD for y’all!” No one could doubt that.

She was open to being vulnerable and saying exactly what she was feeling.

My feelings and emotions take time to process and are a little guarded at first. I blame this in years in TV news and holding back my opinions. I was scared to hear my name, and worried how I’d feel if I didn’t.

Last year’s winner, Ilana Wiles from Mommy Shorts opened the envelope for Mom Blog if the Year and read…

“Cherish 365, Jennifer Borget!”

She said my name! Wow, she said my name. Stand up. Don’t trip. Walk. Walk.

A lady in a gorgeous dress handed me my Iris Award and I walked to the microphone with no idea what was going to come out of my mouth.

I shared how I’ve been blogging for 10 years, since before I had children and just last year I rebranded from Baby Making Machine to Cherish 365 because we were done having babies.

I remember people laughing as my very pregnant self stood in all that irony.

Then I said thank you about 12 times. For the honor and their support.

I didn’t name specific people and going back, I could have mentioned my husband, who unbeknownst to me was back home nursing our extremely sick kid back to health. He’s supported me and my crazy dream of having a blog while I overshared the sometimes too-private information about our lives. If I could do it again and write a speech I would have thanked him first.

I would try to add a more coherent statement about why the honor is so special to me.

First of all, yes, Black Moms DO blog. We shop, we buy stuff, we influence. And we deserve to be recognized and compensated as much as our colleagues. I hope this serves as some kind of nudge to brands to remember us when forming campaigns. Not just me, no look way past me, there are tons of us. And feel free to ask if you need help finding more.

I’ve never really belonged to any one particular group or felt comfortable squeezing myself into any one box. But I a black mom and a blogger, and I’m proud to be both.

Throughout the night people told me I was “shining” or “glowing” I think one person even called me “angelic,” and my friend Cara swears someone called me a “Fairy God Blogger.” I am going to let the baby take some of the credit but I like to think that a lot of that was just a bit of the light I’m trying to shine on this world.

My whole life it’s felt like I’ve had an asterisk next to my name. A black girl in Atlanta, definitely black, but still not “black enough” for some. Assumed to have gotten into my college of choice because of my minority status and not my honor roll status. Mormon, but too liberal. Too woke for the Police Wives Club but not woke enough to Black Lives Matter.

So it’s no surprise I felt comfortable starting a mom blog before I was even a mom. Then, even as a mom blogger with kids I failed to fit into a niche delivering regularly scheduled healthy recipes, humor, or Pinterest-worthy crafts to try. But what I have done is open up about our lives, shared how we navigate the confusing world we live in that asks so many of us to pick a side or else.

I’ve learned it’s ok to not really belong anywhere as long as you know who you are and stay true to that. Even better when you can be respectful even when you don’t agree. And I’ve learned fitting in isn’t the same as belonging.

“Belonging starts with self acceptance. Believing that you are enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic.” – Brene Brown

As I stood on my cankles overflowing from my poor wedges, looking out into the crowd I was overwhelmed with gratitude. To be given an award like this from my fellow peers is a huge honor. Thank you for seeing me, and for recognizing my hard work. Thank you for not forcing me into one box, and for allowing me to me feel like I belong.

Ok so I’m back from my LAST trip before baby (I think I’ve said that three different times now, but for real, this is it). I traveled to Pasadena, CA for the Mom 2.0 Summit. It’s a blog conference for women and moms, and I’ve been going for three years now. Last year I was nominated for and won the Best Photography Iris Award, and if you keep up with my comings and going on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen that I won Mom Blog of the Year (holy crap!). But more on that later this week. I have a whole big spiel to go on just about that and this post got long enough.

Today I’m going to share a bit about what else went down last week. Six things to be exact (aside from the one mentioned above), that made Mom 2.0 2018 absolutely fantastic.

1. I roomed with LaShawn from Everyday Eye Candy. We roomed together at our first Mom 2.0 and did a session together on photography. She’s such a treat. I had all these plans to go to the spa and hang out by the pool but I wound up just crashing on the bed for midday naps, and catching up with her throughout the trip. We chat all the time via text and messenger but it’s always nice to spend time together in person. If you haven’t checked her out yet DO!

2. One of the really cool things about these conferences is getting a chance to connect with friends and brands that you buy, or interact with over email, finally in person. One meeting I totally wasn’t expecting was with my Canon rep. Meredith saw me at the opening party and said hi. It was getting close to my bedtime so it took a second for it to click then I was all “HIIIIII!” I’m so glad she came, and I hope that they bring a whole slew of people to the conference next year because I know moms and bloggers alike would just eat them all up.

3. Dove returned as a title sponsor for Mom 2.0, and having partnered with them in the past, it was great to see the strides they’ve made, and their initiatives continue to flourish. A sobering statistic: 8 out of 10 girls with low body confidence will opt out of important activities. Since 2004 the Dove Self-Esteem project and has helped more than 20 million young people. Graduates from the project are turning around and helping others! It’s pretty awesome. One statistic that stuck out to me is that experts say spending just an hour talking to a girl about beauty, confidence and self-esteem can change the way she sees herself for a lifetime. Just an hour. I want to get in on this. You can read all about it and find more on the videos here: www.Dove.com/HourWithHer. I was able to go to a workshop and learn more about the initiative and how the power of words we not only hear, but see, influence us. And we talked about rewriting our negative stories we remember from growing up into positive ones.

And then the next day I had a delicious breakfast with a group of beautiful multicultural moms hosted by Baby Dove and we talked about the struggles we experience with our kids whether it being trying to raise them to be bilingual, or the worries if we are teaching them “enough” about their backgrounds. It was great food for my belly and soul. I even got some Baby Dove swag with products with Sneaky’s potential name on it (I actually got two with different name options but someone else snagged the first so maybe it’s a sign that it’s not the right name).

4. Debbie Allen was one of the keynote speakers and I know she’s done a bajillion amazing things in her life but I absolutely love her on Grey’s Anatomy. She sprinkled all sorts of great words of wisdom during her chat with Jess Weiner. Debbie spoke about how her mom was such an inspiration to her, always telling her she was beautiful and could be anything she wanted to be. She believed that and look what she’s done! Debbie encouraged us to know what’s unique to us and find our own voice.

5. Ok, now this I couldn’t believe. Thursday night I was waddling down the hall on my way to dinner with Munchkin (yes, the adorable baby/kid brand, more on them and their cool new stuff very soon!). I look up and there’s Brene Brown right in front of me. She’s got some kind of helper dude with her, and another friend of mine is talking to her. This is good because while they are finishing up I’m able to get out all of my gasps and OMGs and face fanning. Then she drew her attention to me and I word vomited all over her. Seriously. When I met Oprah and got a photo I was stunned and at a loss for words and I just managed so say something like “Thank you, love you, picture?” With Brene, since I’d specifically been talking about topics in her books with friends and random strangers I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I told her about my background and my husband working as a police officer and how hard it is to be stuck in the middle of what feels like this great big divide and not wanting to choose sides etc etc etc. I told her how my mother in law introduced me the Power of Vulnerability and how she is huge fan and made me a huge fan. I just kept going and going and quoting her to herself. It was probably a really weird experience for her but she smiled and gave me a big hug. And I got a picture and promptly sent it to my mother in law and one of my BFFs who each texted me back the same thing “She’s my Oprah!”

6. My favorite part of conferences is always connecting with my colleagues that I otherwise only connect with online. I’m such a social person so it can be really hard doing all of my work alone, at my desk with few people to bounce ideas off of, and laugh with and just yaknow, water cooler talk. Earlier this year I decided to bring on more help for my business now that this is a full time thing and I’ll be taking some time off once the baby comes. I have some virtual assistance helping me with social media planning and scheduling, and Cara is my manager. So she has taken a huge weight off my shoulders handling the business side of things while I focus on what I love best: Being creative, writing, photography, and making awesome stuff online. It’s also freed up more time for me to be out of my inbox, and in the moment more with my kids. Definitely one of the most big girl decisions I’ve ever made regarding this blog. It was fun hanging out with her in person (we actually met a year ago at the same conference!) and having her help me schedule part of my days so I could get what I needed to get done done, then go to my room and take a nap.

Then there were awards, and dancing, and great sessions, and meeting people for the first time. I walked away feeling refueled and refreshed about my business and where I hope to take it. And I have a lot of new things to think about when it comes to self-esteem for my little ones, and girls I interact with.

I got so much great news while I was away but one of the best was news that Mom 2.0 Summit will be in freaking AUSTIN, TEXAS next year! I was already wondering how I’d swing it with a newborn but now that it’ll just be down the road it won’t be a problem. I already bought my ticket. Hope to see some of you there next year on my own stomping grounds!

Do you ever hear someone speak, meet someone who inspires you, read a good book or watch a documentary that just makes you want to jump into action? You just can’t wait to change your life/start something new/ pick up a new hobby.

That’s basically me every other week.

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

My husband is used to my random epiphanies by now. When I watch Oprah, have a really good Sunday school lesson, or watch something like Cowspiracy on Netflix I come out ready to save the world and turn vegan.

The most recent source: Mom 2.0. A blogging conference I attended last week at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point, California.

mom-2.0-summit-2016-8

I haven’t traveled to a blog conference in years, YEARS people. After having a second child leaving them both plagued me with the worst kind of mom guilt. But this year I went for it. I packed my bags and flew halfway across the country to meet people I’ve admired and connected with online for months, years even.

It was amazing.

First of all, there were so many people that I met 5-6 years ago at my first blogging conference who still remembered me. I mean dude, some these people have exploded into [bloggy] stardom and are like “sup Jenn?” and I’m like “who me?!” (I really wish I came up with a cool pen name that wasn’t so common).

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

Then there were all kinds of sessions that made me feel all kinds of ways. Some made me go “Oh, I totally know what I’m doing, ok, yea, I’m legit!” and others made me go “Ok, I’ve been doing this all wrong.”

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

I even taught my own session with my girl LaShawn from Everyday Eyecandy. It was a lesson on visual storytelling with photos and videos. The room was packed and people seemed to enjoy it. Definitely a win in my book.

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

I left the conference with a full soul and a million ideas.–Telling myself I need to redesign my blog, start a podcast, make an e-course, organize a writer’s retreat, become a motivational speaker, hire a Facebook sorcerous, fly to Trinidad to find my roots, write a book, and learn the wobble.

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

It was a bit of inspirational overdose, but I loved it, I needed it.

First things first, I need to decompress and write a list of priorities. As I come down from the motivational high hopefully those things most important for my business will come to focus in the forefront.

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

I actually won’t have much time to come down from this high as I’ve climbed right back on a plane to head to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Yea, the one I wasn’t invited to last year, or any year every before! They must have realized what they were missing cause I got a golden ticket this year baby!

Remember the aforementioned mom guilt? Well, it gets worse. Lil’ J has already missed too much school for our other TWO Disney trips in the last 4 months, so she’s staying behind. I’m bringing my little sister instead, making it a big girl’s trip and for the first time ever giving myself a chance to ride Disney World roller coasters, stay out extra late, have less frequent potty breaks, meltdowns and whatnot. I’m so sad to not be bringing my kiddos but so excited to see Disney through a new lens (aaaaand I may or may not already have another quick mommy/daughter trip planned for October).

I was trying really hard to keep it a secret from Lil’ J but she’s so smart. I guess she put all the pieces together. She cried when I told her I was going out of town again but didn’t bat an eye when she questioned if I was going to Disney World. She even asked God to bless that I’d have fun at Disney World in her prayers. Talk about a SWEET girl (ok I’m not gonna lie, she also prayed that I’d bring her a present back).

Telling her I’m bringing her favorite aunt/idol with me on this trip would just not be smart, so I left out that detail. I’m sure that would send her over the edge, but I’m glad she knows at least part of the truth, and is ok with it.

Mom 2.0 Summit recap

I’m sure once we land the guilt will wear off and excitement will set in. I’m eager to get pumped up with another serving of motivation, this time with an extra dose of Disney Magic. Who knows what kind of epiphanies I’ll come home with this time. Hopefully nothing too outrageous. I’m not sure my sweet husband can take too many more of my ideas.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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