Happy 4th Blogiversary, Ms. Mary Mack!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Moving out of toddler days, cruising on into Official Big Kid world, Ms. Mary Mack turns FOUR years old today!

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We have been celebrating all week with Four Days of Fab Giveaways. Speaking of, we have our first winner from Monday’s Honest Tea giveaway:  Jeanine from Mommy Entourage … come on down! You have won a 30-day supply of Honest Kids juice pouches. Just drop us a note with your mailing address and you’ll be sipping pretty (yes. I said it.) in no time. Congratulations, and thanks for playing along!

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We’ll be announcing the winner of Day 2’s “newborn” jackpot on MMM’s FB page on Friday afternoon, so be sure to toss your hat in the ring if you haven’t done so already. [UPDATE: We have a winner: Joanna G.!]

There’s still time left on Day’s 3 Happiness giveaway too. The winner for this fun one will be selected Sunday and announced on Facebook. Get on it, friends! (Another thing to get on? Adding you “Like” to MMM‘s Facebook page. We like you, so why not return the favor, yes?)

And that brings us to today, the fourth and final day of fab freeness (alliteration!). First, a quick connect-the-dots story …

When I first launched this blog four years ago, I had just gone back to working as journalist, this time freelance and working from home. Oh, yeah, and there was also this new element of being someone’s mother. So I was  a freelance journalist with a one-year-old baby boy. Major distinction. I was still trying to figure out how to set up a proper home office (i.e., not just work on my bed); how to quit constantly giving the breast pump the finger; how to use red daggers shot from my eyes to stop loud neighbor noises from interrupting my kid’s naps; how to be OK with the nanny seeing my son’s New Thing before I did; how to scrape together 30 minutes to get a smoothie alone (rare!); how to wrap my head around this work-life balance business everyone was talking about; and how to write about any or all of it in an honest, meaningful way.

Thankfully, there were other mothers — bloggy world veterans — who had come before me, smoothing out the path as best they could. I took a few months to do some research, reading other parenting blogs, following some of these (primarily) women on Twitter, before I rolled out Ms. Mary Mack. I wanted to know — as much as one could in advance — what I was about to get in to.

I read a. lot. of “mommy blogs.” Some were so-so. Some were just not my jam. But there were oh-so many that were smart and sharp and hella funny. One fine example of this is Mom-101 by Liz Gumbinner. A writer “hailing from the justly maligned world of advertising,” Liz is thoughtful and kind and real. I regularly read her posts and, truth told, was clearly giddy when she started following me on Twitter a few years back. (Listen, you don’t want to know the sound I made when Lisa Belkin of Motherlode fame actually left a comment on my blog and invited me to write for her at the NYTimes.com. Hey … the small things excite a girl. Either love me or leave me alone.)

Over the years, I’ve talked (in person a few times) with Liz about Brooklyn life, parenthood, shoes, Martha Stewart, whatever. We’ve become colleagues, friends. She recently asked me to be a contributor to the fantastic Cool Mom Picks. You know I happily said yes; I’m no dummy.

When I was putting together a list of cool giveaways for this 4th blogiversary, I asked Liz if she wouldn’t mind pointing me in the direction of someone willing to work with me. And without a minute’s pause, Liz came back with actual contacts, because kindness, lending helping hands? — that’s how she rolls.

So, thank you, Liz/Mom-101, for being open and plain ol’ nice, especially out in these blogging streets where not everyone is trying to share contacts or be collaborative.

And now … GIVEAWAY TIME! Tea Collection has very generously offered to set up one lucky reader with a cute-magoots wardrobe set!  You may choose one set from the following:





Here’s an example of a sweet girls set:

Tea Collection Girls Set | Ms. Mary Mack

Outstanding, right??! To enter is easy. Just read the rules below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • 1
    Anna says:

    Love reading Liz at Mom 101, too! I’ve learned a lot of amazing lazy mom hacks from Kristin at That Unique* Weblog and found so many great recipes and tricks for cooking when you have kids from The Naptime Chef.

  • 2
    maya says:

    I learned to to talk to little girls not about what they look like or are wearing, but about what they are doing.

    • 2.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Oh, good one. I remember the article (or was it a blog post) that started that. Smart and necessary. I remember the piece was, “How to talk to little girls.”

  • 3
    Logan duVon says:

    Just one good thing?! I’d have to go with I read a few months back to stop comparing my baby to others and to the books. And boy did my eyes get wide cause I know I do it all the time! My baby is perfect the way he is he’s growing at his own pace and learning his own way. No baby is the same so comparing. My little man is perfect.

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Man, you folks are coming in with some good ones! Thanks for the comment, Logan.

  • 4
    mom101 says:

    Happy happy anniversary mama! So glad to know you and call you a friend.

  • 5
    Emily says:

    Happy anniversary!! I’ve learned so much from various blogs, I truly value their honesty. I think relying on your gut has been a huge takeaway though!

    • 5.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      If I had to boil it all down to the one thing I’ve learned from blogging, it would be exactly that: trust my gut. I’ve become really good at knowing what sounds right for my family. But I’m not rigid in anything…I’m open to learning something new and thinking about approaching things in a new way too. I trust myself, but I ain’t too proud to say, “Whoa. I was kinda wrong about that. This person is bringing new intel. Let me listen and learn.”

      Thanks, Emily!

  • 6
    Cathy says:

    Happy Anniversary! Love your honest take on so many different topic

  • 7
    joanna garcia says:

    happy anniversary!! i love reading your blog!!! To many more years!!

  • 8

    I love Mom-101. I’ve always seen you two as some of the most balanced and reasonable voices centered on parenting.

    I liked reading anecdotes about parenting, but for the most part, they were what I craved when I had a baby. I much prefer strong voices for the bigger issues, and that is why I’m so glad you’ve turned four. Still here! And hopefully still here for many more years to come.

  • 9
    Nicole says:

    From Honest Mom, learning that I wasn’t alone in my depression and the feeling of being overwhelmed. I found it at just the right time and I remember reading posts with tears streaming down my face. But I got more help the next day.

  • 10
    Carolina T says:

    The most valuable thing i’ve learned from blogs is that i’m not alone. Being home alone all day with a toddler and newborn its easy to feel overwhelmed with the day to day problems that arise but i’ve gotten so much wonderful advice from other moms who’ve gone through the exact same things and it really helps not to feel so alone in with my problems.