Just needed to write something to fill in the void that has been my blog since my last post.
I actually have two and a half drafts saved, one of which I keep going back to and slowly editing. But I keep leaving it as a draft because I can’t get myself to be happy with it.
It’s also kind of hard to take time to write when I’m constantly having to stop one or both of the boys from getting into something.
And I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out lately. Mikey has been going through a sleep regression, Vinny and I have been doing a little better about navigating the terrible two’s, but when he has bad days, they’re BAD, both of our cars (one of which is new to us and we got it for more car space) have been having issues, I’ve been falling behind on the house, I’ve been falling behind on writing requests and projects, and the holidays and all that goes with it is just the cherry on top of my mental flat-lined-ness.
(I wrote a post last year on how not to stress around the holidays, so that’s not getting to me too too much, but it’s just that last little detail that needs attention, you know?)
On top of that, I’ve just been feeling a little discouraged when it comes to the blog. I hate to say it, but I’ve been kind of sad about how small my following still is on here and my social media. I feel sort of like I’ve flopped, I guess.
I know it can take a while to get a following, if you get one at all, and it takes a lot of work to do it the right way. And I know this is a saturated market these days, so I totally get that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
Sometimes I worry about my skills as a writer. I often feel like I’ve lost my touch after having kids. I worry that people don’t like what I put out, and that I’m no good at this, so sometimes I either get too self conscious or I just think, “why bother?”
But then I think about those times I have gotten random comments on some of my older posts. The ones who have thanked me for writing about a certain topic, the ones who have told me that I have helped them through a struggle, the ones who have shared a laugh with me at some of the pratfalls of parenting.
Then I think about all of the times I’ve searched something on Pinterest and how that search led me to a blog post that got me through something, or gave me instructions for a fun activity for my boys, or just made me realize that I’m not alone in some things. I don’t think I commented on many of those, let alone thought to follow them at the time, so they have no way of knowing that they helped me–but they did.
So maybe, even though I don’t have many followers to show for it, I have made a difference for some Moms out there. Even if I feel like I’m not so good at this.
I started this blog for a few reasons: for fun, to help me through postpartum depression, to make sense of my experiences, to keep up my writing skills out of work, and to help other Moms–particularly other Scrunchy Moms like me!
The Moms who use screen time, but don’t like GMO’s. The Moms who only buy sustainably sourced clothes, but who will get a happy meal once in a while because it’s been a day. The Moms who cloth diaper, but formula feed. And all the other Moms in between.
Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that and got wrapped up in the Influencer rat race.
I know that God put a knack and interest in writing in my heart for a reason. I’m meant to do something with this to carry out His work. So, if I can help even just one Mom with something every few posts, or help ease one Mom’s loneliness, or just give one Mom a laugh, then what does it matter what number the subscribers list reflects?
I know I’ll probably get discouraged again, it’s only natural. But I will continue to post blogs, update my Instagram stories, and put up Instagram shoots even if it’s just for myself and my friends and family. Because it’s something I’m doing for me, and I think that’s important to have as a Mom.
Anyways, thanks for reading! I’ll have a real post up within this next week, hopefully!
It’s been a hot, hot few minutes since my last post! I’m trying to be better about updating more regularly, but it’s crazy around here!
I have to say, this is a pretty cute picture, right? My little hero and his sidekick! This shot were the best I could get of them on my own. I didn’t feel like waiting for my husband to be able to help me take a better one.
It took a lot of time to get, too. Like too much time, and a lot of sweat and tears. I’m sure a lot of you Mamas can relate.
Professional photographer I am not, but you get the idea of the point of the picture, right?
Despite its quality (or lack thereof), I could have possibly made some money off of this picture.
With a simple hashtag and code in my post description on Instagram, I could have had the potential to get some side income all from my boys just being cute in some cute outfits. Not just from one company, but two.
But I decided against it.
Why on Earth would I do that? Read on, my Gals!
In the age of social media, it feels like everyone is out there trying to be an influencer. I’ll admit, the concept has been appealing to me (and almost everyone else with a smart phone).
I’ve definitely been that guy and have put up one or two too many insta stories to my meager audience of 183. If nothing else, it’s a fun way to keep family and friends up to date on our little family adventures!
Now when it comes to our babies, we all think we have the cutest ones on Earth. And of course every baby is beautiful. But sometimes we can let a few extra likes on a milestone photoshoot go to our heads.
In recent years, Instagram has turned from a fun platform to share your pictures and videos with family and friends (and whoever else out there is really that interested in looking at pictures of Starbucks orders) to a multi-million dollar industry complete with paid models and spokespeople. Kind of like YouTube, in a way.
And in a similar fashion as YouTube and its family channels, there has been a rise in family pages on Instagram, independent from and supplemental to family content on other platforms.
Now, I’m not trying to police people having Instagrams starring their little ones. My own account is lousy with shots of my boys being “the cutest,” so I can’t cast stones.
So where am I going with all of this?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a lot of companies that have been offering people the chance to be “ambassadors” for their brand. In the past, you’d have to have thousands if not millions of followers or subscribers in order to get a chance to represent brands, and now brands seem to be ISO just about anyone.
These companies advertise this search as a chance to represent them, get noticed as a page, and even make a little money on the side. From what I’ve seen from most of these ads, the companies offer “ambassadors” a discount, usually up to 40 percent off their clothes. Once you place an order, you’re given a hashtag to put in your post as well as a discount code for followers and viewers to use towards their own order and for you to make commission off of.
I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t want to get paid to just wear clothes for Instagram, so this sort of thing appeals to hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people.
And that 40 percent off the price of their stuff out of pocket sounds like a small price to pay for a potential chance to become Insta famous, right?
Recently, I had been presented opportunities by two different avenues for my boys to model clothes.
The first company was an ad that popped up in my Facebook feed, which stated the company was “Accepting applications” for models ages newborn through five. I figured I’d give it a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
So I filled out the information and almost immediately I got a notification saying I was accepted.
Upon clicking the sign up link, I discovered that how this was going to work was I would be given 40 percent off of any order which my child/ren would then wear for a picture. They could only be wearing clothing purchased from the site in the picture, and I would have to post a brand-assigned hashtag and a code for potential buyers to get 20 percent off their orders.
I was skeptical, but placed an order anyway. Hence the pictures at the beginning of this post.
Then not even a week later, I posted my youngest’s 5 month pictures to Instagram, and got a comment on them from a different company asking me to DM them for information for him to model clothes for them!
I have to admit I got a little excited that my child had been “noticed.”
The conditions for this “opportunity” were similar, except that I could order an outfit for “free” and just pay shipping.
After sending them a message (again, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?), I posted an inquiry on one of my Mom’s pages on Facebook, asking if anyone had heard of the company.
Right away I got responses saying that the company seemed fishy, and they had even stole a screenshot from a Target promo to promote their matching family outfits!
I followed up with both companies, and I didn’t really like the answers I received. I’ve decided to share screenshots of my exchanges with these companies, but I’ve blurred out their information.
After these exchanges, I got the feeling that these companies are part of the “fast fashion” industry.
Fast Fashion is a term that basically means cheap, disposable trendy clothes. H&M, Wish, Romwe, and companies like these are examples of fast fashion, which usually draw in a younger, hip crowd.
In this case, instead of appealing to broke trendy college kids, these companies seem to be edging in on Moms looking for insta-worthy outfits on the cheap, and potentially for Moms looking to boost their likes and follows on social media.
There isn’t as much sticker shock with these companies as with other brands, so a lot of Moms jump at the opportunity, from what I saw on the websites.
However, the affordability comes with a hefty price.
This mass consumption of fast fashion impacts the environment and the quality of life of many of the workers behind the crazy fast production of these clothes.
In my research, I have found a fascinating article written on WordPress by Sustaining Community. Graeme presents this information in his post far better than I could, but I will provide a very little nutshell of the impact some of these cheap online clothing stores can have on a larger scale.
From this post, I learned that over HALF of the garments made for fast fashion are sent to a landfill or an incinerator within just ONE YEAR of production. This stuff just SITS there, contributing to the suffocating amount of waste we are piling onto our planet, and then literally suffocating it with the toxic smoke and chemicals from burning the cheap, artificial fibers and materials these clothes are made with.
What’s worse, many of the people making these convenience clothes are subject to horrific working conditions and wages. And some of these workers have been found to be CHILDREN.
Just imagine your children for a second. Now imagine them being forced to work inhumane working hours and conditions for very little sustenance in return. Those cheap clothes hardly seem worth it now, don’t they?
I highly recommend reading the article I linked, and doing more research on this for yourself. Although there’s so much information out there already, I’d be surprised if many of you weren’t aware of some of this stuff already.
But it was enough to convince me to think twice about the next $5 trendy onesie I happen to come across in my Instagram ads.
Now I can’t say for certain whether these places in question are a truly part of the problem, but I’ve seen enough to be convinced not to try them anyway.
You might be thinking, “So what now? Do I have to pay an arm and a leg to dress my second born in sustainable, made in the USA clothes after selling my first born for the funds to afford it?”
The answer is simple: No!
I have fallen in L O V E with secondhand shopping since becoming a Mom. As more people become environmentally and financially conscious, there are more and more nice clothes you can find gently used at thrift shops. It’s so much fun to scour these places for the hidden gems within!
And if GoodWill or Savers squick you out, a simple google search for a higher-end consignment shop is sure to yield impressive results, depending on where you live.
Facebook Marketplace is another amazing resource for cute clothes on the cheap. You can even find things brand new with tags sometimes! I once scored my oldest’s entire winter wardrobe complete with snowpants and boots along with a ton of stuff in two sizes up for just $20! It all easily once retailed for over $200!
In my quest to make it as a blogger, I fell for the smooth moves of fast fashion. But now I know, and knowledge is power!
I think for now my family will stick with consignment clothes. It’s better for the environment, and our budget. And you’d be surprised what you can find out there!
Later on down the line if we find we have a little extra money, we might seek out independent business owners via Etsy or something for more of the cute matching onesies.
And who knows? Maybe later on down the line, my boys or future little ones might get the chance to model some locally made or even consigned clothes to promote sustainable fashion! A Mom can dream…
Here are some “expectation-vs-reality” bloopers from our photo shoot as a reward for making it this far through my ramblings! As you can see, the terrible two’s have come in like a lion for our little Vin.
What do you guys think? How many of you have been against fast fashion from the start? How many of you secondhand shop already? Who’s going to start? Talk about it in the comments!
Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘
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📋 Upcoming Content: Battling Body Dysmorphia As A Mom, Why Small Parties Are Better Than Big Birthday Blowouts, and The Boys Finally Share A Room!