Posts By: Stacey Nerdin

Mom Advice: Making Waves and Going with the Flow


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One of the reasons I love competition reality shows (think: American Idol, etc) is watching those moments when someone who has worked so hard for something is given a chance to shine. Their talents are recognized and celebrated, and you can almost feel the deep shift that happens in their hearts with such validation.

I had a moment of my own just like that last May when I won the Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ’10 contest.

I cannot emphasize enough how that moment was a turning point in my life, not just as a blogger, but as a person. The validation gave me something no one could ever take away, and has been a powerful motivator in the past year (as I imagine it will be for a long time to come).

The actual trip to BlogHer ’10 was amazing, magical, another life-changing event for me, especially as I had never been to New York City and spent the entire weekend milking every ounce of joy and discovery from it.

And for months that followed, I made a point to put myself out there in the blogging world, be bolder and buoyed by the confidence Mabel’s Labels had shown in me.

I began writing here at the Mabelhood, then branched out to write for other sites, began working more professionally online, started teaching classes offline, and speaking at blogging conferences as well. I have definitely been making waves and feeling inspired and excited in the surf.

My year writing for the Mabelhood is ending now, though, and ironically, I find myself in a much different place than I was this time last year.

My family’s situation has changed in a way that requires much more of my focus and energy, and I’ve had to scale way back in my professional aspirations and endeavors. Where I was once making waves, I need to now go with the flow.

I can be bitter or frustrated or resentful about that, or I can realize that things come in seasons, in cycles, and what we learn from one phase to the next is valuable in and of itself, and not always for whatever end result we want or anticipate or feel we’ve missed out on.

So my parting piece of Mom Advice to all of the women, mothers, and friends who may have been reading this column this year: sometimes you’ll make waves, and sometimes you’ll have to go with the flow. The key is to ride out your life the best way you can, and hold on to those things that remain from one cycle to the next.

Thank you again to Mabel’s Labels for giving me something I can carry through all of life’s tides!

You can connect with Stacey on her personal blog, Tree, Root, and Twig, or on Twitter and

Mom Advice: A Little Help


No man is an island. No woman is either, for that matter. We all need something – or someone – to help us along in life. So just for fun, I asked some fellow moms and bloggers to fill in this blank for me: “I get by with a little help from my ___________.”

There were some answers of the more…ahem…adult variety, which is perfectly fine. And some moms shared in honesty that prescribed medication is a great help, or that they look forward to their wine at the end of the day. Again, not at all unusual.

Here, though, are some of the specific answers I wanted to share.

I get by with a little help from my ______:

Mother in law! Seriously! she comes over once a week to do my dishes and sweep my floors. I asked her for help since I have 3 kids 4 yrs old and under. My house would be scary without her. – Annie, MamaDweeb

Pillow and pajamas. – Julie, Just Precious

Pandora. – Amy, Resourceful Mommy

Camp/school/babysitters … its so hard to work with the kids underfoot. – Shannon, Phillyburb Moms

KEURIG! – Tina, Life Without Pink

30 minutes of ‘me’ time. – Heather, Cool and Hip, I Am Not

Friends of course! I don’t know what I would do without being able to Skype the amazing social media friends I have on an ongoing basis every day. It helps me a part of their lives, and I can turn to them with questions, great news or frustration. – Kelly, The Centsible Life

Treadmill. Bubble bath. – Amy, Freaky Perfect

Husband. – Lisa, Crazy Adventures in Parenting

Starbucks… for the coffee, the wifi, the connections I’ve made there! – Jessica, It’s my life…

Lazy Sunday mornings. It’s what I look forward to all week: doing a whole lotta nothing until noon. – Robin, simple. green. organic. happy.

Evernote! – Melissa, Adventuroo

My friends, lots and lots of coffee, nail polish, reading (that’s my me time). – Shana, Shanamama

Reality TV, it’s my guilty pleasure. – Jennifer, MommyB Knows Best

My mommy time out mat.. my kids know that if Mommy is standing on it I’m in a force field.. don’t talk to me! – Tina, Mad Hatter Mom

iPhone. Angry Birds are my savior when I need a mental break. Releases a wee bit o’ tension too! - Fadra, All Things Fadra

Quite a variety of answers, right? Everything from family and friends to hobbies and pampering, and even some trusty technology thrown in the mix!

Everyone is different, and each of us has something unique that helps us enjoy life just that much more.

How about you? How would you answer “I get by with a little help from my ___________.”?


You can connect with Stacey on her personal blog, Tree, Root, and Twig, or on Twitter and

Mom Advice: When the Noise Has Nothing To Do with You

sound waves

Last month as I planned to travel to the Type-A Parent blogging conference, an unexpected mix-up found me without a room at the conference hotel. Based on a friend’s recommendation, and encouraged by a drastic reduction in price, I made a reservation to stay at a local hostel.

Hostels, if you are not familiar with them, are generally open-plan, dormitory-style lodging options for typically younger travelers. There is little privacy, and general conveniences – kitchen, bathroom, living area – are shared.

I had been warned that since this particular hostel was located in the upstairs of a building occupied by a popular bar below, I should expect some noise. And in fact, when I checked in, the woman at the desk made sure to point out the large basket of free earplugs to her left.

It did not take long to see that the warnings were justified; I arrived after 9:30 on my first night, and the bar downstairs was full. To top it off, someone was playing live music – singing along to a piano, no less – and the crowd was certainly enjoying the performance.

The noise inside the hostel was significant, too. People talking about their day, watching television, washing dishes, doing laundry – all until just after midnight.

And yet, the most surprising thing happened to me. None of the noise bothered me a bit. Something inside of me clicked early on that first night of my 3-night stay: this noise had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t responsible for making it stop, wasn’t responsible for what was being said or done. No one was calling to me through the noise, asking anything of me, needing anything from me. The noise simply had nothing to do with me.

It was a liberating to be so detached from what was happening and simply allow myself to relax. I slept fairly well all three nights, and without earplugs.

The experience made me wonder: is this a lesson I could apply to life?

How often do we become consumed with the “noise” around us, whether it involves us or not? How often are we distracted or just generally affected by things that maybe have nothing to do with us at all?

My guess is that this happens to each of us in some form or another. So my challenge is this: determine what truly demands your attention, and what does not. Figure out if the noise has anything to do with you. And when it doesn’t, tune it out. Release yourself from that concern, and allow yourself to relax. It may mean a better night’s sleep for you, too.

You can connect with Stacey on her personal blog, Tree, Root, and Twig, or on Twitter and

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