Are you a Stay-At-Home Mom or a Working Mom? You seem to write about both.
I am a software project manager for a large software company and I work 30 hours a week. My kids are in day care while I’m working, then we hang out in late afternoons.
I wish more parents had the option to work part-time in a professional job with benefits. If I were an activist, I would take up the cause. I was a stay-at-home Mom for eight months after Sparkles was born, then I worked full-time until Buttercup was born about a year later. I’ve been part-time since then. I think all three approaches work for different families, but part-time work for at least one parent has so many advantages, I wish it was an option for more people more of the time.
Are you going to quit your day job and write?
I get tickled when people ask this. It is such a sweet thing to ask! But I actually spend more money than I make on my writing right now. When I compare that negative number with my current salary, the day job comes out ahead. 🙂
Where did the idea for AustinKidsHike.com and AustinKidsDance.com come from?
I wanted to have lots of readers, but I wasn’t sure that lots of people would be interested in my writing at first. They don’t know my kids, after all, and there are so many parenting blogs to choose from. So I wanted to give something to the reader, something they couldn’t get somewhere else, that would keep them coming back. I’m also a big fan of hiking and dancing and I love to make it easier for people to join in the fun.
You didn’t include my favorite hike or music venue on Austin Kids Hike or Austin Kids Dance. Why not?
If you have a favorite, let me know! I like to hear about what my readers like! But, it is true that I made a decision to highlight my favorites and not be include everything. One reason – did I mention that day job? Another reason – I thought about the kind of site I would like to read and I would rather read less. It is overwhelming to read about all fifty Austin festivals. I’m more likely to read a list that has just a few options per month. I also sorted through the many options to find the ones best for little kids. I provide links to other sites for people interested in more complete listings.
So, is all of the time you spend with your kids developmentally meaningful?
No. We watch TV and play silly games and sometimes we just piddle around the house. To be honest, half the reason for putting the hike and dance pages together was to gather the information for myself, so we would do these activities more. But even then, we don’t try to do them all the time. I kind of like when we piddle around the house.
Your about page says you have a teenager, but you don’t write about her much. Why not?
Noel has her own on-line life and experience. It wouldn’t be fair to write about her in a way that her friends could read. Not that they would want to in general, but people Google people and it would be strange for her friends to find personal family information about her from my blog. When I do write about her, I ask her about the post first.
Why don’t you use real names for your family or show your kids’ faces in pictures?
People Google people, right? I’m fine with having my personal experiences showing up in a casual Google search on my name. But I don’t want to sign up my husband or kids for that. It isn’t a super secure system and I don’t write super secret information anyway, but not using their names felt like a good balance between sharing and privacy.
I debated showing pictures of my kids on the site. I don’t believe that child predators will stalk my kids if I use their pictures. But it feels a little more safe in some kind of abstract way that I can’t explain. I started taking pictures of them from behind and now it is a habit. Sparkles and Buttercup think it’s funny that we usually take two pictures, one with their faces and one without.
If you have another question, email me at carol@growingupaustin!