Top Blogger Spotlight
She calls herself Scary Mommy, but the only scary thing about this blogger is how frighteningly popular she is. Jill Smokler’s hilarious confessional style brings over 700,000 hits per month to her blog, where she talks about everything from her ideal sister wife and letting her kids eat directly off the floor to her family's unintentional family bed. She’s been named one of Babble’s “Best Mom Bloggers” and is number five on “Top 50 Twitter Moms.” Dying to know more? Read on and get to know this awesome power blogger up close and personal.
I read that you first began blogging with the intention of your blog being an online baby book. When did you realize that your blog was beginning to take a life of its own?
I realized the potential pretty quickly, once people other than my mom and best friend started to comment. When I started to actually form relationships through blogging, I was hooked. I had absolutely no idea this whole world existed and now I can't imagine my life without it.
With 700,000 hits on your blog each month, how do you handle interacting with your readership? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and want a break from technology?
Honestly, not really. I start to feel antsy and nervous if I'm away from technology for too long and sleep with my iPhone. It's just easier to stay on top of things. In terms of interacting with my readers, I do my best. I read every comment, but my responses vary based on the post, the day and a million other circumstances. I always respond to e-mail and tweets, though, and feel like I've made myself very available and accessible. Most of my readers are moms; I feel like we're all in the same boat and hope they understand that I'm only human and have a life outside of the blog.
You were quoted on CNN saying that you don't vilify parents who have used medication in attempts to calm their children down. You said, "It's not the end of the world. It's certainly better than being pushed to edge, spanking a child or slamming doors or really losing it."
When I read that, it made me think about how I feel about television. When I was a new mom, I carried all kinds of guilt around any time I let my baby zone out on a Baby Einstein movie so I could take a shower without screaming in the background. But now, six years into it, I don't feel bad anymore when I throw on the TV to get a moment of peace and quiet.
Most parenting books make you feel like if you could just get your ducks in a row, your kids would be perfect angels all the time. But the reality of life with little children is just so different. What are your thoughts on doing what it takes to keep your sanity as a mom?
That's sort of my parenting philosophy. The CNN quote was taken out of context and I really don't endorse medicating your children for your own cause. But, I do believe in taking steps to make yourself a more sane parent. TV won't kill your kids. Being left alone won't kill them. A night without teeth brushing won't cause their teeth to fall out and if they sleep in their clothes, who cares? We are own harshest judges and need to lighten up. It's child-rearing, not a trip to the moon. We can do this!
In addition to your own extremely popular blog, you also write a hilarious weekly column at CafeMom. How do you keep your life in balance and do you have any time-management tips to share with other moms?
A few months ago, I would have scoffed at this question. I was overextended, pushed to the very edge and completely miserable. I was working in social media full time, managing my own site and doing all of the things that go along with marriage and motherhood. One day, I woke up and realized I needed to cut back or I would go totally crazy. So, I did. I quit the job, cut back on some personal stuff and took time to just breathe. Every now and then I'll find myself overwhelmed again and will make an effort to evaluate what's important and what's making me happy. My family comes first, the blog comes second and any other opportunities are just gravy. But it's hard, that balance thing.
>> Keep reading for more Q&A with Jill