Hi guys! OK, I have been working on this survey for what seems like AGES and I keep making changes — I’m ready to release the Kraken! We haven’t taken an official survey of readers since we started CorporetteMoms almost three years ago. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the survey so we can assess how we’re doing on current content, what to include in future content, and more. To sweeten the pot a bit, if you take the survey you can be entered to win a $200 gift card to Amazon because, HEY, what can’t you get at Amazon? The gift card sweepstakes will be open for one week; unfortunately it’s only open to U.S. residents age 18 or older. (4/13/17 UPDATE: THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. You can still take the survey here if you want!)
A Week in the Life of a Real Working Mom
Something I noticed while going through the 2014 survey was that a lot of people wanted a “day in the life” of regular working moms, so I’m going to be sending a form around to a few of my working mom friends. (I’ve expanded it to a “week in the life” since so often, for me at least, a day in the life looks like “dropped kids off at 8. picked kids up at 5. worked nonstop between.”) so I thought we’d expand to a full week. If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise) for a “week in the life” feature, please fill out this form here!
A big question for your discussion in the comments, though: the morning editorial schedule for posts.
I’ve been contemplating changes to the format of this site, at least in our morning open thread posts — the current structure, as it is, feels a bit constrained to me and too heavy on maternity clothes (which everyone has been saying), and I’d love your feedback on what else you’d like to see — and what you’d like to keep). (Pictured.) These are the current rough themes we try to follow:
- Maternity Monday: Featuring one piece of wear-it-to work maternitywear. The problem I’m finding is that there really is a limited collection of truly great, recommendable workwear for pregnant ladies. I’d almost rather do an ebook or free download or something to help pregnant moms.
- Nursing/Feeding Tuesday: Originally this was going to be a nursing-friendly top for the postpartum mom. We quickly added a pumping-friendly top category to alternate with the nursing tops, and then we also added a general feeding category to include baby spoons, pouches, etc. But as I’ve noted in the past, I think you can pump in almost anything except for sheath dresses, and these days it seems like there is more and more overlap between nursing clothes and maternity clothes. As for feeding, for my family we have a few “hits” that work for us (the Zoli, the Take n Toss, etc), and writing about something new all the time (just because it’s new) seems unhelpful. We’ve recently expanded this to include random categories like “Things You Can Buy While Shopping For Your Kids Tuesday.”
- Washable Wednesday: This one was a hit right away and I’m not seriously thinking of changing this one — like you guys, I definitely prefer to wear clothes that are easy to care for.
- Everyone Thursday: The original idea here was that everyone could wear it, whether you were pregnant, nursing, or beyond. We feature a lot of blazers and necklaces, but is sometimes a shoe or bag. This just seems like a weird category to me.
- Finally Friday: This one tends to be a shoe or bag, but sometimes is a weekend rec, sometimes not.
So those are the current categories. What else would you like to see to head off the morning post open threads? More shoes or bags? More budget items? Maybe “Casual Office” Friday? More kid gear? Organizing tools for your home and office? To be honest (based on my own post-kid wardrobe), I try to keep everything here on the frugal side, but we could include splurgey choices or have an explicit day for bargains.
A few notes, if you’re curious:
- The original idea for CorporetteMoms was to have a heavy content component of multiple moms blogging about their work/life balance. I immediately got overwhelmed with the idea of the work we’d have to do as editors — harassing people to turn in posts so we could have a consistent editorial schedule, editing their posts, doing SEO research, doing all the social media promotion and graphics, and more — so for the moment that’s on the back burner.
- GOD, YES, I KNOW WE NEED A NEW LOGO. The holdup is that we also need a new logo at Corporette as well as a redesign and I’ve been going back and forth with various designers for two years now.
Love this post and appreciate the invitation for feedback! As for content, I like the idea of weekly stuff, but I’m not interested in maternity, nursing, or even baby feeding stuff (God, how quickly that stuff went by!). I’d like to see more things geared towards, I don’t know, lifestyle management – organization with kids, that sort of thing. I’ve suggested before some sort of “anti-kid-clutter” geared day would be nice. On a similar note, I like Washable Wednesday, and would like more focus on things that are budget and lifestyle friendly.
I agree with this. I have no problem with the baby stuff, but I feel like everything defaults to the ages of Kat’s kids. I have tweens (and a younger child), and I’d love to see more content directed to older kids and the balancing of extracurriculars, attitudes, etc.
Just a survey tech note – the childcare question says check all that apply, but only allows one check :)
Kat G says
SHOOT. Well: an imperfect solution but hopefully it won’t be too annoying: I couldn’t change the Q to allow more than one answer (once I realize the survey I’m very limited in changes I can make) so I copied the question into two parts — first Q now is about primary childcare; second Q is about secondary childcare and allows multiple answers.
You did a great job of having “NA I’m still pregnant” for most questions but there were still some that didn’t apply. I left those blank and the survey didn’t seem to mind – but if you’re wondering, that’s probably what those blanks are.
Right. There’s also NA, I can’t seem to get pregnant.
I still can’t really correctly answer the question because there’s no “other.” My childcare arrangement is daycare for my youngest, but my older two are with my husband during non-school working hours. But he’s not a stay at home parent–he works part time. Something like a flexible schedule or part time option would have helped me answer part 2 more accurately.
I’d really like to see more posts on items for kids (other than feeding items). I’d much rather see recommendations for these items than clothes or accessories for me. These days I’m more focused on my kids, and if I need a work clothes rec, I’ll pop over to the main s*te.
I’d love more posts on:
1) Children’s toys, broken down by ages
2) Clothes for babies and older children. I feel like I spend way too much time looking for the best clothing for my girls. Would love recs broken down into categories like pajamas, leggings, outerwear, etc.
3) Bedding–would love to get more places to buy good quality sleep sacks
Forgot to mention shoes! There are so many cute kids’ brands that I’ve never heard of. Just discovered Livie and Luca, for example. The options on Zappos are overwhelming and I waste so much time looking at different brands’ websites.
I like the idea of including baby clothes – I think it addition to categories, it would be great to include how things fit. I know a lot of commenters will say things like “oh, this works for my tall skinny kid” or “my short chunkmonster can only wear X brand.”
dc anon says
Ooh yes, gift guides by age would be helpful, particularly if available online, with fast shipping.
Also, a list of brands that offer gender neutral clothing, or at least girls’ clothing without cupcakes/mermaids sweetness.
dc anon says
Ooh yes, gift guides by age would be helpful, particularly if available online, with fast shipping. Book list.
Also, a list of brands that offer gender neutral clothing, or at least girls’ clothing without cupcakes/mermaids sweetness.
+1 to the book list, organized by topic!
+1 to adding kid clothing. I like shopping for kid clothing (and spend more on them than myself) so I would love to have a monthly discussion on different brands so we can hear real life reviews. I’m in a Tea/Peek rut that I would love to get out of, but I recently tried Boden/Hanna and found them to be too wide for my son. I wish I would have asked before purchasing. But would love to find other quality brands for my tall, skinny guys.
Don’t care about the logo – I actually think it’s fine.
Thursdays – can we do one item of kids clothes? Like rainsuits/onesies etc. Lots of talk in the comments about Princess Awesome/svanha/hanna anderson but we never see suggestions for kids clothes. I eat a lot of time trying to find great clothes for my kids or gifts. No suggestions for a pithy name for the day though.
When I click ‘next’ on the survey, it reloads the same page but with my answers deleted.
I’m not interested in the maternity, nursing, or baby feeding stuff NOW, but there was a time when I really needed the information, and this s*te was helpful. I also bought more (sometimes using the affiliate links) at that time because I needed it, whereas now my budget it too tight (ah, daycare) to buy much for myself. So I hesitate to suggest removing it.
I’d love to see some things on education and other parenting issues that might be of particular interest to this subset of moms. That’s one of the things that really draws me to this s!te – that most of us are more highly educated and career-driven than average. As someone who didn’t really grow up in that sort of household (first to go to college and professional school), I’m still trying to understand how that translates to how I want to raise my kids.
Yeah, I feel like there are a bunch of resources out there for babies/little kids for any number of feeding, sleeping, behavior issues. I’m past that stage, never to return, and while I’m happy to help along a new mom, I really appreciate hearing from moms of older kids about navigating a whole new set of equally perplexing issues. I also like the community here because it focuses on working parents, many (most?) of whom have professional careers.
I still hate the logo. I hated the logo the last time I did the survey, and I still hate it now. I can’t even explain my almost visceral reaction to the infantile crayon drawing of Moms.
Yeah, me too. It doesn’t still bother me on that visceral level but I found it so insulting when it was unveiled. The same feeling as when any adult refers to me as “mommy.”
I put in the survey comments that despite the tagline, the posts here are oriented much more to the “fashion” (or, really, acquiring stuff of all kinds) than lifestyle and especially career advice.* I would love to hear more from the perspective of a 9-5, 8-6, 7-10 working mom. Because most of us, I think, aren’t professional bloggers (Getting paid to blog is a unicorn job, Kat— one you hustled your ass off for, of course). We are working office/hospital/academic jobs. “Professions” as they used to say. Someone who is currently in the trenches with us would be a welcome addition.
Also, some of us have older kids. Some of us are older people. Being a working mom (who needs clothes!) in these contexts is different and not often addressed here. Caring for parents and kids at the same time. Tuition. Retirement. Etc.
*Yes, I understand that Kat makes bank by posting about clothing & products.
I personally do not feel like Kat’s advice reads like advice from someone who does not get what it is like to work a regular professional job; I can’t even tell if she is blogging full time.
Yeah, I think this blog has been great about assembling a bunch of women who have a career focus and kids but not so great about producing content specifically for that group. Yes, we need to wear clothes to work, but that’s not really the reason I come here.
Kid’s clothes recommendations would be great. So much of that is seasonal and I don’t think about it until I could have already been using them (water shoes, snow boots, oh no it’s hot out and all your shirts are long sleeved kinda stuff)
I stopped visiting the main site a while ago, but there used to be (maybe still are) really useful articles (some of the tales from the wallet, really detailed posts about creating your first work wardrobe) and I don’t think this site has had many of those kinds of articles. There was the registry series which was fine, but so much of that stuff is used for under a year.
I’d be great to get some of the topics that are discussed in the comments to have a dedicated post (maybe with guest blogger content, from someone in the trenches) I’m thinking things like extended solo parenting, or how to get you + kids out of the house in the morning, or how to get kid-friendly dinner cooked when you’re at the office until 6. Maybe these aren’t daily posts, but one a week? A round up of long-lasting high interest toys before the winter holidays.
Running Numbers says
I would love a “tales from wallet” regular feature just anonymously profiling readers and featuring their basic demographics such as where they’re at in their career, income, geographic location, monthly budget, debt level etc. I learn so much and enjoy reading how other people manage their money.
A day in the life series again from regular readers would be awesome.
Somewhere in these comments someone mentioned that most people don’t have the unicorn gig of full time blogging which is why I think guest posts from those of us in the trenches with more traditional careers would be amazing.
Yes. I’d love the tales from the wallet featuring real-life examples. Add “household help” as a profile part – because I’m curious how much people outsource and always looking for more ideas there.
Meg Murry says
I also would like more “tales from the wallet” relating directly to working parents – or even just a post here that says “today’s Tales from the Wallet on the main s*te is probably of especial interest to working moms” and a link. For instance: paying for a nanny – use a CPA, a nanny pay service, etc. Daycare FSAs – worth it or actually a pain.
I also think there are a decent number of people here who took a “jungle gym” career path rather than straight up the ladder, or stumbled onto a side path that isn’t an obvious direct shot from what they thought when they were in their 20s (people who went to law school and then became something completely different later, etc). I’d love to see more of the “How I wound up where I am now” stories – especially ones that aren’t just superwomen but also from women who compromised on their career for overall better balance.
I agree that we should have posts that are more focused on career advice and also tips for juggling work and the demands of home. I’ve suggested this before, but it would be great to have a weekly post on a super quick, delicious meal that can be made in advance or very quickly upon arriving home at the end of the day. I feel like many of Kat’s meal posts are from the perspective of someone who has time to do meal prep during the day. I do not have that luxury, and would like recipes/tips on making batch meals over the weekends.
I would also like career advice and encouragement. I’m in a demanding role right now that I’ve chosen to take on because I’m looking at the long term. But it’s a struggle with two small children. It would be great to hear from someone in the trenches, and also someone who has gone through the struggle and come out the other side. Speaking for myself, there is too little encouragement for working moms! I’d love to hear someone say, you can do this, slog through this now, and you will reap the rewards in 10 years when your kids are in school and you have an interesting career.
Love the weekly meal post idea!
Love the meal planning idea. I would love to see posts about make-ahead/freezable meals and also super easy meals.
I also think it would be so interesting to have a regular “day in the life” series. I learn so much from just reading through another mom’s schedule for the day. Little things that another mom might not ordinarily think to mention, like a particular brand of frozen waffles that’s good for toddlers in the morning, can be helpful in making the routine easier.
I wonder if there might not be a good opportunity for coordination with other bloggers on some of these things. What about a guest column written by Deb from Smitten Kitchen, with fast dinner and kids lunch suggestions? What about reaching out to people like Laura Vanderkam to do a guest post on time management, or a QandA session?
I don’t think everything has to come from Kat’s personal experience, particularly since she is no longer in an office role. I think she’d be better served by reaching out to other bloggers to contribute on some of these topics.
layered bob says
On the topic of maternity/nursing clothes, I would love to see whatever is available in the realm of *dresses* that work for nursing but AREN’T maternity clothes. But there are probably three, total, in the universe, soo…
Diane C. says
+1. I am currently nursing and I’m frustrated by the idea of maternity/nursing tops/ dresses. Pregnant body needs and nursing body needs are two different things! I want to stop wearing empire waist clothing now that I’m no longer pregnant. And when I was pregnant I didn’t need to wear stuff with boob access. I understand wanting to create clothing that can be worn for more than 9-18 months, but maybe they should create clothing that one can wear even when not nursing.
Also, why was it so hard to find maternity tops without ruching and in brights colors?
I think it would be useful to keep one day for pregnancy/maternity/nursing/feeding/infant items, because I do find those useful while pregnant and in the early parenting stages. But as far as other fashion-related items, I still follow the main site for that.
Like others have said, I’d be interested in topics more related to day care/education, work-life balance and other career issues, kid clothes/gear, and organization tips (which could range from meal-planning to schedules to bags, etc.).
I may be in the minority, but I still appreciate the occasional feeding gear post. My toddler will get to a point where he just won’t eat, and seeing a feeding gear post can help give us ideas for new things to try.
Anon in NOVA says
I have some questions about how affiliate links work.
1. if I visit the site by clicking a link from this website,but I buy something different than kat featured, does she still get compensated?
2. Is this true for larger sites as well (like if I go to amazon from here but then just order the stuff I was going to order from amazon anyway…)
3. How long is she eligible to receive compensation from a link? if i visit Boden, for example, from a link she posted a few months ago and buy a few things, is she compensated?
I’d like to keep supporting Kat, even though I don’t always buy exactly what she suggests I’ve discovered other brands from here and would like her to get credit if possible.
Don’t get rid of the maternity/nursing categories altogether! I realize this is a stage of life with a short timeframe and won’t apply to everybody, but these posts are really helpful for those of us who happen to be in that stage now. Also agree I’d be interested in seeing some kids’ clothing items occasionally.
Agreed! Maybe you could arrange the days by kid age, roughly.
Maternity/Baby Monday (could rotate through maternity, nursing, baby topics)
Toddler/Preschool Tuesday (could rotate through feeding, gift guides, organizing toys, washable workwear, etc)
Elementary Wednesday (finances, logistics, quick meals, “grown up” clothes, etc)
Tween/Teen Thursday (vacations, stuff for yourself while shopping for kids, tutoring, ???)
Everyone Friday (all the rest of the post topics like family activities, budget, shoes, bags, accessories, etc)
And I mentioned this in my survey, but I really would love a tagging system for posts and/or comments. A way to click on “0-12month sleep” and read all the posts with comments about that topic, or “hawaii vacation” or “quick weekday meals” or whatever. Even if you just have to tag the whole post with the 5-6 topics discussed in the post and comments, then people could search through to find the relevant thread, I think that would make finding common discussions SO MUCH easier.
I think this may have been done already, but I’m always looking for ideas for kids lunches / meals at daycare. I spend a lot of time buying this little person’s food and cutting it up and I feel like she is eating the same thing everyday. Maybe by age group – young toddler, older toddler/preschool, grade school
I wish the search feature was better – sometimes I read something (usually a product recommendation in the comments) but then can’t find it again when I need it months later.
Agree with the comments asking for posts on kids clothes and gift guides.
Survery, Primary child care – more than one catagory can exist for this:
For me- private dayhome and school K-12
I find myself with the end of my pregnancy/nursing/pumping days in sight and looking forward to updating my wardrobe, since I only bought it in the last four years if accommodated a belly and/or nursing. The main site’s recommendations are great but what about a “mom splurge” category? Something beautiful (earrings, a statement necklace, a wrap, a bag, a dress, a jacket), not cheap but within a reasonable range for someone paying two mortgages worth of daycare, not a basic but not frivolous, something the purchase of which would make me feel like I’m engaging in a little retail self-care without being irresponsible?
I too would love more work-life commentary from exactly the types of people in this community. Doesn’t have to be a constant feature – even occasional posts would be great.
I took the survey but couldn’t figure out a way to express this thought, so here goes again. I enjoy seeing the professional clothes on the other site. I could use some help with non-work dressing (or dressing for a more business casual type environment, like academia) for a busy active mom. What is in fashion? Did the trendy jean silhouette change again? Should I be shopping at Athleta? (love the fair trade emphasis I saw in the catalog) What will make me look frumpy?
I mean, so that I can avoid looking frumpy.