4 tips for surviving summer vacation from mom blogger Robin O’Bryant
Robin O’Bryant didn’t set out to be a famous author. She just wanted to email a few funny stories about her kids to her family.
But they forwarded the stories to their friends, who forwarded and forwarded, and, in response to the surprising demand, the southern mother of three started a little blog.
Today, Robins Chicks is one of the most widely read mom-blogs, and is published weekly in 10 newspapers in the Southeast and on the Huffington Post. She also compiled her award-winning columns into a best-selling indie book, Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves (available on Amazon.com for $12.49).
Her second book, A Second Helping, is a short collection of essays for sale on Amazon as an e-book for only $1.99.
In between working on her second full-length manuscript, O’Bryant has been busy traveling, speaking and teaching at blogging and publishing workshops. Part of her fame: putting together such a popular book — that is self-published.
We wanted to know a little more about this interesting mommy blogger — and also glean some advice from her about how to survive summer vacation.
ShopAtHome.com: What do you think readers like about your writing?
Robin O’Bryant: It’s relatable. The feedback I get is that it’s genuine. They feel like they understand my level of exhaustion.
SAH: What do you want other moms to know?
RO: That they get they’re not in this alone. Being a stay-at-home mother is so isolating and you feel like you’re on your own. I hope my women readers feel connected to other moms. And even with the bad stuff — the really bad days where you’re pulling out hair and you just want to scream — I find the humor in it, because it’s just a season.
What comes through in my writing is every day is a gift. Every day. I do not take life for granted. And sometimes you just have to laugh.
SAH: What are your four favorite ways to help parents survive summer vacation?
RO: First, have a plan. If you’re kind of like, “We’ll just wing it,” that’s fun for the first three days. I think day camp or some kind of classes are amazing. It’s long enough for the kids to be out of the house, and you can go to the grocery store and not be pressured to buy every item with corn syrup.
Second, I’m a big fan of sprinklers, Slip ‘N Slides and baby pools. I have a funny picture of my kids taking a bath in a pool while I sat outside drinking a glass of wine. I kept thinking, “Soon, I’m going to have to bring them inside and give them a bath.” Instead, I got the shampoo and soap and let them go at it in the pool. I like multitasking.
Third, be a tourist in your own town. Make a list: If you had someone coming from out of town, where would you take them? A lot of times those same things are things you might otherwise not do yourself. Even if you think there’s nothing to do in your town, there’s probably a lot more there than you would first consider.
Fourth, have a friend over. Switch playdates with another mom; you bring yours over today and I’ll keep yours tomorrow is like having a babysitter. All the toys that were so boring yesterday are so interesting with someone else playing with them. The kids have fun and you get to breathe.
Looking for more ways to show your Robin’s Chicks love? Pick up her logo trucker hats and coffee mugs on Zazzle.
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