When I announced to friends, family, and colleagues in a baby announcement email about how Jordan was born with one hand, I had a couple of people react by saying they expect I’ll write a book someday. And they’re right. I am working on it. First, Jordan and I have a book about her life experiences for middle schoolers to enjoy. It comes out next year. But later, I hope to create a parenting memoir.
That’s not to say I have the answers to all parenting skills. I’m learning as I go! As the moms sing in Dear Evan Hansen:
Does anybody have a map?
Anybody maybe happen to know how the hell to do this?
I don’t know if you can tell
But this is me just pretending to know
Until that book is complete, I’m so lucky to have events to share some of the insight I’ve gained through the years raising Cam and Jordan. During the Mom 2.0 Summit, I’m sharing “How to Raise a Rock Star Kid” with Anitra Durand Allen and Tamara Zantell.
Each mom shared their own insights on how they support their rockstar kids. Luckily, you can check those out. Anita shared insight on how to learn how to follow your kids’ dreams, not yours and Tamara shared insight on how to launch a business while building your community.
I focused on how to manage communications with a kid who has newsworthy experiences or content. I come from a fascinating professional background that has helped me a lot as Jordan has found her voice as a member of the disability community. I hope everyone can come away with at least three major points from our conversations today.
Every relationship you have matters
Each and every person you’ve met in your life can impact your story. The connections I’ve made as a child, in college, and in every step of my career has impacted the work Jordan and I do in a really positive way. Each person we know is connected to someone who can support our work, connect us to a new relationship, or even a funding opportunity that helps our organization grow.
My connection to the journalism industry has also made a difference for us. Personal links to newsrooms across the country gave us the chance to work in newsrooms beyond our home base in middle America.
Tell your story – with or without sponsors
The blog world is different from when I got started 15 years ago. I got into this world to tell stories, connect with moms, and just have somewhere to document my silly kid stories. When Jordan was born, I needed to find a community that didn’t exist yet. I was motivated by reaching out and finding others who understood the world of parenting a child with a physical disability. Somewhere along the way, there were opportunities to work with brands, travel, and merge our story with other partners.
But in the end, the partnerships aren’t the only reason to do this work. Jordan and I share our work and our stories to help raise awareness, meet more families, kids, and adults in the disability and inclusive design worlds.
You never know who is looking. Jordan’s story grew from a simple Instagram post I shared two years ago. I documented how Project Unicorn went viral. It’s quite a journey.
Put limits on media coverage
Unless your child has a chance to be a part of a media event, when he or she catches attention, you have the control over who conducts interviews and creates content. The first time Jordan went viral was over a spring break. We had time to take on a barrage of interview requests. But even though she wasn’t in school that week, it was exhausting. When it happened again, I set a rule where she only did one interview a day. That gave her room to be a regular kid and it ended up spacing out our media coverage. Her story grew at a steady pace instead of one big blast.
I’m so excited we could share our insights with the Mom 2.0 Summit crowd… and here on Born Just Right. We are all learning as we go. I hope I can continue to share along the way – that’s why Born Just Right started in the first place!
Make sure you take the chance to learn from my Rockstar kid panelist moms! You can follow Anitra on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can keep up with Tamara’s work with Zandra Beauty through Instagram and Twitter.
Check out Anitra’s post and Tamara’s post on the topics they zeroed in on during our session.