Tonight, Kingsway Mall in Edmonton is hosting the ‘Kingsway Mall Moms’ Night Out with Erica Ehm‘. Grab your girlfriends, leave ‘mom’ at home and come out to get pampered while enjoying the words of wisdom of creator and publisher of YummyMummyClub.ca and former MuchMusic host, Erica Ehm.
Erica’s playful look at parenting encourages moms to remember that there’s more to them than diapers and dance class, there’s a vibrant, interesting and yes – yummy – mummy inside. Erica will share her perspective on the realities of being a modern parent, and trying to find the near-impossible balance of raising kids while still finding time for yourself.
This event kicks off Kingsway Mall’s Kids Play at Kingsway program, a new monthly activity program for kids up to age 6. It encourages moms to get out and have fun with their kids, and to celebrate the yummy mummy inside each of us.
I had the chance to chat with Erica on the phone and ask her a few questions.
Q: How do you find balance and schedule your time so that you are ‘there’ (physically and mentally) for family time, and your own time?
A: I don’t. Even when I’m with my family, I’m thinking about Twitter. I’m pretty obsessed with it. I find its like taking my friends along with me. We do have a policy in my home for example that there’s no social media or cell phones allowed to be on at supper time so that’s the time when my whole family sits down for about an hour and no one can be tweeting and I don’t even think about it. If my phone rings, my kids look at me and I say “Not touching it.” So that’s our time.
I would say that I’m pretty hard core. I’m kind of a workaholic but at the same time, what I did was I created in my life, a situation where I work from home. Although my kids in many ways, have a harder time because I am distracted by this thing called social media or my ongoing business, but at the same time, I work at the kitchen table so I’m always there for them and when they need me, I shut off from work and I’m with them because I’m my own boss.
It’s not something everyone can do because a lot of people have to go out to work, but at the same time, not everyone runs their own business and needs to be on call 24/7 like I am. If you are creating a community, you have to talk to your community and spend time with your community.
It’s what works for me.
Q: Yummy Mummy Club is a fantastic resource for women and bloggers and it is inspiring to watch it’s continuous growth. What advice do you have for people who want to turn their blog in to a business?
A: That’s a really great question and its something that frustrates me a lot when I see what people do and don’t do.
- Treat it like a business, always act professional. For example, saying “I’m sorry, my kids are sick today so I didn’t show up” is not a good excuse. That is not professional. You have to come up with ways of at least creating the illusion of professionalism.
- Be prepared to work like a dog.
- Be incredibly committed
- Create a unique voice or point of view
- Always present a professional face in social media
- never diss anybody ever, ever. If you don’t like something, keep your mouth closed. If you like something, say it. But if you have something really negative to say, you can say it in a professional way. If you want to work with brands, they are going to look at your twitter stream and they are going to look at your Facebook and if they see that you are a loose cannon, they’ll never work with you)
- In terms of the actual blog, post regularly and post content that people will want to read. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.
- Learn your back end realities of the internet. Things like SEO and the technology behind the industry are essential to the success of a blog. So you have to understand the rules of the industry.
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek of what we can expect at the Kingsway Mall Moms’ Night Out event tonight?
A: I’m not 100% sure what’s going to actually pour out of my mouth. I don’t like to plan everything I’m going to say. I’m probably going to go on and on about how we create opportunities for ourselves to fail as mothers because we strive for this balance and perfection that doesn’t exist. If you are always trying to be the best at something, you never will be because someone will always be better. But if you’re going to be good enough, you can always be good enough and you can be better than you were yesterday and that makes you really good. So it’s just putting life and success into a more realistic context. We need to celebrate our successes rather than dwell on our failures.
Q: The proceeds from the tickets sold for Saturday’s event go to the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation, and I know you are a supporter of a few other charities including World Vision. What draws you to support these charities?
A: My power is somewhat limited, but whatever power I have, I really do want to remind people that it is so easy to give in any way you can. I give with my time. My time is valuable and I give my time by working with World Vision I went to Malawi a few years ago and saw first hand the amazing work they are doing, its just incredible. The wells they are building and the fact that they’re sending so many children to school and how thankful these people are. I just started working with Plan Canada, the ‘Because I’m a Girl’ campaign which also really resonates with me because I am a loud and proud feminist. So when there are opportunities to help support girls in developing countries it is a great opportunity for my. I know that women are the backbone of every society and I like organizations that promote empowering women so that also draws me to that.
At the same time, I help fund raise for my daughter’s school. It’s organizations that I know make a difference.
Q: What is your yummy mummy guilty pleasure? Outside of work and family, what do you enjoy doing currently that is just for you?
A: Okay so first of all I was going to just say “My God, aside from work, what do you do and I was thinking ‘Work is my guilty pleasure’. I know its terrible but I love working and if there is anything that evokes little spasms of guilt, it would be because I love work so much. But at the same time, I reap the benefits from all of my hard work both emotionally and financially so there is a reason that I do it.
I’m also a role model for my kids I think because they see that hard work pays off and that anyone can build anything and if you treat people well, it comes back to you. I use my work as many teachable moments for my kids.
If there was something else other than work, I would have to say it is running. That is my most favorite thing. I am so unathletic, I have no body awareness and I don’t understand time and space as it applies to my body. Running is simple though, swing your arms and listen to music and go places. The other thing that is important with running is that it makes me stop working.
Q: What was your most memorable interview of all time during your time with MuchMusic?
A: My favorite day was when I had two interviews back to back with two of my favorite artists who were very influential for me in terms of songwriting. Ricki Lee Jones was on tour with Lyle Lovett so I got to interview both of them on the same day, separately and that was like bucket list number one and two for me.
I remember interviewing Ricki Lee Jones and saying “How do you find all of this inspiration?” And she said “I have no idea and I’m always afraid after I finish a song that I’ll never write another one.” I was like “What? You’re so talented.” And Lyle Lovett was so charming and humorous.
And there was a time when I interviewed Sting and he was just yummy and at the end of the interview, he said to me “You know you’re quite beautiful.” And I turned to my cameraman and I said “Did you get that?” and he said “Nah, camera’s off.” So I just tell everyone that he said that.
Kingsway Mall Moms’ Night Out Ticket Information
I was really excited about the event and bought my ticket as soon as I heard about the event. Tickets are $25 each and proceeds go to the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation to help children who will greatly benefit from full-day kindergarten classes. You can buy your ticket at http://kingswaymomsnightout.eventbrite.ca
I hope to see you there.