In a very candid, e-mail interview, Amy Clark, mother, blogger, and founder of MomAdvice, opens up about her goal to empower women, her Martha Stewart tendencies, and her famous Friday Foot Soaks. Her passion comes from the uncertainty of life and finances. But one thing is certain, she’s got a great head on her shoulders and she’s encouraging moms from all over the world to live functionally and frugally at the same time.
Amy is quite the Alpha Mom, and I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have……
1. How is your blog and your site different?
Well, in the beginning they
were actually very different. I had started out just wanting my blog to be a
place where I could share about my everyday life. The idea was to take the
pressure off of myself and this nagging need that I needed to be Martha Stewart.
It was also to take away any false illusions that I actually know what I am
doing as a parent or that I do everything the way I should. I had a blast with
it, but found myself creatively drained and also felt like I needed to censor
myself in order to not hurt people’s feelings in my life. The idea was to be my
authentic self and instead it came out as a washed up version of my crazy
I decided to turn the blog around and make it more
synonymous with my purpose with our website. I wanted to share more information
and tips on how you to run a household, how to save a buck and share great
parenting ideas. Our blog includes product reviews, book reviews, and we feature
work-at-home moms who are trying to do what they can to work and stay home with
their children. The blog was a great way to incorporate other elements into our
site and also remain true to the principles of what we were trying to offer.
2. You started MomAdvice to give information to moms that you were
looking for on-line and could not find but what made you decide to start a blog?
I have the tendency to be a bit…um, long winded. I have a hard time
writing short pieces so it is a creative challenge for me to try and keep my
blog posts short. I pride myself on providing in-depth information, but moms
have a limited time to surf the net so they want the information to be quick and
to the point. I still pride myself on writing well-researched posts, but they
are shorter and easier for moms to read.
3. You blog like a pro how long
have you been blogging and do have others that blog with you?
for the compliment! I have been blogging for about two years, but really came
into my blogging space in May of 2006. That is when I finally got into my
writing groove and carved a niche for myself. My blogging became more regular
because my topics came more easily to me.
I am the only one who blogs
for our site right now, but I do appreciate reading other people’s blogs who
have a team of opinions to draw from. It certainly makes it more interesting
than one person’s input. I just haven’t felt comfortable offering up any
creative control at this point.
4. How much time do you spend writing
posts, doing research and reading comments per day?
I spend way too much
time on this. I love comments and blogging appeals to my need to be the center
of the universe. You can picture me at my computer going, “They like me. They
really like me!”
I couldn’t say exactly how much time I spend on this
because my blogging and my everyday life are so entwined now. When I go to a
store and figure out how to save money on something, I make a mental note of how
I can blog about it. If I am doing something around the house and figure out a
way to be more efficient doing it, I make another note to blog about it.
Overall, I spend approximately twenty hours on the blog and website each
week. This makes my hourly wage about two cents an hour…but it is SO worth
5. What other blogs do you read (work & pleasure)?
a lot of blogs so it makes it hard to choose just a few. I love Frugal Upstate
(to remind me to be smart with my money), Lifehacker (so I feel smart about
everything else), Like Merchant Ships (to remind me to be creative with my
money), Home Ec 101 (to help my inner-Martha), & The Space Between My Peers
(to help me try and appear slightly fashionable). I love reading blogs though
and look forward to reading my feeds every day.
6. Where does your
inspiration come from?
Definitely my children! They inspire me daily to
push myself just a little bit further than I think I can go. I want to stay home
with them and it is really important to me. If I am not successful at what I do,
then I risk having to enroll them in daycare. I love being home with my kids and
that provides all the creative fuel I could ever need!
7. How do you stay
I think we all have drive in different ways and to different
degrees. A lot of my drive comes from the uncertainty of life and finances. My
husband was unemployed for almost a year and I had to return to work to support
the family for the first year of my son’s life. I wanted to be home so badly
with him and I made a vow to myself that I would do whatever it would take to
make that work. It took a long time for me to figure out how to make that
happen, but now that I have it…well, I am just driven to keep it that
8. Other than give great advice, what would you like to accomplish
with your blog?
I want to empower women. That is really my main goal and
objective. This weekend I went to a wonderful ladies luncheon that was an
honorary tribute to women and I was sitting among a lot of working women. The
speakers all talked about how women don’t have equal opportunities, how they
don’t make as much as men, how we have to make the bacon and fry it in the
pan…and it went on and on. They said that they wanted to empower women to feel
like they are equals to men and how we deserve to do everything men are doing. I
am all for that! I think it is great that women want that and I want that for
them. My gripe is that empowerment comes from different places for different
people. I feel empowered being the CEO of my household. I manage the money, I do
the shopping, and I juggle the schedules, I am still a strong woman and I still
give my husband a run for his money. He certainly is not making me stay home and
I don’t feel like my womanly rights are taken away. I guess what I want women to
know is that you are still powerful and just as essential in a household if you
stay home, then as if you work.
9. What is the most important thing that
you want readers to take away after reading your posts?
I just want to
inspire people creatively to make good financial choices. I have lived hand to
mouth, I have lived like a queen when things were good, and now we live very
modestly. I want people to know that I have that knowledge to draw from and that
I have seen both sides of the coin.
10. When you take a break what is
your favorite indulgence? (m&m’s, hot bath, good book, sitcoms etc)
I have an official Foot Soak Friday that I encourage all women to rise
up and take advantage of this opportunity each Friday. I have a foot soaker and
I do the whole nine yards while I have a great glass of wine. It is my little
treat to myself and one that I look forward to every Friday. I get a little
perturbed when anything interferes with this, as this is my major treat to
myself. I also love Milk Chugs (my treat at the grocery store), board games,
Soduko, & Grey’s Anatomy.
It is my way
to release my inner rock star. Yes, she is not as cool as Joan Jett, but it
feels good to get such awesome emails from people telling me that something I
said or did had a positive effect on their life.
12. What is the worst
part of running a site and a blog?
I get a lot of emails if I am not on top
of things. People wait all week for certain features on our site and if they
aren’t up in time, I am getting panicked emails from people. I run a website and
blog so I can work for myself, but I am really working for everyone else out
there. It can be a little agitating, but also serves as a reminder to me to not
start things I can’t finish.