It's always great to be nominated. But now I can say it's phenomenal when you win. And GOLD to boot!
This year, YMC was nominated for a COPA Award (Canadian Online Publishers Awards) in the Best Blog or Column category. As described by COPA, this award is "awarded to the blog or column deemed to best serve its intended audience through commentary, opinion, reportage, photography, illustration, video and interactive features." This year it was YMC!
In our submisssion we featured a few fantastic, very different posts. The Journey of Motherhood in GIF form, by our amazing Dr. Kim Foster, is one we can all relate to in some way. Christella Morris wrote the The Gift of Not Giving a Thing, which broke the internet last Christmas. And then there was this powerful post written by our parenting expert Andrea Nair about Lisa Gibson, the Winnipeg woman who tragically took her own life after drowning her children. Andrea's post was heart-wrenching and provocative, delving into the realities of post-partum psychosis. We chose to submit these posts to the COPA Awards not just because they resonated with so many who read them, but because they exemplify the important and difficult topics relating to motherhood which we continue to write about at YMC.
When we heard our name announced as the Gold winner of Best Blog or Column, it was symbolic that a whole group of YMC'ers joined me to rush to the stage whooping loudly to accept the award together. Clearly, moms don't get out enough. There would have been more of our staff and writers up there accepting the win, but weeknight babysitters aren't always easy to come by - not to mention that YMC has writers and staff in every far reach of Canada – but they were all in Toronto in spirit for the win.
It's a moment that will be forever be ingrained in my mind's eye, standing at the podium proudly surrounded by Managing Director Jen Charron, and writers Andrea Nair, Annabel Fitzsimmons, Jen Warman, Hailey Eisen, and my mom Evelyn Hannon. Clutching our award, I thanked everyone who makes YMC come to life everyday from their home offices and kitchens across the country. It's amazing what a group of self-motivated moms and dads can accomplish together.
Thank you to everyone at the COPA Awards and Masthead who had a hand in making this a reality for us. It is a huge honour to be recognized for excellence by your peers, especially for an award as prestigious the COPA's. Here's a full list of the 2014 COPA Award winners.
I also want to thank those of you who choose to click on YMC stories day in and out. If you weren't reading our stories, there would be no reason to write. So honoured. So proud. So thankful. Woot!!
Arianna Huffington is the keynote speaker at the Art of Leadership Conference in Toronto on November 18th and I will be there listening intently.
Why do I need to be at this conference? Because I'm exhausted almost all the time.
If you were single-handedly pulling a bus up a hill with 60 people in it, you'd be exhausted too. Of course, I'm not literally pulling a vehicle up a steep incline—but metaphorically it feels like I'm doing exactly that every day as Publisher of YummyMummyClub.ca. Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Combine that with my double-duty as a hands-on mom, I'm not sure how long I can sustain the hard work marathon until I hit burn out.
Okay, so I'm a tired working mom. What does that have to do with Arianna Huffington? While Arianna doesn't actually know me (although we were introduced once), she clearly understands the drive and determination required to lead a huge team. Hello, Huffington Post? She is quite outspoken and passionate about how we lead directly affects the culture of a company, which in turn affects its productivity. How do I know this? I just watched Arianna's two minute video "Good Leaders Need to Take Care of Themselves" and realized I need to make some changes in the way I lead.
You can watch it here:
In the video she suggests that "leadership needs to be sustainable." This hit home for me. If I'm not taking care of myself, I won't have the staying power to go the distance. Not only is this true for entrepreneurs, it also resonates as a mom who takes care of everyone else's needs before my own. If I get sick, who will take care of my family...or my business?
Arianna's keynote is titled Redefining Success: The Third Metric That Can Benefit Your Bottom Line. She'll be talking about the importance of unplugging, recharging and rediscovering joy in our lives. Reducing stress is a top priority and she claims that leaders today need to "lean back" and change the current male-dominated model of success that isn't working. I couldn't agree more. I'm hoping she will provide us with concrete, practical examples I can start implementing quickly.
The Art of Leadership is one of Canada's top leadership conferences with over 2,000 senior professionals attending. Along with Arianna, four other speakers will take the stage for a full day of cutting edge thinking.
This is a must-not-miss day for my entrepreneurial friends.
Interested in going? I've scored a discount on tickets just for YMC members. See below for all of the details.
Hope to see you there!
When I started YMC almost a decade ago, it was just me-an overwhelmed new mom on a mission to connect with other like-minded mothers to celebrate and commiserate the rollercoaster ride of motherhood. I needed to know I wasn't alone. The message resonated. Readership grew, business grew and the team grew. Then we announced our partnership with Corus! Today over 60 people help make make YMC come to life on a daily basis, and with that comes a healthy cycle of change.
As the years passed and my comfort level managing a company increased, I noticed a few patterns. The big one is that most of us can sustain intense hard work for only so long before we need a change. This week, two YMC'ers left the team after four years of hard work. Eileen Fisher started as my assistant, eventually taking over the YMC Social Media title. We both learned a lot over the years and I know she will rock her new job. Ali Martell headed the YMC Editorial team, which is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. You never know what's coming your way everyday, but you do know that new, relevant and entertaining stories need to be published. Ali got those stories up for us and now she is taking a well-earned break to focus on her photography and writing.
But along with change comes new exciting growth, which is especially true at YMC these days.
First of all, I am so thrilled to announce that Jeni Marinucci will be taking over as Senior Web Editor of YMC. Jeni is an extraordinary writer and storyteller. For the last year she's been part of our blogging team and now Jeni's powerful voice will lead that team. Jeni and I already have some very exciting plans up our sleeve which we'll be rolling out slowly over the coming months.
I'm also very excited to have Candace Derickx take on the role of Social Media Manager. I met Candace six (!) years ago when she randomly showed up at a Tweet Up in Ottawa and soon after joined the blogging team at YMC. I've watched Candace navigate the social space with grace and enthusiasm as manager of our awesome #YMCCommunity of Influencers. Twitter parties, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Facebook - Candace does it all.
Speaking of Pinterest, I'm very excited to announce Paula Coop Mccrory will be overseeing YMC's Pinterest and Instagram pages. Paula gave a kick-ass presentation about Pinterest during this year's Blissdom which showed me she's got what it takes to make the YMC Pinterest page even better than it already is. It's really important to me that YMC connects with moms on all the different social platforms, not just on our site. Expect a lot more buzz on both Pinterest and Instagram in the coming weeks from us (meaning Paula). Make sure you're following us there!
The heart of YMC is the team of talented bloggers, experts and foodies who pour their hearts into their well-crafted stories for you to enjoy. I am honoured, grateful and proud of the strong team of writers who make up the YMC editorial team. We are always looking for new voices to contribute to the site. If you're interested in blogging for YMC on a regular basis, you can find more information here. There are also writing opportunities for those of you who are looking for a chance to post occasionally.
YMC is my little (happy) company run by moms for moms. We're growing and changing, but at the heart of it, we're about connecting with other women (and guys) with kids to help us get through the challenges of modern parenthood. Change is good, right?
Do you have ideas on how YMC needs to change? I'd love to hear them. Feel free to leave them in the comments below, or if you'd like you can send them privately here.
So many interesting bloggers have come and gone from our Team. Have a look at where they are all now!