When I started this blog in the hopes that it would lead to professional writing assignments, I somehow didn’t realize I would need more and more time to do it all.
And yet, not only did I not have more time, I had less. The same month I launched Frugal Mama, I found out we were expecting the fourth baby that we had been hoping for. We would also move two more times, buy our first house, and both Enrico and I would try our hand at starting our own businesses.
Even before I decided to drop the business side of blogging, I realized that to live a life worth writing about, I would need help with the blog. I thought of several women who I had felt in tune with: fellow bloggers, frequent commenters, champions of movements I loved, and working mothers who loved to save money. When they agreed to write for Frugal Mama, I wasn’t sure whether I was happier about having the help or about being part of a new family of kindred spirits.
My editor at Family Times in Syracuse, Reid Sullivan, once called me a community-builder. I liked how she gave a professional-sounding name to all the little volunteering and gathering of people that I had been doing since my first child was born. Even though I was often motivated by the need to save money, being part of groups with a common interest is one of the things that consistently feeds my sense of well-being.
The idea that networks have real value beyond just good feelings is embodied in the concept of social capital, and I know that to be true from my experience with co-operative preschools, writing circles, blogger networks, and neighborhood associations. Rather than each individual struggling to stay on top, people become stronger when they help each other.
I love that Frugal Mama is more and more of a community, and I think it has something to do with trust. I trusted you with my weaknesses, my foibles, my failures, and it seems you are trusting me more. That trust is precious to me, and I have loved hearing from each one of you, in the comments, by email, via social media. I want to respond to everyone — and learning to balance my “connecting” time is another example of the challenges that I will continue to face.
Even though I am giving up the grind of making money online, I am not giving up Frugal Mama. I will still be writing here sometimes, as well working as on essays for other publications. And about once a week, you will be hearing from the new members of the Frugal Mama family. Let me assure you that these women are warm, non-judgmental people who are passionate about simple living, saving money, free play, smart spending, and slowing down.
Let me personally introduce each of them to you:
Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz)
|Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her award-winning blog, Slow Family Online. She writes for the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog and is the Social Media Director for the Children & Nature Network, an international movement to connect all children and their families and communities to nature. A longtime Girl Scout leader, Suz enjoys gardening, hiking, soap crafting and food canning. She lives with her husband and daughter in Mill Valley, California.|
|Jennifer Roberts earned a degree in architecture and worked in the field for several years before abandoning her career, income, and conventional wisdom to become a stay-at-home mom. When she isn’t busy creating “the good life” for her family, she shares her creativity, passion for good affordable design, and love of quality products through her blog, Jen Spends. Her mission is to help others relax and realize that they can do more than they thought possible with the resources they have. She lives with her English immigrant husband, their fun, precocious son, and assorted pets in central New York.|
|Samantha Sand lives in Delaware with her two kids, two cats, two fish tanks, and one husband. The pair write about technology and making digital life easier on their blog, Digital Zen. Sam believes that without continuous effort and intention, slowing down to enjoy family life would not be possible. She is committed to the challenge, as long as she can keep her iMac.|
Rayna St. Pierre
|Rayna St. Pierre is a wife, mother, writer, and veteran Spanish teacher (ten years in New York’s public high schools). A Korean adoptee and adoptive parent, she is a vocal advocate for international adoption.|
|Sara Tetreault writes about living the good life on less with thoughtful spending, smart use of resources, and efficient use of time. By cooking at home, growing vegetables, sewing, and home swapping, she hopes to inspire you with her frugal, fancy, and fun ways. Sara keeps a home, one husband, two children, and three backyard chickens. She loves gingham fabric, which is the name of her blog, Go Gingham Stylishly Frugal Living. You can follow her on Twitter, became a Fan on Facebook, or see her pins on Pinterest.|
Don’t they all sound like people you’d want to gab with over a double-cappuccino?
Since Frugal Mama is becoming a team blog, I thought it was important to share more about these writers and their perspectives, instead of tossing tips at you from outer space. So I’ve asked each woman to include something about her unique journey in simple living and saving money.
Finally, I cannot thank you enough for your outpouring of support for my decision to step back and slow down. This weekend I began winding down to more unplugged time with my family, with my thoughts, with my household responsibilities, with friends.
I felt incredibly grateful for you and even more sure of my decision,