Now, I know some of you, my followers, are scratching your head saying, “Uh, who?” since you are all not from Justmommies. Patty is one of the founders of the parenting site Justmommies. JM has literally everything. It has articles on everything mommy/pregnancy/kids and such. It has tons of helpful tools, and not just the things you expect to see on a parenting site, such as a way to find out your due date, but also things to help you with your housework. There are special mommy related games and a video section. Those might be some of the things that bring people to JM, but the things that keep them coming back are the sites awesome forum, blogs, and groups. And for the most part we have Patty and her sister to thank for all that. Though the site was bought by a larger company, Patty still is active in the site as an administrator, a blog contributor and editor, and co-host/host of three boards on the forum, and leader of four of the groups. Can you just say WOW. I’ve like been in awe of all this woman does for a while.
So, now on to the fun part, the interview. Bare with me, this is my first.
Trish: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Patty?
Patty: My life is not really that exciting. I normally get up when I wake up, normally by 8:30 at the latest, and start my day. I take care of JustMommies emails, update the blog, post on my boards, etc.
T: You're a busy homeschooling mom, how do you find time to do the JM stuff, blog, homeschool, and do all the other things you have to do during the day?
P: My husband actually is in charge of the homeschooling. We use an online curriculum, Time4Learning.com, for a good bit of the kids’ school. It helps a lot because he just has to get them on the computer and watch over them. Then we supplement with other curriculum because they don’t get any written work with Time4Learning.
As for how I find time to do everything, I don’t. I usually juggle. I try to make the most efficient use of my time but I have my good days and my bad days. My husband helps a whole lot, not with JM but with making the rest of my life manageable.
T: What made you decide to do unschooling with your children? How is it different than just regular homeschooling?
P: I think I may have miscommunicated in my post about supporting radical unschooling. This is something I support but we are not unschoolers. I have a few friends that unschool though. The difference between unschooling and homeschooling is that unschoolers do not use a curriculum and teach their children through life experiences rather than book work. I share similar views as unschoolers though. I don’t test my kids, we don’t do school every day, and I don’t keep records. We do school year round so we just take time off whenever we want. I want my kids to enjoy their childhood and I don’t think they should be burdened with hours of unnecessary homework.
I have a very open mind when it comes to education. I support parents’ rights to do what they feel is best for their family whether that be public school, private school or homeschool.
I have wanted to homeschool since long before I ever had children. I have been around homeschoolers my whole life. I want my children to enjoy their childhood. I want to be in control of what they are learning and I want my kids to be able to have an education that is tailored to their needs.
T: How did JM come about?
P: Before JustMommies started, my sister and I were part of a few different message board sites for moms. I didn’t want to do this by myself so I drug my sister along for the ride. I bought the domain name in 2003. It was first hosted on a free site and it went nowhere. I did nothing with it for about a year. Then, I bugged my sister. I wanted to get serious with it so we both set to work on it. We launched the site, this time doing a much better job with it and worked very hard getting it off the ground. I remember getting excited every time a new member joined. There was a lot of work, mistakes, data base crashes, new servers, and learning along the way.
T: How do you go about deciding which blogs you include on the JM blog? Which posts?
P: Some of the things we look for in selecting a new blogger are how active they are, how well they write, and the types of post they write. We try to keep the blog diverse. When scheduling posts we try to mix it up so that we have a little of everything. It’s still a work in progress.
You create multiple blog posts at once, how do you decide when each should be published?
Again, I try to mix things up. Sometimes I will get on a roll and type up several posts at once and sometimes I will go days without a new post. I am trying to blog more regularly. I think practice makes perfect.
T: What do you think the main topics are that you blog about? Why do you think you blog about those so much?
P: I find myself blogging about goal setting and motivation a lot. I am a bit of a perfectionist (not with everything though) and find myself getting stuck on this topic. I get frustrated when I don’t accomplish my goals and I think blogging about this keeps me focused. I would like to blog more about my personal life, like things my kids are doing and that sort of thing, but I am somewhat of a private person. I am sure that sounds ironic since I have no problems talking about PMS but that’s different.
T: Are there any topics you'd like to blog about, but for one reason or another you never do? Is it just that you never have the time or inspiration, or is it that you feel the topic to controversial?
P: Oh yeah. I have quite a few posts that I have typed up and never published. I tend to steer clear of controversial topics because I hate debating. I also have written a few very personal posts about my childhood which I have never posted. My childhood experiences have influenced how I raise my own children but at the same time my personal life is personal and not something I feel comfortable sharing with the whole world.
T: What are a few of your favorite blog posts you have done?
P: “There’s Life and Then There’s JustMommies”
This is just about how the real world is compared to JustMommies friendly and supportive environment.
"Childbirth – It should be a magical moment every time”
This one is about getting over having that idealistic birth experience and having a magical birth experience however it happens.
"One of these kids is not like the others”
This is just funny. A woman asked me if some of my kids were adopted because they don’t look like us.
"Stay at home mom lala land”
This was one of my first blog posts. It is about how you think being a stay at home mom is going to make life easier.
T: What blogs do you read? What are a few of your favorite blog posts by other bloggers?
P: The only mom blogs I follow are JM blogs. I would feel guilty if I ventured outside of JM. I do read informational blogs on web design stuff and politics. I am very interested in politics actually but I keep a low profile on that.
I had to track this post down by meanboys. I love all of her posts. She writes well and always cracks me up. But, this post has stayed in my memory for a while. I just thought it was hilarious and she did a good job describing everything in a humorous way.
"How Do I Hate Thee? Oh Let Me Count The Ways…”
ere is one from Babies Peeping Out that I like. I really love her recipe posts. She always has something interesting and the pictures make me hungry but this post was just funny.
I decided to wrap up the interview on a silly note, since I am the kind. lol
T: If you were a superhero what would your name and powers be?
P: I would love to be able to freeze time. My kids can drive me crazy sometimes and it would be so lovely if I could zap time for a while and add a few uninterrupted hours to my day.
T: Thongs - butt-floss or undergarment must-have?
P: I LOVE thongs. Before I started wearing them it was commando. Thank you for encouraging me to post this little bit of TMI. Oh well.
If you’d like to read more from Patty’s blog her blog is pattyandthemoos on the JustMommies Mommy Blogs.