As we learned in our first interview with Sarah Allen, the Internet can be a great resource for connecting with your community, and is a quick and easy way to offer professional support for those in need. In Sarah’s case, she shares her child care expertise online with other mothers. For our third interview, we spoke with Paula Schuck, a London, Ontario woman with a blog dedicated to a wide range of family related topics.
How old are your children?
They are digital kids in a big way. They are 10 and 13 and savvy little Internet users. It’s interesting that their consumption informs my business. I watch how they use the Internet and social channels and I am able to better predict where my Thrifty Mom Media consulting clients need to concentrate time and assets moving forwards.
What inspired you to start a blog about adoption, infertility, special needs, Alzheimer’s, and health?
I was a writer for many years prior to the blog. I worked for traditional media as a reporter and loved that job. I adored the adrenaline rush of racing off at midnight to cover a train wreck, camping out overnight and telling a story fast to deadline. Then we adopted our two girls and life got very busy. I also have Crohn’s Disease and was having a very bad flare when I left on long term disability. I had a young family and I wanted to write again and at the same time I could also see that racing off to the car crashes and train wrecks was not so conducive to life as a mom.
I listened to a speaker one night talking about online writing and LinkedIn, and I started a blog called Thrifty Momma’s Tips as a space for me to write again and share occasional tips, deals, and stories about life. I also helped to run a post-adoption support group and I co-founded a non-profit for adoptive families – I knew adoptive parents needed help and support. I wrote about that, about parenting a child with special needs and adopting. Then when my mom got sick, I wrote about that on the blog to help other people and because writing helps me process complex emotions and situations.
What kind of support does your blog offer to your readers?
My blog offers adoptive parents a place to vent sometimes. I hope I also share some support and advocacy ideas for anyone undergoing any type of health crisis. It offers support to people struggling to parent a child with special needs. It also talks a lot about being part of the sandwich generation and taking care of a parent (my mother died last year) after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
What charitable causes or organizations do you support online?
I support Conceivable Dreams, an infertility patient group advocating for law in Ontario, and Generations of Hope, which is an Alberta infertility patient group advocating for public funding for in vitro fertilization. I support adoptive parents and the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families.
Do you ever connect with people in your local community via social media?
LMAO – YES. That’s my job as a blogger and a social media consultant. I connect to people and brands. I connect to new people every day and I support them sometimes. Other times they support me, or we share a laugh. Digital media and social media extend the concept of community and it is magical and essential.
What is the most significant benefit of having a good Internet connection?
For me, it’s the ability to build a business and connect with the world. A good internet connection is a bridge that can lead you wherever you want to go. The digital space is my playground. It has given me opportunity to build a successful business from home. It permits me to parent and be available to my family at home as well. It inspires me and challenges me and helps me connect.