Today marks five years since I started blogging at CityandBaby.com. I started shortly after my youngest daughter was born. And I’ll let you in on a little secret… my baby is no longer a baby! She started Kindergarden this month – though she still crawls into my arms and says, “I’ll always be your baby, Mommy”. It’s wonderful. I’m not sad but joyous for all the moments over the last five years. It does being me to a point of reflection on the blog as well. And if you’ll hang with me I’ll tell you what’s next.
I began blogging in September 2010 for three primary reasons. Because I loved (and continue to love) Edmonton. I think it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. You can read back through all the posts to see why. I’ve been on CBC radio a number of times sharing Edmonton’s hidden gems and things to do in Edmonton. Talking about Edmonton is my favourite topic and I’ve been lucky to turn that into a full-time job at Make Something Edmonton. I love working with my passionate colleagues and people who are making ideas turn into reality. It feeds my soul daily.
Professionally, as a marketer, my employer in 2009 refused to let me experiment with blogging and social media in order to lead a transition from traditional to new media marketing. I could see that building relationships around a common interest and helping that community is what builds trust and commitment. Corporate speak was gone. Blast you in the face advertising no longer appealing (if it ever was). So, I decided to use CityandBaby.com as my sandbox to play, experiment and do what I felt was the right thing to do. I learned so much and continue to as the realm of marketing communications continues to evolve. The best part really has been connecting and helping people that would have never happened if I didn’t blog.
I also started blogging because I suffered from post-partum depression with my first child, and getting out of the house was one of the ways I coped. I wanted to make it easier for new parents to get out of the house. To provide timely, accurate information so they didn’t have to research ideas. Make it simple, sweet and easy was my motto.
Reflecting back on my journey I wish I wasn’t so shy to publicly discuss how having children changed my brain-chemicals, life, relationships and energy. I think I could have helped parents from this perspective too. But CityandBaby wasn’t about me. It has been about helping to make Edmonton a better place for young families and sharing all the gems to new parents so this new lifestyle wouldn't feel as overwhelming.
I have loved doing so over the last 5 years.
This is the last post on City and Baby. The time has come to wrap up this journey and open myself to new things. I know some of you will feel sad. I do too. But I also feel satisfied. It’s been beautiful. I’m not sure what the new adventure looks like yet. Those who know me know that I don’t sit idle for long. I’m curious and caring by nature with a bubbling need to contribute in meaningful ways. I'm excited to see what's next.
If you're interested in learning about my next grand adventure you can follow me on Twitter at @JeniferSchaefer.
Firstly, my friend and inspiration, Kendall Barber who blogged at CityandDale, and is now the co-founder of Poppy Barley. She encouraged me to take a leap of faith into the world of blogging and together we learned and encouraged each other. I treasure our first three years tremendously.
Secondly, Karen Parker and Jason Buzzell who contributed their thoughts and ideas in blog posts they posted on City and Baby. Their posts were loved by the community (especially Jason’s dad perspective) and I enjoyed working with both of them.
My family and friends have also been supportive and (mostly) understanding over the five years as I spent time writing and tweeting City and Baby stuff. I am lucky to have so much love in my life.
To the other bloggers, media, event organizers, public relations agencies, non-profits, companies and other people that I was fortunate to meet and work with collaboratively - thank you for trusting me.
Thank you to you – my dear readers. I know many of you have been here from the beginning. Loyally reading, commenting, sharing and being part of this great community of Edmonton parents. And to those who have just entered parenthood and are new to the site. Your time is precious. Thank you for spending some of it with me. I can’t start to express my gratitude.
Through my journey I have listened and read a lot about parenting styles, opinions, how-tos, wars. It's really an endless, draining list. What I learned is this...
You are all beautiful people and being the best parents you can be. It can be both amazing and difficult – sometimes at the same time. Parenting and children are all different. What works for one might not work for another. There is no wrong in that. Please be kind to yourself and one another. Respect there is no one size fits all for families. Except for love. Love is for all.
See you out and about Edmonton.