Lately, I have noticed that a lot of lists have been flooding the blogosphere. First it was Klout – a website that as of about a month ago, I had no idea even existed and now suddenly, everyone with a blog is proudly shouting from the rooftops how great their score is. I of course, have a lousy score – which boggles my mind because I know a lot of people with a lot of klout…I mean CLOUT. In fact, some of my friends who are incredibly influential IRL have the crappiest Klout scores too. At least I’m not alone.
And then there’s Babble. I don’t know about you, but every couple of months those editors at that popular upscale parenting blog really irk me. Why do you ask? Because without fail, whenever they do any kind of list, I am never ever on it. Don’t get me wrong – there are incredibly amazing people who are on that list year after year (Liz at Mom101) and others who just made their coveted list (congrats to Love that Max and Mommas Gone City). Unfortunately, I will never, ever be featured on a Babble list. And you know what? I’m really okay with that (sniff, sniff).
So rather than wallow in a pity party about how I never make lists, I’ve decided that maybe I don’t belong on lists anyway. Instead, I will be a list maker! The lists you will get to enjoy over the coming weeks and months will be filled with people I adore, I admire, deserve a major shout out and who generally are hard working really great individuals who may not make every list, but they certainly top ours.
So without further ado, we present The Role Mommy List Makers and our very first top 10..
1. Lee Woodruff – By far, one of the greatest writers I’ve ever met and one of the most inspiring as well. Lee also has an incredible sense of humor as evidenced by her most recent mom-oir, Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress. She and her husband Bob Woodruff, who suffered massive brain injuries while covering the Iraq war for ABC news, recently spearheaded the 2nd annual Stand Up for Heroes star studded charity event to benefit Remind.org, an organization the couple founded to support U.S. soldiers who have suffered brain injuries during the line of duty. What I also love about Lee is that she truly takes time of our work schedule to take quality vacations with her family. When I grow up, I want to be just like Lee Woodruff.
2. Jennie Baird – Jennie Baird is a pioneer. No she is not the Pioneer Woman (who makes every list under the sun) but she is a dreamer and a do-er and a great ice skater too. She launched AOL Coaches and knew the value of optimizing web traffic before the blogosphere even existed. She was the editor in chief of iVillage. And now, she’s a successful web start up consultant and entrepreneur, who along with her business partner (Baby Name Wizard author Laura Wattenberg), created Baby Name Wizard – the ultimate site for all things relating to naming your baby which receives nearly 500,000 visits per month. Recently, Baby Name Wizard announced a cool subscription feature with tons of great baby naming tools and resources for parents and parents to be. I adore Jennie because she’s also a wonderful sounding board, having offered me invaluable advice as I’ve built my own brand from the ground up without knowing anything whatsoever about SEO. I love women who support other women and Jennie tops that list any day of the week.
3. Nina Restieri – The creator of Mom Agenda was one of the first mom-trepreneurs to create a beautiful planner that outlines your work and family schedule so that you don’t forget about things like orthodontist appointments and conference calls (guilty as charged). Since its inception in 2005, momAgenda has grown annually to include a diversified range of products that help organize the lives of mothers and others, including day planners (myAgenda, mom Agenda and Personal Portfolio) home organizers (Kitchen Folio, School Years, Wall Calendar) and helpful pads (Weekly Menu/Grocery Pad, Permission Slip, Honey Do List and Babysitter Info). The collection is sold at leading national retailers and regional boutiques throughout the US. Nina is also incredibly supportive of the blogging community and even blogs herself. Oh and did I mention she’s been looking absolutely fabulous these days?
4. Kim Orlando – My friend Kim, the creator of Traveling Mom and TMOM network (over 50 writers and counting) amazes me because she managed to turn her passion for travel into a life-long career. I first met Kim at a brunch spearheaded by the amazing Joy Rose at Mammapalooza where she first told me about her vision for Traveling Mom. Over the years, I’ve seen Kim turn her vision into reality and have enjoyed her reality TV style videos (loved her family adventure at Amelia Island) and have been having quite a blast on her travel Twitter parties – so much so that I think we may be devoting a week to luxury hotel bathrooms (actually, that’s just a suggestion from me). Kim celebrates women who travel by sharing their stories with the world and she also reminds me of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego since every time I talk to her, she’s somewhere else – this week it was Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I feel lucky to call her one of my really good friends.
5. Sharon Osbourne – After meeting @MrsSOsbourne (that’s her Twitter handle if you’re wondering) in New York City at a luncheon for the new CBS show “The Talk,” I became an instant fan. I love a woman who tells it like it is (with a little profanity thrown in for good measure), is fiercely protective of her kids and is incredibly supportive of other moms. And she’s a hugger! (She hugged me twice).
6. Julie Maloney – I met Julie several years back when I discovered she had lost more than 75 pounds with the Wii Fit. Julie started an online support group called Wii Mommies that now boasts thousands of members who have shed incredible amounts of weight using video gaming devices. Incidentally, Julie has now lost more than 100 pounds and is one sexy mama. She’s also had a tough couple of years medically and I hope for her sake, that after her most recent visit to have her tonsils removed, that she won’t be seeing the inside of a hospital for a very long time! One more thing – Julie has a wonderful sense of humor and biting wit, is incredibly supportive of others and has created another successful blog called Momspective where she offers advice to moms with her take no prisoners attitude. Julie, you rock. Nuff said.
7. Jeanne Muchnick – There are not enough words to say how much I adore Jeanne Muchnick – one of the best writers and editors I know. Jeanne is the author of Dinner for Busy Moms, works full time in PR and is a freelance magazine writer and mom of two teenage girls. Muchnick’s work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines including Woman’s Day, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, Parenting, Pregnancy, Woman’s Health & Fitness, Bride’s, Modern Bride, Endless Vacation, The Daily News, The New York Times, The Journal News, InTown Westchester, Sprout.com, momcentral.com, familyfun.com, and Westchester Magazine. And she’s quite the pole dancer – but we’re saving that story for our next issue of Project You.
8. Tamsen Fadal – Tamsen is a gifted broadcast journalist (she’s currently an anchor on WPIX in New York), she hosts a weekly relationship segment on Better TV along with her husband Matt, the couple are the authors of two best-selling relationship books, Why Hasn’t He Called? and Why Hasn’t He Proposed? and they’re the founders of The Love Consultants where they offer advice to singles and couples on how to navigate the oftentimes treacherous waters of dating and relationships. Tamsen’s pay it forward approach to life and important causes (she’s an avid supporter of breast cancer awareness charities, having lost her mother to the disease), her sense of humor and style comes across in everything she touches.
9. Ross Ellis – The founder of Love Our Children USA has been at the forefront of bullying prevention, having created StompOutBullying.org more than five years ago. I am proud to be a member of Love Our Children’s advisory board and am always inspired by her dedication and support to those in need. Plus, Ross is the ultimate connector – turning the dreams of others into reality. In my eyes, Ross Ellis is a living angel.
10. Lauren Ruotolo – The author of Unstoppable in Stilettos: A Girl’s Guide to Living Tall in a Small World is currently the director of entertainment partnerships for Hearst magazines. Standing only 4 feet 2 inches tall in flats (which she never wears of course) Lauren was born with McCune Albright syndrome – a rare genetic disorder that affects anywhere between one in 100,000 and one in one million individuals. Despite her condition, Lauren is a super achiever and has never let her physical limitations stand in her way. Spend a few minutes with Lauren and get ready to be inspired.
Stay tuned for more fun lists from Role Mommy because honestly, why should Babble and Klout have all the fun?