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Tuesday
Oct172017

Sick Children and Work: How to Manage Your Responsibilities

Being a working parent is a challenge in the best of times. But when your child gets sick, balancing your career and your parenting gets significantly more difficult. It takes practice, patience, and careful planning to handle a child's sick day without neglecting either your parental responsibilities or work. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to manage working while your child is sick.

Communicate. When your child gets sick, it's important to contact your boss and colleagues right away. Even better, you should have some sort of backup plan in place for when your child gets sick, like dropping them off with a grandparent or taking turns staying home with your partner. It's important to stay connected to your boss and continue to work as much as possible. It's also important to anticipate things like this happening. Since the average child can catch between six and ten colds each year, there's a very good chance you'll have to manage working while your child is sick a few times a year.

Stay connected. Technology allows most people to work remotely when necessary, especially with jobs in fields like digital marketing, so there's a good chance you'll be able to continue working even when you have to stay home with your sick child. But it's important to remember that if your boss and colleagues have been supportive of you staying home, you shouldn't abuse the opportunity by checking social media all day. As many people have learned the hard way, telecommuting requires a particular sort of discipline. To stay focused, be sure to respond to any incoming emails or phone calls to help your colleagues in whatever ways you can.

Engage with your organization. If your child has an illness or injury that is going to last longer than a few days, it's time to alert your organization immediately. HR managers will be unable to move deadlines and work with your schedule unless they know what's happening. You will need their help in managing a leave of absence if necessary and alerting the insurance company of any needed care coverage.

As frustrating as it can be, remember to not blame your child -- they didn't ask to get sick and they probably already feel bad enough. Instead, think about why you're working in the first place: to provide a good life for your family. Missing a meeting or having to push a deadline may seem like a big deal at the moment, but overall you need to remember your child comes first.

Finally, give yourself a break! You're managing your busy life as best as you can.

Monday
Oct022017

Moving Made Easy: How To Move With Kids 

If you’ve ever attempted to move everything from an old home all on your own, you’ll know moving is not easy, for various reasons. The difficulty of the same is also greatly increased when children are mixed into the whole scenario.

However, it doesn’t have to be so difficult, to begin with, and you can potentially decrease the amount of drama (the whining and inevitable anger tantrums) you’re going to deal with by following these simple tips.

Moving Tips: Make it a fun activity for your kids

Get your kids ready for the big move

Often overlooked is the importance of preparation. Adequately preparing your kids before you move could save you a lot of headaches, and them, a lot of stress. It really helps them adjust and adapt to the new environment faster.

For relatively younger children, break the news about a week or two in advance. This gives them some time to process what you just told them and helps them prepare psychologically. Most importantly, emphasize to them what will be different, and if possible, take lots of pictures so they have some memory to hold onto. It helps with adjusting.

It’s okay to be sad

Nobody likes to be taken away from a home they’ve been comfortable in all their lives, so don’t criticize them for being sad and anxious about moving to a new place.

Heartbreaking as it may be to witness; crying and tantrums are a normal reaction to such a profound change in their lives. What’s more, once you’ve moved, don’t expect them to settle in immediately. Give them around six months to fully adjust to their new environments.

Practice what you preach

Despite what you tell them, always remember that kids learn first from observation before all else. You mustn’t forget that negativity rubs off on your child. Therefore, if you stay positive, you’ll give them the feeling that everything will be okay.

Stick to the Schedule

Another proper way of helping them acclimate to the new environment would be to keep your morning and afternoon rituals the same. Consistency has a calming effect on the senses and helps reassure children that everything is more or less the same.

The same goes for on-schedule rituals such as bedtime, lunch, and dinner, especially for toddlers.

Help them raise their esteem

Children, as a result of the learning process, will often want to mimic adults and will feel better if they feel like they had some input to add to the moving decision.

Even if they don’t have a choice in the matter per se (which they shouldn’t), you can have them ‘approve’ new furniture positioning, choice of rugs and perhaps entertain one or two requests they may have, like getting a dog.

Expect Regression

It’s not uncommon for already potty trained children to, for example, ‘go’ in their pants after a big change in their lives. Regressions such as these are a common part of a child’s life and are their way to deal with stressful situations.

Don’t overreact when they show signs of regression. Other common signs include insomnia, lack of appetite and sudden anger tantrums. Different children have different rates of adjustment, so give them time.  If a time period longer than three weeks go by and nothing seems to change, you should probably see a doctor

Get to Know Neighbors

Make sure you allow your kid's lots of time to meet the neighbors and make new friends. Let them go out and mix with the children until they finally find a group they click with. In the process, they could pick up new interests and hobbies.

While the moving company is busy unpacking and setting up the goods, you may drop your kids at a neighbor’s house. This will serve as a good icebreaking meeting for them.

This point cuts across for parents, too. Throw a housewarming party and invite the neighbors or join a local club to create new opportunities to mingle with the new neighbors. You could kill two birds with one stone by hosting a kids’ party and inviting the neighbors’ children.

Help them practice their social skills

One of the great things about being a child is everyone is a potential playmate, and the closer they live, the better. However, social skills are better taught than simply picked up at random, so you’re going to need to teach them how to approach someone they feel they might be interested in making friends with.

In the process, it helps for them to point out what, exactly they like to do, and they could get new playing spots and once again, new playmates. The sooner they find a friend they are more likely to be friendly with, the sooner they will adjust to the new environment.

Thursday
Sep142017

3 Web Design Tips to Help Convert Leads to Sales

Can you guess how long it takes for a person to form an opinion about your website?

The answer: 50 milliseconds.

In today's oversaturated digital marketplace, consumers have come to expect the very best in performance from a website, and when their expectations aren't met, they tend to move on just as quickly.

While a great deal of effort is placed on search engine optimization and other digital marketing techniques to attract prospective customers to your website, too many businesses fail to allocate enough resources to their actual web page.

In this post, we'll look at three simple but important factors that can help you transform your website's visitors from leads to customers.

Focus on Storytelling

Not only do you need a website that loads quickly, it is also important that you create a connection with your customers as soon as possible. Use images and videos to create a human face for your business and focus on creating engaging content that can keep prospective customers interacting with your website.

Create a Bold Landing Page

As we said above, people make their decisions quickly. In the past, all that was necessary was a clear, user-friendly layout in order to convince visitors to stay on your page. Using a bold, graphic landing page helps to establish the kind of company you are and can lend you legitimacy in the consumer's eyes.

Remember, your aesthetics should represent the culture and personality of your business, helping consumers feel a connection. As Randall Zaitz says on Chief Marketer:

A classic or timeless aesthetic can convey that your business has a solid foundation and that it’s here to stay. A gritty aesthetic can show that your company is tough and can tackle any job. Ultimately, you want your website's aesthetic to be a reflection of your business’s best qualities and values.

Mobile Compatibility

More and more, people are turning to their cell phones for Google searches in order to address urgent purchasing needs. That means the consumers that are most likely to purchase are using their mobile phones for their searches.

Here's the catch, Google has started using mobile friendliness to help rank businesses in their searches. That is why it is so important that your website be compatible with mobile devices.

While many people spend their energy and resources attracting consumers to their site, it won't do much good if these leads never convert to sales. By following these three simple web design guidelines, you can greatly improve your chances of converting your leads into sales.

Saturday
Sep022017

Sign Up for our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Now!

It's hard to believe that time of year is already here. But, with the arrival of pumpkin spice everything also comes the launch of our Holiday Gift Guide! We are gearing up for another fabulous year of featuring small, mom-owned businesses, just like yours! We want to help you increase your holiday sales and build momentum heading into 2018! If you only advertise one place this holiday season; your holiday advertising should be with Market Mommy! Let us tell you why.

Each and every year (since 2009!) we've helped moms share their incredible businesses with thousands at holiday time. We hope this year will be even more spectacular; and we've made a few updates to help ensure everyone's success.

New, more modern design. Think, Real Simple's Holiday Gift Guide. Our HGG landing page will feature a product image for each category from our premium sponsors. The sleek design will focus on the images and draw your potential customers in! Then, once on the category page, our viewers will see a listing of great products offered by mom-owned businesses. Only one premium listing will be sold per category. So hurry on over and sign up now!

Expanded categories. This year we've added more options to our category list. As an advertiser, you choose which category your product and business is listed in. And, the best part is, if you don't see the perfect category for you; you have the option to create your own! Gifts for Her, Him, Baby; all the basics are available. We also have more unique categories like Gifts for Mompreneurs or pets!

Lower prices. We've simplified our listing options this year and are only offering premium and basic listings. One premium spot will be sold per category (so don't delay!). And, only up to 10 basic listings are available per category. Premium placements are $125 and include things like a sponsored blog post, extra social media coverage, product photos on our landing page, etc. $50 is an affordable option for a basic listing. It includes a product description, coverage in our e-newsletter and more. For a complete list of what's included, click here.

All gift guide sponsors will be featured on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. We'll also be emailing a guide out to our list of mom subscribers. This is exactly who you want your products in front of this holiday season! Moms do the majority of the holiday shopping, and mom business owners have a heart for other mompreneurs!

Last year, all of our advertisers said they were satisfied with their exposure. They used words like unique, useful and a good value to describe our holiday gift guide! They also all agreed that the holiday gift guide significantly increased their social media exposure.

"I was pleased with how the gift guide was set up and communicated. I think I received great exposure that I wouldn't have received otherwise. Thanks!

Won't you join us this year? You'll receive more than three months of excellent advertising for one low price! Let's get started!

Thursday
Aug312017

Forget the Haters: 3 Financial Benefits Of Working From Home

More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated each day, and in the era of ever-evolving technology, the opportunities for innovation are virtually never-ending. Both employers and employees are quickly learning to reap the benefits of technology, and telecommuting is just one example of the way technology has revolutionized the nature of work.

Workforce writer Ariel Parrella-Aureli agrees, and she feels as though millennials are the catalyst driving further technological developments and modernized work spaces.

"Gen Y pushes the need to create a balance between traditional corporate environments and make room for remote access employees that act as a second home for creativity, productivity and engagement through technology and collaboration," she writes.

Even though telecommuting situations aren't viable for all businesses, nearly six out of ten employers identify cost savings as a significant benefit to telecommuting. But telecommuting can save employees money as well.

Here are just a few ways employees can save money by telecommuting.

Less Work-Related Traveling

One clear financial advantage of having the ability to work from home is the reduction in gas and car maintenance costs that come with traveling to the office less often. Even if you take public transportation, you're saving on traveling costs.

Salary.com contributing writer and CEO of FlexJobs Sara Sutton Fell says, "If you work from home full-time, you immediately eliminate any costs associated with your commute, whether they be from driving to work or taking public transportation. Even if you’re walking or biking to work, you’ll wind up with lower bike maintenance costs and fewer pairs of sneakers to buy."

Convenience Of Technology

Even though technology requires an initial investment, it can come with significant cost savings. If you do have to purchase work-related equipment yourself, you can receive some serious deductions when tax season rolls around. But normally, employers foot the bill for telecommuting technology. This includes security-based technology, which is especially essential for telecommuting positions.

That's one reason the managed security services market, for example, is expected to almost double by 2020, from $17.02 billion to $33.68 billion. This is directly in line with the increase in telecommuting opportunities, which The NWI Times reports grew by 115% over the past ten years.

"Technologies such as the cloud, teleconferencing and virtual meeting software make it easier than ever for many white-collar jobs to be performed from anywhere," writes Craig Guillot.

Sometimes, employees are able to keep software and other technologies paid for by employers even after they've left the job. These cost savings are invaluable to driven workers looking to expand their skills and areas of expertise.

Fewer Professional Wardrobe and Laundering Expenses

One often overlooked aspect of working remotely is that there's no need to adhere to a company dress code. You don't need to don a suit every day, cover up any tattoos, or remove any piercing jewelry. Likewise, there's no need to purchase expensive designer clothes to impress superficial bosses. While it may seem like a small thing, the Department of Labor has found that working Americans spend about $1,881 on clothing and apparel each year. If even a quarter of that money is spent on professional clothing and/or dry cleaning services, you're already saving hundreds of dollars a year.

Ultimately, these are just a few of the many financial advantages that come with telecommuting. Brie Reynolds, FlexJobs senior career specialist, feels as though remote opportunities will only continue to expand.

"The rise of the knowledge economy means that more people's jobs are compatible with remote work than ever before," Brie says.