Ask the Edit: On Going the Mom-Blog Route

Jan 31, 2024

Abra,

Can you talk more about being a Mom?  I was so excited when you had a baby, because I have two kids and I was hoping you would bring the CHS energy to motherhood.  I’m a little sad you don’t talk about Sloane more, being a Mom more, or even just tips for taking care of kids (cuz I’m sure you have them).  

Would you be willing to shift your content?  It’s really exciting when you share things to Instagram.  That pouch holder you shared has become my favorite thing to give toddler-moms. Would you be willing to shift your content?

Anny F.

That fruit pouch holder is a game changer.  I’m glad you found it useful.

First, let me say that the reason I don’t share more is that women are stupid hard on Moms.  Many of my friends in the influencing world have integrated their children into their content, because their little ones are a huge part of their lives, and their influencing is about their lives.  The worst trolls and the most vicious criticism they receive is related to their mothering decisions, even dumb stuff like which fruit snacks they buy can generate shocking levels of aggression.  The hate is just so heavy.

Having Sloane was a three-year project.  IVF, pregnancy, post-pregnancy complications, deciding not to breast feed, choosing to give Sloane “less,” and other decisions I made and situations that happened are so unbelievably personal.  And, I’ll be stupid honest, I don’t want anyone else’s thoughts or criticisms making mothering any harder than it already is.

I have a small group of close friends and relatives who know their s**t about mothering, and when I need advice I go to them.  When, they can’t help, I’ll throw a question up on my Instagram channel, and my regular readers have saved me bacon a few times. (For which I am so grateful, that Magic Merlin suit came from God on a rainbow.) So I know that there are also positive, valuable interactions to be had.  But I have my fair share of “haters” and when I post something about Mom-life, they tend to show up.  And frankly, there’s no need to invite criticism about something so deeply personal and important to me.

Plus, while I occasionally post a photo or video to social media about Sloane, as she has aged, I’ve been doing it less and less.  She has a right to privacy, and we’ve learned a lot about how the first generation of influencer kids may have been harmed by their quasi-fame.  My friend Anh keeps her kids mostly off her social, and if she posts them it’s from behind.  Maybe at some point, when Sloane can consent to being in photos, I’ll do that.

As for just sharing Mom tips, maybe there is a middle ground here.  And I’ll give that some thought.  But I want CHS to be a place where women with and without kids feel comfortable, so I would need to find a balance.

I appreciate your question, because it’s certainly one I’ve gotten before.  And we’ll see if there’s a way to share more parenting hacks without getting into the deeper weeds.

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  1. Laura says:

    Abra, I want to sincerely thank you for NOT completely shifting your content once you had Sloane. I am so very happy for you, and quite honestly, you are an inspiration to those of us who are still hoping we can have it all, just maybe a little later in life than we anticipated. However, as a single woman without children, there are so many bloggers I have followed for countless years that I can no longer relate to because they shifted their content to solely focusing on motherhood. It has been a loss I feel not insignificantly. So thank you again!

    • Leslie says:

      this!

    • Hannah says:

      agreed!

    • Cat says:

      I heartily agree with Laura. I don’t have children and am so grateful to have a blog that stays focused on fashion and lifestyle for the 40ish/midcareer woman with minimal kid content.

      • KV says:

        AGREE! Was so sad when I learned CHS was having a baby (although obvs personally thrilled). As a 37 yo, married, and no kids, I’m THRILLED that she continues the journey and it’s not as focused on motherhood.

    • Chloe says:

      Came here to say exactly this!!! Single woman without children, TBD whether it’s something I actually want. And your blog makes me feel like either way it’s OK, because it’s not the sole focus of your blog.

    • Lauren says:

      Completely agree. I would like a family one day, but even at 35 that day is not yet, and it’s so frustrating when bloggers you have found and like their content completely shift it. Certainly thrilled for your personal change, but you have a steadfast audience that is here for your professional advice (fashion & otherwise!). We obviously are so excited to support the transition, and it’s fun to see how your fashion needs adjust in a new season, but adding mommy tips would significantly change the branding you’ve worked so hard for so long to establish! You’re doing great now being authentically you, while keeping this product about what has made it successful.

  2. Kate says:

    Thank you for considering people without kids. As someone who’s also had a long fertility and loss journey, shifting your content would lead to me reading less.
    You’re not pretending you don’t have a kid – obviously, but I appreciate that you share in ways that allow people to opt in or out more easily (IG stories, links in roundups, etc).

  3. Amanda says:

    There is no downside to keeping your family life private. Whatever upside comes with so many risks it’s hard even to consider the question seriously. For whatever it’s worth, I think you are absolutely doing the right thing and your content is great, as is.

  4. Sam says:

    I think you’ve struck a great balance since your daughter was born. I’m a long-time reader and a mom (although my kid is almost 10) and I appreciate how you’ve sprinkled in the mom content without changing what the blog is intended for (style!!). Keep up the great work!

    • Leigh says:

      This! I’m a longtime reader- started out single in Dupont Circle, now married w/ an 8yo in the MD ‘burbs- and I think you’ve done a great job being authentic to you.

  5. Elle says:

    I value your content a ton. As a new mom, I’ve thought about reaching out to you for advice on dressing a postpartum body in professional clothes as I change sizes/shape. I still would super appreciate that post but I 100% respect keeping Sloane off the blog.

  6. Jen says:

    Long-time reader here (10-12 years), and as a parent of teen and college-aged kids, I really appreciate that you keep the mom content minimal as I see it so many other places. My kids aren’t babies, so I’m kind of over that phase of life. But I do love reading little bits about your mom life every now and then! As others have said you strike a perfect balance.
    With all of that being said, I totally obsessed over your post about cleaning the bathroom, etc. I know, it’s weird. I was surprised as well. But I would love to see a few more posts about your cleaning products and methods.

    • Jamie says:

      Long-time reader here. I agree with you wanting to balance sharing your family life and keeping the focus on style and what you’ve been doing. I think you’ve done a great job not making this blog avoiding extremes of either all about your child or all about fashion with no mention of your child.

      Would echo the comments about learning more about your cleaning routine. A suggestion to maybe a ‘moment of real life’ segment to your posts-a glimpse of something you and your husband did, something great that happened with your daughter, etc. and see how the response is. I enjoy what you’re creating but respect that there are drawbacks given the hate that can be online. Thanks for sharing what you do share and putting in all the work you do for this blog!

  7. Ash says:

    I have three kids. I read your blog for the style. Please don’t change your content – I think you’re striking a GREAT balance right now.

  8. ASG says:

    So glad the Magic Merlin suit worked!!

  9. Jill says:

    I second this request, and I also fully support your response. Really well-considered and well-written, thanks. I’ve been reading your blog for many years and now have kids of my own, so I like the parent-related content. I also like the parent-adjacent content, like weekend clothing that’s durable, washable, and good for hanging out at playgrounds. I’d be happy to have more stuff related to the mom parts of your life, but I would also be totally happy with the status quo.

    • Naomi says:

      I love the “parent adjacent” label. Like, “how do I dress professionally but also in clothes I can do drop off in, so I’m not wearing 4 inch heels to schlep two kids around in…” (not that that’s constantly on my mind, or anything!)

      Abra – thanks for a great blog. I think you maintain a terrific balance.

  10. Rachel C says:

    Just popping on to confirm what others have said in the comments – I love the balance you hit with maintaining the core of CHS while also sprinkling in things about being a mom. I’m 39, newly divorced and child-free. One thing I love about your blog is that isn’t mom/baby focused. It’s hard to find a corner of the world (both internet and in real life) that targets women in their 30 but isn’t 90% about being a mom.

  11. Katie says:

    I really enjoy the way you do integrate your mom role into your style picks – like when you talk about clothes being practical for chasing after a toddler, or being comfortable on your postpartum body etc. For me, that’s the perfect integration, because I come here for clothes and clothes alone. Now I’m a 34-year-old mum and manager, I need to know how to dress ‘like a grown up,’ even though I’ve been reading your blog for an entire decade it feels more relevant to me now than ever before!

  12. Katherine says:

    Honestly, there are SO MANY mommy bloggers out there and they cover all manner of mommying (or even worse, mammaing), and what to wear as a “mom at the playground/carline/Saturday morning Target run/soccer game.” I like having a space that is about me as a person with a job and interests and needs independent of my kids.

  13. Kellie says:

    Thank you for NOT changing your content. There’s plenty of mom-related content out there, and not nearly as much content about professional women’s fashion.

    • Kim says:

      This! Your readers came here for the professional style advice, not motherhood content. Like others have said, that content is everywhere if that’s what some readers want. Thank you for staying true to the purpose of this blog! Also, loving the Begin/Again series! Thanks for all that you do!

  14. Elise says:

    I appreciate the balance you have struck – as others have said below, you are honest about being a mom and sprinkle it in, but it’s not your whole identity. I think that’s a really beautiful thing. Also, as someone who is childless not by choice, I appreciate having your content that is so respectful of the different journeys women have.

  15. Alli says:

    Offering a different perspective: it feels like there are so many dedicated spaces for moms online, and very few dedicated to those who are childfree (by choice or circumstance). I’m not downplaying the importance of community for moms, but it can feel even more exclusionary to those of us who are not moms.

    All that said, I do think people are much harder on “moms” than almost any other group. I see this with influencers I follow who have become moms, and it’s horrible. Influencers are often showing their lifestyle, and if children are part of that, they should be able to share that, too.

    Abra, I’d want you (and anyone in your shoes) to make whatever decisions are most comfortable and appropriate for you and your vision for CHS, regardless of whether every single post is relatable to me.

  16. Ali says:

    Echoing what everyone else has said. I am 39, partnered up with hopes of still having a family some day and have been following you for over ten years plus. You are the most authentic blog/influencer out there and I appreciate how you have stayed that way over the years with subtle shifts. I am CONSTANTLY going back to your blog searching for things and will always tell women to follow you and look at your site for things. A total shift I think would lose a lot of us who find you as that inspiration. Keep up the amazing content and work!

  17. Jenn S. says:

    Chiming in with additional support for your approach and decisions regarding how you share your life.

    First, I respect you for defining boundaries about what you will open yourself up to and for protecting Sloane’s privacy. I think many people are still very casual about the privacy of children (and not just parents, but grandparents, aunts/uncles, teachers, etc).

    Second, as a 30-something without kids (and no intention to have them), I appreciate that a space I have valued and learned from for over a decade has not transformed into something unrecognizable and unrelatable! I think the balance you’ve stricken is fantastic. I also appreciate the little tidbits you share about navigating work as a mom, or the difficulties of balance because I think we’d all do well to have exposure to different things for the sake of empathy.

  18. LP says:

    Thank you for keeping us new mamas stylish! I have followed you for years, but coming back from maternity leave a year ago things just hit different. It was lovely to see another mom figuring things out in the closet department. And I love that you’re staying focused on style. There’s no one else doing what you’re doing (at least on my radar) and I desperately need DC-appropriate pants with an elastic waist!!

  19. Laura Carlson says:

    As one of your older readers with a grown child, I respect your decision not to expose your personal parenting decisions to the whims of the online audience. What sets your blog apart (to me) is that you have a real job, a demanding and difficult job, in addition to parenting a toddler, being married and blogging. I get very little from the many blogs written by those who have never had to do a corporate job with kids (though just writing how many jobs you’re doing is exhausting–how do you do it?). Please, if you’re able, just keep putting out this blog with to show us some real life.

  20. Jessica says:

    Your blog, your content! I have a toddler and a baby, and I no longer work in downtown DC but moved to the suburbs and work from my home office, so the professional fashion stuff isn’t even as relevant to my day-to-day life anymore. But I keep reading your blog because you have fantastic content, your writing is engaging, and over the years I’ve come to value and trust your recommendations and tips. Keep it up – and not just because everyone is so happy with your content, but because YOU are happy with it!

  21. Jennifer says:

    I’m a lawyer and a mom of 3 teenagers. I appreciate that you are keeping your content on workwear with the occasional mention of your daughter.

  22. TheLOOP says:

    I am a working mom of 3 and I am so glad CHS is one of the few places I can come to and know I won’t be bombarded in mom content. I’d actually love to see more career content beyond fashion – I have liked your posts on how to set up your work space for instance. Or how do you pack for work travel? What routines you have set up to make that feasible for your life? I also cringe when I see bloggers share their kids’ lives, photos and often embarrassing moments for likes… I am glad that you don’t do that.

    • Kate says:

      Ooh yes would love a post on work travel packing and good routines!

      • Alli says:

        Packing for work travel, yes! I have weeklong work trip to Vegas where I’m either hanging out with a friend or on a trade show floor. What do I pack, and how? What if I run into someone at an awkward spot and have to see them the next day? Ha!

    • Allison says:

      I feel exactly this way! I’m a working mom and I appreciate having your perspective as someone who balances both career and kids – AND maintains style, grace and ambition.

  23. Anna says:

    I love how balanced your content is. Your blog has always been about professional women. Motherhood is obviously tied to that, but I appreciate that you generally keep the kid content in relation to your life as a professional woman.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I also support your approach on sharing information about your family. I come at this from the perspective of a longtime prosecutor of crimes against children. The amount of sensitive, identifying information about children posted online by bloggers and influencers is appalling to me. Trust me, every time a photo or video of a child, even a fully clothed child playing on a playground or whatever, is posted that child is at risk. It may be risk from stalkers, from scammers, from predators making deep-fake child exploitation material. But the risk is there. To me it is akin to dropping a four year old off downtown alone.

  25. Elby says:

    Long time reader here (10+ years) and I really appreciate your thoughtful response and value that your blog did not turn into motherhood/parenting-focused space. I’m in my late 30s, married with no kids and already feel isolated by most of my friends/family for not having children so your content staying true to the working women professional has been a joy to continue reading. I do appreciate the bits of parenting/mom-content you feel comfortable sharing because I’ve gifted recommendations for various baby showers I have attended…which might be a helpful future blog post for other non-moms looking for gift ideas/recommendations for friend and family members are
    expecting since I am clueless when it comes to babies!

    • KateL says:

      This is a really good point. Links to kid/mom adjacent items helps this PANK (professional aunt no kids reporting for duty!) be in the loop for ideas to support the people I care about.

      Plus some “kid” items can be repurposed. My wet bag for dirty gym clothes is for cloth diapers.

  26. Kim says:

    Thank you for doing what feels right for you. It’s why I’ve trusted your recommendations for things since I started reading (many) years ago ❤️

  27. Shannon says:

    Honestly, I get that being a mom transforms your life but I personally am happy with only the occasional mention of mommy-baby topics. So many work-related blogs I follow have shifted as they started a family. That’s their prerogative but sometimes I just want to escape to great clothes and work topics, which drew me to the blog in the first place. I appreciate your content and that you consider Sloane’s right to privacy too.

  28. Margaret says:

    I love the comments. So many women from different life experiences supporting your decision! What could be better?
    Sincerely,
    A mom of two

  29. Amy says:

    First and foremost, this is your blog so it’s your choice on what to post and my opinion is my problem. All that said, I appreciate that this has not become a mom/kid blog. I’m childfree by choice and I feel like there is already SOOOO much focused on parents. I also feel like it’s a lot of hyper-consumerism. I find your current balance to be a really nice blend. You’re upfront about the factors in your life and how things have changed without the blog’s content making a hard change.

  30. KL says:

    +1 to other commenters who are grateful that you haven’t shifted your content to focus on motherhood. I’m in my early 30s and intend on remaining childfree while all my friends are having babies and suddenly unavailable as a result. Really appreciate the millennial-women content that isn’t just about being a mother.

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