Dawn Meehan: A Mom Blogger No Words Can Describe
As a writer, I love the English language. I find it colorful and playful, wholly intense, and vibrant in the manner in which it allows you to communicate from one to another. Feeling as I do about my native tongue, you can imagine my disappointment when I reached out to Dawn Meehan - in an effort to learn more about her – only to come up short with a viable word in which to describe her.
Dawn combines raising six kids with singlehood and success like no other woman I know. Her naturally humorous self is absolutely contagious. Her extensive blogging and multitude of books written seems near impossible to achieve for any mortal, especially one raising so many children.
Dawn Meehan makes me feel like I am running in place. And yet, I can’t “hate” her for it as her sheer wittiness and kind-hearted demeanor would make anyone fall in love with her.
What can I say, the English language has yet to come up with a word to adequately describe this woman. That said, I guess the best thing to do here is to have you read this interview so that I might not be "alone" in my frustration.
Maybe one of you will come up with a word, where the rest of us fall short. If you do, let me know as you will, surely, be my next interview. Your brilliance demands it!
What is your full name?
Dawn “Superwoman” Meehan
Where do you live?
Chicago girl living in Florida
How many children do you have?
I have six children. (It seemed like a good idea at the time.)
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
I’m far too amazing to be described in only one word!
Expand upon you and your life.
As a kid, I spent large amounts of time daydreaming. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I realized not all people have stories, characters, and conversations going on in their heads at all times. I even had imaginary friends named Junie, Rabie, and Aprica who went on many adventures that I created in my head. I liked them more than real people...probably because I could boss them around. And they weren’t bound by the laws of physics (being as they were imaginary).
Somewhere along the way, I learned to take the stories in my head and put them on paper. In 2007, I started a blog so I could share my tales of hard-earned wisdom and parenting advice with the world. “The world” consisted of my mom, sister, and a couple friends who read my blog regularly. That all changed when I auctioned off a pack of Pokémon cards on eBay. In the description, instead of writing about the actual cards, I wrote a funny story about grocery shopping with six kids. The auction went viral. Thousands of people emailed me, asking if I’d written anything else. I directed them to my blog and ended up going from about ten readers a day to nearly a hundred thousand daily readers overnight. My blog, BecauseISaidSo.com, sky-rocketed to become one of the most popular mommy blogs on the net.
The success of my blog awarded me a publishing contract with Guideposts who printed my book Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) in April, 2009. In November, 2010, Simon and Schuster published my second book You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth). Simon and Schuster also published an updated version of Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) in July, 2011.
Share with us what you wanted to be when you grew up.
When I was little, I wanted to be a bird or a movie star. #Fail
How long have you been blogging for? Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?
What is the primary focus of your blog?
At first, I wrote mostly about the things my 6 kids did like painting the dog with yogurt, pouring soap all over the floor then skating through it in their socks, and attempting to make a rocketship out of gummy bears, empty toilet paper rolls, and my toaster. These days, when I’m not busy trying to invent a cloning device, a teleportation machine, or a coffee IV, I write about my life as a single mom to 6 kiddos, which includes trying to juggle everything, the feelings of helplessness, dating (ohmygosh!), and explaining to my kids why they can’t have an indoor Slip ‘N Slide or pet squirrel -- all while drinking large quantities of wine.
What makes your blog unique?
I think it’s my voice and my humor. I can usually find the funny in any situation and I love to make people laugh. "Dawn"... making you feel better about your parenting since 1994.
Tell us about your blog in depth, including what you hope to accomplish through it.
My goal is to make my readers laugh and assure them they’re not alone. There’s nothing better than when a reader tells me something I’ve written has made them laugh or helped them through a tough time. It can be hard to find the humor in tough situations but when I write about the funny stuff, I think it helps others see their own situations in a more humorous light.
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
I’m not currently a Brand Ambassador for any company, but I have done work in the past for Goodnites and Suave. I do have a relationship with some favorite brands like Suave, Cooper Tire, Gatorade, and Coca-Cola. I write about them sometimes.
Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets? If so, please provide us with those links.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Go for it! It’s a great way to get your kids to do your bidding. “Clean your room or I’ll blog about how I had to call in Hazmat and a rent backhoe to clear a path to your bed (complete with pictures)!
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
I am not currently "formally" involved with any organization. This past year, I worked at a title one middle school here in central Florida and it was an eye-opening experience. The effects of the poverty in which students live are so pervasive. I did some fundraising to help provide clothes, school supplies, food, toiletries, and even musical instruments for the kids in need. I tried to spread the word and I collected donations for our students. I wrote blog posts about the effects of poverty on education.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for single parents who are struggling to be everything and provide everything for their kids. It’s tough. It’s harder than I could have ever imagined. Places like Wings back in Chicagoland where I lived for 41 years, and Harbor House here in Central Florida are amazing organizations that help women and children fleeing abusive relationships. They work to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse by providing life-saving services to survivors and educating the community.
When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?
Ugh, this is a tough one (and a little morbid too). I hope that people will say that I was inspirational. I have a feeling they’ll say I was a sarcastic “pain-in-the-butt” though.
You know what they say, Dawn...."One man's pain-in-the-butt is another man's treasure!" I happen to think that you, and your own mastery of the English language, have been nothing short of a national treasure for many -- stemming from a heart of gold and a wit to match.
We look forward to many more chuckles to come! No stopping life is there? Mine as well laugh,