For Dawn Meehan, super mom to six and newly acclaimed author, success really did happen overnight. Thanks to a deck of Pokemon cards, a gaggle of sneaky kids and Meehan’s quick wit, this mom from Chicago has grown into a blogging sensation.
“I never in a million years dreamed my blog would be so successful,” says Meehan.
Upon returning from a crazy trip to the grocery store with her young brood during the summer of 2007, Meehan discovered that her children somehow got her to pay for Pokemon cards. As punishment for her children’s sneaky behavior, Meehan decided to auction off the cards on eBay.
It was only natural for Meehan, who has been writing stories and telling tales since she was young, to couple the product description with an exhaustive yet comical recounting of what had unfolded at the market when she unknowingly purchased the cards. Curious? You can read about the adventure on Meehan’s Web site, www.becauseisaidso.com.
Inspired by the outpouring of positive feedback from her eBay post, Meehan channeled the attention to her blog, www.mom2my6pack.blogspot.com, which she began earlier that summer.
“I started it as a way to share my humorous stories with other parents who sometimes struggle to make it through the day,” says Meehan, “and as a way to make a little money to contribute to my family’s income.”
The day Meehan created her listing on eBay, her blog’s popularity skyrocketed from less than 100 visitors a week to 94,000 visitors in one day.
Much to her surprise, after 53 bids, the deck of cards sold for $142.51. While the bidding was still relatively low at $40.00, Meehan commented on the eBay page: “What are you guys nuts? There’s nothing special about these cards. Are you bidding on them thinking I’ll be a famous author someday?”
The bidders saw something in Meehan that she was unaware of at the time. And through her attention-grabbing listing, Meehan became so well-known in the blogosphere that she was offered a book deal.
Her first book, Because I Said So (GuidepostsBooks) was released in April. It documents Meehan’s experiences as a mom and sheds a new light on parenting. “I love that I’ve been able to inspire some parents to let the little stuff go and enjoy their kids even when they’re mixing toothpaste, shampoo, dirt and pudding in the bathroom sink.”
Meehan definitely reaps rewards from blogging. She loves the feedback from fans; it keeps her motivated to write. “I get e-mails from people all the time about how they never even knew what a blog was until they discovered mine, and now they have their own blog and it’s connected them to people in a way they never imagined.”
Moreover, because of the advertising income Meehan receives, her husband was able to cut his 80-hour work week considerably. “I feel our lives are a little more balanced now,” Meehan says of the way her new career has affected her family.
Despite Meehan’s success, working from her suburban home and being constantly surrounded by six children, the youngest age 3 and the oldest 14, is an obstacle— literally. “It’s a juggling act for sure,” Meehan says. “I never realized working from home would be so difficult until I tried to take an important phone call while making macaroni and cheese for one kid, wiping another kid’s butt, applying a Band-Aid to a third kid, breaking up a fight between two others and listening to the sixth complain that they’re bored.”
And yet, Meehan continues to write with aplomb. In addition to Because I Said So and Pearl Girls, a book of essays in which Meehan is featured, the blogger/author adds to her list of accomplishments a second book installment; she is currently working on a collection of pregnancy and childbirth stories. From birthing three boys and three girls in alternating order, Meehan has plenty of anecdotes to share!
And the workload doesn’t stop there. “I’m working on a training course that teaches kids how to replace the empty roll of toilet paper, and I’m developing a sort of GPS device for my hairbrush that my 3 year old likes to leave lying all over my house for reasons known only to her.”
As for this witty mom’s return to eBay in the near future, the odds are small. “One of these days,” she says it might happen. “You know, right after I get caught up writing in the kids’ baby books, organizing my buckets of photos, cleaning the bathroom, painting the family room...”