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The Nanny Nine: Minnesota Baby

(photo credit – Teresa Hermes Photography)

It’s obvious when talking to Melissa Saigh that she absolutely loves being a Mom!  Her love for Linna also pours into her Minnesota Baby blog, and her social media sites. Writing has been a passion for Melissa since High School, at the college newspaper, and with her first blog, Missi Made.  On Missi Made she talked about fashion and then everything-wedding when she was planning her own.  She knew she had hit on something great when an Oprah producer contacted her for a referral on a stylist, after seeing her wedding day hair pics on Missi Made!

As many of you can understand, being a new Mom is wonderful, and there are so many wonderful moments you can’t wait to share with family & friends, near & far!  But it can also be exhausting, frustrating and confusing.  All of these are reason’s Melissa started Minnesota Baby. It was a great way for her to share the experience and changes during her pregnancy with family members and friends all over, plus the many adoring fans from her time as a Twin Cities Live Producer.

Doing her blog is akin to a physical scrap book or memory book, and one day Melissa would like to have a book created from it to give to Linna.  I have a very good feeling she will accomplish that 😉

Melissa never shies away from topics, and her husband AJ is often featured in her posts, or in photos throughout the blog.  Sharing in this lovely young family’s journey has been enjoyable, and we look forward to the next chapter, and beyond!

1. Prior to having Linna, had you ever thought about doing a blog for anything?

I actually did have a blog called “Missi Made” before having Linna. I have always enjoyed writing, so three to four years ago that blog was an outlet for me to write about food, fashion, and wedding planning.

2. What was your goal/vision for your blog when you started it; has it changed (how)?

I started the Minnesota Baby blog as a way to connect with my family during my pregnancy. Since my husband and I have family all over the country, we wanted them to be able to follow my growing belly/baby, and feel connected to all the doctor’s appointments, nursery planning, and any hiccups along the way. It’s also a story of our daughter’s life that we’ll always be able to look back on. My blog has always been 100% honest and real, which can be TMI for some when I write about labor, breast-feeding, postpartum depression, etc. I write about things moms want to talk about, but don’t necessarily get brought up at the dinner table. I even blogged through my labor with my daughter! 17 months later, I’ve continued writing about the “real” side of parenting, marriage, and being a stay-at-home mom. I write about the products, services, and events that keep our family busy and sane, in hopes of others learning from our experiences. Since I experienced my first pregnancy while I was working at Twin Cities Live (KSTP), I grew a pretty big following on my blog after viewers would see me and my growing belly on-air. When I decided to leave Twin Cities Live to stay home with our daughter, that following continued, and even grew as we traveled to Singapore. Today, my blog continues to be all about the real life adventures of the Saigh family (two “new” parents and a toddler), as told by Mama Saigh (that’s me)!

3. The blog is a reflection of who you are, but do you feel it has also changed you? If so, how?

My blog is all about my life as a mom, wife, and the adventures of our little girl. I feel like my blog keeps me honest, because I’m literally writing the story of our daughter’s life. One day, Linna will be able to read my blog, and experience her life through my eyes. Giving her that kind of a gift makes me feel like I’m doing my “job” as her mom.

4. Do you feel you get better reaction with blog posts on one Social Media site over the other (Blog, FB, Twitter, other)?

I love when my blog posts spark conversation, and most conversation happens on Facebook. When reading other people’s comments, it’s clear that each parents has a different philosophy on parenting. As parents, I think it’s so important to support one another’s parenting “styles”, and hopefully learn from each other, because parenting is by far the toughest, but most rewarding job out there.

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

The first week we had Linna home, I was totally unprepared for all of the questions I had as a new mom. During Linna’s nighttime feedings, I discovered a community of moms on Twitter that I could vent to, and ask questions about the things I was experiencing. I found other moms who were dealing with the same things I was dealing with… even at 4 a.m.! I call these women my fellow “Zombie Moms”. We were all clearly exhausted, and Twitter gave us a place to vent our feelings and questions to other moms who were eager to help. I miss those late-night feedings and Twitter sessions! Today, social networking allows me to start and join in on “conversations” that real parents are having. It allows me to learn from the “veteran” parents, and share my experiences with the “newbies”. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and some days I wonder what I ever did without social networking.

6. You are a natural on camera, and easily connect with people. Did you find it a hard transition having to write for your blog?

Thank you:) I’ve always felt very comfortable in front of the camera, because I literally imagine myself having a conversation with another person… except the person is actually a camera. Just like I am on-air, I’m “real” on my blog. I simply write from my heart and say what’s on my mind. I’ve been told by many people that I don’t have a filter, which is totally true! I don’t censor myself, which can be TMI for some people. However, one thing I respect more than anything about meeting another person, is their ability to be “real”, and not pretend to be someone they’re not. When writing on my blog, I hope I come across authentic, because I write as if I were speaking or thinking. It’s all the same for me.

7. You recently lived in Singapore for three months, and will be moving back for 2 years…did you find it easy to maintain your blog & it’s message; did you reach a broader International audience?

Living in Singapore was such an incredible experience, and my blog viewership actually doubled while we were overseas. When we’re in Singapore, I change the title of my blog “Minnesota Baby” to “Minnesota Baby in Singapore”. I learned so much while living in another country with my husband and one-year-old, and received so many messages and emails from people in Minnesota saying how much they enjoy reading about our adventures. I shared my blog with all of the friends we met in Singapore, and many of those people looked at my blog as the “go to” for family/parent-friendly events and things to do in Singapore. I found so many parents who could relate to having to travel with a one-year-old, raising a child in a new country, etc. The “message” of “Minnesota Baby” will always remain “the story of our lives”. Sometimes life takes us to another part of the world, with even more experiences to write about!

8. What is the best moment you’ve had regarding your blog?

When I receive emails or messages from other moms saying that I helped them get assistance with their postpartum depression, it makes me realize my blog is touching the lives of others. I dealt with postpartum depression in the first few months of Linna’s life, and was in such a dark and scary place. I felt so ashamed of my thoughts and feelings, but chose to write about them and get help for what was diagnosed as postpartum depression. One in every 10 mothers experience postpartum depression, and even more experience what is known as “the baby blues”. By writing about my feelings and thoughts during that time in my life, I have been able to help other moms realize that they aren’t alone, and they shouldn’t feel ashamed of their feelings.

I also have so many photos and videos of our little girl on my blog, that my husband and I are able to look back on and remember how it was. Babies grow up so fast, and it’s easy to forget all the amazing experiences.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other people blogging about their passion?

Do it! Don’t just think about documenting your thoughts, experiences, photos, etc., DO something about it. Anyone can start a blog, and the “well-known” blogs were started by people who put their thoughts into a public format. Don’t just think that someone else has already started a blog about your idea. If everyone thought that way, we wouldn’t have any good blogs to read! Also, be consistent and authentic. You need to be committed to your blog if you want it to be “successful”, and you can’t write what you think other people want to hear. Most people want the truth, they want to read your honest thoughts, and they want to get to know you through your words. So, COMMIT and BE AUTHENTIC!

Blog: Minnesota Baby

Facebook: Minnesota Baby

Twitter: @MNBaby

The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny

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