Now in their 11th year, Mommybites is one of our favorite sources for support and education for moms, especially on the new and expectant and front. Originally, they start with social and educational lunches for new moms in New York City; these days their free online seminars are enjoyed by moms across the country. The recently re-launched their websites, and a put a new other exciting new offerings on the table, so it seemed like the perfect time to get all the scoop from their new leader, Rebecca Dixon.
What prompted the website re-design? What’s been improved?
As we celebrated our 10th anniversary last year, we spent a lot of time thinking about the aspects of Mommybites that are most appreciated by our community and how we could make them better. The new website is easier to navigate, has a revamped Nanny Share Board and we are really excited about our new Mom Job Board.
Mommybites has been a pioneer on offering free online classes, mostly on topics for expectant and new parents. How does this work? Is there a way for people to ask questions? To give readers a taste of the variety, what are a few upcoming classes that you’re excited about?
Our free online classes are essentially live podcasts in the form of conference calls. Moms can call in from their phone or click a link from their computer They connect to a live class that is a conversation between a Mommybites team facilitator and an expert on topics ranging from swaddling to breastfeeding to the preschool application process. The classes are interactive, questions can be asked live or typed in, and the recording becomes a podcast that lives on our site for 90 days. Upcoming classes include breastfeeding, babywearing, developmental milestones, and adoption.
While your online classes are used across the country, is it fair to say that your popular Nanny Share Board is largely has a NYC area audience–at least for now? What has made it so popular?
The huge success of our Nanny Board is primarily based on growth of our NYC platform, and to a smaller degree, Chicago and Boston. The successful model that has worked for ten years is moms posting their nannies on our site as they are aging out of needing them. As is often the case, nannies essentially become a member of these families and the decision to let them go is a hard, but necessary, one as everyone gets to a point where they no longer need a nanny with kids in school most of the day. Therefore, these families want to connect their out-going nannies with other families that are looking for quality nanny care. We often hear the word “love” used by the families posting on the Board in connection with their nannies, and I think this best reflects the power of this tool. It is a direct mom-to-mom reference and that level of trust has made it successful for many years.
You recently introduced a job board for moms that I know you have high hopes for. What inspired this? Is your expectation that most of the listings will be for part-work that moms can do from home? Or do you think it might also turn into a source for full-time jobs?
We are a company that was founded by mom-entrepreneurs and our community has many intelligent, well-educated moms who have had successful careers prior to motherhood. Further, Mommybites has always been dedicated to the idea of careers for moms after children. Therefore, we have posted jobs in our newsletter and on our website for many years and received incredible feedback so we thought it made sense to formalize the process. Our expectation is that the jobs on our board will range from part-time to full-time to work-from-home and everything in between. It seems that everyone is currently trying to find their own level of “work-life balance,” and we hope that our mom job board will help moms in our community achieve their personal/professional goals.
With the introduction of the updated website, we know that you have announced a special bonus period when people will be allowed to post free listings on both the nanny board, and the jobs board, along with on your board for babysitting jobs. I assume that all three boards will return to being a fee-based service soon enough. Do you know what that fee will be?
In celebration of our new launch, our nanny, babysitting, and job boards have been free however that bonus period is just about to end and the paid model will return. Prices are as follows: Nanny post $85; babysitter post $15, nanny share post $25, job post $50.
The two co-founders of Mommybites have stepped back from active participation in the site after selling it earlier this year to Davler Media, which also has local parenting magazines throughout the NYC metropolitan area. You are the new leader of the site, though you’re hardly a stranger to the organization–please share a little bit about your own background. How long have you been at Mommybites and what kind of work did you do before? You are also an NYC mom of three. What online class would you love to take right now?
I joined Mommybites six years ago when my oldest daughter was about 1 year old. My background is in media buying and advertising sales for national TV. I spent the first 10 years of my career working at a media agency, Turner, and CNN and it was a fantastic way to learn about ad sales and the business world in general. When I was a new mom and a dedicated member of the Mommybites community, I saw a job posting in their newsletter for a Manhattan mom with advertising/marketing/sponsorship experience who was interested in working from home for Mommybites. It was a perfect fit and I have never looked back! I currently live in Greenwich Village with my two girls (ages 5 and 7) and my 3-month-old baby boy. One of my biggest challenges as a mom is trying to stay present with my kids between my job, their school commitments, and this crazy city that we live in. At the same time, many of the joys of motherhood for me come from living in New York and all it has to offer. I love experiencing the city that I have called home for almost two decades through the eyes of my children. I could think of a million online classes that would be useful to me these days–Mindfulness, Bringing Up Boys, Dealing with Five Year Old Temper Tantrums to name a few.
To learn more about Mommybites, visit mommybites.com!