I have met so many wonderful women ever since I jumped in to social media. One of the earliest meet ups was Mara Shapiro. And I’m so happy to announce that Mara is helping me with MOMentumNation’s social channels. And I so need the help. Can someone teach me how to say “no” so my plate has a little less on it? I’d like you to know more about Mara. I love her wit and her often-brutal honesty. She’ll make you laugh and we all need a little more laughter in our lives.
We met on Twitter, but I don’t remember the circumstances, but Mara told me, “We met through Follow Friday, I think. For some reason, you started including me in your list, and then it became #MILFF then #WOTD. We just started talking and because we have daughters the same age, hit it off. Remember, we thought they would be best friends?”
Mara lives in the suburbs of Toronto. “I was born and raised here, with detours in Vancouver and London England, where I was a barmaid in a pub and witnessed countless infidelities. I also learned how to pull a pint, make a shandy, and drink Pimms.’ I have three teenagers-a daughter who is almost 19 and half sweet, half pain in my butt, a 17 year old son who is so sweet and almost perfect, and my baby boy, 13, who has really taught me what motherhood is all about (he is gifted with ADHD).”
Mara is quite the character and we’ve often had conversations that if we actually lived near each other, we’d be talking over the fence every day. And I’m sure I’d have double the laugh lines on my face. Mara self-describes herself as, “I am a unique individual, quirky, I guess some people call me. I talk too much, have too much enthusiasm, am moderately lazy, and completely allergic to housework. I’ve been married 20 years, and I’m not really sure how that happened. My husband manages me, because I’m irresponsible and would be in debtor’s prison without him, and I manage him because he’s an old soul and not in a good way (he has trouble having a good time and I’m all about the fun). In my spare time I love to read and cook (I find cooking relaxing). I collect cookbooks, but make up my own recipes. I’m newly obsessed with fitness and fancy myself to be bootylicious. OMG I could go on and on about myself. By the way, this confidence is new. I’m a recovering insecure-niac. (I like to make up words). I also practice immaturity, which is why I have no wrinkles.”
Mara and I both share a love of social media because it’s given us a voice. “It’s given me confidence, and the knowledge that I am worth it and have value. My favorite thing about social media is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world that I’d never come in contact with before. One of my favorite tweeps is this odd gay fellow from England. He’s a riot,” said Mara.
And what else should you know about Mara? “When my daughter was 11 years old, we responded to an open call for a Dove advertising campaign. Little did we know that we were going to be part of the Campaign for Real Beauty. We almost didn’t get picked because we were ‘too attractive’. How weird is that? Anyway, it was the most incredible experience to share with my daughter. In the last few years, I’ve become heavily involved with the social media community, first as a hobby, and now as a job. I am proof it’s never too late to start over or join in on what’s sometimes dubbed a young person’s game. I adore the world of social media-it’s given me so many opportunities. I’ve been on the national news several times to talk about summer camp and private school (oh behalf of a company I was working for).”
“I have started to speak at conferences about writing and blogging. I’m a Huffington Post blogger, writing about raising teenagers in today’s world, and I participate frequently in Huffington Post Live discussions. I’m also very lucky to be the Community Manager for MomentumNation, and VERY excited to now be working with Collective Bias as the Social Leader for Hot Legs.”
“I also have two of my own blogs, one where I write about humor, life and books, and the other, which I am revamping to be a lifestyle site for women and mothers over the age of 40. ALSO, I recently became involved in fitness and health, and I have been sharing my own experiences and recipes for healthy living. I have started a Facebook group called Back2Fit (it’s a private group), where women can openly talk about their health and fitness journey. Phew. I’m busy! I look forward to getting more involved with media appearances and public speaking, and supporting Moms who are ready to focus on themselves, and helping them to realize that parenting doesn’t have to be so complicated!”