On Monday, March 11th, an essay I wrote about my relationship with my daughter and what she taught me was published in Huffington Post Parents. This essay was a reprise of the keynote speech I gave at last year’s Mom 2.0 Summit. Here is an excerpt:
If we cannot possibly know the quality of connection someone else has with her child, why do we think it’s okay to judge her? Why is it that moms can’t set the bullying aside and focus instead on what is right in front of them: the exquisite opportunity to know and be known, to inspire and be inspired? We’re all in the same impossible predicament that society put us in — why can’t we acknowledge it and go from there? We’re all in the same pickle. We were educated from childhood to become contributing members of society and to aspire to fulfilling careers, then we have our own children and society’s expectations of us change utterly. Our collective confusion and anxiety is understandable. But why can’t we recognize that this is a consequence of living in this time, and not allow the insecurity we are almost forced to feel manifest itself in a distracting and destructive cutting down of others?
Why don’t we decide to look at the choices we make in our lives not as sources of anxiety, but as enormous opportunities for inspiration, both to and from our children? That connection, that authentic reflection of one another, the flow between the mother and the child, each inspiring the other to lead a beautiful, full life — that’s where our focus should be. It’s a gift like none other.
What my working life did was inspire my daughter to have the courage to put herself out there, to be fearless in the eyes of her peers and to tackle nothing short of the pain of human loneliness as she sees it from her perch in the second grade. And conversely, her beaming face, so incredibly proud of me, everyday, makes me determined to do all the things she’s dreaming I’ll do.
The response to this piece has been humbling. It has been liked and shared thousands of times.
What we’d like to do now is hear from you. We received hundreds of emails, messages, and comments in a million different places. We want to consolidate them. There have been so many beautiful stories that have come to us. They deserve to be shared.
So what we are asking is this: Please share your story here in the comments. If it’s too long, please email it to RedRover using hi [at] redrover [dot] co, and we will share some here on our blog.
Like I said in my essay, we’re all in the same pickle. Let’s share our stories and support each other. We look forward to hearing from you.
Could we be more proud to announce that RedRover is a finalist for the 2012 Cribsie Awards? Nope!
What are the Cribsie Awards, you say? Well, The Cribsie Awards are simply the definitive awards for the parenting industry. Hosted by top parenting sites StrollerTraffic and A-List Mom, the annual Cribsie Awards create a secure forum for opinionated moms to elect their favorite brands and services from a curated list of best-of-the-best finalists, across six categories. Their mission is to recognize the best brands, products, services, and websites for babies, tots, and the parents who adore them.
For what category did the fabulous people over at the Cribsies nominate us? Nothing less than COOLEST APP for NEW PARENTS. We’re so pleased it’s almost embarrassing.
This year the Cribsie Awards have partnered with The Honest Company, Jessica Alba’s new eco-friendly baby products company. For every vote registered, The Honest Company will donate a diaper to a family in need. As of right now, the Cribsies have tallied 16,000 votes on the very first day. That’s a lotta diapers!
We would love it if between now and March 16th you would head on over to cribsieawards.com and vote for us, and at the same time donate to a needy family.
Keep an eye out for upcoming giveaways on our Facebook page and our TWITTER PARTY, which is set for Thursday, March 1st! Details are coming soon… And once again, thank you for all your support and love of RedRover. We’re so happy to be recognized for our efforts and can’t wait to do even more for our Rovers in 2012.
Listen to this fun interview with RedRover CEO/Founder, Kathryn Tucker in which she reveals her deep love of romantic comedy and tells the story of her path from film to tech. CLICK HERE.
By John Pavlus
“It’s Saturday afternoon, the kids are climbing up the walls, and you don’t have any bright ideas for keeping them busy. You can pull out that lame board game, crack open a bottle of “mommy’s special grape juice” — or use an app called RedRover as a lifeline. It’s kind of like Foursquare, in that it lets you make and share plans on the fly — except instead of being populated with hordes of narcissistic single douchebags “mayor”ing each other, it’s filled with things that parents would care about, like kid-friendly places to eat, fun’n'wholesome activities nearby, even tips on the closest clean bathroom.
I’m about to become a parent myself, and recently mused that parenting-well-without-going-nuts seems like the ultimate iterative design problem — so when RedRover’s founder claims that she invented the app to “solve problems” that come up in the weekend chaos of child-rearing, I felt a) validated and b) immensely relieved that someone out there is thinking about this. Modern life has eroded many of the classic “it takes a village” support systems that new parents used to take for granted back when kids were raised in actual villages, and RedRover aims to reboot them for our smartphone-connected, always-on era.
The interface (designed by Jessica Findley) is no-nonsense but stylish: large, clear buttons invite you to “Make a Plan” for junior (eating boogers is only going to entertain him for so long) or announce “I’m Here” to other parents you know who might be close by (there’s safety sanity in numbers). Once you’ve roughed out a few broad strokes on the fly, RedRover lets you drill down to make your plans as detailed as you like or keep them fluid. This is social networking with a true purpose — and not just for yourbenefit, but “to make my kids’ life better: more enriching, more fun, better planned,” as Kathryn Tucker, RedRover’s founder, says in the video. “It’s not just about making these things easier; it makes them more likely to happen.” Living the life you want for your family: If design is about solving problems, I can’t think of a better one than that.”
“Moms are out and about just as much as 20-something urban hipsters. It’s just that instead of rendevousing with friends at bars, clubs and parties, they’re more likely looking for impromptu playdates at the park or Gymboree. They’re also surprisingly heavy mobile media users. So where’s the mommy-aimed Foursquare?
RedRover, a mobile app aimed at the smartphone-toting-mom crowd, may just be that app. Launched in February, the app is the brainchild of film producer and New York mom Kathryn Tucker. Since going live RedRover (named for the classic kids game) has generated over 30,000 downloads via Apple’s App Store. Tucker is planning to roll out a souped up version of the app on June 23rd, when it will also debut on Android devices.
The concept of RedRover is pretty simple: a social network comprised just of one’s closest friends — including those who moms are most likely to socialize with while toting their kids around. Users can check into to places they are — like the local playground — without alerting the whole world. And unlike other location-based apps, they can check into places and events they are planning to attend in the future, satisfying parents’ need to plan around kids’ packed schedules (or just their naps).” READ MORE
“This installment of our Citi7 micro interview features mom and CEO of RedRover, Kathryn Tucker. What exactly is RedRover? The newest must-have mobile app for parents, RedRover is a private social network that lets you plan, invite, and keep up with events, allowing you to coordinating with your friends using one easy platform. Kathryn, a former movie producer, mother of two, and now a new player on the mobile app development scene, answers our Citi7 questions, sharing her best parenting advice, her family battle with peas, and how RedRover plays a part in her life.”
-Tracey Frost Rensky, CEO and Co-founder, Citibabes
“I always feel a pang of pity for children who are out in public and looking lonely as their parents direct their full attention at a smartphone screen.
The parents are probably texting, playing games or reading Facebook posts. But given the fast evolution of the mobile software market, it’s possible that those parents are using apps that somehow make a child’s life a little better.
Not probable, perhaps, but possible.
Baby Connect is suited for parents who want to track their child’s health and emotional welfare and stay on schedule with day care or play dates. It will appeal to parents who have enough time and energy to record the length of their child’s naps or number of diaper changes.
RedRover is built just to manage play dates and, because it has a less ambitious scope, it has a bigger potential audience.
ITunes users have raved about RedRover, and the parenting Web site Cool Mom Tech recently offered its own praise. I found the kudos generally well deserved.
RedRover lets you schedule play dates with more precision than with a generic calendar service, and it offers shortcuts for making dates with specific friends. You can quickly select dates, times and invitees with the app’s menus and track the plan as it comes together.
Based on your location, RedRover suggests places to get together with your friends and their children, and you can sort the list according to places that have been identified as having particular features, like clean bathrooms or a child-friendly atmosphere.
The page for your play date includes a comments section where, for instance, you can offer rainy-day alternatives.
RedRover also saves you from forgetting the date by e-mailing or texting a reminder 15 minutes before it is scheduled to begin.” READ MORE
“We’re the first to admit that we love our smart phones, but for good reason: They’ve made our lives as busy moms easier. Here are the apps that (Editor-in-Chief of Cool Mom Tech, Liz Gumbinner) recommended to help get you organized and keep your kids entertained.” Read more:
“The politics of playdates can be nerve-racking for new parents. Who’s meeting up at the park and when? Is there a bathroom there? Can anyone offer a ride to the soccer game after? Nothing against the legion of twentysomething hackers plotting their apps over drinks at General Assembly, but this just isn’t an area where they are likely to innovate.” Read more
“Kathryn Tucker recalls the time she missed her daughter’s friend’s birthday party because she lost track of the information. It’s a thought the mother of two returned to when she developed RedRover, a social location-based network for parents, that helps them connect, plan play dates and discover new kid-friendly locations.” Read more