"You've got this. Trust yourself. You'll figure it out."

I first met Asha in 2008 -- on camera when we started shooting our web series, Momversation, with a handful of bloggers who were also mothers. Months later, Asha and I would find ourselves in the same minivan, she in the driver's seat and I shotgun with the map, navigating our way from SFO airport to The Russian River wine country to spend the weekend at Maggie Mason’s “Broad Summit” retreat.

IMG_4300 with Asha at this week's Parent Hacks book signing in LA

...Floodgates opened up for me and on that drive and something in me changed.

I've told Asha this before but it bears repeating here as I introduce some of you to a woman who has always been for me a shining light in this space -- a beacon of selfless support. Asha has had a profound effect on the woman I am today and I regularly think of her and our drive when I feel closed off... intimidated... small. That afternoon was pivotal for me as a woman relating to other women because of Asha and the power and magic of her WAY.

Anyway, Asha has a new book out called PARENT HACKS: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids based on her popular website and I was honored to ask her some questions last week for Mom.me, including the following

...Rebecca: You've been active online for over a decade. How has the space changed you as a mother? How has it shaped you as a creative?

Asha: A decade! Wow, when you say that it gives me pause, in a good way. The parenting space online has changed in SO many ways. First, and most obviously, the Internet is now mainstream. It's such a seamless part of our lives that we don't think twice about consulting the Web for information, advice, or community. But when I started, it was considered "alternative." There was a huge divide between "Internet friends" and in-person friends. (The abbreviation "IRL" didn't exist because the notion of an Internet friendship was so very new and strange.)

Social media, and then mobile, have changed the way parents use the Internet even more. It's with us constantly. Now that pretty much everyone in is online in one form or another, the line between in-person and Internet friends has disappeared. This is a wonderful thing (easier to connect) and a difficult thing (we're overloaded with information, and sometimes the misleading images people present online, and we're vulnerable to comments that can hurt).

Finally, when I started, there was no commercial side of blogging, so community was really the only reason to do it. Blogs and media outlets bore no resemblance to each other. That's not the case any more, which I don't think is a bad thing necessarily -- it's just that the space is now vast, and people join in for both business and community reasons.

Rebecca: What is the WORST unsolicited advice you've ever received and/or given?

AshaReceived: "Don't ever let your kids play outside unattended." I believe that a certain percentage of childhood needs to occur away of adult supervision. I also believe that kids respond powerfully to adult trust they've earned. They step up. It's a HUGE deal as a kid to be told "You can handle this. You're ready."

Given: When I micromanaged my husband's parenting choices. I'd give him what I thought was advice, but really, I was trying to exert control over what I felt was my "domain," and I was passive-aggressively trying to get recognition for that. Ugh, hard to admit, but it's true. I like to think I've moved beyond this -- I communicate much differently now, and he is also much better at giving me the acknowledgement I need (and I'm better at asking for it)...

You can read the interview in its entirety, here... Oh and P.S. I have one copy of Asha's book up for grabs. Comment below with your favorite PARENT HACK and I'll pick one winner at random next week! Two of my favorite personal hacks? 

- Pull-ups over underwear when potty training/sleep potty training. (So they can get the feeling of underwear but if they have an accident.... yeah.)

- When your kid DOES have an accident in public and you are TOTALLY screwed with no change of clothes, IT IS possible to use a child's shirt or sweater as a pair of pants by turning said shirt upside down. I have done this WAY more times than I would care to admit because sometimes I always forget things. 
For Asha's favorite hacks + words of wisdom and general awesomeness, click here