I Won an Award for Parenting During a Pandemic!

November 4, 2021 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, MAKING MEMORIES

Iris Awards

Okay, so the award wasn’t for my actual parenting skills, but rather my writing about being a dad during a pandemic. A series of posts I wrote during 2020 has won the Iris Award for Best Sponsored Content!

What’s an Iris Award?

Think the Oscars for parent blogging. Attendees of the Mom 2.0 and Dad 2.0 conferences nominate and vote for their peers in a variety of categories, ranging from writing to photography to podcasts. Each year the awards ceremony is a swanky affair held at the end of the Mom 2.0 Summit. While this year’s virtual version wasn’t nearly as swanky as usual, it was certainly no less an honor to be recognized.

Iris Awards Brent Almond

What’s sponsored content?

In this context, it’s creating blog or social media-related content for money. One of the most challenging aspects of blogging is creating sponsored content. Let me clarify — creating genuine sponsored content. I’ve spent my career as a graphic designer and illustrator promoting products, companies, and organizations. But when I started my blog, it was purely personal.

Yet as opportunities to write for money started to pop up, I found I enjoyed the challenge of merging my parenting stories and the client’s requirements in a way that was both sincere and engaging. Now ten years in, I pride myself on always finding a way to make these paid posts personal as well.

Who was the sponsored content for?

In January of 2020, I signed a year-long sponsorship agreement with Responsibility.org. I was excited to work on this campaign, and even more so to attend a 2-day summit with the other influencers on the team.

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus had other ideas. The summit was postponed, then retooled into something virtual. However, the client pivoted easily to focus our content on the many issues pertinent to parenting (and tutoring and entertaining) during a pandemic. Particularly how it related to alcohol and the uptick of drinking being done at home.

So what are these award-winning posts?

Between April and December of 2020, I wrote five posts as part of a series I called Parenting During a Pandemic. Below are excerpts from each post, as well as links to the full articles.

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Parenting During a Pandemic: A How (& How Not) To

APRIL 23, 2020

Parenting During A Pandemic

We’re about a month (or is it two?) into quarantine, and I’m sure we all have stories to tell — both humorous and harrowing — about how all this has affected our families. Early on I found my son sorting through his stuffed animals, putting some into a separate pile for quarantine. And while parents of multiple kids have my undying respect, having an only child has its challenges as well — the primary one being no one to play with. And the issues my ADHD son and I have had with “distance learning” are too numerous to list. READ FULL ARTICLE >>
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Parenting During a Pandemic: Addressing (Not Avoiding) Summertime Blues

JUNE 25, 2020

Summertime Blues

Transitioning from school year to summertime can be a pretty challenging process. Throw in a global pandemic with ever-changing levels of quarantine, and it can be downright traumatic. So, what’s a parent to do?

Even under typical circumstances, families are dealing with a looser schedule and fewer restrictions. While kids might think that’s an amazing set of problems to have, the truth is we could all probably use some guidance. READ FULL ARTICLE >>
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Parenting During A Pandemic: Toasting the Last Days of Summer

AUGUST 27, 2020

Last Days of Summer - header

It’s been a hell of a summer, hasn’t it? Between ongoing quarantine and COVID scares, missed friends and canceled plans, social unrest and political nonsense, it’s been a hot mess of struggle and stress for a whole lot of folks. Typically, the last days of summer meant the excitement (for kids) and relief (for parents) of back to school. Again, with the challenges and disappointment! READ FULL ARTICLE >>
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Parenting During A Pandemic: Building Resilience Amidst Chaos

OCTOBER 29, 2020

Resilience Amidst Chaos

Lest you think I and my family have all our shit together, guess again. In between the cute IG pics and the occasional informative blog posts, our life is a series of bumps, mishaps and near catastrophes. Several times a week, I apologize for yelling at my kid. School is a source of constant stress; ADHD is a sonofabitch and not at ALL suited to distance learning. Screen time is through the roof. We almost never eat dinner together. We order takeout multiple times a week — often from more than one restaurant. My hermit-like husband works ’round the clock. My projects have slowed to a crawl, leaving me frustrated and hopeless at times. I’ve fed my insecurities by keeping Amazon in business, perfecting my margarita, and with much too much actual food. READ FULL ARTICLE >>
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Parenting During A Pandemic: Lessons Learned From 2020

DECEMBER 3, 2020

2020: Lessons Learned

Around this time four years ago, there was a barrage of articles, posts and memes declaring 2016 the “Worst Year Ever.” Between Trump getting elected, Brexit, Orlando, Zika and an inordinate amount of celebrity deaths, we thought it couldn’t get any worse than that.

But then 2020 came along. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

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While I was grateful to have been paid for writing these posts, I was equally grateful to have been able to document such a strange, stressful, and scary time in the life of my family.

Many, many thanks to Monica Sakala and SOMA Strategies for hiring me, and for Erin Hildreth and the Responsibility.org team for such a great opportunity.

Be sure and check out all the other Iris Awards winners and nominees!

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