2018 was eventful for LORM for more reasons than a few. This time last year, we had been around for less than a year and yet I was hopeful because I was working on an international collaboration that was so amazingly coincidental that it seemed like something right out of Big Magic.
Back then we were called We Are Real Moms and as fate would have had it, the dot com of the same name already belonged to someone else. Their site had been inactive for almost a year and I decided to try my luck and see if they were up for selling the domain to me since they didn’t appear to be using it. That conversation led us to discussing the possibilities of working together.
They seemed excited about the concept and I was thrilled to have a “US Chapter” for WARM. I saw dreams of doing something great and with women who had something in common with me; after all, we had come up with the same name.
This time last year, we were working on setting up the WARM website to incorporate our photo challenge and yet have the essence of what the owners of the website wanted it to be. Somehow that wasn’t meant to be and WARM became had to change its name and become LORM. I will not deny that it hurt to give up a name that had come to me way before I officially announced it, a name that I loved, something that had become synonymous with me. Add to that the loss of over 9,600 posts added to #WeAreRealMoms on Instagram and it felt like I was changing my own name, and officially, I still use my maiden name.
But I did what I had to do. I told myself that I could either sit and worry that I was being dealt the worst cards or consider this to be the best thing that happened to me. If the collaboration had gone through, it would still be their website that incorporated the photo challenge. What I had built would suddenly not be mine anymore. I probably wouldn’t have as much of a say in how things would be in the future. And as much as I could foresee that I wouldn’t be able to take WARM very far just by myself, it felt weird to share it with strangers just because they had a dot com with the same name, especially when the level of passion and commitment to take this forward was nothing like mine or when they didn’t share the vision I had for what LORM (then, WARM) could be.
So maybe it was better to change the name, sooner rather than later. And this way, the new name would be ours and ours alone everywhere on the internet. With that I consoled myself and believed that it wouldn’t be so bad. In fact, it would only get better.
And I was right. There was so much more that LORM was able to do in 2018 and I was right about another thing. I didn’t do it alone; I couldn’t have. But the reason it worked was simply because the moms involved were those who had been associated with LORM much before they officially became a part of the core team, and because they believed in the cause as much as I did.
This just reinforced the fact that situations that seem bad at first only seem bad. With the right attitude, you can turn things around. And so before we move on to newer, greater things in 2019, let me take you all down memory lane and see what 2018 was all about for LORM.
The Best of 2018
For the first time since we started 8 months ago, we took a break. I wanted to announce the collaboration and the new website, but due to Christmas and New Year holidays we couldn’t stick to the plan. So we decided to defer the launch to February and take a proper break in January.
1. Somehow we still weren’t ready with the website or with a new challenge for February, so I made a judgment call and decided to go ahead with a challenge and then announce the website whenever we would be ready. Tamanna and I, at her recommendation, put together the quickest challenge, one that started on the 5th of the month as opposed to the 1st.
2. On the 22nd, we also officially changed our name to Life of Real Moms. This was the biggest highlight of 2018, and so early in the year.
2. We crossed 2,000 followers on Instagram.
1. We completed one year on Instagram. Our first challenge ever began on May 1, 2017 but WARM was announced on April 26, 2017.
2. A temporary group of moms who were going to help me manage Bingo turned into the core admin group for LORM.
1. We hosted our biggest challenge ever with 17 hosts, 180+ participants, 26 prizes, and over 3,400 entries.
2. We crossed 3,000 followers on Instagram, 800 of which we gained between April 22 and May 8 (the peak of Bingo).
1. We had plans to take a break once again, what with Bingo draining the collective energy of the group and me moving homes. But then by some stroke of luck my conversations with Vaishali (Amma Today) and Veena (The Reading Momster) took shape and Bookish Moms and Beyond was born, and we kicked off the first challenge this month.
2. We also did a ‘Share Your Story’ contest and you will see those stories featured on our blog this month onwards.
LORM kicked off again with a fabulous challenge (Quote Unquote) with fantastic hosts – Anjana, Mahak, Namrata, and Shalu. This challenge saw the most amazing participation from hosts and participants alike. We had over 1,300 entries for this challenge. See #LORM_JUL2018 for more.
In the sprit of #keepingitreal, the one challenge that was planned for the longest time and with the most enthusiasm, bombed for many reasons – some of which we could have controlled, some, that were way beyond ours or anyone else’s. August was a great reality check in terms of what works and things that could possibly go wrong.
Biggest lesson this month: Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
Translation: ALL the admins should NEVER host together.
1. This was a month of meet ups. First the admin team met (first time ever!) and talked about a whole lot of things which led to the creation of LORM 2.0 (more on this later).
2. We also had the first ever LORM meet up in Hyderabad on September 29, 2018.
1. On popular demand, we did Bingo again and to make it more exciting we picked the prompts out live. This challenge had 13 hosts, 41 prizes, close to 200 participants, and 2,400 entries.
2. #LifeofRealMoms crossed 10,000 posts.
We launched Real Moms Talk – our podcast! So, so thrilled to share more with you on that in the weeks to come.
1. This was a month of transformation. We created a new logo, and revamped the whole challenge.
2. We organised Secret Santa for the hosts (so much fun!)
3. And, we had the first ever Mumbai meet up! More on that in a separate blog post. We also made a special announcement during this meet. That will be revealed soon too 🙂
Other stuff that happened in 2018
❤️ ️We collaborated with 17 new mom bloggers this year for our challenges.
❤️️ As of today, January 3, 2019, #LifeofRealMoms has 11,500+ posts and it hasn’t even been a year since we changed from WARM to LORM.
All this and we still have something new to share with you all in the weeks and months to come. But before that, this wouldn’t have been possible for me to do alone. LORM is what it is today because of the hardwork and support of Akshaya, Disha, Tamanna, Vaishali, and Veena. And of course, all you lovely moms who take the time out from your busy lives to participate in our challenges, and give us invaluable feedback.
I’m not just saying this because it’s what people usually say, but because it is true.
Thank you for your unending love and support. Thank you for humouring the product of an over-exhausted, sleep-deprived mom’s idea of doing something ‘fun and exciting.’
You are all AMAZING!
Happy New Year! May we all find the strength and time (this is more scarce, isn’t it?) to chase our dreams and maybe even catch a few dreams (and winks in between).
Loads of WARM hugs,
Nikita and Team LORM.