Nicole Leigh Shaw, a mother of four, lives by this motto: “All of my kids are still breathing. Award, please.”
The Fort Wayne resident is a stay-at-home mom, blogger and professional humorist. She writes NinjaMomBlog.com and contributes to NickMom.com, a Nickelodeon site.
And now one of her essays is featured in a book, “I Just Want to Pee Alone,” a humor anthology featuring essays from 37 “mom bloggers.”
The book was compiled by “Jen,” a blogger who goes by her first name only. She is the founder of the blog peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com.
“It's been a best-seller on Amazon,” Shaw said of the book.
“The reason I think that book has been so popular is that moms want to know that they're not alone,” she said. “We want to have someone who says, 'Yeah, I've been there.'”
Shaw's essay in the book is titled “The Other Mommy War.” It manages to be humorous but still make a point — in this case, that mothers of multiple children sometimes look askance at mothers who have just one child.
“The thing I think is the most insidious mommy slight is, 'Oh, you only have one,'” Shaw said.
She says she tends to be a moralizer and have a message in her writing, but it's tempered with a healthy dose of humor.
“I don't use a lot of profanity, but I'm certainly very snarky,” she said.
Shaw is a stay-at-home mom, but she also considers herself a work-at-home mom, devoting about 35 hours a week writing both for pay and for fun on NinjaMomBlog.com.
Of course, with four children, she has “her hands full” — a phrase she hears and uses often. She has an 8-year-old daughter, 5-year-old identical twin girls and a 3-year-old boy. She and her husband are from the East Coast and moved here three years ago for his job. They live in southwest Fort Wayne.
She says parenting is hectic and tiring, but tempers that by saying, “Motherhood is the best calling I've ever had.”
While she does NinjaMomBlog.com mostly for fun, having an online presence and a following help her land other paid writing jobs, such as contributing to NickMom.com. In addition to her work with Nickelodeon, she pitches television shows with TV producer Chris Cassel of Castle Pictures.
Shaw also is excited about another mom-related venture, this one as a participant in a live show. On May 10, she will read one of her essays on motherhood to a live audience at Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso as part of the “Listen to Your Mother” show.
The show, which features other writers reading essays about motherhood, is in conjunction with the national program, which is hosting shows in 25 cities this year. It's also scheduled near Mother's Day and is described as “Giving Mother's Day a microphone.”
She initially tried to get on the “Listen to Your Mother” show in Indianapolis but wasn't selected.
“I'm used to rejection, so I picked up the flag and went to Valparaiso,” she said. She was selected for that show.
“I'm ridiculously excited,” she said. “I do not suffer from stage fright.”