I wasn’t out and about in the blogosphere much yesterday, so I am just now noticing all of the buzz surrounding the “no children allowed” policy at Johnson and Johnson’s Camp Baby. Quite frankly, I am amazed at the amount of negative response from top mommy bloggers! Even while I have my own nursing baby (and as you all know, five other kiddos, to boot), I completely understand why this policy was put in place… This time is meant as a retreat for moms to network, mingle and have fun. As much as I love having my babies with me everywhere, I am looking forward to this short time away!
I can, however, understand the frustration that some moms share, about not having adequate details or J&J not doing their homework. I was not once asked if I had a nursing baby, and nowhere on the invitation does it say that the kiddos were not invited. (I will say that the invitation was pretty clear about this event being a “retreat” for Mommies.) Fortunately, I asked about it before making my travel plans, and was not surprised by this policy later, like some moms seem to have been.
I will give J&J props for handling this situation with so much tact, given the negativity stirred up by many. The camp organizer sent out a very nice email, and I have seen many comments from her in various posts regarding the situation. Here is an excerpt from her email:
I wanted to personally reach out to you in response to what happened yesterday in the mommy blogosphere. What a learning process it has been for all of us.…
because this is an event created for education and networking, we felt, that you could not take full advantage of the agenda, while caring for your children. This was probably the hardest call we made and certainly have learned a lot through this process. In the future, we will be much more overt about these decisions but we tried to communicate this as questions arose….
Please know you can always reach out to us. We are listening, and learning and continue to value your community’s opinions and insights.
With this being their very first event for mommy bloggers, I think Johnson and Johnson and their PR firm, Ruder Finn, have done a pretty good job. Sure, there are some kinks that need to be worked out for next time… Like, perhaps, welcoming nursing babies, or even planning the event on the weekend, so as to make finding childcare for the older kids more doable. (They may need to find some more adult crafts for the agenda, too! )
For the record, I am not in any way saying that I am glad that the kiddos were not invited. I am thrilled, however, that I was one of the mommy bloggers who were chosen, and even more excited that everything is being taken care of for me. They are not asking anything in return… I’m not even required to blog about it all! (But, of course I am!) I am looking forward to meeting some of my blogging buddies and making new friends.
Oh, and for those of you who are curious… Ray (aka Daddy) will be caring for the children while I’m away. Yep, he took the three days off of work and has been very supportive of my attending Camp Baby! And, believe it or not, Noah will live without me for a few days… He will still get mommy’s milk from a bottle, and he eats plenty of fruits and veggies now!