In motherhood, we all need a little (or really A LOT) of help. Here are my favorite blogs for moms–from putting food on the table to keeping the flame alive, these ladies have got you covered.
And….we’re back! Sorry for the radio silence, my friends. My family just moved a week and a half ago, so I took a little blogging break while I packed a house, moved, and at least partially unpacked at the new place.
It’s been an exhausting month, and I just couldn’t keep up with everything, so I made the conscious choice to step away from the blog for a few weeks to save my sanity and give my kids the attention they needed during this big transition. Thankfully, the two older boys are in love with their new bunk beds, so they’re adjusting pretty well.
The good news is that we LOVE our new home (stay tuned for some fun future posts about how we’re making the place our dream home in super kid-friendly ways), and I’m excited to get back into a more normal schedule as we settle in more and more.
Alright, on to today’s post!
Mom life is crazy, ya’ll! This morning was “Books and Buddies” at my son’s school, a fun little PTA event where parents are invited to come early to school with their child to read a book and have a doughnut. Simple, right?
Normally, I would have sent him with Daddy for some special one-on-one time for an activity like this, but my husband had an early meeting today, so if we were going, it meant taking all three kids by myself. I tried to downplay the activity, hoping my son wouldn’t care about going (not gonna happen since there were doughnuts involved). I even played the “I’m not sure they want other siblings to come” card, but he countered with “If it doesn’t say on the flier that they can’t come, then it’s probably okay, Mom.”
Clearly, he really wanted to go, so I agreed.
And then Murphy’s law reared his ugly head.
You’ve all been there–the baby had the blow out to end all blow outs right as we were headed out the door, my son’s school shoes were soaking wet because he left them outside last night before a downpour, there was NO parking to been seen at the school, and my four-year-old darted out in the road and almost got hit by a car. AGH!
We finally walked in the doors of the school at 8:30…for an activity that had started at 8:00. School was going to start in 10 minutes. Thankfully, we still managed to get to the cafeteria in time for each of my boys to get a doughnut and read a really short book together.
I tell you all of this for two reasons:
- To reassure you that if you feel like a super-sized HOT MESS today, you’re in good company. Some days, life gets crazy, and you just have to hang on for the ride. I don’t have it all together. You probably don’t either. So let’s be friends. (If you DO have it all together, PLEASE teach me your ways).
- To remind you that we can all use ALL the help we can get.
That second thing is the reason for my post today. I want to share with you the resources I use to make life easier as a mom. These are my go-to websites for awesome recipes, kids activities, early learning resources, parenting tips, and more. From one mom to another, trust me that you NEED these ladies in your life.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Our villages can be the moms in our neighborhood, our awesome families, or they can be the virtual village of encouragement and information online from other moms who are trying to figure out parenthood, just like you.
This is my digital village, ladies. Come be friends with them, too!
MY FAVORITE BLOGS FOR MOMS
These ladies ROCK!
Best Family-friendly food blogs
Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – MY PERSONAL FAVE!
I have been following Mel for almost a decade. She is a fabulously funny mom of five who shares fool-proof, from-scratch recipes that are super family-friendly. You won’t find weird ingredients that you’ve never heard of, and I can pretty much guarantee that ANYTHING you make from her site will be delicious. My husband knows her by name, and often when he compliments me on a tasty dinner I reply, “It’s from Mel.”
Try these recipes:
Lime Coconut Chicken (my husbands favorite meal!)
Sarah and Kate know their way around the kitchen and have published several popular cookbooks that you can buy at little shops like…Costco. They’re the real deal. In fact, I’m probably not the first person to tell you about them. But if I am, may I recommend that you forget about whatever else you were planning to make for dinner tonight and make these creamy chicken taquitos instead. You can thank me later.
Here are a few other recipes to love from these two ladies:
Lauren is a mom of three and amazing recipe developer. Plus, if you read her blog, you also get awesome snippets of her life raising a family in the heart of New York City. She and her husband moved from Idaho suburbia to the Big Apple last year, and it’s been fascinating to see how different life is in the big city.
Fave Recipe: Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
I just love the name of Christy’s blog–I soooo relate. Not to mention she has some killer recipes for family-friendly food. Her cheesy broccoli and rice skillet meal is one of my favorite go-to dinner recipes. Here are more of her tried-and-true favorite recipes.
Best blogs for super fun (and easy) kids’ activities
Hands on as we Grow – MY PERSONAL FAVE!
This is my ultimate source for fun, simple kids activities. Jamie’s site is full of amazing, low-prep activities that are easy to search by age (toddler, preschooler, etc.) or skill type (fine motor, gross motor, etc). She makes is easy to provide your child with engaging activities that build essential skills without costing a lot or taking a lot of time. It’s amazing how many things you can do with a roll of painter’s tape.
This is another powerhouse site for all things related to early learning. There are tons of early literacy and math activities, seasonal crafts, and book recommendations. Tons of free printable activities.
Susie’s motto is “Making it to naps, one activity at a time”…and she definitely delivers on that promise. TONS of simple activities–especially geared toward young kids–that will make you feel like a rockstar mom…and save your sanity when you don’t know what to do with your stir-crazy child.
If you want to teach your child preschool at home, or if you just want to supplement their school learning, this site is for you. Jenae is a former first grade teacher, and she has tons of great ideas, including a whole list of thematic units perfect for homeschooling.
This site saved my bacon when I was navigating the transition from nap time to quiet time. Sarah has all kinds of kids activities, but one of her specialties is her “quiet bins”. If you are craving a little more peace and quiet in your home, check out her ideas!
Best parenting blogs/sites
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Dr. Laura Markham changed my life. I first heard her speak two years ago at The Mom Conference (a super amazing annual virtual parenting summit), and I’ve been using her strategies ever since.
She is a trained clinical psychologist from Columbia university, and she’s also a mom, so she gets what it’s like down in the trenches. She has taught me practical tools to build stronger relationships with my kids and deal with problem behaviors in an empathetic way. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s effective parenting at its best.
On those hard days when you wonder whether you were really cut out for this parenting thing, give yourself some emotional chicken soup (with a side of practical ideas) at The Power of Moms. The ladies behind this site (April and Saren) are amazing. They know that being a mom is the most important responsibility we have as women, AND they know that it can be really daunting to be the kind of mom that we want to be. The articles they publish, mostly by contributors, both encourage moms through the rough patches and offer actionable ideas to make mom life easier.
Best blog for keeping the flame alive
With all of the “mom” responsibilities of life, sometimes there’s not a lot of time or energy left over to spend on anyone else. Sadly, that sometimes includes my husband. BUT…I really like the guy I married, and I know that we are better parents to our children when we take the time to strengthen our relationship with each other. I want him to always know how important he is to me, and how glad I am that he’s my partner in this crazy adventure of life.
The Dating Divas get that it’s hard to make date night happen with young kids, and their goal is to make it easier for couples to connect regularly and keep their marriages strong. They have practically infinite ideas for creative date nights (both out and at home) as well as suggestions for birthday and anniversary celebrations, daily love notes, etc. Free printable abound, which I love (although some of them cost money).
One year, I used their idea for a Passport to Love to create a year-long gift for my husband where we “traveled” to a different country each month for an at home date night. It was SO fun, and it was a great evening for both of us to look forward to each month.
Here are just a few of the ideas I used from these fun ladies.
Those are my favorite places to spend time on the web. Now, tell me yours!
There are SOO many more I could share with you, but maybe I’ll do a “part 2” another time. These are the very best of the best in my opinion.
But what about you? Have you found any bloggers or other online resources that have really made a difference in the way you live? I’d love to hear about them!