Motherhood in 2016 is all aboutconnecting,community and a common understanding between mamas:
We’re all in this together. Nowhere is this more apparent than parenting blogs, full of advice on every topic imaginable and frustrated posts about feeding picky toddlers and the feeling of being pulled in eight different directions at any given moment. If you could use some relatability in your five minutes of me-time today, type in some of the URLs below. ByKatieMcPherson
Covers: pregnancy, miscarriage, kids by age, college, marriage, intimacy and the kitchen sink
Likely the most beloved blog among mothers right now, Scary Mommy gives a voice to the dark side every mother thinks only she has. Do you hide in the closet just to get a minute of alone time? Are you struggling with potty training, maintaining the romance in your marriage or feeling alone in your empty nest struggles? Scary Mommy has your back.
Covers: photography of maternity shoots, baby showers, newborns and more
Photos for every aspect of childhood can be found here: gender reveal themes, nursery décor, maternity shoots and a super sweet section of adoption photos. It’s a one-stop shop for baby-related inspiration.
Covers: international adoption, adoptive parenting, midlife, ruling the world in yoga pants
Blogger Jill Robbins does a graceful, yet hilarious job of describing the struggles of parenting as well as the joys. She shares insight as a mother who has adopted internationally, twice, and a biological mom, and she’s also totally relatable. (See her popular post “6 Kids’ Songs that Drive Me to Day Drink.”)
Ripped Jeans and Bifocals went online in May 2014, and the Internet has been more honest ever since. Jill Robbins has been published on Scary Mommy and in The Washington Post, and she contributes regularly to Babble and SheKnows. She’s also Mom to Laura, 23, and Kyle and Zack, both 5. Here’s her take on blogs and motherhood in 2016:
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
When I get emails and messages saying “me too” or thanking me for something I wrote. That’s pretty cool. I write openly about the messy side of adoption and anxiety, and I take a “parenting isn’t perfect” approach. I think other moms and other anxiety sufferers appreciate the transparency, and that’s validating for me.
What are some common misconceptions about international adoption? What are some annoying things people may have said to you?
I think the most common misconception about international adoption is that families who choose it are ignoring the plethora of American children waiting for families. I’m not going to make this a lesson on what the foster care system looks like in the United States, but anyone who is critical of my choices should educate themselves. I’ve heard some crazy comments and have been asked some of the most inappropriate questions. My favorite one was the lady who wanted to know “where did I get them” when I was buying underwear in Target. By “them” she meant my kids.
What is your advice for those considering international adoption?
Lead with your head. Let your heart have a say-so, but this is one instance where your heart should not rule. Get a thick skin and understand the ripples of becoming a transracial, multicultural family overnight. That last thing is a joke. You can’t really understand it until you live it.
What is difficult about motherhood today? Maybe it’s balancing work and home, maybe it’s “the mommy wars.” What’s your take?
I think the most difficult thing about motherhood today is that the world is such a rapidly changing place. Things are so different than they were even a year ago. You can argue that the change is good, but so much change so rapidly throws everyone off kilter, and this kind of stuff has parenting ripple effects. I also don’t believe the mommy wars are a thing. I think it’s a new version of “mean girls” and that people have too much time to tear each other down on the Internet and need to find other things to do.
Covers: pregnancy, kids by age, love, DIY,food, health, style
Becoming a mother changes a lot, but not everything. Here’s a blog with a style section for maternity, kids and Mom. The pregnancy and parenting sections are loaded with helpful articles, but be sure to check out the love section for married couples and those single and dating. It won the Webby Award for 2015, so you know it’s got the goods.
KidsActivities Blog kidsactivitiesblog.com
Covers: recipes and activities for children of any age, coloring page printables, indoor and outdoor games, crafts for any occasion
Browse DIY activities to do with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, grade schoolers and as a family. Find crafts and recipes to make together, sensory games to develop little ones’ brain power and grab some quick tips on traveling with children, organizing their many belongings and teaching them at home.
Covers: all things twin, like breastfeeding two, medical concerns, adoption and surrogacy, parenting
Twiniversity was founded in 2009 by Natalie Diaz, a mother of twins who was having a hard time finding information on having multiples. She and her team of hilarious mothers have created a humorous site loaded with info on birthing and raising twins (and telling them apart as newborns, which is apparently a real problem). You can also register to use the forums to swap advice with other mamas.
Covers: motherhood, design, food, style, travel and relationships
The most successful blogs always have two main ingredients: quality content and beautiful photos. Few blogs are as aesthetically pleasing as Cup of Jo, and Joanna Goddard has written for Elle, Cosmo, Glamour, Martha Stewart Living and more. You’ll find posts about home and heart, friends and food, and a weekly Motherhood Monday column. It’s one to add to your daily reading list!
Covers: recipes, activities, products, kids, home, parenting
A mother of three, Steph started this site to promote connection and simpler, better living. From a recipe for softer, better smelling Play-Doh (thank you) and setting up a sensory box to a virtual parents’ book club, MPMK is a great resource to get in touch with other parents and find simple solutions.
Covers: parenting, fashion, fitness, beauty
Katie beautifully captures her children (one adorable boy and a newborn girl) growing up while also showing readers the products, baby clothes and toys her little ones love. She doles out advice on how to dress a postpartum body and staying fit while carrying a bun in the oven.
Katie Reyes runs the lifestyle blog katiedidwhat.com, now in its sixth year. Apart from blogging, she’s a freelance writer and loves spending time with her husband, Zack, and kiddos Sam and Sophie. (And, like many moms, she runs on coffee, exercise and may have a slight online shopping addiction.) So what does she think about motherhood meeting blogging?
I’d imagine lots of moms would wonder how you have time to run a blog. How do you make it happen? Any lessons you can share?
It’s all about prioritizing and trying to make a schedule. If you schedule it in, you will get it done. The good thing about blogging is that I am my own boss and therefore I write my own schedule. Some days (OK, most days) are unpredictable with children, so that means I may not get around to writing my blog posts until late in the night, after bedtime. And that’s OK! Thankfully, blogging is more than my job—it’s something that I am passionate about and love to do, and thus I have no problem working at, say, midnight, when I’d really rather be sleeping. I also full-heartedly take advantage of naptime, and the days when my husband is home, he is so good about taking care of the kids so I can get my work done.
How has motherhood changed you? How have you stayed the same?
Motherhood has made me a much more selfless person—not necessarily by choice, but because I have to be! These two people are solely reliant on me, and I don’t want to screw that up! I would say that I am still the same person I was before, just better. And what a beautiful thing that is. Sure, I mess up, I have bad days and things I regret, but at the end of each day I’m left with so much love that my heart could burst. I’d say motherhood is a pretty great thing.
What are your top three pieces of advice for moms-to-be?
1. Sleep as much as you can right now. Because you’ll never sleep again for another 18 years. Ha! 2. Remember that each challenge that you face will pass. This too shall pass. You’ll have to remind yourself of this one regularly. 3. Brace yourself for the most intense love you will ever feel in your life.
What do you think is most difficult about motherhood today?
For me personally, balancing work and home is my biggest challenge. These babies need everything from me, which leaves me scrambling during naptime or after bedtime to get my work done. Some days I feel like I’m completely drowning just trying to keep them fed and dressed and alive, and there isn’t much time left for me. It is a constant challenge!