One of the benefits of being a parent in the age of the internet is that there is so much information available to help us through it all. Then again, sometimes, there is too much information out there, and it can get so incredibly difficult to navigate it all, especially when sleep-deprived and poop-obsessed (seriously, have you ever thought about poop this much in your life before?)
I thought that perhaps those of you dear readers who are new parents or about to be new parents would appreciate these websites—if you don’t already know and love them—as part of any parenting-related New Year’s resolutions you may have. While there are a lot of amazing websites and blogs available to parents nowadays (including yours truly… Yes?), there are four in particular that are my I-only-have-time-to-read-one-post websites.
I have to be honest: it’s not quite the website that I am in love with as much as it is their weekly emails. Once you find out that you are pregnant, you can sign up for weekly emails that are catered to your due date and then, to your baby’s age. I signed up for their emails for every single one of my close friend’s pregnancies as well as for my own—but I put in a due date that was a week ahead of theirs or my actual due date so that I could get ready for what was to come. It was incredibly lovely to get small bites of information every week, especially during those first months post-partum, which still makes me feel like I am actually on top of something in my life!
Baby gear—holy moly, there is so much that a baby needs, and so much that we need to take care of baby. Then there is the stuff that we don’t need but could make good use of. Then there is the stuff that is just plain fun and brings a smile to our face every time we see it.
Whatever the case may be, sometimes, researching all that stuff can become overwhelming, fast. Lucie’s List makes it a little easier, however, by giving parents a starting point. You can sign up for a newsletter that is catered to your due date and, after birth, your baby’s age; Lucie will then send you an email catered to the baby gear you will be needing very soon. Again, bite-sized information presented in a humorous and informative way. Lucie is the second reason I felt like I was on top of something when it came to taking care of my little one!
Parenting is a constant exercise in balance. Journaling and mantras help, as do frequent conversations with fellow mothers of children who are either of the same age as yours, or of older children. Janet Lansbury’s website is full of wonderful posts that help parents strengthen or regain their balance. The same concepts are presented in different situations, which helps parents understand them better and better and, consequently, fine-tune their approach.
The best part, though, is that Janet also has a bunch of podcasts that are 10-15 minutes long. On particularly challenging days, when I feel like I have lost my balance and don’t know how to help my little one deal with her emotions, I put on a couple of Janet’s podcasts on. Her soothing and well-modulated voice, combined with the good advice she always has to give, the relaxing classical music in the background, and the cuddle session I always indulge in, helps both my baby and I reach a point where we can reboot our day.
At the end of the day, however wonderful parenting is, it’s messy, hard, and no, I don’t bask in its glory when I have to deal with a particularly disgusting diaper at 2 a.m. after being up already twice before in the previous five hours. The team of writers at Scary Mommy say it like it is; no sugar coating, no political correctness, nothing but raw, honest, uncensored views on a whole lot of things related to pregnancy, parenting, and other related topics. Because however inspiring Janet may be and however useful Lucie and the Baby Centre team may be, sometimes you just need to hear from that honest, snarky friend and have a honest conversation about the things that you don’t—and will probably never—like about parenting, without feeling judged in the slightest.
These are only four of many websites that have helped me through friends’ and my own pregnancy and parenting journey.
What does your list of essential mom websites look like? Do you know about any of the four above, and if so, what do you think about them?