23 Must-Read Parenting Blogs You Might Not Have Heard of But Will Adore!

mom reading phone

If you’re a busy mom trying to do your best as a mom, wife, home manager, chef or food fixer, business owner or whatever titles you carry, you’ll seriously love this epic list of amazing parenting blogs for every season of motherhood!

mom reading phone

I love the age we live in where so many real moms can start a blog and help other moms with their struggles. Even the wildly popular blog Scary Mommy was started by a regular mom who wanted to share her humorous view of parenting with the world… and it paid off big time!

There are many, many mom and parenting blogs out there. Some are just personal diaries of that mom’s own parenting adventures. But there are many others that create content that skillfully balances their own life and experiences with the purpose of helping others solve their biggest parenting challenges.

The sad thing is too many of these rather amazing blogs aren’t as well known as they should be. And that’s the purpose of this post – to spread the good news of these great and sometimes lesser known parenting blogs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to understand positive parenting, increase your breastmilk supply, raise a happier teenager, or stop your toddler’s never-ending tantrums – these blogs will help you do it!

And because I found most of these bloggers on Pinterest, I’ve included their Pinterest profile page links with each blog so you can easily follow them on Pinterest as I do. You can follow me on Pinterest here!

So when you find yourself in a rare moment of quiet, pop over to one of these great blogs on parenting to help you find the solutions to your biggest parenting and mom challenges.

Amazing Blogs on Parenting for Every Mom

Happy You Happy Life

Kelly is a busy mom and family therapist who shares a wealth of knowledge and personal experience of raising kids without losing your joy or mind in the process! There are many very helpful posts to help moms get rid of anger and yelling, stop living on mom auto-pilot, and learn the simplest ways to connect with your family despite busy schedules.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Pragmatic Parent

This blog is full of practical parenting advice, hence the name! Corinne talks to you like you’re a close friend and her advice is so simple to follow. Plus, if your kiddos are struggling with sleep issues at any age (I know I am!) she’s a bit of a sleep guru and has even written 4 books on the topic! Here’s my favorite post on toddler sleep issues!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Playful Notes

Raluca is a fun traveling mom who’s passionate about peaceful parenting. If you’re a mom on the go, this is the blog for you. Here you’ll learn how to reset your relationship after a parenting mishap, get your kids to want to clean up their toys, and lots of resources on enjoying traveling with kids without losing your mind.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Living Well Mom

If you’re a mom who’s looking to get healthier but don’t know where to start… Erika’s your new best friend! She is a very down to earth mama who wants to live a healthier lifestyle and wants to help you achieve your health goals too. You’ll learn how to use essential oils for your family, get the tastiest healthy recipes your family will actually eat, and find hacks to help you destress as a busy mom!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Incremental Mama

Erin created her lovely blog to share mom survival and thriving tips to help moms stop feeling overwhelmed and find more balance in very simple ways. And she should know… she was a working mom to four kids under four! We could all learn from her! Plus, she shares recipes, home organization hacks, and lots more mom and parenting advice!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Chicken Scratch Diaries

Brandi has created a blog after my own heart, and I’m not just saying that because we share the same name! She shares amazingly helpful parenting advice that stems from a practical and loving biblical foundation. Learn the best way to handle things like unwanted back talk and how to make time to connect with your kids. She even gives advice on how to take parenting advice from the internet in this wonderful post!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Smart Mom Ideas

Elna @ SmartMomIdeas happens to be a busy mom of twins so she knows all about juggling as a mom! She shares her best tips on raising twins, advice for first-time moms, and literally everything in between to help you be your best at this mom life. You’ll walk away from her blog feeling just a little smarter than you did before.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Sleeping Should Be Easy

I just love the resources Nina gives on her blog. Her posts are so easy to read and her tips are extremely practical and always involve a positive parenting approach. If you have little ones and find yourself asking yourself, “what do I do now?” you must read this blog. You’ll learn easy “what to do when” tips like what to do when your two-year-old wakes up at night for hours, what to do when your baby goes on a bottle strike, or how to survive the newborn days with a toddler.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Sammy Approves

Sammy’s blog is a great resource for moms looking to go deeper with their kids. She has so many inspiring posts that help moms learn practical ways to build more confidence in their child, help alleviate homework related stress, and even how to overcome the dreaded toddler tantrum in public! Oh and she shares tons of super easy and tasty recipes too!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Self-Sufficient Kids

This blog is a powerful one for parents who want to go beyond the day to day parenting stuff and are looking for simple ways to raise self-motivated and positive kids. She shares insight into why positive affirmations are great for kids and us, how to get your toddler on a chore routine that works, and how to develop a healthy growth mindset in our children.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

A Mother Far From Home

Rachel’s been blogging for many years and has created some amazing posts to help moms make their mom life so much easier! She’s even created some great courses on baby sleep and developing child routines with your kids. I love her posts on the one thing to keep doing to encourage good behavior and how to cope with the dreaded mom burnout.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Soccer Mom Blog

Stacey has literally thought of everything in her blog. She even has a page entirely dedicated to slime making recipes! You’ll also find super easy family recipes and tips to help you become a better parent and love yourself as a mom which is so important. I love this post on how to help your child develop better concentration which is so helpful.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Project Hot Mess

Krystal is truly an amazing lifestyle blog made perfect for moms. And don’t you just LOVE the name! She touches on so many important issues like confidence and thriving in your everyday life. Good stuff! She also shares a wealth of parenting tips like how to return to work after your maternity leave. And offers the most practical advice like why having family dinner nights every night isn’t necessary.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Inspiring life dreams

Frances’ blog is really named appropriately because when you arrive there you feel inspired to live better. She shares tips on how to parent with more intention with posts like how to be more kind to your child and also what to stop worrying about as a parent. She even has a great post with videos from celebrity moms sharing their natural beauty routines. Love it! She’s also a wonderful author of a ton of great books!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Military Wife and Mom

Lauren is a military wife and mom as her blog’s name reveals. She’s passionate about helping military moms cope and thrive in military wife. As a military brat myself who lived all over the world growing up, she provides really great information. But she doesn’t just write for military moms but all moms. She shares posts like how to handle back talk, how to get your kids to eat their vegetables, and how to raise truly kind kids.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Lemon Lime Adventures

Dayna @ LemonLimeAdventures has created a wonderful and inspiring blog where she is helping so many parents. She is a formal educator turned homeschool mom and blogger. She shares a wealth of knowledge on topics like Sensory Processing Disorder and offers an endless supply of fun and educational activities for kids!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Pint-Sized Treasures

Alison is a passionate mom of six pint-sized treasures! She loves being a mom and sharing all her experience and wisdom with other moms. My favorite posts are 5 ways moms accidentally create cranky toddlers, the secrets to keeping your house clean with kids, and how to win your child’s heart and why it really matters!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Your Modern Family

Becky is a former teacher and child therapist and mom of four kids. Her blog is a lifestyle blog that provides tips and resources for parenting, motherhood, marriage, saving money, recipes, and more. My favorite posts are how to help our kids overcome worry, what to give your kids instead of toys, and why it’s not the best idea to put a TV in kid’s rooms.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Seaside Sundays

This blog is a wonderful resource for moms wanting to be a better mom and manage their busy homes. You’ll find posts on parenting tips like getting your baby to sleep through the night, activities for kids and how to be more frugal and save for money. But one thing that sticks out is the extensive amount of posts on the subject of infertility or rather “fertility.” We suffered with infertility for over 4 years before getting pregnant the first time and would have loved to read this blog back then! These are must-reads if you’re dealing with any fertilitity issues.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Paper Heart Family

Brenda started her blog as a way of helping other moms through the daily challenges of pregnancy and baby and toddler life. These are probably the most stressful stages for new moms! You’ll learn how the easiest ways to tire your kids out before bed, how to survive labor without an epidural and self-care routines for moms who suck at self-care.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Millennial Stay at Home Mom

I just love Kermilia’s blog with all the mom life topics she covers like how to transition from co-sleeping the easy way (been there!), finding real joy in stay at home mom life and creative ways to keep your toddler entertained with a new baby. She even has really helpful posts on starting and running a blog!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The No-Guilt Mom

Jo Ann has so many creative and helpful posts to help moms solve their biggest problems and enjoy life a whole lot more. From overcoming homework battles to raising kids that aren’t materialistic you’ll find posts to help you be a better mom. She even has an entire style section with posts to help moms look and feel more stylish and put together. Gotta love that!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

What Moms Love

Aly’s blog is so much fun! If you’re not one of those super crafty moms, you’ll suddenly feel like you want to be when you see all the stuff you can create with and for your kids. There are so many helpful product guides for new parents and endless activity ideas to keep your kiddos happy and entertained. She also shares great parenting tips like how to raise non-picky eaters from birth and amazing organization hacks for stress-free mornings.

Follow here on Pinterest here!

I hope you take a moment to check out these wonderful and inspiring mom blogs! They really are great and please take the time to follow them if you do love their blog.

Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!

These parenting blogs are my absolutely favorite go-to blogs on parenting. If you're looking for parenting advice look no further! #parenting #parentingblogs #momadvice

Present Parenting: Simple Ways to Connect with Your Kids Every Day

how to be a more present parent

Raising children into happy, kind, and well-adjusted adults is a huge task and part of the enormous adventure of motherhood… and the struggle too. As parents, it’s our responsibility to effectively prepare them for adulthood and do our best not to screw it all up – a parent’s worst nightmare.

I think part of the reason there are so many kids and adults that don’t fall into the happy, kind, or well-adjusted category is because as a society we’ve got our priorities mixed up.

how to be a more present parent

We’ve become distracted parents trapped on the hamster wheel of busyness seeking mindless entertainment and endless ambition. Too often our kids are right there… but we’re too busy and distracted to notice.

And though we may be doing good work like running a business or a blog like this one that keeps us constantly connected, do we know what cost we’re really paying to have this life? Or better yet, what cost our are kids paying?

Do we have a true sense of what’s most valuable?

The Need for Present Parenting

Distracted parenting is a huge problem in our modern homes today.

Sure, there are many parents working outside the home and not physically there for their kids every minute of the day. And while we could try to question those parents’ choices on whether they work too much or not enough, that’s not my focus here.

Working to provide an income for your family by working outside the home is largely unavoidable for both parents in most homes today. It’s a part of our modern fabric. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that!

My real focus here is to explore and expose what we’re giving our kids in the fringe hours… before and after work and all the spaces in between.

What we’re doing when we’re on the couch at home with our kids.

What we’re really paying attention to from the sidelines at our kid’s soccer game.

What we’re showing as our top priority to our children day in and day out.

Distracted Parenting in Action

What do our actions say to our kids?

That we’re too busy to put down our laptops and phones to actually have a meaningful conversation?

Or do our actions tell a better story that our kids are the most important focus in our lives and that they matter and deserve the respect of our full attention?

I’ll be honest, even as I write this I’m struggling with conviction because I do not have this down perfectly. So, I’m largely writing from experience and truthful reflection of my own choices.

One day my daughter was sharing a story about a difficult situation she encountered at school that day. Ring the alarm – we’ve got a win! My preteen daughter is baring her soul to me!

But instead of fully listening that day… I was overwhelmed with a very busy week and needed to finish delivering all the laundry throughout the house.

She was met with my back and my less than engaged um-hmmms most of the conversation until Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks and showed me in a second how disrespectful I was being to her. I’ll say this… I stopped, apologized, and never did that again!

It was never intentional, but I just got caught in my busyness.

I want my children to always feel respected, loved, and valued as I make small and big sacrifices every day to put them first by putting away my phone and sitting with them whenever I can. I want my kids to want to share with me first!

Present Parenting Starts with Us

It all starts with us. Even when our teen acts like they’d rather be anywhere but with us, we need to stay put. In times like this, our actions will replace our words.

When they see us at their games actually watching them play instead of staring at our phones it makes a difference. There was an article written about College Athletes and shared the impact their parents made that contributed to their success early on. And a resounding response was when they’re parents made a comment with these 6 simple words, “I love to watch you play.”

Notice it wasn’t, “I love to be at your games.”

Look, I don’t get it right all the time. No one does! The point is that we’re aware of it and make it our biggest priority to be present and fully aware when we’re with our kids.

Now let me quickly bring some balance here. I’m not saying you can’t sit at your desk and work on a project if your kids are home and must sit and stare at your kids for hours or play legos on the floor until you drop from boredom.

Honestly, a little “present time” goes a really long way. In fact, if you take a moment to really connect and have fun with your child every day, they’ll stay full and you’ll find that they often run off and do their own thing.

Your kids need you first to feel full, satisfied, and ready to take on the rest of the day. If they feel like they’re competing with your work, your phone, or anything else; they will either do one of two things. Hunt you down and totally overwhelm you, or retreat and isolate themselves because they feel unloved and unconnected.

The latter is extremely dangerous and if you find that your child is constantly isolating themselves, do your best to show up and be present right now. If this has been going on for a while, enter cautiously.

They’ve most likely already put up walls so just be cool about it and don’t act weird. You know how we can be!

4 Ways to Become a More Present Parent

The first step in becoming a more present and positive parent is to be aware of all the things and habits that work as barriers to present parenting. Things like our routines and work schedules and our phone habits. These done the wrong way can really stand in your way. Here are a few practical tips:

Create Work Boundaries

I shared that I’ve always worked from home since I became a mom. I’m very grateful for this but really had no clue how to balance my family and work time effectively. I was constantly doing everything all at the same time. I made myself crazy… and probably my kids too.

This led to yelling and constant frustration. I wasn’t creating meaningful connections with anyone or anything. But I got smart and learned over time to create boundaries and schedule both my work time and family time. I try my hardest to schedule my most focused work tasks around my kid’s sleeping times.

And when I’m working when the kids are awake, my mindset is ready for interruptions and noise so I’m not irritated when it happens. I also make sure they are doing something fun before I start. Here’s a post that’s full of fun ideas to keep your toddler busy and occupied while you’re working.

Schedule One on One Time

I’ve found that scheduling intentional “no-work” time with the kids where I can be totally focused is very helpful. Doing this changed everything! My kids feel like they’re are getting “me” every day and I’m actually able to slow down and really see them.

I also put down my phone and put away the laptop when my kids are home from school and it’s family time. I’m not perfect at this, but I try to keep them out of sight, for the most part, during this time. When I used to try to cram in some extra work during this very busy time of day… it always ended in disaster.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Finally, one of the best ways to foster connection and effective communication with your kids is by asking questions. Asking your kids questions is one of the most powerful tools a parent can use because it gives you access to their heart. And that’s what we want!

Asking a question is a powerful way to show you care about someone. Kids love to unload their day and tell you all the things that happened along the way. However, as kids get older they can seem to get less conversational if we don’t keep them connected.

One reason children stop talking and sharing is when they’ve been rejected one too many times in conversations with us. When they’re sharing something personal and we are absently mindedly responding with uh huh, uh huh and they know we aren’t listening. Or we’ve cut off the conversation in some way.

This has happened to me personally with my husband numerous times. When I’d be talking or opening up about something personal and he would chime in about something else, be on his phone, or not giving me his full attention.

It’s never intentional, but we all miss it sometimes. I know that I’m an adult and that though these responses are not the best to experience, I know how to offer grace. Our kids don’t always understand that rude behavior doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. It just means we made a bad choice.

The funny thing is, when I’d bring those times to my husband’s attention, he’d be totally surprised and unaware that he did them. That’s because he really is an amazing husband who’s just human. And because those moments made me feel rejected and no longer wanting to connect… your kid may feel the same.

This is why being totally focused helps to prevent these situations.

Watch for Individual Needs

If your child is asking to spend more time with you or mentions they’re starved for your attention, listen and make the adjustment. Count it as a blessing that you have a child that will even ask for your attention.

One of my children falls into this category and at times her need for my attention can feel overwhelming. But I know if she feels empty, I’m missing it somewhere. It also means I’ve fallen into passive parenting instead of intentional parenting and need to make the adjustment.

It’s easy to think that this high emotional needs child is a challenge, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I know if I can make winning her heart my highest priority, I’ve won the battle for my child. On the other hand, if I don’t pay attention, her heart is vulnerable due to her desire for connection.


Final Thoughts

I want you to know this post was meant to inspire, not to condemn. If you struggle in any of these areas, you’re human and now have the opportunity to make a change.

The world isn’t offering free passes to our kids when we mess up as parents. We have a responsibility to show up every single day because it means everything to those precious kids of ours. And change is never too late if coming from our full heart!

But on those days when all you can do is grab nuggets in the drive-thru for dinner on the way home and let your kids play their XBOX until bathtime, just know we all have days like that. And it’s OK.

If our mindsets are primed for connection with our kids on most days, your children will stay full for the days when time is very, very short. 

How do you connect with your kids? Share your best tip in the comments below!

 
 

17 Immune Boosting Foods to Keep Your Kids Healthy All Year Round

Natural ways to build your child's immunity

It’s flu season and you know what that means… germs! So what’s a mama to do when she sends her kid to school and doesn’t want them coming home with colds, bugs, and the flu?

The answer is to naturally build up their immune systems!

You may be asking yourself, “Why does my kid keep getting sick?”

The answer is our magnificent bodies have the ability to fight off harmful invaders on its own. But those soldier anti-bodies need to be strong in order to work effectively.

One of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy and able to fight off infection is to eat healthy immunity-boosting foods. Specifically living foods filled with phytonutrients.

Natural ways to build your child's immunity

Our kids and ourselves need to be eating as much of these foods as possible and ditching the starchy and sugary snacks and treats as much as possible.

I offer apples, oranges, strawberries, and grapes as snacks instead of allowing them to grab some crackers or a granola bar. If they are still hungry they can have some greek yogurt with granola. Usually, that’s enough to hold them over until the next meal. If I let them choose a snack, they gravitate right to the packaged snacks that I buy to pop in their school lunches as a treat.

Another important way to increase your child’s immunity is to give them a nutritional supplement like a multi-vitamin. Just be careful of all the additives and unnecessary colors that are added to vitamins. There have even been problems with children’s vitamin labels not matching the vitamins inside, resulting in dangerous overdoses in children.

I found these natural vitamin gummies to help keep my kiddos cold-free. My kids had very few colds and no flu during a very harsh flu season last year. And to top it off, I forgot to give them their flu shot!

18 Natural Ways to Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Here are 18 healthy food recipes to keep your kiddos healthy. Use these methods to build their immunity to prevent colds and flu and also use in the event they do catch something to speed their healing and recovery time!

Cold and Flu Prevention

Easy Immune Support Tincture

Easy Immune Support Tincture

Source – Raia’s Recipes

Love the glass droppers? You can get them here!

Immune Boosting Juice

Immune boosting winter juice

Source – Happy Foods Tube

Cranberry Kefir Fruit Snacks

cranberry kefir fruit snacks

Source – Raia’s Recipes

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

elderberry syrup instant pot

Source – Eating Richly

Popeye Smoothie

popeye smoothie recipe

Source – Oh The Things We’ll Make

Immune Boosting Tea

Overhead view of Immune Boosting Tea Recipe in a mug with a lemon slice in it

Source – Joy Food Sunshine

 

Elderberry Gummies Recipe

elderberry gummies to prevent colds and flu

Source – Must Have Mom 

Need those silicone gummy molds? Find them here! 

IMMUNE BOOSTER BEET, CARROT & ORANGE JUICE

IMMUNE BOOSTER BEET, CARROT & ORANGE JUICE

Source – Happy Foods Tube


Cold and Flu Speedy Recovery

Immunity Chicken Soup

Immunity boost chicken soup recipe

Source – Sonshine Kitchen

Immune-Boosting Friendship Smoothie Bowls

immunity boosting fruit bowls

Source – Strength and Sunshine

Mineral Rich Electrolyte Smoothie

electrolyte smoothie recipe

Source – Raia’s Recipes

Grape Juice to Stomp Out Stomach Flu

grape juice to get rid of stomach flu

Source – Must Have Mom

Tummy Healing Soup for One

tummy healing soup

Source – Strength and Sunshine

Herbal Tea Kool-aid Alternative

herbal tea kool-aid alternative

Source – Pistatio Project

Essential Oil Immune Booster Recipes

 

 

 

Natural Vapor Rub

All-Natural-Peppermint-Lavender-Homemade-Vapor-Rub

Source – Crayons and Cravings

Headache Bath Bombs

Heachache bathbombs

Source Crayons and Cravings

7 Oils for Colds

essential oils for colds

Source – My Organized Chaos

Which recipe are you most excited about trying? These are some super simple and natural ways to help ease the burden of the winter cold season. If you have your own recipe, please share in the comments below!

These essential oils will help you naturally boost your child's immunity and effectively protect them from the harmful affects of the dangerous flu season! Get all the recipes here! #kidsandparenting #wellness #kidsandparenting

 

It's back to school time and we all want to protect your child's immunity from all the germs that'll come in contact with naturally. #parenting #kidsandparenting #natural #greenlivingLooking for natural and additive-free ways to boost your children's immunity during the school year and flu season? Try these amazingly simple recipes... #naturalliving #momlife #parenting #kidsandparentingFlu season is here and there are natural and super effective ways to protect your child from getting sick. These natural remedies work to boost immunity naturally using essential oils! #essentialoils

Avoid the brunt of the cold and flu season by naturally boosting your child's immunity. These natural immunity booster help my kids stay healthy and well all year long! #naturalremedies #essentialoils #natural #healthy

The Best Toddler Puzzles for Fun and Learning to Buy in 2019

Best toddler puzzles

Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Puzzles are a challenging and fun way to help toddlers learn basic foundations like letter and number recognition, learning shapes and colors, and increasing fine motor skills.

Puzzles are the perfect learning toys for toddlers!

The best toddler puzzles

And because the term toddler can mean anything between a 2, 3, or 4 year old, I’ve separated this list into helpful categories to help you find the perfect puzzle for your toddler. Because that’s a big range when it comes to puzzles!

There will be obvious overlap, so use your own judgment when it comes to choosing your own toddler’s puzzles from this list. And there’s also a general toddler puzzle section that features puzzles that are perfect for toddlers of any age!

Puzzles for Toddlers of All Ages

Custom Wooden Name Puzzle

This custom name puzzle is perfect for all ages because name recognition is so important early on. These brightly colored names are so cute to help your little one learn and recognize their own name. Plus, all names can be made!

Grab your puzzle here!


Mickey Mouse Number and Letters Puzzles

This set of Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles are great for little toddlers to start learning their letters, numbers, and shapes. And it’s great for older toddlers to have fun with Mickey Mouse.

Check out the puzzle here!

Fun Wooden Dinosaur Puzzle

This wooden dinosaur puzzle is absolutely adorable and will easily become a favorite showing many of the different types of dinosaurs. And the pieces are easy to handle for little toddlers.

Check out your puzzle here!


Animal Wooden Box Puzzle

This is such a fun puzzle that encourages toddlers to change the block shapes around to form the fun animal picture. They’ll be turning those blocks into new pictures for tons of toddler fun.

Grab this puzzle here!

Wooden Shape Sorting Peg Puzzle

Grab this puzzle here!


Toddler Puzzles for 2-Year-Olds

Wooden Animal Themed Puzzle Set

These adorable puzzles from Smart Kids come in themed packs of five puzzles. They are perfect for little hands that may be new to puzzles!

Grab your puzzle here!


Wooden Colors and Shapes Puzzle

This puzzle teaches toddlers their colors and shapes in one bright puzzle. They can match up the giant crayons with the matching colors or the brightly colored shapes.

Check out this puzzle here!


Things I Eat Match Up Puzzle

Little hands will use the pictures of foods like delicious fruits and veggies to match up these simple 2 piece puzzles. These are perfect to get toddlers working on matching to like items together.

Check out this puzzle here!


This travel themed puzzle is so bright and stimulating and teaches little ones about all the various modes of travel such as boats, airplanes, and buses.

Grab your puzzle here!


Touch and Feel Animal Puzzle

Your 2-year-old will love putting together these 3 piece animal puzzle as they have fun textures like fur and leather in each puzzle set!

Check out this puzzle here!


Classic Wooden Shape Sorting Puzzle

This Melissa and Doug classic wooden shape sorter is a learning toy every child should have. It really helps develop fine motor skills and good shape recognition as they play.

Check out this sorter here!


Vibrant Wooden Shape Sorter

This simple shape sorter is perfect for little hands with the chunky and vibrant colored pieces. Encourage your toddler to name each shape as they place them in the puzzle spot.

Get this puzzle here!

Toddler Puzzles for 3-Year-Olds

Wooden Latch Board Puzzle

Toddlers love buckles and latches! And this bright puzzle from Melissa and Doug will keep your toddler busy as they have fun working through each latch with this carefully crafted wooden puzzle.

Get your puzzle here!


Bright Wooden Numbers and Letters Puzzle Set

This set of brightly colored number and letter puzzles are perfect for little hands with the special knobs for handling each piece. These will easily become a favorite puzzle set.

Check out this puzzle set here!


Wooden Vehicle Themed Puzzle in a Box

This classic Melissa and Doug puzzle set is four puzzle boards in one with an attached box for all the jigsaw pieces. When your toddler is ready for more pieces, this is a great puzzle.

Check out this puzzle set here!


Colorful Mosaic Pegboard Puzzle

This fun puzzle encourages toddlers to match up the colorful pegs and place them into the matching colored spaces in the puzzle. This is great for 3 and 4 year olds but be aware of the little pieces which can be a chocking hazard.

Get this puzzle here!


Animal Parade Letter Jigsaw

This original puzzle helps toddlers recognize letters with the names of popular animals while putting together this creative animal parade puzzle.

Get this puzzle here!

Toddler Puzzles for 4-Year-Olds

Wooden Animal Jigsaw Puzzle Set

This is a great first jigsaw puzzle. Each puzzle in the set has 9 wooden, easy to hold pieces. This is great for older toddlers who can see pieces and combine into a big picture. Some 3-year-olds would also love this puzzle.

Grab this puzzle here!


3D Dinosaur Puzzle Set

This amazing 3D form dinosaur puzzles brings the fun of these creatures to life. Toddlers get to put together their own 3D dinosaurs to play with. This is best for 3 and 4 year old toddler who are able to understand how the pieces fit together.

Check out the puzzle here!


Colorful Tangram Block Puzzle

This fun tangram puzzle encourages toddlers to manipulate all the different shaped blocks to fit into the one square puzzle mold. It’s like your babies first brainteaser!

Check out this puzzle here! 


Geometric Shape Sorter

This is another brainteaser style puzzle to challenge their brains to match up the correct shaped hole with the same peg.

Get this puzzle here!


These fun learning focused toddler puzzles will keep your toddler busy learning and having fun! This post helps you find the best toddler puzzle for your 2, 3, or 4 year old! #toddler #toddlerapproved #toddlertoys #toddleractivities

The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimalist Mom on a Budget

Baby essentials list

When you’re expecting your first baby or second or fifth there’s a lot of stuff to consider buying for your precious bundle of joy. And there also are a lot of things you absolutely do NOT need. And after having three kids, I’ve learned a few things!

And wasting money and taking up space in your home when adding to your family is totally unnecessary. You really can live the minimalist life and be mindful of your budget when having a baby.

Baby essentials list

This list will give you the goods on what goods you really need and which ones you need to leave at the store!

That’s because that super sweet and cuddly first year of your baby’s life is literally going to fly right by! And so much of the baby gear that’s usually recommended isn’t really going to get used that much or not at all.

Start with Your Baby Registry

One of the first things you need if you’re pregnant is a baby registry. Why? Umm, to tell all your family and friends what you really want so they can buy it for you! But you already knew that, so moving on.

 

Amazon is the largest retailer in the world and millions of people are ordering their every need on Amazon every single day. And that goes for gifts too!

 

So while you’ll definitely have fun signing up for your Target Baby Registry you may not know that Amazon has a Baby Registry too. It’s totally FREE to sign up and you get a really awesome free gift shipped to you as well.

This is a huge incentive for gift shopping because while your best friend is ordering her groceries to be shipped, she can add your baby shower gift and have it gift wrapped too. And you can add ALL of these amazing products so easy!

So it’s like doing her a favor! #winwin

Now on to our list of only the baby essentials you really need and the ones you don’t.

Baby Essentials You Must Have

Baby essentials list

1 – Newborn Pack and Plays

By the time I had my third baby, I didn’t want a bunch of large baby gear that I had to get rid of in the first year. I quickly realized that buying a sweet little bassinette isn’t necessary.

With the invention of beautifully designed newborn friendly pack and plays, this is all you need for your newborn’s first bed. They’re small enough to fit by most bedsides like a bassinette but will do so much more.

The reason I love these so much is that the newborn sleeper is perfect for snuggling your little one in softness while safely keeping them on their backs. As they get a few months older, it’s amazing how quickly they can start to roll in their sleep.

They also have a changing table that allows you to do quick changes in your room instead of needing to run to the baby’s nursery in the middle of the night.

And the best part is, as your baby gets older you can remove the newborn sleeper and changing table and have them sleep in the crib attachment. And finally, you’ll still get use out of them as a playpen for many years after! It’s simply one of the best new baby essentials I can think of!

Here is a listing of the highest 5 star reviewed newborn-friendly pack and plays!

Breastfeeding class

2 – Convertible Car Seat

We love convertible car seats because your infant car seat isn’t going to last you passed the first two years. And if we’re focusing on our budget here the convertible car seat is totally the way to go.

All of these car seats come with a newborn attachment that safely keeps your newborn snuggled while in their seat. And this particular seat is perfect because it transforms as your child grows up to 100 pounds!

Here is a full listing of all the five star rated convertible car seats!

The only time I would recommend buying an infant carrier car seat is if you have multiple children. And only if you feel that taking your baby out of her car seat every time would be too overwhelming.

We purchased a convertible car seat with my first daughter and loved it. We then purchased an infant carrier when we had our second daughter and it was convenient. But it was also very heavy to lug around too.

I would suggest investing in a comfortable baby carrier and wearing your little one everywhere. It’s super easy and keeps your baby close!

3 – Infant Carrier

I just love infant carriers! They are perfect for doing things in the house and comfortably getting around out of the house. And if you have multiple children they are a lifesaver!

There’s just one problem, many parents are getting it wrong. There’s a huge danger of hip dysplasia in babies and infants by using the wrong carrier.

Most of those carriers that dangle the baby either front or rear facing are usually the culprits. Read here to learn how to prevent hip dysplasia in infants with common baby products.

The good news is there are many great baby carriers to choose from that will keep your baby safe and comfortable and won’t wreck your back either.

I love Ergo because they’re all about the comfort of both baby and mama! This wrap style carrier takes some practice but once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to stop using it. Plus, it takes up almost no room which is a HUGE plus!

Here’s a Top Five list of infant carriers that moms voted that they love!

4 – Baby Stroller

Though I loved wearing my baby’s everywhere, I still had plenty of opportunities to use our stroller! Especially as they got older and heavier.

We chose this particular stroller that we loved so much because it had all the storage and perks of the bigger strollers but you could basically lift and operate it with one hand. I had tons of jealous mom friends when they saw how light it was.

You can buy the stroller on its own or the infant carrier and stroller combo if you’re opting for an infant carrier car seat. And if you are, I highly recommend you purchase the matching stroller. You’ll thank me later!

Check out my absolute favorite stroller here.

5 – Baby Bottles

Whether you are breastfeeding or not, chances are your baby at some point will need to drink from a bottle. And you want to be prepared!

There are many, many bottles to choose from and bottle feeding is very personal to each mom based on your feeding desires. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and want a bottle that’s very close to breast, you may want to invest in Comotomo Natural Feeding Bottles.

They are on the pricey side, but if you don’t plan to use bottles often, you could get by with just a few. And the benefits of avoiding nipple confusion likely outweigh the investment.

If you are exclusively pumping or are formula feeding like I did, you can feel free to choose a great bottle that focuses on helping baby drink and digest their milk without painful gas. I personally used these Philips Avent bottles and loved them!

I recommend buying the larger 9 oz bottles instead of the newborn 4 oz bottles. It saves money and you can just change the nipples from slow flow for your newborn to the older stages as your baby is ready.

6 – Swaddling Wraps or Blankets

Swaddling wraps have certainly come a long way since just a few years ago. I used to be firmly on the swaddling blankets side of the swaddling debate.

That’s because the first swaddling wraps on the market didn’t really achieve that snug swaddled feel that the blankets did. However, these swaddling wraps are simply amazing and make swaddling a no-brainer for tired parents!

If you love swaddling your baby with those soft muslin blankets, you’ll love these Aden + Anais swaddling blankets. 

Check out this video if you’re feeling clueless about swaddling your little one to sleep.

7 – Breastfeeding Pillow

Whether or not you are planning to breastfeed, you need one of these breastfeeding pillows! I literally used this handy pillow to prop up my little newborns all day long. The Boppy pillow’s shape seems to make them feel snuggled and keeps them calm.

And because of its portability, you can take it anywhere you go. I actually pumped for the first month because he had to be admitted in the hospital for Jaundice at 4 days old.

This complicated our breastfeeding plan, and I ended up using this pillow to lay him on while I was pumping.

This pillow also gets a lot of mileage as it works perfectly for propping up your little sitter.

8 – Burp Clothes and Onesies

A couple of things that you simply can’t live without as a new mom are burp clothes and simple onesies. Your washing machine will be full of these every single load, so you can never have enough.

These burp clothes have a unique curved flap style that seems to stay in place on your shoulder better. Plus, the designs are very cute!

These simple gray uni-sex onesies are perfect because white seems to really hold on to spit up stains and they work perfectly under baby’s outfits when you actually leave the house.


9 – Must-Have Bath Time Essentials

Obviously bathing your baby is something you’ll be doing every day or at least every other day. So, having a simple bathtub is important. This baby seat is what I used for all three of my babies and it easily fits into your kitchen sink or bathtub.

It still cradles your newborn and when you’re done it folds flat. It ends up taking no room at all and it’s very inexpensive! Perfect for the minimalist mom on a budget.

This very cool tub dam is not something I’ve used but, wish I had one when my kids were babies. It saves a ton of money and water. Probably one of the coolest baby products I’ve ever seen!


What did we miss on this baby essentials list? Let us know in the comments below what your absolute must-have baby product is!

Related Baby Posts:

60 Cool and Strong Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong Meanings

 

All new moms need baby stuff but there are also things we don't need. This list is a complete list of baby essentials and nothing you don't need! This list is perfect for the minimalist mom. #pregnancy #babies #baby #babystuff

The Ultimate List of Productivity Hacks for Work-at-Home Moms

Work at home mom productivity hacks

I’ve been a work at home mom for over 11 years now so I’ve learned a few things about productivity hacks!

I know because I’ve raised 3 babies and even homeschooled my two older children for 2 years; all while working from home. I’d like to say I feel like Superwoman, but sleepy from the 7 Dwarfs is probably more accurate most days. But I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and many productivity hacks to keep me working and the kiddos happy and busy.

Work at home mom productivity hacks

There have always been early mornings and late nights, but it’s always been worth it. And you won’t find me complaining about it – ever. This life is one that I chose. I can choose to do anything else if I want to – but for now, I’m right where I want to be.

But one issue I struggled with early on was productivity. It’s HARD to be focused on your work or business when you’re raising a little person (or several) who basically need you for EVERYTHING – at least in the beginning. So how do you keep from being ineffective as a mom and business owner?

You learn along the way and take advice and help from others also in the trenches of work-at-home motherhood. So, I’ve decided to put together the ultimate list of all the BEST productivity hacks that I could find from other business moms like myself and share them with you!

Productivity Hack #1 Get up early

Getting up early is essential – since the kids don’t wake up until 6:30 or 7… getting up at 5 allows me to get at least 90 minutes of work completed before everyone’s feet hit the floor.  I’ll admit that I find it hard to get up at that time, but it feels so much better to know that I’m ahead of the game before the day even begins.

Couresty of Sheryl at TheCentsableshoppin.com

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Productivity Hack #2 Dress for Work

When you work from the comfort of your home, you can wear anything you want. I often have friends tell me, “I’d love to work at home in my pajamas.” Being clad in flannel may make you comfortable, but it can be detrimental to your productivity. It doesn’t provide the transition that you need to move from sleep and relaxation to getting things done. Getting dressed provides the kick in the pants your brain needs to get into the work groove.

Action step: If you’re still in your pjs, go freshen up and get dressed. You don’t have to wear office attire, but putting on a nice shirt, jeans and shoes will help you feel ready to tackle the day. It’ll also be much less embarrassing to answer the door for the UPS deliveryman. Trust me.

Courtesy of Donella Crigger at GlueSticksandGumDrops.com

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Productivity Hack #3 Work When You’re Most Productive

To do this, you need to be aware of when your high-energy times are and try to schedule time blocks during these times. Then, make sure you’re working on the most important things on your to-do list during these times.

First of all, it’s always so much easier to work on something important — or difficult — when you’re able to think clearly.

Also, if you’re working on stuff when you don’t have a whole lot of energy, you’re more likely to make mistakes. And it’s always more time consuming and costly to fix something later than to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Pro-Tip — I split my to-do list between high and low-energy tasks. This way I always know exactly what to work on during my high-energy times as well as my low-energy times, so I’m not having to go back and fix mistakes the next day.

Courtesy of Annie Mueller at SpikedParenting.com

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Productivity Hack #4 Set Your Daily Tasks with Quadrant Planning

   

Courtesy of Kristi Hines at Justina’sGems

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Productivity Hack #5 Turn Off Notifications

If my phone or computer is beeping at me all day, it’s hard for me not to check out what’s going on. I get distracted, I get nothing done, and then I get stressed because I got nothing done. So I eliminated the blinking and the beeping, and it changed my world.

Courtesy of Ashley Fehr at TheRecipeRebel.com

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Productivity Hack #6 Make Time for Self Care

I hesitated before using the term “self-care” because it’s such a worldly buzzword right now. But the fact is that the need to recharge is real.In fact, God, who made us, also commands us to to rest  one day each week. How can we rest? By meditating on His word.

Taking a walk in His creation. Going for a swim in His oceans. Or just sitting with the family He blessed us with and enjoying their company.

When we run ourselves into the ground without taking the time to recuperate and rejuvenate ourselves, we can not live the full lives that we should live as stay-at-home moms. So make rest a priority.

Courtesy of Amy at TheGoodOldTodays.com

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Productivity Hack #7 Create a Routine for Your Kids

Like us moms, kids need routines to feel accomplished, too. An intentional routine can also cut back on the amount of times we hear, “Mom, I’m sooo bored.” By creating a routine for our kids, we are teaching them early about productivity and setting and accomplishing goals.

I suggest creating a monthly calendar that is easily accessible for the whole family. This will hold all of the events that are going on for everyone in the family. Then, create a list of things that need to be completed on a weekly basis. You can break this down into tasks for each day and assign a particular person for each.

Courtesy of Jillian at LiveLoveJillian.com

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Productivity Hack #8 Don’t Forget Your Stop Time

It’s also at this time that I plan my stop time. The time in which I will stop work for the day. This is an extremely important habit to have. You need to have a stop time as a work at home mom. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve worked for 16 hours a day for 4 days straight because you forgot to stop working each day.

Courtesy of Crystal at MommyisaWino

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Side Hustle Blueprint

Productivity Hack #9  Set Realistic Goals

A sparkling clean house, a successful home-based business, and a five-course dinner on the table every night looks great on Pinterest, but it’s not reality. Trying to do everything yourself — and all at the same time — is a recipe for disaster.

Courtesy of Sarah Brooks at ThePennyHoarder.com

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Related: 12 Habits of Highly Successful Goal Setters for Moms Like You!

Productivity Hack #10 Using the Batching Method

I write a list of everything I still need to get done before Monday and then a separate list of things that can wait until the following week.  I also spend some time thinking about how my schedule will be laid out and which tasks I can batch to save time.  That way when Monday morning hits I know exactly what I need to be working on.  These planning times are so ingrained in my schedule that I don’t even have to think about them!  They are a daily and weekly habit that makes my life run so much smoother and really helps with my productivity.

Courtesy of Erin at SunnySideUp.com

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Productivity Hack #11 Create Systems and Processes

This is one of the single most important parts of being productive. You need to be organized and know what needs to be done when. This means starting with creating systems, processes, and workflows. Every part of your business should have a process.

Courtesy of Amber Kristine at NeonPineappleDesign.com

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Productivity Hack #12 Be Present with Your Family

Try your best not to work in front of your kids so when you’re with your kids, you’re fully present. Don’t stick around on your computer or answer emails when you can be outside playing with them. Limit the use of your phone and especially social media which is a time suck and distraction from being present (I myself need to work on this!). Close the office doors and do not go back in until they’re asleep during nap time and at the end of the day.

Courtesy of Jessie at TheMiamiRose.com

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Related: How I Keep My Family First While Running a Thriving Business

Productivity Hack #13 Be OK With Not Getting it All Done

Somehow we’ve developed this idea that having it all means having to do it all. Or that it means having it all at once. It doesn’t mean either one of those things! And believing that we have to have it all at once or do it all equally well is just setting ourselves up for epic failure. At any given moment my bathroom vanity is messy, I have a number of unfinished projects around the house, and I still need to get in my 30 minutes of daily exercise. Over time I have learned to be okay with things getting done in their own time. So many of the deadlines and ultimatums we face as working moms are self-imposed. One of the best gifts that we can give ourselves is room to breathe and space to just not get things done.

Courtesy of OneBigHappyLife.com

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Productivity Hack #14 Build Margin into your Day

 If there’s not enough time to get everything done, then there’s nothing you can do to change that other than to eliminate things from your schedule and to-do list. Which things on your to-do list feel really important but aren’t actually all that important?  It’s okay to do less, and if you really can’t eliminate anything on your to-do list, then it’s time to hire an assistant to help you!

Courtesy of Mandi Ehman at TheArtofSimple.net

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Productivity Hack #15 Talk to an Adult… Outloud

We love our children dearly, but talking to them doesn’t count here. If your kids are the only humans you speak to all day, you might start saying things like “No no” or “that’s mommy’s drink” to a potential client, which could be embarrassing, or possibly even cost you the job.

So call your mom, call your friend, or pick up the phone and call a client instead of shooting them an email. They will appreciate the personal connection, and you get to practice maintaining your social skills. It’s a win-win.

Courtesy of Susannuh at HelloGinger.com

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Productivity Hack #16 Set Up A Support Network

There will be days when you need to be at your most productive and distraction-free. Seek assistance from other stay-at-home moms. If there are a few of you who work at home, consider pooling money together to hire a babysitter to watch all of your kids for a few hours. Having that additional support will mean you can focus your attention on your work knowing your children are being cared for.

Courtesy of Catherine Malone at Knote.com

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Related: How to Successfully Balance Your Passion and Your Business

Productivity Hack #17 Get a Good 8 Hours of Sleep

There are seasons of life when it is tempting to burn the midnight oil.  I always regret those late nights the very next day It’s so much better for our bodies, minds, and spirits to hit the sack by 10:00 at the latest. That sleep before midnight is the best, so grab it whenever you can.  By 6:00 the next morning, you’ll be feeling like a million bucks, and you’ll be able to energetically and enthusiastically accomplish so much more.  (And a cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either!)

Courtesy of Natalie Klejwa at KeeperoftheHome.org

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Productivity Hack #18 Set Aside Time To Do Chores

I’m not about to tell you to avoid doing anything around the house during the workday. Heck, having your work breaks (you need to take a break anyway!) double as time to get chores done is one of the #1 benefits of working from home. The trick is to not become distracted by all that needs to be done around the house. What helps me is to set aside 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours to take a break from work and then I use that time to take a break from my computer screen and throw in a load of laundry, chop up some veggies for dinner, or tidy up a bit.

Courtesy of Christina Tiplea at EmbracingSimpleBlog.com

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Productivity Hack #19 Create a Workspace

Without a designated workspace, I am distracted by the dishes that need to be washed or the dust I glimpse on the television screen or that one little thing that will just take five minutes. Before you know it an hour has gone by. My article still needs to be written, and I haven’t called my source to interview them. Even if it is just a corner, creating a work space signals to your brain that it is now time to work.

Courtesy of Rosanne Bowman at BrilliantBusinessMoms.com

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Productivity Hack #20 Celebrate

Finally, at the end of every day (and there should be an end), feel good about what you were able to accomplish and celebrate. There will always be more work to do so don’t fret about what you weren’t able to complete. Simply clear your desk and prepare for the next day.

Courtesy of Ashley Sisk at DailyMom.com

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Wow! This was an awesome list straight from the mouths and hearts of moms who are in the beautiful trenches of work-at-home motherhood. I hope these tips and tricks helped you in your quest to become even more productive amidst the sounds of little feet running by. 🙂

Please leave a comment below and share your productivity hacks for how you stay on track with your business goals and still rock is as an awesome mom. Let’s keep this list growing and growing in the comments below!

These work at home mom productivity hacks and tips will have you working and feeling like a Mom boss in no time! #Momboss #productivity #goals #Goals2018 #goalcrusherLooking for a work at home mom schedule and tips to stay productive even with kids at home? Get inspired with this list of 20 productivity hacks from other mom boss bloggers! #momboss #mompreneur #bloggersgetsocial #blogging #blogger #productivity

Working from home with kids can feel like a three ring circus with you getting nothing done! But it doesn't have to be that way. Get 20 of the best productivity hacks from other work at home moms like you! #productivity #blogging #workathomemom #momlife

How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling and All the Regret

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

Ever wonder how to get your kids to listen without yelling? I know, it’s frustrating! But this simple strategy really helps to get your kids to listen without screaming your head off. You have to work it… but it really works! 

I’m not talking about when you shout upstairs for your kiddos to get in the car because you’re running late for school for the third time this week.

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

Or when your 12-year-old’s friend who lives down the block stops by and you kindly let her (and the whole house) know to come downstairs. I’m kind of loud in general… maybe you are too.

I’m talking about when your toddler decides to morph into Captain America for the hundredth time this week and starts throwing his shield across the living room and you kindly ask him to stop. At which he shows no visible signs of hearing and therefore you remind him again a little louder this time. 

Bam!  The shield slams into your wall once again and there goes your sanity and here comes the yelling.

This was me… every single day for years.

I knew something had to change because I wasn’t enjoying being a mom which I knew wasn’t right because I loved being a mom. But I just couldn’t figure out how to break the vicious cycle of yelling and regret.

Then through prayerful observation and help from my husband who could see what was going on all along, I saw that I was the cause of this cycle – not my kids. And that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

Do I still have a set-back every now and then and yell at my kids in anger? Sure, but those are infrequent and much less than they used to be. If you find yourself losing your temper frequently with your kids, I strongly encourage you to read and try these tips.

They really do work!

Why Yelling Doesn’t Get Your Kids to Listen

The first step to getting your kids to listen when you’re disciplining is to not be angry. Feels impossible, right?

I mean, sure they “hear” you, but our goal is for them to listen which isn’t the same thing.

Even if you need to step away, it’s important to release or control your personal frustration before diving right in. That’s because disciplining when you’re angry undermines your authority.

I’ve come to learn something along the way. Yelling really never worked, and kids lose respect for yelling parents. 

I thought it was working because when I talked normally, no one ever moved. Until I broke out in a nice yell. That’s only partially true because they simply learned to respond to the yelling.

Not only does disciplining when you’re angry undermine your authority, but you’re also teaching your child how to have loose and untamed emotions by watching you. Ouch!

Yelling like a lunatic and saying hurtful things to your children can have lasting consequences. And whether they tell you or not… those words run deep.

Our yelling is really more about us than it is about them.

This is so, so important for us as parents to let sink in. When we get overwhelmed at the situation and break out into a yelling fit we are acting no different than our toddler who drops to the floor in a temper tantrum.

And when we feel tempted to have a mommy tantrum… we need to give ourselves a mommy timeout.

This is really important to allow us to cool down so we don’t let our emotions take over and do or say something we’ll most certainly regret. And need to apologize for!

Lax Parenting is your Enemy

Lax parenting – without firm and consistent boundaries – opens the door to being challenged by your child at some point… really every point.

And we have the tendency be most lax when all is well and we’re having a stress-free day. Little things get overlooked over and over again. We’re afraid to make any adjustments so we don’t rock this peaceful boat we’re in.

For example, you’re in the grocery store with your toddler and things are going great. #MomWin

He asks if he can walk, and since you only had to run in for a couple things (another #MomWin) you let him walk.

In a nano-second, he starts to touch things. He’s just touching and not knocking things over… so what’s the big deal you tell yourself. Deep down, you’re terrified to do anything to end this no-chaos bliss thing happening. So you don’t tell him to stop.

But wait!! Here’s the kicker, he’s just mentally and physically recorded that it’s ok to touch stuff at the store.

Fast forward to your next trip to the store when you need to grab a cart full of stuff (no #MomWin). To top it off, your son didn’t get a full nap today and you’re so exhausted you think you might need glasses.

This time your son reaches out to grab and pull down every item he can get his hands on. You’re embarrassed, frustrated, and headed for a melt-down.

The key to setting boundaries is making them consistent. In the Good Times AND in the Bad! They need to know what to expect EVERY single time.

The Importance of Staying Consistent

Children desperately need consistency to learn. Not only do they need to know what to except, but that expectation you need shouldn’t change every day of the week. And we can’t be wishy-washy.

I use to be the Queen of the Threat. I’d rattle off statements like, “Do you want to go into Timeout?” or “Do you want a spanking?”

When in reality, I didn’t plan on following through. I was banking on the “threat” doing its job. But the truth is, our kids are just too smart for that. They can see right through our weakness. I think they can smell it too!

Inconsistent or nonexistent consequences do nothing short of undermining our integrity and authority.

In short, they learn not to trust what we say.

Here’s a quick tip – make sure to think about the punishment when you’re not emotional. If you rattle off that your teenager is grounded for 6 months… if it doesn’t fit the crime, you’re going to be in a dilemma.

Do I let her off the punishment early or make her stick it out just to prove a point?

Either way isn’t the best scenario.

Firm doesn’t mean harsh.

Not only should our discipline be consistent but it also needs to be firm. They need to know you mean business.

But by the same token, they shouldn’t be afraid of you. I know, this kind of goes against many old-school parenting methods. But instilling fear is never helpful. There’s a clear difference between firm and harsh.

You may feel this is beneficial when your children are small, but as they get older – they need to know you’re there for them.

Think of all the crazy things young people have to deal with in our current times. Having a parent who blows their top over every little thing will keep your child from confiding in you – when they need you and your wisdom the most.

Let me also mention, that when I say harsh I’m not talking about spanking either. Spanking, done in a loving environment, without anger, can be a very effective discipline tool. And should only be done in love. Although it can clearly be misused and over-used.

Harsh discipline is done when we’re angry and led by our disappointment, embarrassment, guilt, or some other emotion. And can happen in every form of discipline from timeouts, lectures, mean words, shaming, and spanking.

The whole point of discipline is to teach our children what’s right and wrong. And we do this out of our love.

Discipline Should Come From Love

We see so much destruction in the news today, and I wonder how many of those individuals had no boundaries in their formative years.

Discipline, done the right way, is an act of love. It’s one way we keep our kids safe.

The Bible provides so much practical wisdom on correction and discipline. And the focal point always comes back to love. Proverbs 3:11-12 

It’s our job, really our privilege, to shape our children’s lives in a positive way. Giving them the best possible chance at life by teaching them the proper way to conduct themselves.

I want to emphasize here that the actual form of discipline and punishment you choose is not as important as being consistent and doing what you say.

Not only that, but each child is different and will respond differently to various forms of discipline such as timeouts, removal of privileges, and so on. There is no cookie-cutter formula that’ll work for every kid.

This is an on-going process and one where we need to fully depend on the Grace of God to do well. And rest in that same Grace when we miss it because we all do!

Do you have some tried and trusted methods for getting your kids to listen? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!

Tired of having to nag and yell to get your kids to listen to you? There's a better and much more enjoyable way to get your kids to listen the first time! Read to learn how to get your sanity back. #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood

The Science Behind What Motivates Your Child to Succeed and Achieve Their Best

how to motivate your kids to succeed

We’ve all been there, you ask your kid to sweep up the floor after dinner while you go into the kitchen to start loading the dishwasher. You come back to see that your very capable child chose to use the “spot-cleaning” method under your dining room table.

how to motivate your kids to succeed

You take one look and know full and well he was rushing so he can get back to playing Fortnite as promised. Point blank – he didn’t even come close to trying his best. And moms have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing when our kid did their best at any moment.

I have one simple request in my home and that is when my kids put their hands to doing something, that they do their best. Notice I said their best, not the best. As your kids get older you tend to know when your kid is rushing or fluffing something off and when they’re actually struggling and need help… if you’re paying attention, that is.

Beyond our “mom-sense,” this is where having a strong relationship and connection with your child plays a huge role in parenting. Asking lots of questions helps you to see where your child is to figure out how you can actually help them do their best.

Why Should Kids Do Their Best?

It may seem like there’s a lot of emphasis on doing their best which as I stated earlier shouldn’t get mixed up with doing the best. That’s because the result of a person’s individual effort isn’t nearly as important as the process of effort they put in to actually achieve those results.

For example, it’s more noteworthy when a student works diligently to learn and stays accountable to do their school work and still brings home C’s on average. In contrast to a student who barely studies beyond glancing at a few pages prior to his tests and doesn’t take school seriously but still manages to bring home straight A’s.

The second student is likely to have a bent where learning and memorizing materials come more easily. Whereas the first student may not and might even be struggling with a learning disability or concentration issues that make learning more challenging.

Which child should be praised? The straight A student or the C student?

It is my personal belief and how I chose to parent my own children that praising results is a huge mistake over placing effort front and center.

The Dangers of Results-Driven Parenting

I remember growing up and having friends who did very well in school and also worked very hard but were scared to go home if a B showed up on their report card. This type of results-driven parenting can produce harmful stress in children which can contribute to depression in kids and teens.

When we focus on our child’s results – their grades, accomplishments, and whether or not they win in the game we are setting expectations for our child. And expectations are actually a really good thing. In fact, they’re the keys to getting kids, or anyone for that matter, to do their best.

But result-driven expectations are focused solely on ability and outcomes rather than the effort the child actually put into the process to succeed. When putting the sole focus on your child’s natural abilities or the outcome of a goal, it can be frustrating because these things are hard for your child to control.

Another problem with ability expectations is that if children attribute their successes to their ability-“I won because I’m so talented”-they must attribute their failures to their lack of ability-“I’m failed because I’m stupid.”

Psychology Today

The Science of High Performance

An unfortunate side effect of performance and results focused expectations is that we often unknowingly put labels on our kids. They could be more positive labels such as smart, driven, and high achiever. Or they might be less positive labels such as picky eater, shy, hyper, or learning disabled.

Even if we don’t outright call our children by these labels, we do so in subtle ways. For example, if your child is extremely shy you may introduce her to her new teacher by saying, “this is my daughter Cassie. She’s very shy so she may need some time to make friends.”

This innocent introduction is merely a parent’s gentle way of protecting their child from rejection or judgment… Our way of “helping” our kids along. But we often do more harm than good because our kids consciously and subconsciously grab hold of these labels (good or not so good) and live up to them.

She’ll naturally find herself holding back when in the presence of new people and because she’s been wearing a label of being shy, she most likely won’t push herself to grow in the healthy behavior of building positive relationships in her life.

Dr. Robert Rosenthal did exhaustive research on the topic of expectations of others and labels. He was fascinated to see how humans functioned when given arbitrary labels and whether or not those labels could change a person’s behavior. His research was on experimenter expectancy effects and the Pygmalion effect.

The Pygmalion effect is the scientific name for a self-fulfilling prophecy which is when a person believes something about themselves so strongly that they subconsciously work hard to make it a reality in their life, even if it’s not actually true.

This is so very important for us as parents to understand because it will help us set the right type of expectations for our children so they can most effectively achieve their best in life.

How to Set the Right Expectations for your Child

Whether we like it or not, we’re always establishing expectations for our children. They learn to anticipate our reactions to grades and performances and on a deep level work to meet those expectations. But setting the wrong ones can be detrimental to our children.

Focusing on their natural talents and gifting may seem like a good thing but if not guided properly can lead to an unhealthy sense of self-worth if their gift suddenly stops working or they’re prevented from using that gift for unforeseen reasons.

We need to be sure their identity isn’t wrapped up in their gifts and personal achievements.

Rather the healthiest and most effective expectations we can give our children are Effort Expectations. This is when we help our child focus on the process – the magic that happens in between the goal and the desired outcome.

When children (and adults) stay focused on the process of how we’ll achieve our goal we work harder and lean in at a higher level. The best part is, we know how hard we worked and if we come shy of that goal we still feel a high sense of satisfaction in how far we progressed.

When we only look at the endgame, we feel anxious and have a strong fear of failure. Those negative feelings are majorly reduced when we’re too busy putting the work in to achieve our goals.

An Experiment in Expectations

Now that we understand how to have the right type of expectations for our kids lets dive back into the science of why healthy expectations are so powerful.

Dr. Rosenthal conducted an experiment to test his theory on expectations. He had teachers give their students an IQ test that was labeled the Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition which basically measured whether a child was “ready to bloom” or not.

To protect the integrity of the experiment the teachers had no previous experience with this test and no knowledge of the experiment itself. After completion of the test, students who scored in the top 20% of this test were labeled as “ready to bloom.”

The teachers were given a list of children who scored in the top 20%. But here’s the twist, they were actually given a list of completely randomly selected names that fell in all scoring ranges.

At the end of the school year, all the students were retested to determine if any changes took place in their IQ scores. The results showed a tremendous increase in IQ scores in one group. Can you guess which one? Yep, the randomly selected “ready to bloom” students scored much higher whereas the students who weren’t labeled remained the same.

This is profound because it proves how powerful expectations are in the hands of teachers, parents, and other leaders. These teachers were told these students were above average (even though most weren’t).

As a result, they began to teach them as above average. In turn, when these children were talked to and interacted with as “above average kids” they simply rose to the occasion. A powerful concept indeed!

This is why we as parents must be aware of the labels we give our kids and the words we speak into our children. The bible says it this way:

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7

It also says that life and death are in the power of our tongue. In other words, we have the ability to speak life into our children through the words we speak and the labels we give them. We can highlight labels that hold our kids back or encourage them to rise above those labels.

When we expect the best from our kids, you better believe they’ll be inspired to rise up to them!

Final Thoughts

Let me close with a personal example. This understanding of expectations doesn’t merely effect children, it’s for us too. We’ve all been in a situation where a boss, a friend, our parent, or even our spouse didn’t believe we were capable in some way.

It can feel demoralizing and extremely de-motivating. On the other hand, when we have people in our lives that believe in us, even more than we believe in ourselves, it can help us feel powerful and inspired to rise to what they see in us.

If you’re reading this and know you’ve been putting labels on your kids or doling out tons of results driven expectations do not feel hard on yourself. We’ve all done it. What’s more important is taking steps to change the narrative your child has been hearing.

Also, a parent’s job is to protect our kids, so never allow others (grandparents, teachers, etc.) to put negative labels on your child either. Simply tell them nicely that we don’t want to label our kids so please refrain from using that term with our child. It’s that simple.

Let me urge you to look beyond the surface labels in your child like talented, shy, picky eater, class-clown. And help them discover their purpose and achieve their dreams. Work to inspire them to push beyond their safe place and discover a place of their own greatness.

They just need to be told they can!

What to know the secret to getting kids self motivated to succeed? This surprising study shares insight that you can start using with your kids today! #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parenting

22+ of the Coolest Must-Have Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

must have baby products

It seems like every year that passes, someone invents a baby gadget that I wish I had years before when my kids were babies!

There are also many inventions that are unnecessary, a waste of money, and totally prey on new parents’ emotions. But that’s not the focus of this post!

must have baby products

This post is full of the coolest, must-have baby stuff that we all wish we had “back in the day.” If you’re a new mom or a mom of little ones, you’re going to go nuts over these products!

Take a deep breath and stay calm. When deciding which one you have to have just tell yourself… you deserve it.

Baby Related Posts:

The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimalist Mom on a Budget

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27 Creative Pregnancy Announcement Ideas You’ll Want to Steal!

If you’re still in “mom-to-be” status, don’t forget your baby shower registry! Amazon has the largest registry on the planet and allows you to easily add any of these cool products to your registry without searching through retailers!

And you get a FREE sign up welcome box too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coolest Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

1 – Free Hand Baby Bottle Holder

I know every mama has experienced feeding her baby and needing a free hand at the same time! We’ve tried every trick to prop up that bottle but nothing ever works.

This amazing bottle holder is a real problem solver and it almost makes me want another baby… almost.

 

Get this amazing product here!

And if you’re constantly looking for ways to prop up your baby’s bottle in the car, this car seat bottle holder is an answer to your prayers! Check it out here!

2 – First Years 4 in 1 Remote Bottle Warmer

The reason this bottle warmer is on my must-have list is that when my middle daughter was a baby, she would drink at least 3 bottles every night!

And our bedroom was upstairs so I pre-bottled her milk every evening and stored them in a cold pack on my nightstand. And when she started to get hungry, I would get my trusty coffee mug and fill it with hot water from the bathtub and nest her bottle inside to warm up.

This wasn’t the most effective way to heat up her bottles quickly at all. This warmer actually stores your bottles inside and warms the bottles in seconds! I would have jumped at this warmer back then.

Get this amazing product here!

3 – The Toddler Bathtime Dam

This product is genius! And not only does it holds your little one in place, but it also saves gallons of water every single bath!

It easily snaps in place each bathtime and takes up very little space. In fact, it takes up way less space than those large infant tubs! The best part is, you can use this long after your baby grows out of the baby stage!

Check this out this product here!

4 – QuickZip Crib Sheet Set

I remember changing crib sheets and the nightmare experience it was every time. These amazing sheets actually zip on and off easily without the need to remove the mattress from the crib or wreck your back!

These crib sheets are simply revolutionary!

Check out this product here!

5 – Cocoon Cam Plus – Baby Monitor with Breathing Monitoring

There are many baby monitor on the market that have helpful features that give parents that much needed peace of mind when their baby is sleeping.

However, this monitor takes the cake and actually monitors your infant’s breathing! This technology is revolutionary and the best part is it doesn’t require you to attach or stick anything to your baby like many monitors still do.

Get this amazing product here!

6 – Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Remember the Diaper Genie? I had one with my first daughter and it was horrible! The plastic tub soaked up all the stink and never gave it up.

This stainless steel diaper pail keeps stacking up the awards, acclaim, and parent praise. It’s super easy to use and never holds on to the stick.

Grab this product here!

6 – Gripebelt Colic and Upset Stomach Swaddling Belt

If you’ve ever had a fussy or colicky baby, it’s really hard for mom and dad and baby too. But this adorable little belt actually works to lightly cradle your infant’s belly which is often the source of the fussiness.

It makes them feel safe and held and also has fun toys for baby to touch and hold.

Get the swaddling belt here!

60 Strong and Cool Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

7 – Forehead and Ear Thermometer

This ear and forehead thermometer actually works and is highly recommended by other moms like you! There’s no need to take your baby’s temperature rectally anymore. Especially, as they grow older and strongly object.

This makes the process painless, easy, and accurate!

Get this amazing thermometer here!

8 – The SkinSoother Baby Essential for Dry Skin

If your baby suffers from uncomfortable and even painful eczema, cradle cap, or other forms of dry skin this all natural silicone skin soother will bring sweet relief to your new baby.

Simply rub in on their wet skin and watch the irritation wash away. My daughter experienced bad eczema as a baby so this really would have been very helpful!

Get your skin soother here!

9 – Wash. It. Later. Soak and Save Bags

If you’ve ever experienced a diaper blowout, you know how disgusting and overwhelming it can be. My daughter had a blowout in the car seat while stuck in traffic heading to our hotel in Orlando.

I had to change her in the hotel bathroom and wasn’t prepared at all. I ended up washing her with wet paper towels and then wrapping her naked little body in more dry paper towels to carry her through the lobby. Itridiculousulous and only something I can laugh about now!

I luckily had a washing machine in our hotel. However, this isn’t the case most of the time and too often we’ve all just thrown away cute outfits because they were too soiled to keep. Until…

These cool bags allow you to throw those gross poop and pee covered items in their sealable plastic bags. Just add water and one of their detergent pods and seal up for later.

The detergent starts working on the stains and the water keeps the stains from setting until you can get home!

Get these amazing bags here!

10 – Boon Fast Bottle Warmer

I know this is a second bottle warmer on my list. But if you just need a bottle warmer without storage, this warmer will quickly become your bestie.

This bottle warmer may seem like a luxury item but when your newborn is hungry at 3 am and loves her milk warm, you do not want to have to heat up a bottle the old-fashioned way.

This bottle warmer heats up bottles and baby food safely in just over one minute!

Check out this bottle warmer here!

11 – BoogieBulb Baby Nasal Aspirator

This amazing nasal suction bulb is the first and only bulb that can be taken apart and cleaned! I’ve tried those new nasal suction aspirators that you suck through a tube, and they didn’t work for me.

I love a good bulb aspirator, however, they can get really nasty because you can’t easily clean them. Now you can!

Check it out here!

12 – RaZbaby Keep-It-Kleen Pacifier

If your baby loves a good binky, you may want to give this one a try. It actually has a soft covering attached to the pacifier itself.

This prevents it from picking up gross stuff along the way. This makes storage super easy too!

Get this cool pacifier here!

13 – Accu-Dose Pacifier Baby Medicine Dispenser

Getting a baby or toddler to take medicine can sometimes feel like a Game of Thrones episode. At least it was for my littlest baby!

This dosing pacifier makes the process super easy! It won’t change the flavor, but it’s certainly an easy way to give your baby their medicine.

Mom Tip: When my son was a baby he HATED taking any medicine and at the time was sick and had several bad tasting medicines to take at once. An ER nurse shared their hospital hack:

Add a little cherry flavor syrup after you’ve measured out the medication. It works every time!


Get your medicine dispenser here!

14 – Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon for Baby Led Weaning

As your little baby grows into a big baby, it’s time for the fun world of self-feeding! And whether you decide to go the route of baby led weaning, or stay the traditional course, these fun spoons will be your go-to!

The super soft and flexible silicon make scooping easier for baby and the unique shape help keep the food on the spoon and into their mouth. This totally reduces melt-downs. I mean, it’s really frustrating when you can’t get all that yummy food in your mouth!

Get this amazing spoon here!

15 – Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch

I LOVE these adorable reusable pouches! We moms all love how food pouches are unbelievably convenient for feeding your babies, toddlers, and kids. In fact, I’d love to feed all my kids’ meals from a pouch! But those store-bought pouches are just so dang expensive.

And Squooshi doesn’t make the DIY filling process complicated at all! You simply fill the super-sealed pouches from the bottom and quickly seal them up. They clean up beautifully and can be used again and again.

Plus, they’re super cute so your kids will love them! And you’re saving tons of money, so that’s a total win-win.

Get your reusable pouches here!

16 – Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump

This manual breast pump is running fast to the front of the line of the many breast pumps on the market. Many moms actually favor this and other manual breast pumps over the electric pumps.

I wish I knew this when I was pumping years ago!

It’s also perfect for when you’re feeding your baby on one side to suction onto the other breast to easily capture milk that is produced during that feeding session.

This makes it perfect for on-the-go, at work, and at home pumping.

Get this amazing breast pump here!

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong & Powerful Meanings

17 – Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf

This breastfeeding scarf is so cute and actually doesn’t look like a breastfeeding cover! The fabric is soft and breathable and easily moves to create many stylish looks.

And when it’s time to nurse, you won’t feel like you’re covering your baby with a blanket.

Get this adorable breastfeeding scarf here!

18 – Ju-Ju-Be Be Pumped Breast Pump Bag

Of course, I could resist adding this super cute breast pump bag with the match nursing scarf above! Pumping bags have been the last of the mom stuff to get a splash of style!

And a splash of style you get with this breast pump bag from Ju-Ju-Be. It’s both cute and very functional for making pumping at work and on the go so much easier!

Get this stylish pumping bag here!

19 – Boppy Newborn Lounger

I have a confession to make… I never used my Boppy Pillows for breastfeeding. They always made the BEST newborn loungers!

And now Boppy has recreated their amazing breastfeeding into a pillow made for lounging your new baby. These are literally must-have pillows for putting your baby down at a moment’s notice and still keeping them close.

I used mine when I was nursing or pumping to keep my baby close and happy when my arms weren’t available for snuggling.

Get this baby lounger here!

Comotomo Baby Bottles

These bottles are gaining in serious popularity among new moms! Moms swear that they ease gas and discomfort and are the closest to the breast when switching baby back and forth from breast to bottle.

Just a quick warning when buying ANY bottles. Just buy a very small amount and make sure your baby loves them first. And then go back and buy more!

Get these hugely popular bottles here!


Every year new amazing products for mom and baby come on the market, and I swear I wish I’d thought of them! But at least we can be thankful that someone (usually moms) have the smarts and guts to create these gems!

Let us know in the comments below which product is blowing your mind right now!

 

These little-known baby products are the baby stuff you'll wish you had! This list of must-have baby stuff will be your go-to sanity savers in your baby's first year. #babies #pregnancy #newborn #babycare #babystuff
These must-have baby items will totally save your sanity as a new mom. No fluff baby stuff here! Only the coolest stuff I wish I had when my kids were babies! #babies #pregnancy

51 Ways To Be A Fun Mom Even If You’re Stressed or Tired!

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

Would your kids call you a fun mom? Think about that for a second… are you way too consumed with adulting to notice that your kids really need a mom who is happy and fun?

Look, I get it. I can be as uptight as they come! I spent my early years as a mom focused on getting all the things done and doing what I called “putting out fires” every day.

I missed sooooo much when my girls were little. And the funny thing is, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my first daughter was born. I’ve been with my kids from the very beginning and it’s crazy how disconnected I was sitting right next to them. Being a fun mom didn’t come naturally to me… I had to learn how to become a fun mom and enjoy my kids.

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

I started this intentional journey when my son was born three years ago. I made a decision to become the mom I really wanted to be and soak up all the good stuff. To be intentional about being present with my kids and not just their disciplinarian, dinner maker, and chauffeur.

I mean, I’m still all those things but I want to be more!

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

How to Have More Fun With Your Kids

I want to become the fun and happy mom I know my kids really need. It’s not just about feeling happy and being fun all the time but about building the foundation for a life-long relationship. Sure, I’ll always be their mom, but we don’t get a guaranteed ticket into their heart. And that’s where I want to be for a lifetime… in their most intimate place.

In this crazy upsidedown world, I want my kids to never hesitate on coming to me with every question, issue, and fear they experience so I can lovingly help them through it.

Let me tell you, your kids won’t be rushing to you as the uptight, super strict, and always shouting mom. Heck no!

And I’m not talking about doing things to become your child’s friend either. Nope! You are their parent and should be respected as such. But we can be nice and welcoming in how we relate to our kids.

Sure, we all have days when our precious little ones just get on your last nerve and you feel like snapping and are miles away from “fun-town.”

Just try doing these things little by little and I promise you’ll see a difference. And you and your kids will be so grateful you did!

Let me just give you one disclaimer first. The younger your kids are the cooler these activities will seem to them. The older your kids get, the more they’ll act like you’re embarrassing them or you’re being lame for trying.

Let me encourage you that this is just a facade and even your tweens and teens secretly love it when you make an effort to be interested in them even when you may actually be embarrassing them! So give these a try even if you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for.

Here are some Learning Activities for Your Toddler!

51 Ways to be a Fun Mom and Enjoy Your Kids

  1. Have random and undistracted conversations about whatever they bring up. Ask questions and actually be interested in what they say.
  2. Read a book aloud. This is great to do even as your kids get older in the form of a mystery or adventure novel. Here’s my complete kid book recommendations list.
  3. Make slime. Yes, it’s messy but they love it.
  4. Work on a fun activity kit together. These activity crates are my kids’ new obsession!
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt style nature walk. Make a list of things you want to see and score them by difficulty and keep score on the walk. Offer small prizes based on how many points earned.
  6. Race your kid at the park. The faster you are the cooler you appear to be.
  7. Make a craft.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Play their favorite video game.
  10. Have a contest to see who can do ______ better, faster, neater.
  11. Let them miss a day at school to go to the movies. My husband actually did this one!
  12. Do what they love. If it’s soccer, play soccer with them. If it’s dance, learn the steps with them.
  13. Invite them to run errands with you and stop for ice cream.
  14. Cook a meal together. Here’s a kid’s cooking class that’ll your kids will love.
  15. Play Would You Rather. Here are some questions to get you started. 
  16. Tell jokes.
  17. Watch a Netflix movie marathon complete with buttery popcorn.
  18. Go on a bike ride.
  19. Bake your favorite cookies and turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
  20. Go to a painting class.
  21. Keep a shared journal that you write in separately to share your thoughts. I love this journal! This one’s perfect for boys.
  22. Take a kid-friendly fitness class or enroll them in a kid’s fitness gym. My kids love this one.
  23. Work out together at the park.
  24. Visit a splash park in the summer.
  25. Read kid magazines together and take all the quizzes.
  26. Do silly pranks on each other.
  27. Make your kid laugh with a tickle fight.
  28. Have a silly face contest and post the winner on your social media or just laugh at it.
  29. Make a crazy milkshake.
  30. Have a spa night. My middle daughter loves this!
  31. Play superhero. My son equally loves this!
  32. Write a book together.
  33. Share an art journal if your child loves art. This is such a cute one!
  34. Have a dance party.
  35. Have a totally electronic device free day.
  36. Order books from a monthly subscription service for kids. This makes reading a fun and gift-like experience. My family loves this book subscription service that sends all their books wrapped like birthday gifts!
  37. Have themed dinner nights.
  38. Read a devotional together and work through the activities and questions. This fun devotional combines God and Science in a really fun way.
  39. Play their favorite sport at the park.
  40. Create an obstacle course in the backyard and race to complete it.
  41. Invest in the things they love. My daughter is a brilliant artist so I’m always surprising her with new sketch pads or other art supplies.
  42. Fly a kite.
  43. Have a slumber party in the living room.
  44. Let your kids get really messy. I personally don’t like when my kids get messy, but this is a sacrifice on my end to let them have fun.
  45. Have a water balloon fight.
  46. Put on a full drama performance complete with scripts and costumes.
  47. Have a pajama day during the week.
  48. Build an epic fort in your living room.
  49. Have cuddle time with the child who will still let you. This is great for those kids whose love language is physical touch. Get 50 love language ideas for your kids here!
  50. Add glow sticks to your child’s bath and turn off the lights!
  51. Always give them your full attention no matter when they need you.

Wow! That’s a lot of fun for you and your kids. Are you ready to put this tips to good use? Your kids will thank you for it!

Did I miss an awesome fun idea? Please, share your favorite fun activities in the comments below.

It's hard to be a fun and happy mom when we're stressed and overwhelmed. These 51 fun ideas will have you loving motherhood again! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #kids #kidsactivities

Are you lacking in the fun department lately? Snap out of your mom funk and try these simple ways to be a fun mom! Your kids will thank you! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood #momadviceWant to go from grouchy and tired mom to fun and energetic mom? It's easier than you think! Get 51 simple ways to be a fun mom everyday! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #momgoalsGet 51 Super simple ways to be a fun mom and really connect with your kids every day even when you're stressed and tired! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #motherhood #momgoalsEven though it's hard being a mom, our kids don't need more cranky moms. Here are very simple ways to be a more fun mom even when you really don't feel like it! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momadvice #familyFind yourself going through the motions as a mom? Try these super simple ways to bring the fun back into motherhood! Become the fun mom your kids need! #motherhood #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlife

These simple tips will help you overcome the habit of being uptight and grouchy and give you real simple ways to have more fun as a mom! How to spend more fun time with your kids! #funmom #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood #momlife