Archive for September, 2011

10 of Our Favorite Mom Sites!

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Lucky for us, there are tons of resources on the web to help new moms find answers to questions, save time and money, reconnect with the world around us, and have a little bit of fun (dispelling the myth that new moms are not able to have fun).  The only problem is that with the magnitude of sites to sort through, it may seem a bit overwhelming to find ones that are most helpful.  Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite sites, and a little information on them to help you decide if it’s something you might find useful.  Warm up that bookmark manager in your browser, you’re gonna need it!

  • Babycenter. Babycenter.com was the first website I subscribed to when I found out I was pregnant … and five years later, I still use it as my go-to site for parenting questions. There is a wealth of information on this site as well as a great community that is monitored to maintain a respectful and relevant forum.  In addition to connecting some amazing people through their many groups, you can also read trusted advice from hundreds of experts, find medical advisory board-approved information and get support at every stage of your child’s development.
  • Macaroni Kid.  Being housebound with a newborn, or just busy with day-to-day activities, it’s great having a go-to site for family-friendly events and activities happening in your community each week.  And Macaroni Kid does just that. Sign up for a free weekly newsletter, and find out what’s happening in your backyard … from movie listings to sport classes to local concerts and parades.
  • What to Expect.  The New York Times bestseller, What to Expect When you are Expecting, is now online!  This interactive companion to the WTE books is home to an exciting, vast, yet close-knit community of one million parents – sounds cozy, doesn’t it!  In 2009, WTE went mobile with the WTE Pregnancy Tracker (the most popular pregnancy app in the world), the WTE Fertility Tracker, the WTE Baby Name Finder, and due this spring, the WTE First Year Tracker (totally could have used this!).
  • The Bump.  Did you plan your wedding using The Knot?  Or refer to The Nest for home buying tips or throwing your first house warming party?  Then check out The Bump, which is from the creators of The Knot and The Nest. The Bump gives first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools – in the same great format as it predecessors.
  • Babble.  Babble’s attempt to “explore the world of parenting on a daily basis with ruthless honestly and humor,” successfully provides parents with exceptional service content and incisive, honest essays about parenting.  From advice to new parents to realistic articles about how life will not slow down once you have your baby, these articles make me laugh, commiserate, and benefit from some tried and true tips!
  • Celebrity Baby Blog. Celebrity Baby Blog is the hottest spot for the latest news on celebrity births, babies, children, moms, style and the things they love … okay, so this may add no real value beyond guilty pleasure, but so much fun none-the-less.
  • A-LIST MOM. This is a free daily e-mail newsletter and website that delivers trendy, useful products and services for babies, tots and moms.  I was hooked after reading about a product to “stop playroom sprawl” … now we can contain my son’s Lego obsession!
  • Cool Mom Picks This is a popular shopping blog for cool products for kids and moms alike.  “Cool picks” include non-mainstream products and services (from peanut butter alternatives to really comfy loafers); they claim to weed out things “that suck.”  Which can save you time, right?  And time is money!
  • Project Nursery.  ProjectNursery.com is a leading resource site dedicated to baby’s 1st room and beyond.  Business partners (and moms!) Melisa Fluhr and Pamela Ginocchio started this site help real parents how to take charge of their own design and decorating projects. Get inspired by their constantly updated project gallery or their video “how-tos.”
  • Baby Gizmo.  Mom of three, Hollie Schultz, evolved her fussiness with baby products into an independent product testing and research coalition of moms, pediatrician and child development experts from around the country.  With her video product reviews, it’s even better than going to the store myself – which is hard to do as a new mom!

This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a sampling of some sites we like.  I’m sure you have some other sites you think other moms should know about, so please share them with us.  Add it below or on our facebook comments … we love hearing from you.

Interview With a Babysitter

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

When we went from having two kids to three (all under the age of four), I thought for sure I would never leave the house again.  And I didn’t … at least for a while.  My hurdle was to find someone I could trust our newborn with, all the while juggling my other two active toddlers.  I barely trusted myself to take all three to the grocery store by myself, so how was I going to trust someone else!

Fortunately, I found a great babysitter in our neighborhood, who started with us just watching the two older ones while I tended to the newborn (for a few hours a day, a couple of times a week).  It didn’t take long for me to realize that she could handle all three, and now I am back to my carefree lifestyle (where I now only worry 23 hours a day instead of 24).

But whether you have one child, or five, we can all agree that finding a good babysitter is not easy, but it is definitely important to be patient and find the right one.  And probably for babysitters as well, finding a family to babysit can be a challenge too.  So what makes the right fit, for both Mom and babysitter?  I decided to ask our babysitter, Amy, a few questions about herself – maybe the answers will help you understand what kind of qualities and characteristics go into a baby sitter you can trust.
Here is the interview:

When did you first start babysitting?

I first started babysitting in seventh grade for my little brother, but before that I did ‘Mother’s Helper’ jobs from fifth grade to seventh grade.

What’s the best part of your of your job (babysitting)?

The best part of babysitting is knowing that I can impact these kids’ lives.  I have so many good memories of my babysitters from when I was little and all the fun things I did with them so I hope that some of the kids I babysit will be able to remember the fun things that I do with them too.

What’s the toughest part of the job?

The toughest part of the job is setting boundaries with the kids because I love having fun with the kids but at the same time I need them to respect me and listen to me because its my job to make sure that they’re safe above all else.

What is the most helpful thing a mom can do/prepare for you sitting?

The most helpful thing a mom can do is walk me through their entire routine or just write it down.  There are so many times when a mom is quickly goes through the routine and will leave something important out by accident and it can easily cause a problem during the job.

What do you find most surprising about babysitting?

The most surprising thing about babysitting is how much the kids can teach me.  I have learned so much about responsibility and patience.  Taking on the job of watching two or three kids by myself can be tough, but at the end of it I feel so empowered.  If I could handle that, I can handle anything!  And also reminds me to wait a very very long time before having my own kids.  Haha.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I’m really involved in my school, I’m Junior Class President, I’m on Debate Team and Model UN and I hope to go to UGA and then Law School!

What do you like to do when you are not babysitting?

When I am not babysitting, I am always hanging out with my friends and going shopping at J.Crew, my favorite store ever.  Or watching Real Housewives.  It’s so dramatic I love it. lol.

Do you know what you would like to study when you go to college?

I want to do Pre-Law with a minor in Political Science.

What is the craziest thing that happened to you while babysitting?

One time I went to the restroom and in the approximately four minutes I was gone the two kids had ripped down the blinds, spilled milk all over the floor and smashed a bowl.  It was pretty stressful; I didn’t babysit for them again.

Thankfully, that last episode did not take place while Amy was babysitting for us, but even if it had, we would have still begged her to come back.  If you find yourself a good baby sitter, hang onto her for as long as you can!  What are the qualities you look for when entrusting your most prized possessions to another person?