One thing I’ve learned from the popular From the Mouths of Moms parenting tips series is that every mom, child, and family is different. And each mom assesses their own unique experiences, values, and circumstances to make the best parenting decisions possible for their own child and family. Each mother knows best and tries to do her best for her child.
So why not share and learn from one another; moms helping moms. Every Tuesday, I spotlight one mama and her “best” tips for mothers on parenting advice, resources, and products. This week I’m thrilled to introduce you to one super chef and awesome mama, Maureen from The Vegetarian Salmon…
Mama Knows Best
Best Pregnancy or Birth Advice
Be at peace with the process. Pregnancy and birth are the time to let go of control. There are two of you involved with the process, and sometimes the baby has it’s own ideas.
Best Parenting Website
Prudent Baby isn’t exactly a parenting website, but it is a great resource for parents who like to make clothes, decor, and toys.
Best Blog for Moms
You mean other than B-Inspired Mama? I enjoy reading Amanda Soule’s blog. She authored The Creative Family, and her blog encourages parents to slow down and dabble in making their own goods. It is a real peaceful corner of the internet.
Best Baby Product
Baby blankets and Lots of Links. We live in a small home, so we didn’t have many baby items, just the essentials. If you have a blanket and links, you can make anything into something to keep itty bitty babies occupied.
Best Parenting Advice
Slow down and listen. I find that whenever I am moving too fast or booking us up, I lose sight of our family, and chaos ensues. When I slow down, I prevent toddler tantrums by noticing if she is tired, hungry, or frustrated. She rarely has tantrums because we don’t push her to her limits. We also keep it pretty calm at home, except during our dance parties.
Best Parenting Book
I have two books that I love. As a teacher, I read NutureShock, which is a fantastic book on how children think. It is applicable for all ages, from baby to teenager. I also like Playful Learning, which is a book about raising kids to love the arts, writing, and the sciences.
Best Children’s Book
This is a hard one, we love so many! Right now, we love The Family Book by Todd Parr. It teaches wonderful lessons about the diversity of families, and our daughter, Serafina, loves to talk about the pictures.
Best Toddler Toy
We love the classics. We try to only buy toys that will have lasting appeal, so she has a few trucks, old dishes, and dress up supplies. Right now, Serafina loves to serve coffee to her plush Sesame Street characters. Elmo, Rosita, and Ernie really seem to enjoy!
Best Kids’ Game
We work on matching Smethport Language Learning Cards, such as Opposites and Go-Togethers. Once you move beyond matching, they are great for memory or storytelling.
Best Kids’ Craft
Serafina is two, so she is learning to color, paint, and cut. I have an endless list of crafts, and I can’t wait to start some from B-Inspired Mama and Pinterest.
Best Outdoor Play Idea
My husband just completed an afternoon project creating a sandbox, such an easy way to add hours of entertainment. We also spend time gardening vegetables and building fairy houses.
Best Way to Stay Organized
Color complimentary metal tea canisters, old ball jars, and other recycled goods are great ways to help organize your closet without buying new plastic supplies. Plus, it can look pretty!
Best Way to Keep a Happy Relationship or Marriage
Taking time to laugh together. We carved out a nice space in our backyard for sitting in Adirondack chairs and spend the evenings talking and laughing. Developing communication with a sense of humor helps you build bridges over tough times.
Best Family Outing or Vacation
Anywhere you can have a home base for a week, which allows you to explore at a kid’s pace. Earlier this summer we stayed at a friend’s cottage in the Aran Islands, Ireland. It was the most peaceful place on earth. Serafina loved walking and discovering the animals, people, and water. She also appreciated that we had a home to go back to each afternoon, which helped us maintain a routine. Don’t be intimidated by international travel with family, many cottages in unusual locations are affordable, plus use kayak.com to find cheap tickets. Or, find a cabin through your local national park. Nothing beats seeing travel through a child’s eyes.
Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
We love small local restaurants, especially with many vegetarian options. Even if you are not vegetarian, vegetarian places are usually very kid friendly.
Best Family Meal or Recipe
In the summer, I make a Zucchini and White Bean Orzo that children love. In the winter, we love this lighter version of Shepherd’s Pie. Almost all of the recipes on my blog, The Vegetarian Salmon, are designed for families.
Best Behavior Management or Discipline Tip
Responding to a tantrum just prolongs the behavior. Our pediatrician explained that the biggest reward is giving her our attention. When our daughter tries a tantrum, we tell her we will talk to her when she wants to speak and not cry. Then, we ignore her, and especially do not give her eye contact. She calms down pretty quickly, since all she wants is attention, and then we talk. If she has a tantrum in public, we drop everything and leave. I have spoken to several early education experts, and they don’t seem to have a consensus on time out. So, we haven’t turned to that just yet.
Best Way to Spend a Mommy Moment
I love curling up on the couch and reading a book on my kindle.
Maureen writes at The Vegetarian Salmon as an exploration in cooking, eating, and living a vegetarian lifestyle with her husband and little one, Serefina.
Are you a mama blogger who would like to share in our popular “Mama Knows Best” and “From the Mouths of Moms” parenting series? Just contact me for more information!
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