Mama Knows Best: for Mothers from Mothers [MaryAnne from Mama Smiles]

Mama Knows Best ButtonOne 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 a wonderful blogger and even better mama: MaryAnne from Mama Smiles.

Mama Knows Best

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MaryAnne from Mama Smiles

Best Pregnancy or Birth Advice
Relax, and take things as they come. I have four kids, and each pregnancy and birth has been very unique. 

Best Parenting Website
BabyCenter is probably the parenting website I visit most frequently, and the UK version was my go-to reference when I was pregnant with my first baby (living in Scotland).

Best Blog for Moms
I adore blissful-e’s focus on the beauty of everyday life and gentle parenting.

Best Baby Product
I’m passionate about high-quality baby gear that makes it easier to be out and about with a baby. If I had to choose a single item, it would have to be my ergo baby carrier.

Best Parenting Advice
Read the research, talk to friends and family, and then do what feels right for you and your family.

Best Parenting Book
I don’t have a favorite – I read several every year, take what I like from each one, and set the rest aside.

Best Children’s Book
Press Here by Herve Tullet. My kids love it, and it was by far the favorite of the books I read to my son’s preschool class last year!

Best Kids’ Toy
A backyard. And, for rainy days, paper, tape, and scissors. But LEGO DUPLO bricks are one commercial toy I’m willing to pay for, especially if I can find them secondhand at yard sales!
And never underestimate the entertainment potential of a simple cardboard box!

Best Kids’ Game
I’ve never seen my kids turn down a game of hide and seek!

Best Kids’ Craft
My kids always get excited about seasonal crafts – leaf rubbings in the fall, icicle “painting” in the winter, fairy villages in the spring, and sun-upcycled crayons in the summer! Inside, they love experimenting with no-mess color mixing, making temporary wall art, and drawing for hours on end.

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Best Outdoor Play Idea
Get outside and follow the kids’ lead! Last week it was warm and raining, and the kids put on their swimsuits and had a wonderful time dancing and drawing in the rain!

Best Way to Stay Organized
Don’t own too much stuff, and standardize storage options. Most of the kids’ toys are stored in clear shoebox-size containers. They can see what is in each container, and when it’s time to clean up they just grab the closest bin.

Best Way to Keep a Happy Relationship or Marriage
Make time to talk and hang out together. We try to fit several mini-dates into each week, in the evenings after the kids are in bed.

Best Family Outing or Vacation
Geocaching is always a hit – the kids don’t seem to care if we find a cache; they just enjoy the adventure of looking for one!

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
I love Chipotle’s laid-back atmosphere and healthy menu options!


Best Family Meal or Recipe
My kids always enjoy making pizza from scratch.

Best Behavior Management or Discipline Tip
Unless life or limb is in danger, WAIT before acting! Often the problem resolves itself, and if it doesn’t I find the extra thinking time to be very helpful.

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Best Way to Spend a Mommy Moment
Right now, it would be napping. But when I’m less sleep-deprived I have a several hobbies I enjoy – sewing, crochet, playing piano, and singing all rank high on the list.

MaryAnne is the Boston suburb-dwelling mother of young, playful, curious, craft-loving children. She is passionate about parenting, hands-on learning, good children’s literature, and encouraging and building childhood creativity.  She has a PhD in Medicine, a Masters degree in Education, and a BA in Music. She now uses all three degrees on a daily basis (albeit in somewhat unusual ways) as the stay-at-home mother of four sweet children. 

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Do you have any clever parenting tips or fun kids’ activities?  I’d love to share them with my readers by having you guest post.  Just contact me for more information!

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I love to link up with: Thrift Share Monday, Made by Little Hands Monday, Learning Laboratory Monday, Tasty Tuesdays, Tip Toe Through Tuesday, Tuesday Tots, Tip Me Tuesday, Get Your Craft on Tuesday, Made by Me Wednesday, Sugar & Spice Wednesday, Kids Get Crafty Wednesday, The Mommy Club Wednesdays, Happy Lil Hearts Are Baking, It’s Playtime Thursday, What Are Little Boys Made of Thursday, The Weekly Kids Co-op, Read Explore Learn Friday, For the Kids Friday, Kitchen Fun and Craft Friday, Show & Share Saturday, and Link & Learn Sunday.

About Krissy Bonning-Gould

Krissy Bonning-Gould is a former art teacher turned full-time mama of 3 who authors B-Inspired Mama to share inspiration for simple kids crafts, family recipes, learning fun, and creative parenting.

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