One thing I’ve learned from my popular From the Mouths of Moms parenting tips series is 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 does the best she can for her child.
Tips for Moms — From Moms!
So, why not share and learn from one another — moms helping moms? Every Tuesday, I spotlight one mama and her “best” tips for moms including parenting advice, helpful resources, and kids products.
Tips for Moms — from Kara of Kara’s Classroom
This week, I’m excited to introduce you to my new mama friend, Kara, of Kara’s Classroom…
Best Pregnancy or Birth Advice
Listen to your body. When you are tired sleep. When you are hungry eat. If something feels off ask your midwife or doctor. There is no such thing as a stupid question. If I didn’t have an excellent lactation consultant with my first I may have given up on breastfeeding, which would have been such a shame since I went on to nurse all three children into toddlerhood.
Best Parenting Website
I like the Ask Dr. Sears website because it has a lot of solid information on a plethora of topics.
Best Blog for Moms
I love Teacher Tom’s blog. His insight on preschoolers is unique, smart and funny.
Best Baby Product
Ergo Baby Carrier because it is the only carrier I’ve used that did not hurt my back.
Best Parenting Advice
With your first baby, a mommy’s group that meets weekly so you have lots of friends to talk with about all those baby questions and concerns will likely be your best support during those early weeks and months. With multiple children find a friend with kids similar in age so you can arrange childcare swaps and play dates.
Best Parenting Book
I highly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth for new or expectant parents. Sleep can be a tricky thing and this book is based on actual sleep studies, rather than anecdotal evidence.
Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordan is a book to read as your children pass their first birthday. It is such an enlightened and practical guide to parenting that focuses on what kind of child you are raising in the long run, not short-term obedience.
For preschool and school age children I recommend Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn. This book is a hard look at the destructive aspects of rewards and punishments at home and in our schools.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv examines how our children are losing access to nature and how devastating this is for our children’s futures.
Best Children’s Book
The best baby book in my opinion is Peek-a-Boo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. It is the only book all three of my children LOVED! I also recommend Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee for it’s amazing creativity and humor.
Best Kids’ Toy
If it has batteries, don’t buy it! Seriously, open-ended classic toys are best such as blocks or play silks. I love making our own toys and my blog has many DIY toys. We recently made a fairy garden, mermaid lagoon and light table.
Best Kids’ Game
Hide and seek of course!
Best Kids’ Craft
Recently, we enjoyed making glitter jars. We do a lot of open-ended art at home.
Best Outdoor Play Idea
Our mud kitchen is my best outdoor play idea. It was such fun searching thrift stores for lots of neat tools for the kitchen. I also like how to flows with the seasons. In summer it gets a lot of water play and in winter lots more leaf and sticks get added to the mix.
Best Way to Stay Organized
I love over the door shoe organizers for every room in the house. Here’s how we organize art and art supplies in our home.
Best Way to Keep a Happy Relationship or Marriage
Weekly dates! We either have a date night at home. One of us will go get a take out dinner, usually something the kids don’t like, while the other puts the kids to bed. Or we hire a sitter from 3-6 pm and take an afternoon for ourselves. This is a great break for us as the kids are fed when we get home and usually we get them to bed for the night not long after getting home.
Best Family Outing or Vacation
Picking fruit at a local u-pick is my favorite outing with the kids.
Best Family Meal or Recipe
Chicken breasts placed in a crockpot with your favorite BBQ sauce. Shred cooked chicken and place it on top of whole grain hamburger buns and serve with a bagged salad and corn on the cob or fruit.
Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
A locally owned pizza eatery is our favorite because they sell pizza by the slice and then they cut it into little squares for kids. Everyone gets a slice of what they love and the service is fast. I also bring a waiting bag with me to keep the kids busy.
Best Behavior Management or Discipline Tip
We use a visual schedule at our home to help our children understand what is expected each day.
Best Way to Spend a Mommy Moment
I am blessed to have some very special friends (who are also moms) that enjoy getting together often without the kids for drinks, food and laughter.
Kara is a mama to three little ones and a preschool teacher. Her blog, Kara’s Classroom, features progressive early childhood education ideas.