5 Star Moms
In January we invited you to visit the Scholastic Parents Web site and nominate your favorite mommy blogs. More than 1,000 nominations poured in. After choosing ten finalists, we asked you to vote for your top choice. The response was overwhelming: 10,710 votes! And now, Scholastic Parent & Child magazine is pleased to introduce the 5 winning mommy bloggers whose digital lives captured your hearts, caught your fancy, and tickled your funny bones.
Her crew: Camber, 6; Kellen and Cortlen, 5½; Cameron, 7 months
About Jana: Despite the name of her blog, Jana, 32, isn’t really that mean. Her kids tell her otherwise, of course, when they don’t get their way. But with three born in the same calendar year, her snarky side sometimes emerges, and she is the first to admit she’s had a crash course in kid juggling. “I’m with them 13 hours a day,” she says. “But we have one catastrophic embarrassing moment amidst a lot of positive things. You pull from the rough times and the meltdowns. It makes for good copy.”
Why she started her blog: “I had to. When I finished my dissertation in 2007, I sat around saying, ‘What’s next?’ It felt most natural to write. I decided to try it for a couple of weeks or so until I figured out what to do.”
On finding time to post: “I have few hobbies or outside interests and I’m not a social person. Writing is my only outlet and it feels good to produce something.”
Tip for moms who want to blog: Post regularly. “This doesn’t necessarily mean every day, but be consistent. And be true to yourself. Readers can sniff out when you aren’t telling the truth or when you’re just trying to attract attention to yourself.”
Bay Area, CA
Her crew: Ro and Ree, 3
About Mary: In this charming blog, Mary’s fashion-forward twin girls adopted from China are front and center. “After meeting Ro and Ree, it’s all twinsanity all the time,” says Mary, 41. “And man do I love it! They’re always cracking me up. Someday I hope the girls will read these stories and chuckle and know how much fun we all had and how insanely their daddy and I loved them.”
Why she started her blog: “When we went down the wild path of international adoption, we put up a little site to update our family members. It took off as people found it when searching ‘adoption’ on the web. On our referral day — the day we learned we’d be adopting Ro and Ree — we had over 700 comments. It was crazy!”
On finding time to post: “I can only blog when the girls are sleeping or someone else is here with them. A morning post means that my mom or dad is visiting.”
Tip for moms who want to blog: Start off easy and then work on expanding. “If you comment on someone else’s blog, you’ll get a comment in return. That’s a great way to boost traffic.”
*Prefers not to use her real last name or hometown
Her crew: Babisodes, 3½
About Sandy: She shares daily episodes from her life and motherhood in a blog cleverly designed to look like a vintage television set. “I try to be as honest as I can,” says the 31-year-old. “My goal is to capture the honest, raw truth about my day-to-day life. I also want my blog to be a legacy for my daughter. I look through albums and wonder what my mom was thinking when holding my hand or watching me take my first steps. I hope this blog fills in the gaps for my own little girl.”
Why she started her blog: “I wrote my first entry two years ago. I was a new mom juggling two jobs — as a neonatal nurse and a contributor to a new online company. Writing has always been a release for me. I’d turn to the computer and seek refuge.”
On finding time to post: “Now that my daughter no longer naps, I post after she goes to bed and the dishes are done. My husband and I gave up TV — we sit on the couch with our laptops. We spend our evenings online!”
Tip for moms who want to blog: “Decide how much you want to invest in blogging. Once you get the ball rolling, it can snowball. Also, decide early on how much you want your personal life to shine through or if you want to blog anonymously.”
**Prefers not to use her real last name or daughter’s name
Her crew: Tucker, 11; Emma, 9; Paige, 7; Avery, 5; Storie, 3; Rush, 1
About Tiffany: A stay-at-home mom, Tiffany, 33, launched her blog this past January. It’s filled with detailed descriptions about managing her “litter” — six kids, a dog, numerous cats, and one husband. It’s real, fun, and filled with tidbits from her life as a “referee, detective, cook, financier, and hobbyist.” Says Tiffany: “The kids lie about everything. I get a lot of ‘She hit me’ and ‘I didn’t eat that.’ It makes me feel like a private detective. I also call myself a hobbyist because I often find inexpen-sive ways to make things instead of buying them. I once made growth charts for my kids out of canvas, bells, and fabric paint instead of buying the $60 ones I wanted. It cost far less and the kids really loved them.”
Why she started her blog: “It was my New Year’s resolution. When my older kids were little, I wrote a paragraph about what they did every day. As I had more kids, I wrote less. I felt guilty until one day my sister encouraged me to try blogging.”
On finding time to post: “I usually do everything when my kids go to bed.”
Tip for moms who want to blog: “Starting isn’t as hard as you might think. All I needed was a little sister to sit down and show me how easy it is.”
Her crew: Andrew, 7; Elise, 2; John, 7 months
About Meredith: A frugal Martha Stewart, Meredith, 33, started her inspiring blog — named for a scriptural passage — in 2005. It’s packed with fun and creative budget-minded ideas. She truly finds beauty and treasures in unlikely places.
Why she started her blog: “I stumbled across some blogs that were Christian in nature and focused on improving home life,” she says. “That appealed to me. I’m the person people call when they’re looking for a way to find something inexpensive, so I decided to blog about this.”
On finding time to post: “I blog while I’m nursing! I’ll take 15 minutes and chronicle one thing that day that helped save us money. Simply by jotting down a daily log of our activities, it’s gradually built up to be a substantial archive of all aspects of saving money in the home and with kids.”
Tip for moms who want to blog: “Blog about something you’re passionate about and use your own voice. If you’re trying to use one that’s not your own or if you’re imitating another blog, you won’t have as much success. When I get a note that says, ‘I think I can do this project,’ it makes my day.”
Ready to Blog?
If you’ve been tempted to start blogging, these providers offer a basic set-up template. Privacy settings, as well as upgrades that feature extras, are up to you.
Very simple and free.
Try a free sample. After that, a monthly subscription is around $5. You can use a password to protect your blog.
A family network website that also offers a blog template. There’s a free trial and then a small monthly cost.
Geared toward trips and travel.