Thanks for joining me for Day Four of Blogmas, where I bring you the best blog posts of 2013 according to you! If this is your first time here, you’ve got some catching up to do. On Monday, I picked my 20 favorite posts from all of the submissions. On Tuesday, I gathered up the 20 funniest posts in the lot. On Wednesday, there were 20 posts to give you a little perspective. Today we focus on…
I had an overwhelming number of posts to read that were about motherhood. Mostly motherhood. And a few on being a dad. Parenting is something I think about and question each and every single day. It’s no wonder that many of you feel the same way.
From all over the parenting map, I give you twenty awesome parenting posts from 2013.
1. Best Reminder That We’re Not #EpicFailureMoms by Nicole Hempeck at Moments That Define Life
Parenting is a hard job and sometimes all it takes it a little reminder for us to remember why we don’t quit.
2. Post Most Likely to Make You Love Folding Your Clothing This Week by Patty Scott at Hearts Homeward
With one child, it seems like the laundry is neverending. With larger families, I can’t even imagine. But Patty reminds us that scattered laundry is more than just another chore to be managed. It’s a reminder of what we’re surrounded by and a reminder to appreciate it.
3. The Post That Had Mothers Telling Me They’d Print It Out And Keep It By Their Sides, To Remind Themselves of this Daily – When I Never Did. And Should Have. And Now Will. by Stephanie Bernaba at Momma Be Thy Name
That post category might potentially be longer than the post itself but it’s still worth reading, especially if you’re a mother. The adage of “ain’t nobody happy unless mama is happy” rings very true in my household and Stephanie realizes the true impact of a mom’s happiness.
4. The Post Where I Dare You Not to Smile by Judy Schwartz Haley at CoffeeJitters
One of the things I missed in my son’s childhood was his ability to feel free. I didn’t miss it by not being there. He’s just a little high strung and still has trouble just letting loose. This post is a beautiful pictorial that reminds of the joy of childhood.
5. Best Post on How to Not Raise Spoiled Brats by Sarah Hughes at Finnegan and the Hughes
Are manners a lost art? Does your child know to hold the door open for someone? Do they know to be courteous to their elders? If that all sounds a little old-fashioned, it’s because it is. And Sarah and I agree that it’s what we need to raise good citizens.
6. Best Quick-And-Simple Mantra For Parenting… And Life by MLP at I Miss You When I Blink
Reading this post right after the last one gives me a little hope for humanity. Maybe I should introduce ML to Sarah. Or maybe we should all start a commune and raise brave, kind, and wise children and keep them all to ourselves.
7. The Best Attempt to Explain the Omniscient Forces of the Universe by Jeff Kent at Dad on Arrival
So we’ve learned how to raise wonderful children. But we still haven’t figured out how to answer all those pesky questions about life, the universe, and everything. My own son thinks Santa can do anything. I once told him, “Santa is NOT God” to which my son replied, “No, but they’re friends.” Thankfully, Siri has been thrown into the mix yet.
8. Best Post by a Mom Who Knows Pretty Much Everything About Nothing At All by Amanda Rodriguez at Dude Mom
Amanda’s been doing the mom thing for about 12 years now. If she’s learned anything, it’s being a dude mom is all about teaching life lessons with a healthy dose of humor.
9. The Post for When You’re Tired of Reading Blogs from Perfect Mothers by Dianna Kennedy at The Kennedy Adventures
If I didn’t know Dianna, I would think we could totally hang out after reading this post. But I do know here and we have. We’re birds of a feather (minus a bunch of kids) and when I feel bad putting my kid to bed too late, Dianna always makes me feel like I’m doing just fine.
10. Best Post on Angry Musical Instruments by Kristin Smith at The Riches of His Love
The terrible twos are full of tantrums. Sometimes they take a turn for the musical and a harmonica becomes an angry harmonica. Yet Kristin watches a tantrum and takes the time to reflect on her imperfections as a mother.
11. Best Use of Crafting As A Metaphor For Life by Allison at Home and Never Alone
I’ve always wanted to learn to knit. I just don’t think my fingers were cut out for it. Allison calls knitting has been a surprising mix of frustration and satisfaction. Much like parenthood. Kind of clever, don’t you think?
12. Best Advice for How to Survive Life with Small Children by Nicole Hempeck at Moments That Define Life
My small child is almost 7 so I’m probably not the best one to dole out advice. Nicole, however, juggles 3 littles girls (twins included!) often on her own (she’s a military spouse). She gives a handy, practical guide to surviving and maybe even thriving.
13. Best Reminder Not to Judge Unless You’ve Been in Someone Else’s Shoes… and Probably Not Even Then by Shell Things at Things I Can’t Say
Every week, Shell invites readers to pour their hearts out and then link up. It creates some wonderful stories and support and I suspect Shell needs it herself once in a while. I’ve written before about how I’ve judged without even realizing it. Shell wants to remind you that she’s doing just fine thankyouverymuch.
14. Best Balancing of Preschool Fears and Phobias by Allison at Home and Never Alone
Have I ever mentioned that kids don’t always make sense? If you’re a parent, you already know this. And when my son was younger I struggled with this. Was he normal? Was he fitting in? I quickly learned that normal is relative and like Allison, it’s best to embrace the individuality.
15. Best Post of A Birth Story Not Going As Planned by Caroline Nixon at Anchored In His Grace
I’ve never written my son’s birth story mainly because there wasn’t much of a story. It didn’t go as planned but luckily I knew that weeks in advance. For other mothers, it can be devastating. Caroline reminds us that we need to remember to take joy in the beautiful blessing of life.
16. Best “Way to Pull a Mama El Desperado Move” Post by Andrea S. Moore at BeQuoted
Having just one kid has put my son in the the “sidekick” position more often than not. He’s been to meetings, conferences, coffee shops, and even the liquor store (I always hear Reese Witherspoon in my head saying, “You’ve got a baby… in a bar.”). But sometimes mama is el desperado for a night out.
17. Best Post Written to Figure Out If You Should Be A Foster Parent by Elizabeth Norton at 5 Amazing Things
I’m always so impressed by people with a seemingly boundless capacity to love and Elizabeth is one of those. I know, like KNOW, I’m not cut out to be a foster parent but I thank God that there are people like Elizabeth who are.
18. Best Post to Make You Wish You Had In-Laws Like This by Kristin Shaw at Huffington Post
I’m going to have to remember this post because I have one son. And he’s all mine. And I’m not sharing him with any old girl that comes his way. That’s right. No girl will ever be good enough for my baby. But I guess eventually one of them will.
19. Best Reminder to Keep Your Babies BABIES For As Long As Possible
There were tears when my son started kindergarten. Mine, more than his. But we both adjusted and made it to the end of the school year. And I realized that going from 5 to 6 is big milestone and my baby isn’t a baby anymore.
20. Best Post To Torture Myself For Having Only One Child
Every once in a while, I think how nice it would be to have another child. I think about a sibling for my son and the nice neat family of four. And then I come back to reality. What’s interesting, though, is how many people find this post by googling “psychosomatic pregnancy.” It’s a thing, y’all.
I hope some of these parenting stories (including two of mine thrown in at the end) give you some laughs or inspiration or some reassurance that we’re all figuring this out as we go.
Tomorrow, come back and read the last installment of the Blogmas Best of 2013 submitted by YOU!