Parenting is hard.
It is equal parts exciting and exhausting. Every phase brings a new learning curve, and we aren’t always equipped with the right tools.
As we have spent more time with our children — and ourselves — recently, it has become important to aim for personal growth, especially in parenting. But it also feels exhausting at the end of the day to pick up a parenting book to discover new ways to better parent our children.
But I do always seem to find the time for Instagram. I have searched, followed, and unfollowed many parenting accounts this year. Here, I’ve whittled it down to a few key Instagram accounts that have provided me with new tools and ideas to become a better parent.
I love Jennifer from Kids Eat In Color. She is a registered dietician whose posts are informative and relatable. Not only does she offer steady, easy to follow nutrition tips, she shares sage advice on how to create a positive food culture in your home. Another thing I’ve taken away from her is that as women — as mothers — we can’t do it all, and that’s OK.
Jennifer focuses on nutrition and allowing her children to explore and play outdoors, so there’s little emphasis on home décor or cleaning. She is open about the fact that she’d rather ensure her children get their fruits and vegetables than take the time to clean her bathroom. I find this both encouraging and insightful — a woman so sure of herself and her strengths that she doesn’t give way to the things she isn’t as good at!
Chelsea and Caitlin from Mama Psychologists are two registered psychologists and mothers who seem to just get it. They focus on maternal mental health with a side of parenting tips and are so positive it’s hard not to want to try. They offer quick meme-formatted tips, like what to say instead of a simple “be good” to your children to ensure clear communication and instruction. This leads to better understanding of expectations for your children, and a more fulfilling way of parenting for us.
I tried a saying from one of their recent posts, choosing one day to tell my son, “I’m glad you’re in our family — I just love you!” He immediately responded, “You’re the best mommy in the whole world!” I couldn’t believe how instant the results were to using positive and loving phrases like that. A for sure follow for me. They also recently did a post about toy rotation, which I wrote about here in April, so I feel like it’s safe to say we’re on the same page!
The Raise Good Kids page posts parenting tips on multiple slides to give specific examples of certain parenting situations and examples of how to respond. I like the format because sometimes we need a more in-depth version — it isn’t always as simple as saying “I love you.” Our children need clear boundaries and instruction, and these examples give us parents the tools we need to be able to help our children grow emotionally and intellectually. I also appreciate that they give multiple examples to cover a multitude of ages, stages, and responses.
The Big Little Feelings ladies are fun and informative. They post great reels that can be funny (like, “Get to bed early? Nah, I’ll stay up ’til midnight watching TV!”) but that get you thinking about our natural, and typically cultural, responses in parenting and how to challenge them. I love that they advise parents to apologize to children if they lose their cool, and they give tangible ways to handle those moments differently in the future. Their goal is to give parents “a practical action plan to navigate all the tough moments.”
5. Busy Toddler
Susie Allison is a former teacher turned busy mom, and she posts practical ideas for crafts and play. While I don’t attempt all her ideas, I like that she makes them practical, with supplies you may already have at home. I like having her ideas pop up in my newsfeed, just to keep in the back of my mind, like a little arsenal of plans for rainy days or long winter afternoons. I especially love her painting tricks (in the bathtub! or painting toy cars that can then go in the bathtub!). Follow her for easy-going parenting play and crafting tips.
Following these influential women as they navigate parenting and share their knowledge has been extremely helpful and healing to me. I want to continue to push myself to change old habits and create a healthy, safe, and loving environment for my children — and that’s exactly what these accounts help me to do.