Hi, Ladies! So, I've been at this mom thing for almost eight years now, but I still have so much to learn. One of the most important things I have learned, the fact that took me the longest to concede, is that I can't do it alone. Motherhood is tough! Sometimes I have so many balls in the air, I go to bed with my head spinning, and not just from those two glasses of wine I drank before bedtime. We now have an enormous and varied amount of responsibilities, and we all need help and support sometimes to get it all done, and to not go insane while doing it all. Remember, it's not a sign of failure to ask for help. This is something I've struggled with for years! Getting help for ourselves and our families is the smartest and strongest thing we can do as mothers!
Here are the local resources that I've personally used to simplify, or improve, my mom life. Click on the links below for more details and directions.
Favorite Places to Go With Babies/Toddlers:
- Jumpology - This trampoline arena has a specific time, 9-10 am, just for kids 6 and under.
- Pump It Up- The inflatable play area has Toddler Playtime on select Tuesdays from 10am – 11:30am for only $6.
- Music Together- Parent and Child music classes that come with a CD and song book. Check the link for locations across the Richmond area.
- Melody Magic Music Studio-This music studio on Lauderdale Ave. runs Kindermusik classes, beginner piano lessons and themed playdates.
- Willow Lawn Mommy and Me- Join Willow Lawn on the second Wednesday of EVERY month from 10am to 11:30am for a free morning out with live entertainment and activities designed to enhance parents´ interaction with their children held in The Square at Willow Lawn.
- Cartwheels and Coffee- Children ages six and under can enjoy playing in their enclosed playland while their grown-ups relax in the cafe with a great cup of locally roasted Blanchards coffee. They also have weekly events such as yoga, art and music classes. They even have a separate small play area for babies.
- GABC Music and Movement -This fun music class takes place every Wednesday, 10-10:45, with a separate playspace open 9:30-11 for play before and after class. Classes are inside Grove Avenue Baptist Church and are $5/child and $3/additional siblings.
- Henrico County Public Library Storytime- Storytimes run most mornings, M-Th, and they sometimes have family story times on Saturdays. Click on the link to get the current story time schedule.
- Romp n' Roll- My two year old is obsessed with these toddler gymnastics classes. They also offer art and music classes.
Shopping Your Life Easier:
Amazon Prime Now- I'm sure by now most of you know about this two-hour Amazon delivery service open to all prime members, but it's so life-changing that I'm adding it here, just in case. Did you know they even deliver wine and beer now?! Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love Amazon any more than I already do!
Target- If Amazon is my boyfriend, then Target is definitely my BFF. Check out all the ways to save:
- If you haven't already, stop what you're doing and sign-up for a Target debit card. It's not another credit card. You can do this! You'll save 5% on every thing you buy there, including purchases made at their Starbucks cafes!
- Download the Target App- They are phasing out their Cartwheel app and making all of those discounts available inside the Target App. Try to look through the available discounts and add them before you leave your house. I usually forget to do this and end up manually scanning each of my cart items to see if any of them are discounted while my kids scream that they're hungry and want to go home.
- Check out this post here for more ways to save at Target.
Kroger Clicklist- I've been using this online shopping program for the past 6 months. It is amazing to get my shopping done in front of the TV and then pick it up without having to get any kids out of the car! I also save money because I'm not making impulse purchases or giving in to the whims of my tiny dictators while shopping. Don't forget to add digital coupons onto your card before you checkout.
Walmart Savings Catcher- You can use this app to scan your Walmart receipts. If you've purchased something that they find cheaper somewhere else, they will refund you the difference. Find more specific details here.
Keeping Kids Healthy Through Every Stage:
- KidMed- This urgent care, designed especially for kids, has been a godsend for us many times. (Like the time my then 20 month old son climbed over the baby gate and fell down 12 stairs at 5 pm on a Friday!!) With 4 locations, they are very convenient. Hours are M-F, 2-10 pm and Weekends, 10 am-9 pm.
- Dental resource guide-This was created by River Run Dental. My entire family sees these dentists, and the hygienists are great with my kids. There are many other pediatric dentists offices in Richmond, (Check out those voted Best in Richmond here.), but this works best for us.
- Family therapy-Partners in Parenting- This is an outstanding office that works with not only children, but also their parents to teach them strategies to help their kids cope with difficult stages and situations.
- Speech/Language Providers- Here's a list of local speech providers. My family has personal experience working with Maria Zanetti, and she does amazing things for kids with speech and language processing disorders.
- Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia- This is the place to contact if you're having concerns with your toddler's speech development. It is a several step process, and they will first have you come in for a screening. We went through the process in the Spring, so feel free to message me with any questions.
- Prana OT- We have personal experience working with both of the occupational therapists in this office and recommend them highly for children with motor development and sensory processing issues.
- Pediatric and Adolescent Health Partners- This site has a great collection of health links and resources.
Great Websites For Local Resources:
Richmondmom.com- If you're not visiting this site regularly, you need to start. It has resources and local info for basically every area of parenthood. Some of my personal favorites are:
- Kid-friendly Restaurant Resource
- Drop-in Child Care Resources
- Kids Eat Free Richmond
- Summer Camp Guide
- Support Groups for Parents Resource
These three sites also provide great local resources for parents, and update frequently to share kid-friendly events around town:
My Current Favorite Mom/Food Blogs:
Modern Parents, Messy Kids Blog- This site has a lot of great ideas to keep you and your family organized and parenting tips to keep you sane.
30 Handmade Days Blog- So many good finds here! Printables to keep you organized, Mom-tested experiments to try, craft projects you can actually make without pulling your hair out. Seriously awesome stuff!
Momastery.com- Glennon Doyle Melton is the author here, and I love her. I feel like she says all of the things I want to say, but can't put into words. Her honest advice on motherhood and self-love is very powerful.
Thugkitchen.com- This site has a tri-fecta of some of my favorite things- 1) Amazing, easy vegan recipes 2) A large side of snark and 3) Enough cursing to make a sailor blush. #winning
Minimalistbaker.com- You can find quick, healthy meals here with 10 ingredients or less. My favorites I've personally tried are her banana bread granola and the crispy peanut tofu and cauliflower rice stir-fry.
Halfbakedharvest.com- Come check out Tieghan's amazing and beautiful food that is surprisingly easy to make.
Now that I've completely overloaded you with information, I want to leave you with this: Forget all that bullshit about the mom who can do it all and who has it all together. She is a myth! Behind that well-polished facade and gleamingly perfect Instagram profile, she is probably a hot mess, or, at the very least, struggling just like the rest of us. Stop comparing yourself to people you don't actually know.
We all have days we feel like we have this mom thing down and others when we feel like total failures who are strongly considering hiding under the bed with a jar of Nutella and never coming out! Even on your worst days, you are a good mom. Repeat after me: I Am A Good Mom! You're showing up for your kids and just loving them, and that is enough. Use these resources. Talk to fellow moms who are out there in the trenches and, most importantly, listen, without judgement, without comparing, just neverending compassion and support. As Natalie loves to tell us, "You got this, Mamas!"
For more parenting laughs, tips and support, come visit me at agoodenoughmom.com!