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.
We parents are being pulled in a million different directions every day with our many commitments to family, work, friendships, and our communities. Yet if we consider the magnitude of our role as mothers, it feels important to aim for personal growth in parenting.
But it feels exhausting at the end of the day to pick up a parenting book to discover new ways to better parent our children. I do, however, always seem to find the time for Instagram! I have searched, followed, and unfollowed many parenting accounts. 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.
Jennifer from Kids Eat In Color is a registered dietician whose posts are informative and relatable. Not only does she offer steady, easy-to-follow nutrition tips, she shares advice on how to create a positive food culture in your home.
Jennifer focuses on nutrition and allowing her children to explore and play outdoors, so there’s little emphasis on home décor or cleaning — she acknowledges that we mothers can’t do it all! She would rather ensure her children get their fruits and vegetables than take the time to clean her bathroom, which I find 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 registered psychologists and mothers who 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 tips, like what to say instead of a simple “be good” to your children to ensure clear communication and instruction.
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. They also inspired my system for toy rotation, so that’s another big win for my family!
Dr. Becky Kennedy is a clinical psychologist and a New York Times bestselling author — and she’s a mom of three. Known as a “parenting whisperer,” Dr. Becky has taken everything she knows about attachment, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and internal family systems theory and translated those ideas into a new method for working with parents.
Dr. Becky’s Instagram tips are practical and helpful in the moment, even giving you scripts to use in those tough parenting situations where you feel totally out of your element. She also brings in her own parenting experiences — and it’s such a relief to learn that even the experts struggle sometimes!
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.”
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.