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Six Parenting Trends for an Easy Breezy Summer (For Real)

While the world is determined to make us believe summer is fun and relaxing, we parents know better. The days are long, which means are kids are up way too late. No school means scheduling in camps, play dates, sitters, etc. Then there's all that sun, which means coercing our kids into putting sunblock on. Yes, summer is hard, but you can make it easier by embracing some hot trends. Maybe you stopped caring about trends when you gave in and bought a minivan. Maybe it happened as soon as you peed on the stick. But trust me, there's a reason these parenting hacks are hot right now. They save so much work.


1 |Babywearing

The baby snuggles while you keep both hands free. Babywearing means not having to strategize your approach at every doorway or MacGyvering through stairwells with 40 pounds of stroller, baby, and diaper bag slung across your body at awkward angles. Babywearing eliminates those face-prickling, nervous-sweat moments when you're futzing to unlatch your stroller as your baby wails and the one thing just won't attach to the other thing and all eyes are on you in an otherwise quiet, public place. If I regret anything in my life, it's that I didn't wear my kids more when they were babies. (Exception: the Moby wrap. Wrestling 25 yards worth of cotton with a crying baby on your hip can make anyone weep, particularly a postpartum woman).

2 | Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping could be the best-kept secret of lazy parents. Contrary to popular belief, co-sleeping doesn't make you an attachment parent, a helicopter parent, or a hippie. It means you are probably sleeping better than everyone else. It means you're capable of snoring when the kid snuggles up with his center of mass directly over your Adam's apple. It means you're a gentle soul who finds the sound of your kid breathing like an overweight octogenarian adorable, even without an Ambien or two.

Co-sleeping means never leaving your bed in the middle of the night. I regret not co-sleeping with my kids when they were babies. I also regret that they thought co-sleeping was a slumber party. Specifically, the kind of slumber party where the first girl to fall asleep would wake to find her underpants hidden in the freezer.

3 | Baby-led weaning

Baby-led weaning is fancy way of saying you feed your baby regular food. Instead of spoon-feeding your baby purees that you have to make or buy, you give them soft foods they can eat with their hands. Why did I spend so much time pureeing various combinations of fruits and vegetables, then struggle to simultaneously feed myself, read the paper, and spoon-feed them for hundreds, maybe thousands of meals? I beg forgiveness from the patron saint of judge-y mommies. My sins include (but are not limited to) ignorance and hypocrisy. I scoffed at baby-led weaning. I am ashamed to admit that this cloth-diapering, home-birthing, chicken-raising mama thought it was “too crunchy." I wish I'd considered how much easier (read: lazier) it would have been to set a few mashed pieces of my chicken and sweet potatoes on my babies' high chair trays and let them have at it.

4 | Waldorf principles

Waldorf schools are notorious for banning screens. While letting the TV babysit your kids is the epitome of lazy parenting, there is in fact a place for the Waldorf philosophy in the lazy parent's home. Waldorf emphasizes connecting with nature and creative play. Sending your kids to the backyard and shutting the door behind them is a great way for them to discover the natural world. Meanwhile, the glut of plastic toys hampers kids' imaginations. Letting kiddos create a rich imaginary world means fewer toys to trip on and less time spent inventing ways to make clean up fun (or sighing loudly while shoving toys in bins after bedtime).

5 | Minimalism

While minimalism is trending right now, less is truly more. Fewer toys means less time spent sorting and tidying toys. A smaller wardrobe means less laundry. A smaller house means less cleaning. Principles of minimalism apply not just to your material things but to your emotional and spiritual life as well.

In a culture that values staying busy, minimalism asks us not just to weed out material clutter but the obligations that clutter our calendars as well. Don't feel like meeting up for a drink with that preschool mom you'd never be friends with if you didn't have kids the same age? Don't. You're not a bitch. You're just a minimalist, protecting your greatest asset – your time. (She doesn't need to know your prior commitment is binge watching House Hunters.)

6 | Rompers

The romper should be the staple of every lazy mom's (and dad's) summer wardrobe. Yoga pants may be comfy and match everything but they're not a great summer piece (unless you're attempting a budget version of one of the those perspire-excessively-in-a-compression-garment weight loss strategies). Send your yoga pants to Goodwill along with the teeny-tiny Legos and find yourself a romper. The romper is superior to yoga pants in every way. It doesn't just match everything – it is everything. Meanwhile, you'll never wonder if a romper's butt has grown sheer, or whether it's giving you a camel toe. Once it's on, all you need are shoes and you're dressed. Romp-and-go style is yours with zero fuss…until you have to use the restroom.

As parents, we are busy. We don't have time to check out all the trending hashtags on Instagram. Don't worry about hashtags. Do whatever is easiest and you're sure to be in vogue this summer.

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When you're feeding multiple kiddos and figuring out meals for your own lunch and dinner, it can be difficult to find options that fit the bill for everyone. Our secret? Great kitchen gadgets and basics that make meal planning a breeze.

From the Instant Pot (yes, it's *totally* worth it!) to a cast iron pan, we rounded up some of our favorite kitchen basics every parent needs in their kitchen.

Make sure to add them to your cart today before Prime Day ends at midnight PT!

Ninja blender

Okay, so you might already have a blender—but you don't have a Ninja. It does everything from crushing ice for cocktails to pureeing baby's food and making hearty smoothies for everyone else. We love the sleek design that won't be an eye sore on any countertop.

Ninja Blender, Amazon, $49.99 (regularly $86.95)

BUY HERE

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When model Mara Martin was one of 16 finalists selected to walk in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show, she was thrilled to fulfill a lifelong dream. And when she woke up the day after the show to see that she and her baby daughter had made headlines around the world, she was thrilled all over again.

Martin breastfed her 5-month-old daughter Aria while walking in the runway, and the story spread quickly.


"It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least," Martin wrote in an Instagram post Monday. "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can't believe it is a headline is because it shouldn't be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that."

SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day says the breastfeeding moment wasn't planned in advance, but it worked out wonderfully. Day was speaking with the models backstage when she noticed Aria was peacefully nursing away. Having breastfed her own two children, Day recognized this as a powerful moment in the making, according to SI Swimsuit.

"I asked Mara if she would want to walk and continue to nurse. She said 'Oh my gosh, yes! Really? Are you sure?', and I said absolutely! I loved the idea to be able to allow Mara to keep nursing and further highlight how incredible and beautiful women are," Day explained.

Martin hopes that her moment in the spotlight can help other mamas feel comfortable nursing when and where they feel like it, but she doesn't want to overshadow some of the other women who took part in the show.

"One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country," she wrote. "One woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!"

And thanks to Martin's powerful motherhood moment, now, people are.

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Dear Jeff Bezos and all who have anything to do with Amazon Prime Day,

I just want to start by saying—I know you are trying to be helpful. I love you all for that. I honestly do. But, you are kind of making me feel a lot of pressure today. Like, in a good way, but also, in an anxious way.

Let me explain…

On any given day, as a mother to three children, I have a certain level of anxiety. While it's not constant, I do have my anxious moments. Why? Because there are various versions of the following: Me asking my two older daughters to get their shoes on what feels like 500 times as I am changing my 9-month-old's very, very, very messy diaper while I am trying to figure out what I can throw on to wear in about five seconds while I am repeating brush your teeth, brush your teeth in my head so I, in fact, don't forget to brush my teeth.

Not even to mention the mental load that weighs on my mind every single day. Remember to flip the laundry, fill out the school forms, cancel that appointment, reschedule this appointment, order more diapers, figure out what we're having for dinner, squeeze in a shower, lock the basement door so the baby can't get down the stairs, find better eczema cream for my middle daughter, get more sunscreen...the list goes on and on and on.

But then you Amazon Prime Day me and I'm having a lot of feelings about that.

Because you're reminding me of things I need to order, to think about, to be on top of more.

The little potty that's on sale reminds me that I need to step up my potty training game for my 2-year-old. That super cute dollhouse reminds me that I need to think about my daughter's first birthday in two months (WHAT!). That face mask reminds me that I need to remember to wash my face before bed because I forget waaaay more than I remember which is terrible.

But then I realize, these deals are going to save my mental load by fixing my life. Right?

Like, I never knew I needed an Instant Pot until you told me it was only $58. Now I am scouring Pinterest for meals I want to prep in my own. THIS POT IS THE TICKET TO GETTING MY LIFE IN ORDER.

Do we need more plates and cups for the kids? I mean really they only probably need about two plates and two cups each but YES. Yes I do need more cute kids kitchenware. THESE PLATES ARE THE TICKET TO BEING A GOOD MOM.

What would I do if I had five Echo Dots? I don't know, but let's find out because they're only $29! THESE DOTS ARE THE TICKET TO EFFICIENCY.

If I order a Vitamix at 30% off, I know I'll lose the baby weight. Think of all the smoothies I'll mix up! I mean, I just lost a pound even thinking about the smoothies that thing can whip up. THIS VITAMIX IS THE TICKET TO A SEXY BOD.

Buying this trendy, floral dress will step up my mom style significantly. THIS DRESS IS THE TICKET TO KEEPING MY COOL.

Okay, then after I add all the fixers to my cart, I realize… I have 99 things, but necessity ain't one.

I mean, I have everything from waterproof band-aids to bras to dresses for myself and my kids to an alarm clock and books. I basically feel like Oprah—You get an Audible subscription! You get an Audible subscription!—but instead of these products magically being paid for by Queen O herself, the money is coming from my bank account, which is a lot less fun of a game, TBH.

And if I am being honest, I don't need much help with my order-things-from-Amazon-and-pretend-it's-being-paid-for-with-Monopoly-money game as I am quite often coming home to an Amazon package wondering what it could be, opening it with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning—even though I am the exact person who ordered whatever is inside of that Amazon box.

But today, on Amazon Prime Day, you tempt me with all the deals. And yes, my anxiety, blood pressure and adrenaline rise. And yes, my bank account might temporarily decrease—BUT if we are being fair, with the savings I'm getting on things I would buy anyway, I am basically making our account increase overall. Right?

And while these things aren't going to make me skinnier, or cooler, or more put together—I'm okay with that. I am doing a pretty good job on my own. But some of them will actually help my life in a few different ways at a reasonable price, and I am grateful for that—for real.

Now, Bezos, please end this 404 error nonsense and let me purchase all the things!

Thank you for all the savings and excitement,

Mamas everywhere

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.


Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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