Parenting resources I love to learn from

7 May 2021

Happy early Mother’s Day to all of you friends who are celebrating this weekend, in any capacity! For those of you who are a mom yourself, know that I have full confidence that you are doing the very best job you can. Part of the reason I can say that is because I have a hunch that you love to learn (I think that’s something that unites all of us here!). And if, each day, you’re learning and applying something that moves you a small step in the right direction, you’re doing a great job.

This is something John and I have taken to heart from the very beginning. In one of my earliest parenting posts, I shared advice from friends that has stuck with us over the last five years. Remember, they said, you will know more tomorrow than you know today. And you know more today than you knew yesterday. Like us, they didn’t have too much “baby experience” before the birth of their son, and they marveled to us how much more they knew at the end of the first week of his life – like, light years different. That was so encouraging for me to hear, and I’ve found it to be true over and over, even beyond the baby years.

Some of my favorite people to learn from about parenting are our in-real-life friends, and of course I’m always learning from and inspired by our own parents. And books. I love parenting books! But over the years I’ve collected a few other sources of parenting wisdom, ideas, inspiration, and expertise that are closer to real-time companions, in my ears or at my fingertips when I need a mid-day boost or encouragement to keep fighting the good fight of parenthood. I thought I’d share that list of parenting resources with you today! In no particular order…

Favorite parenting podcasts

Walk in love podcast | This is most definitely not a strictly parenting podcast, but T.J. and Brooke share often about the intentional ways they’re building their family culture. Our philosophies and goals feel similar, and our kids are around the same age (maybe 6 and 3 for them?), so it feels like we’re in the trenches together. Their episode about their Sabbath and weekly rhythm is a good place to start, and I always enjoy T.J.’s twice-yearly reports from the intentional dad mastermind he’s a part of (most recently here and here).

Raising Boys and Girls podcast | Of all the resources listed here, this podcast undoubtedly qualifies as the most “expert.” Hosts Sissy Goff and David Thomas are both authors and long-time practicing family counselors at DayStar Counseling in Tennessee. What a treasure trove of wisdom and experience they are! Each season of the podcast is a bit different, from interviews to walking through stages of development, but overall, their goal is to “help you care for the kids in your life with a little more understanding, a little more practical help and a whole lot of hope.” I really enjoy this one.

Favorite parenting blogs

Cup of Jo | Again, not strictly a parenting blog! And, as with all of these resources, must be consumed with discernment for how or if to apply it to my own life and kids. But I have found not only the essays and articles but the comment section (for example, the 536 comments on this post about family rituals!!) to be a treasure trove of smart, fun ideas for parenting and motherhood. Plus, their contributors are generally excellent, like Catherine Newman’s piece about raising gracious children, Erin Jang’s tips for hiking with kids, and Amy Webb’s thoughts on navigating a special needs encounter.

Everyday Reading | Janssen has four girls ranging from about 4 to 10 and I feel like we’re kindred spirits. We have both have a love for reading (obviously); raising confident, resilient, capable kids; and lean frugal and practical in our life and parenting styles. A few favorite recent posts: all about kids flying as unaccompanied minors, a surprising solution to messy kids rooms, doing things with your kids that you like to do, and tips for decreasing screen time for kids.

Merrick’s Art | Merrick is Janssen’s sister! She has three boys ranging from about 6 to 11, and though similar in parenting ethos to her sister, it’s fun to see how she applies it for a family of boys. The topic of Merrick’s blog (fashion) is of slightly less interest overall to me than Janssen’s, but I find many of her parenting posts helpful, like life skills she’s teaching her boys, their one-hour mom dates, a family economy, and tips for raising boys.

Risen Motherhood | Risen Motherhood “exists to encourage, equip, and challenge moms to apply the gospel to their everyday lives.” In the midst of the more fluffy things I read, it’s a solid reminder of what matters most in my role as parent, sometimes in more philosophical and sometimes in very practical ways.

NieNie Dialogues | I love reading about all of the intentional ways Stephanie and her husband build their family culture, live out their faith, share their faith with their children, and make much of celebrations big and small. The Nielsons have five kids ranging from about 8 to 18 and as with many of these resources, I love getting a peek ahead to what life might look like in a few years. I’ve particularly been inspired by their back-to-school dinners, complete with family theme for the year.

Favorite parenting Instagram accounts

Shay Cochrane | Shay is a commercial photographer and business owner who I’ve had the pleasure of working with in several capacities over the years. She is another total kindred spirit, including our shared love for intentional parenting, healthy and joyful marriage, and financial freedom. With two daughters about ages 9 and 11, she might be my absolute favorite person to follow on IG for the thought-provoking and practical parenting tidbits she shares, like talking about sex, thoughts on experiences over things, what it means to build a home, and strategies for navigating a crisis.

Alice Park | Alice is another photographer and business owner, and though I think our parenting styles might differ slightly more than some others on this list (she’s a little more Enneagram Type 3 than me, ha!), I love the nuggets she shares, like balancing mothering and working, raising resilient diverse children, and creating a home where your kids know they’re valued. She has a daughter who’s about 7 and a son who’s about 10.

Simply on Purpose | Ralphie is another mom to four girls, ranging from about 8 to 16, and she is a font of wisdom and practical tips for positive parenting. Out of all of these resources, I feel like she’s truly the coach in my ear, daily reminding me to look for the good, create momentum, be a safe space, and simply enjoy the gift of having kids in our home. She is REALLY good at breaking down explanations and providing examples, so if these topics are new to you, I think you’ll find her account really helpful!

There you have it! There are other moms and parenting platforms that I love and am inspired by, but these are the ones that consistently help me learn: the ones that teach me new ways of doing things and approaching situations, give me new ideas to try, and have me taking notes and screenshots.

I would love to hear: do we share any favorite parenting resources? Or do you have another to recommend? I’d love for y’all to continue my list in the comments!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 7, 2021 8:55 am

Hi! These are great! I can’t wait to look into some of them more. I have found that Jeff and Alyssa Bethke’s Family Teams (Instagram and Membership) has been so helpful to shift from the way the Western world views family to a more biblical family team built for generational growth. It’s been very thought-provoking for sure!

Kristen Merryman
May 7, 2021 11:56 pm

I love which is written by a pediatric endocrinologist (who is married to a surgeon!) and who has 3 kids. (she formerly lived in Durham but now is in Miami) I find her writing on being a working mom and juggling marriage, momming, and being a dr. to be really great (and it’s rare to find someone who blogs regularly who also has a full time 40+ hour a week job!) The podcast she does with Laura Vanderkam is also great – (also on the topic of being a working mom!)
As a full time librarian – I also love everyday reading! Her lists are absolute gold!

May 11, 2021 10:22 am

Have you read “Are my kids on track?” by Sissy Goff and David Thomas? I actually discovered the book before the podcast, and I loved the book. Very digestible and lots of practical tips, with Biblical truths woven throughout.

May 11, 2021 1:34 pm

What a great list! I love many of these as well, and I’m excited to check out the new-to-me names I see here. Two of my favorites not listed are Emily Oster (books, instagram, newsletter) and Dr. Becky Kennedy (instagram and now a podcast!). My husband and I also took Dr. Becky’s Couples Communication workshop and were both really happy we did- she’s so practical and we’ve implemented many of her suggestions in our daily life.

May 12, 2021 10:06 pm

I’m also a Dr. Becky fan. I really like Big Little Feelings and Mr. Chazz. I also like Janet Lansbury — though I can’t always go quite as far as her in the RIE parenting approach. These all have their own nuances but are generally focused on gentle parenting.

May 12, 2021 10:12 pm
Reply to  Jackie

PS “gentle parenting” always sounds wishy-washy to me, but it doesn’t mean no boundaries – just means working to understand the underlying reasons for behavior and responding to behavior in a firm but compassionate way – that’s my take at least!

Zoe T
May 13, 2021 5:28 am

I have found Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury + her podcast and Instagram fits perfectly with my parenting style. It has felt very natural to me to treat my children as ‘whole people’ from the start.