Many mothers say that being a mom is the best job in the world — but that doesn't mean that it's an easy one.
That's why plenty of moms will tell you that they have a few key tricks and tactics up their sleeves, to keep up with all the highs and lows of being a parent. So we asked four amazing internet moms to let us in on their secrets and share the essential items they turn to to make the job easier, from the products that keep their kids entertained to the self-care staples that they grab when they need some "me" time.
Whether you have a little one of your own or you're searching for the perfect practical Mother's Day gift for the mom in your life, you're bound to find inspiration in their picks.
Want to get the whole family to eat healthier? Nicole Berrie, founder of the plant-based website Bonberi and mom of two, said she uses this blender every day to whip up a green smoothie for her kids, her husband and herself. "It ensures a super healthy base and foundation for the day, no matter what the day brings," she said. You can put anything from fruits to celery in the high-powered blender. "It will blend it up so quickly and make a really, almost like creamy milkshake," she added.
Berrie loves these Stasher Reusable Bags, as a way to pack snacks for her kids to take on-the-go. Add blueberries, pretzels or any of their favorite snacks to the sturdy bag. "You're reducing plastic waste and it's super easy to throw into the fridge," she said.
No matter how busy you are, making time for self-care is essential as a mom. And this "splurge item" is one of Berrie's go-tos for when she needs a little "me time." "I use [it] a few times a week, usually when the kids are napping or after bed," she said. The blanket brings all the benefits of the infrared saunas that you'd normally find at a spa right into your home, so you can relax from the comfort of your living room.
"Since I do all of the things from home — I run my business, I homeschool three kids — I have to remember to hydrate," said Amiyrah Martin, founder of the blog 4 Hats and Frugal and mom of three. "I'm not the best at that, but my PROBTTL helps me remember." The 32-ounce bottle features time slots along the side, to keep you on track throughout the day. "I fill it up while my coffee brews and it is ready for the day," she added.
Between teaching her kids and running a business, Martin said she does a lot of sitting. That's why she "couldn't live without" this ergonomic cushion. It adds instant comfort to any chair and helps improve your posture, to minimize the aches and pains that you'd normally feel after a full day of sitting.
"At the end of the day, I go from blazer to cardigan, I sit in my favorite chair and I pull up 'A Book That Takes Its Time,'" Martin said. "It is full of mindful activities that moms will enjoy. We can pick up the book when we have a minute, put it down when we're busy. And it's not the pressure of reading a whole book, but it's a lot of fun and it's really colorful."
Want an instant dose of relaxation? Martin loves this head massager that can be used to give yourself a satisfying head scratch or a targeted massage on any area of your body that's feeling tight. It has four massage modes and is waterproof so it can be used in the shower, too.
Jennie Monness is a child educator and founder of the blog Mo’ Mommies, as well as a mom of two, so she has a few clever hacks up her sleeve. She solved the common bedtime issue of having too much to carry while heading to put your little one down to sleep, by creating a "mom caddy," using this affordable tote. "I can put in what they need and what I need — and I still have a free hand," she said.
Never thought that a diaper bag could be stylish? Think again. Monness likes this sleek, wearable option, which has a detachable changing pad and plenty of room for your essentials, like wipes or keys. It also comes in five cute color options, like Olive and Blush.
Among Monness's creative mommy solutions is this makeup bag she has turned into a "calm kit" for her kids. "You can have this filled with toys that calm your child down, leave it in your car, bring it on the airplane, bring it to restaurants," she said. Plus, you can grab another one for yourself and make a "mom kit." "Mine has the book I'm reading — which I never get to read — play-doh, chocolate, nail polish, essential oils and more chocolate."
Make snack time more fun, with the GoBe Snack Spinner, which Monness called one of her "favorites." You can fill each of the five sections with snacks and your little one can press down on the button and spin it around until they land on one to eat. It's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and comes with a lid, so you can take it on the go.
Any mom knows that getting your kids to wear a mask can be a struggle, but Ilana Wiles, creator of Mommy Shorts and the author of "The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting," loves these, which are soft and comfortable and come in tons of different patterns. "They also come with these infinity straps so when you're not wearing them, you can just hang them over your head," the mom of two said.
Wiles also likes these lunch boxes that have different sections, so they're perfect for kids who like to graze. Fill each section with a different food for snack or mealtimes, then wash and reuse time and time again.
In this fun and portable game, players try to find a matching symbol between two cards, testing your little one's reflexes and observational skills. "It's the perfect game to throw in your purse and you can use it when you're out and about and your kids are bored," Wiles said. "We use it at restaurants a lot. And I love it because it's [for] ages six and up and there's no reading involved. It's all visual. It's about who can spot different items first. So it's pretty competitive with kids and adults and super fun for everyone."
For more stories like this, check out:
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- She deserves to relax: 32 gifts that’ll help her unwind this Mother’s Day
- Show your mom she's not 'a regular mom' with these 18 cool Mother's Day gifts