In the years since I had my son, I’ve learned time and again that it does indeed take a village to raise a child. The only problem? Accessing the village in person isn’t always easy — especially if you live in a city that’s as spread out as Los Angeles is. Fortunately, there are plenty of local mommy bloggers who’ve taken up the task of creating a kind of virtual village for us.
Their family units may not look exactly like mine, but that’s one of the best things about these moms — they offer readers access to the depth and breadth of the parenting experience in this occasionally over-the-top town. Whether they’re breaking down details of the local school system, talking about a family-friendly destination they recently discovered, or sobbing over something amazing (or amazingly awful) their kids just did, I almost always get something valuable from their posts.
So, if you haven’t already discovered them yourself, I highly recommend welcoming these five fantastic mommy bloggers into your own virtual village. (And if you are a babysitter or a nanny, you will for sure be able to relate to a few of these, too!)
Beyond the Brochure, by Christina Simon, Anne Simon, and Porcha Dodson
My family is incredibly fortunate to live in a neighborhood where the public schools have been exceptionally good, so we haven’t had to deal with navigating the private school system in L.A. — at least, not yet.
Still, I know plenty of Angelenos who either don’t live in areas with great public school options, or who want to go the private route for a whole host of other reasons. For those people, Beyond the Brochure (a supplement to the book of the same name) is an essential resource. The blog is primarily written by Christina Simon, who has two kids in private school, along with her step-mom, Anne Simon, who worked as head of Wildwood Elementary and as dean of the Middle School at Crossroads in Santa Monica. Their posts tackle all sorts of topics that I find super interesting (even as a public school mom!), such as the differences between types of private schools (traditional versus developmental/progressive), how to make the transition from public to private, and some of the most affordable private elementary school options in the area.
Mostly, I love this blog because it’s a treasure trove of information that demystifies a potentially overwhelming process for parents.
Do Tell, Anabel!, by Anabel David
Whether she’s writing a list of tips for moving house with a toddler, or breaking news about a cool new child care facility, Anabel does indeed tell local moms about plenty of things that will help them survive in this town.
But, what I love most about the blog is that she always seems to have the inside scoop on fun, interesting, family-friendly attractions. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have known about The Big Draw L.A. or the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles. I also might not have added an outing to the Rose Bowl Flea Market to our family adventure to-do list. Plus, Anabel recently became a Disney Parks Moms Panelist, so she’s a definite go-to about anything that has to do with the Happiest Place on Earth. As an added bonus, a lot of her blog entries are posted in both English and Spanish, which means that more L.A. moms can gain access to her wealth of knowledge.
Worth noting: Anabel is such an expert on the L.A. parenting experience that she’s in the process of launching the new Mommy in Los Angeles website and magazine, which will feature activity ideas, profiles of inspiring local moms, and a whole lot more. You can find out more about when it will launch on her Facebook page.
Girl’s Gone Child, by Rebecca Woolf
Full disclosure: Rebecca Woolf, the “Girl” behind Girl’s Gone Child is, in fact, a good friend of mine. But, she’s also one of the most beloved mommy bloggers around.
People magazine named her one of their favorite moms on the Internet — and if you read even one of her posts, you’ll understand why. Rebecca embraces life and isn’t afraid to expose her true self, in all of its messy and magical ways. (Considering that she has four kids — including twins — things can get pretty messy!) In the midst of it all, Rebecca manages to slip in useful information about stuff like how to keep kids from being bored in L.A. (both inside the house and around town), and navigating the Los Angeles magnet school application process (a guest post by her husband, Hal, which I found invaluable).
Her writing is beyond poetic, and her photography is nothing short of flawless.
Hollywood Mom Blog, by Tracy Bobbitt
Okay, so there’s no way my own child is going to pursue a career in the entertainment industry (unless you count the few clips he’s posted online in an attempt to become the next big YouTube star). That said, I’m betting that there are plenty of moms in L.A. who already have a kid in the business, or who have wondered how to make that dream a reality for their little ones.
Well, thanks to this blog from Tracy Bobbitt, who has worked in film production and is also the parent of actress Jordan Bobbitt, aspiring stage moms can learn everything they need to know, including where current casting calls are happening and what the top 10 talent agencies for kids are. I also love that there are posts from mental health experts on topics that can benefit all parents, such as ways to help kids handle rejection.
Regardless of your family’s showbiz goals, it’s seriously fascinating to read about the starry side of Hollywood society.
Perfectly Disheveled, by Jennifer Brandt
You know those moms who seem to have it all together? The ones who post about their wonderful kids and their perfect lives incessantly on social media? You’ll get none of those #hyperfiltered Fakebook posts from Jennifer Brandt, the mommy blogger behind Perfectly Disheveled.
If she does talk about hosting the world’s greatest birthday party, brags about “raising highly gifted and gorgeous children,” or introduces a picture of her “perfect family,” it’s only because she’s being sarcastic (and sarcasm wins me over every time). So, to me, reading her posts is like getting a status update from a very real friend who isn’t afraid to talk about tough topics — including the scary stuff she’s been through with her second son, who was born with a mass covering his chest and back. (She also discusses how the experience has inspired her efforts to help other parents in need — a post that I found particularly inspiring.)
Ultimately, it’s the raw, from-the-heart parenting experiences that tend to unite us all— and that’s why I appreciate Jennifer’s blog so much.