Grown-Up Reads

The (Totally Unofficial) Thinking Mom’s Guide to the Blogosphere

by Laura Lambert

Illustration: Luciano Lozano

Blessed are the websites that get you through the day. For me, it’s the ones that are well-written, topical, easy on the eyes, stimulating to the brain, and often have a distinctly female POV (because those are the voices I like to hear in my head). Here are a few of my frequent stops.

  • Craving a #longread?

    Longreads is a literary gateway drug — through it, you’ll find some of the best long-form writing on the interwebs, from standbys like The New Yorker to journals you hadn’t heard of before, but will now love. The best part? Estimated times, so you can decide whether it’s a bathroom read vs. a naptime read vs. could-someone-please-take-these-kids-to-the-park-for-the-afternoon-so-I-can-read read?

    Similarly, there’s Medium. Anyone can contribute, so it’s hit or miss, but there are serious gems here — and a lot of undiscovered voices.

  • Getting hungry?

    A well-done cookbook (see what I just did there?) reads like the books I love best — confessional, memoir-y, and subtly practical. And that’s why Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner, A Love Story resonates. Similarly, Deb Perelman’s writing on Smitten Kitchen is as tried-and-true as her recipes — both are accessible and delicious.

  • Need a sanity break?

    Hey Girl memes aside, I don’t always dig what the Internet deems funny. But every lady needs a laugh. For me, the ridiculousness of parenthood, and this particular stage in my life, are captured best by Baby Sideburns and Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.

    Or, you know, you can always look at kittens and puppies.  Allegedly, it’ll increase your productivity.

  • Need a pep talk?

    Sure, these advice columns are years old, but there’s a reason why there’s a cult of Dear Sugar addicts out there. Cheryl Strayed’s column is big-hearted, smart, brutally honest, and wonderfully written — and the rest of TheRumpus ain’t bad either.

  • Need fodder for small talk at pick-up?

    Sometimes I think the Motherlode editors have bugged my cell phone, that’s how on-point, topically, these blog posts can be. Invariably, these are the conversations I’m already having with mom friends. The essays provoke while the commentary is smart and moving. Motherlode, plus Jezebel, and I feel like I’ve got a handle on what’s what with moms and women.

  • Wanna feel young again?

    Sometimes, I don’t want to be a thirty-something wife/mother who just wants alone time with her New Yorker, damnit. Sometimes, I want to be the me who loved boys, taped Guess ads on my bedroom walls, and poured over Sassy and Jane. Hello Giggles and Rookiemag fill that niche. You’ll be surprised what doesn’t change in 15 years.

  • And if you prefer the classics ...

    The OG mom blogs are still going strong: The Bloggess, Pioneer Woman, Dooce.

  • Extra Credit

    These are not blogs, per se — I subscribe to the newsletters. But they are bloggy in spirit and excellent in content.

    • News, in a flash. theSkimm gives you current events, condensed, with attitude.
    • Grad school flashback. BrainPickings is like a really smart friend who whispers in your ear, “Let’s talk about philosophy, my dear. And art. And literature. And design. And don’t you just adore these lovely little drawings?”