R5 Top 5: Kristin van Ogtrop

Managing Editor of Real Simple magazine and author of Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms of the Half-Insane Working Mom, Southern Westchester’s Kristin van Ogtrop, the mother of three sons, juggles presentations and car pools with equal aplomb. Here, she shares her favorite parenting websites.

1. Babble.com
Kristin van Ogtrop recommends Babble as a source for practical information from a wide variety of experts, offered up with a welcome dose of humor. (One of its more memorable pieces? How to Entertain Your Child While Lying Down.) “With three kids who span a pretty wide age range, I can go directly to either the toddler channel or the kid channel and find more than I’d ever have time to read.”

2. Ohdeedoh.com  
“No matter what your budget, you’ll find inspiring ideas and gorgeous photographs from the houses and apartments of parents who are probably more chic than you are,” says van Ogtrop of this website devoted to great design for parents. “You can always dream. I do when I visit this site.”

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3. Mommytracked.com
“This site is filled with wonderful voices from a variety of moms who do not hesitate to be completely honest, even if that will result in certain embarrassment.” Content covers the gamut and includes brief, useful articles on everything from holiday shopping and babysitters to practical career advice.  

4. Lovethatmax.blogspot.com
Written by her friend, Ellen Seidman, about her son, Max, who has cerebral palsy, this blog, says van Ogtrop, is “a wise and warm resource for any parent of a child with special needs—and for those of us who are lucky to have completely ‘normal’ children, if there is such a thing.” One thing she particularly appreciates about Lovethatmax? “It forces you to stop for a minute and appreciate those people you gave birth to, something which we all could do a bit more often.”

5. Lets-panic.com
Likening this site to the satirical Onion newspaper but for the parents of babies, van Ogtrop recommends lets-panic.com because “it pokes its finger in the eye of all that earnest ‘What To Expect-ism’ that is rampant among pregnant women and new mothers.” And feature stories “with headlines like ‘You Can Keep Your Innocent Baby From Taking After That No-Goodnik He/She Will Call Father,’” she adds, “will remind you that, yes, you did once have a sense of humor.”  

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