Parents Magazine: "The online arbiter of cool for the swingset crowd."
Martha Stewart: "The best in gifts, gear, and everything new and cool for moms."
InStyle: Best of the Web/Kids
Real Simple: One of the 3 best blogs for parents
Babble.com: #1 Shopping Blog for Parents
What started as a grassroots labor of love from publishers Kristen Chase and Liz Gumbinner in 2006 (whoa) has grown into one of the most trusted lifestyle networks on the web for parents. And a lot of non-parents too.
Kristen and Liz are often featured in national and local media discussing parenting trends, gift ideas, tech and digital safety, mom-run businesses, entrepreneurship, and online shopping. Frequent broadcast appearances include The TODAY Show, CBS's The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show, GMA Live!, ABC News Now, CNN, Headline News, CBS Atlanta, Fox 5 NY, NY1, and shaky iPhone videos commandeered by our children.
We've also curated sales, events, product recommendations and gift guides for outlets like Martha Stewart, Lucky Magazine, New York Magazine, Parents, Gilt Group, Ideeli, Babycenter, New York Family, and Time Out/Kids.
In 2020, we're making some changes though, to get back to who we are and why we started this site in the first place, and to better define our values for our audience.
To make parenting more cool, more fun, and more meaningful.
Here's what we stand for:
(We've clearly had a lot of years to think about this.)
- Living our values best we can, in all the ways we can.
- Amplifying women, sharing their voices, supporting their businesses, their writing, and their work.
- Diversity, representation and inclusion in every aspect of parenting and life in general.
- Supporting all kinds of families, because all children deserve love and support. That means blended families, families with single parents (or solo parents), extended families, families with two moms, families with two dads, families with LGBTQ+ kids. Families with ten kids, families with one kid. Military families. Adoptive families, foster families, homeschooling parents, public school parents, families with special needs.
The one thing our readers have in common: We believe you know your children best, and you are all doing the best you can for your family with the best information you have. If you didn't, you wouldn't be here.
- Raising children to be responsible citizens of the world. That's why we love diverse books and movies, family travel, teaching and valuing kindness, accepting facts and scientific data, and encouraging kids to express their passions through charity and activism.
- Responsible consumerism: Buy things you truly adore, supporting the companies that are meaningful to you. Just own less stuff. That's why we have always supported small businesses and start-ups, with a focus on companies run by women and people of color. While we have always shared all kinds of things that are cool and helpful to parents, our heart is with the little guys (and gals). How great is it to be able to buy something you want or need, that helps a thoughtful entrepreneur support her family through her work?
- Tech-positive parenting. Tech is not the end of humanity was we know it, and it's not going away either. Let's support each other in raising responsible digital kids.
- Teen-positive parenting. Now that more of us have tweens and teens, we realize how cool teens are, and we want you to see it too.
- Respect for the planet: we only have one. That doesn't mean we are trading our cars for bikes, giving up electricity, or shaming anyone for eating a non-organic strawberry, but we know we can always strive to do better in both big and small ways. It's a journey.
- Giving you choices, not judgment. Shop from Amazon, shop from your local indie bookseller, or borrow from your library. Buy the shoes on sale at the big stores, or the designer ones that were a splurge, but give you joy every day. Feed your family plant-based organic meals, or take-out pepperoni pizza because that's all your kid will eat right now. We may have our own preferences, but you do you.
We also believe in welcoming differing opinions. We love respectful debate. But we also know when we’re being trolled, or are our comments being used to spread disinformation or hate toward other commenters. Then, out you go!
- Helping women feel good about themselves: There are lots of ways to get there: Self-care, fitness, body positivity, chocolate, binge-watching, humor. Time with kids, time without kids. Date night. Girls' night. Or maybe it's a crisp new shirt that fits perfectly, or a lipstick that makes you feel like a rock star, purchased without guilt or judgment.
And hey, feeling good also comes down to a community of other women who support one another. Probably that most of all. (Which is also why no one gets to be a jerk in our comments or on our social networks.)
- Giving back and doing good in all the ways we can.
- Writing about topics we care about. It's not just products, as you can see. We write about current events, social justice, evolving worldviews, and help provide answers and resources for tough stuff families are facing. Sometimes that even means (gasp) we talk about politics. Politics impact the choices we have as individuals, and the world our kids will grow up to inherit. Politics is inextricable from parenting.
If the word politics makes you squeamish, try using the word "values" instead. Which brings us back to the our first point.
- Humor. If we weren't laughing, as Kristen always says, we'd be crying. (Well, not always. But humor helps.)
Last but definitely definitely not least, we value integrity and trust with our readers.
This hasn't changed since we started our site in 2006.
While we support our team through ad revenue, we always disclose our brand partnerships and affiliate links. We never "review' products for money or stuff. We only work with brands we can genuinely support, whether they're start-ups or big brands making great strides to do better. We don't post press releases and pass them off as our opinions.
We also don't buy followers or "likes" Ever. Transparency and authenticity are wildly important to us.
Because this is not Meh Mom Picks, we do focus on discovering and curating stuff that's cool, not stuff that sucks. However, we always tell you what we really we think. For example, the world would be a better place without boy and girl toy aisles, knee-jerk social media alarmism, "gender" reveal party stunts that maim your guests, and comic sans.
If we recommend something that ends up sucking, we change our post and rescind our recommendation. No hesitation.
Trust also means getting real. Like sharing personal stuff. Or posting Instagram photos of our messy kitchens, and selfies without our underage circles and crows feet retouched. We find it kind of refreshing, actually,
We hope our longtime readers know that they can trust our recommendations. If you're new to our site, we hope you grow to trust us too. As we recently told the New York Times, we work to earn it every day.
Follow us, pitch us, sponsor us, be a part of something good
We love what we do, and we couldn't do what we do without all of you. That means readers, entrepreneurs, podcast fans...all of you. Join us!
Subscribe: We have some great newsletters divided by topic. You can subscribe here.
Podcast: Subscribe to our award-winning Spawned Parenting Podcast with Kristen and Liz (that's us!) on Apple Podcasts or any podcast app. It's fun. And helpful. And kind of... uncensored. We think you'll like it.
Sponsorships: If you are interested in advertising or sponsored opportunities, by all means email our Director of Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships, Lisa Barnes, at firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll hook you up.
Want to meet the rest of the Cool Mom team? Just click here.