Mum's definitely the word at Plusnet right now, as we've been working with Netmums and celebrity mum Jennifer Ellison (you know … from Dancing on Ice) to find out more about how mums are making the most of t'internet. We'll be sharing some exciting new mummy content soon. But for now, seeing as it is Mother's Day this Sunday (18 March 2012), we thought we'd let you in on our pick of mum-friendly resources and our favourite mummy bloggers. Just read on for more …
Great web resources for mum
It's no surprise that mums are taking to the internet, as it's great for entertaining the kids, saving money and picking up (or sharing!) parenting tips with other mums. Here are our pick of some web resources that'll help you do all of the above …
Keep the kids entertained with these iOS apps:
For babies: Try the Ladybird Peekaboo ebook app for iPhone and iPad, and have fun with the Baby Touch Peekaboo series. These fun, interactive eBooks are educational and are suitable for babies aged 6 months and older. Even better, they only cost £1.99 and include four stories.
For toddlers: Try FirstWords: Animals if you're looking to help your toddler polish his or her pronunciation. It's a game that encourages little ones to spell out the words shown in a picture using letter tiles, and reads out the word to them once they've been able to spell it correctly. It costs £1.49 for iPhone and iPad, but is free on Android.
If you fancy a sing-song, you could try the Wheels on the Bus app, as well - this cute app plays out this old nursery rhyme favourite, but lets kids spin the bus's wheels and wipe its windshields, too.
Oh, and don’t worry if you’re not of the Apple persuasion as there’s tonnes of similar content available over on Google Play.
Little children cost big money, so it's no surprise that mums are turning to the web to help them make savings. Comparison sites like uSwitch and Confused.com are great resources for anyone looking to reduce the cost of their utilities and insurance essentials, while sites like SuperSavvyMe offer honest product reviews, competitions, money saving coupons and free beauty samples.
Quidco and Boots Treat Street are also great if you're shopping online. With Quidco, you get cash-back and exclusive offers on everything from fashion to electricals. With Boots Treat Street, you get at least 1 Advantage Card point for every £1 that you spend when you shop online at partner stores via Treat Street - which is especially handy for mums, as you can put your Advantage Card points towards the costs of baby food, baby goods or kids' clothes in Boots stores.
As a new or expectant mum, you may also be entitled to benefits, so it's worth visiting direct.gov to find out what money and tax benefits you are entitled to.
Connect with other mums:
Mums know best, so it's little wonder that the web's full of busy forums and communities where mums can swap tips. Well-established sites like Netmums are great if you're looking to connect with other mums and maybe even set up your own blog about parenting - they've got a parent bloggers network of more than 1,500 blogs. They also run campaigns on issues that affect mums - like child benefits - so you can stay informed about, and get involved with, issues that could affect your family.
You can also try connecting with other mums over The British Mummy Bloggers Network and Mumsnet, or at #MumsRock on Twitter. At Mumsnet, you'll find a blogger network, product reviews and even a book club for literary loving mums.
Work from home or find flexible hours:
More and more mums are looking to reduce the cost of childcare by working from home. There are loads of resources online that are dedicated to giving business advice to mums looking to set up their own venture, and helping mums to find jobs with flexible working hours.
Mumandworking is a great site if you're looking for flexible job vacancies, franchise opportunities or careers advice. If you're thinking of setting up your own business, then you should have a look at the government's business link initiative - the website includes information about applying for funding, as well as advice about how to set up and run a business.
Our favourite mummy bloggers:
If you're a mum who blogs, you're not alone. Research shows that more and more mums are blogging. From writing guides on cooking healthy meals to sharing potty-training and tantrum-taming tips straight from the front-line of parenting, an army of mums are sharing their know-how over the web. Last year, eMarketer reported that 300,000 more US mums blogged at least once a month in 2011 (4 million) than in 2008 (3.7 million). And, the firm forecasts that at least another 400,000 mums will be blogging by 2014. Here are some of our favourite mum-written blogs to bookmark or add to your RSS feed:
A great blog written by a Midlands mum, Rosie Scribble is great for funny anecdotes and stories straight from the front-line of motherhood that mums and dads can relate to.
Whether you're looking for honest reviews of kiddie products and mum essentials or beauty tips, This Mummy Loves is a must-add to your RSS feed. It's full of lovely photos, too.
A really funny and touching blog from a stay at home mum of two boys and self-confessed 'avoider of housework,' Hot Cross Mum is a brilliant read, especially if you love book reviews and author interviews.
This hugely funny blog is written by a mum (Sally) and her everyday life with her six year old daughter (Flea). There's everything from anecdotes to travel tips. Even better, it really reads like a coffee-house confessional between friends.
Written by another Midlands mum who counts writing and drawing among her favourite things, this lovely blog is a real snapshot into the life of a very talented single mum. It's an especially good read if you're looking to start creative writing, too - as it's full of prompts and tips and runs a fortnightly writing workshop.
Chock full of money saving tips, this blog has been written by a stay at home mum who's published books about how to save money so you can afford time off with your baby. There are tips on how to make money and save money, as well as the odd competition to enter, too.
Featuring everything from decorating tips to recounts of family fun trips, this blog is a real, heart-warming snapshot into the lives of a family of four. This mum also blogs for Sainsbury's Bank about money matters, so it's good if you're looking for some thrifting tips.
Penned by the founder of the BritMums social network, this blog is a lovely chronicle of everyday life, thoughts on motherhood and honest straight-talking from a mum of three girls living in Scotland.
Written by a mum thrifting her way through the recession, this blog is definitely worth a read if you're looking for some savvy tips on how to save on the cost of raising your little ones.
A diary of the life of a mum (and archaeologist) living in Hertfordshire, this great blog has everything from tips on how to use your Tesco vouchers to how to live a more eco-friendly life.
Full of funny observations and diary entries, this blog is written by a chic London mum managing pregnancy, a toddler and extensive home renovations.
This blog might have mediocre in the title - really, it's anything but. It's about a normal (self-deprecating) mum and everything from what she feeds her family to what apps her little one likes best.
Have you come across any great mummy-friendly web resources or mummy blogs that we've missed out? Has using the web changed how you parent? What do you think of our pick of blogs, apps and resources? Please leave us a comment and let us know …