Spread in, out and around Chicago, our contributors juggle motherhood and their communities in symphonic syncopation. Some of us stay at home with the kids. Others of us drop them at daycare before commuting into the city for a day at the office. Some of us reside in the inner city, while all of us brilliantly face the challenges of parenting. Our viewpoints may be different, but we’re unified in our love of motherhood and our commitment to the written word.
We’re always open to pitches on content ideas related to motherhood or Chicago area activities.
Pitch Dwana at thechicagomoms AT gmail.com.
Alma started her personal blog, MarketingMommy.net, in 2006–right around the time her firstborn began speaking in sentences. She now has two girls, 5 and 3, and lives in a 100 year old house in Oak Park. Husband Josh works from home part-time, which makes the juggle of working full time as a creative at a large downtown ad shop that much easier. The daughter of a Foreign Service officer, Alma spent her childhood moving from place to place. She moved to Chicago for college at age 18 and never left. If it wasn’t for the winters, she’d never dream of leaving. Follow Alma on Twitter @marketingmommy.
Amy is a suburban Chicago circus clown, I mean, mom, who juggles parenting her two young daughters, her work-at-home job, and her never-ending passion for creativity. She lives each day to the fullest and often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. She has a blog called ParentSphere where she talks about the people, places and things that make her life a happy place.
Emily is a Washington DC native now living in the near west suburbs of Chicago. A lawyer by training, she works part-time teaching at a local law school and spends most of her time taking care of her family and volunteering in her community. Emily and her husband have a daughter who is in second grade and a three-year-old son. Emily’s daughter has many food allergies, which can make birthday parties, school lunches and dining out a challenge, but she strives to keep her daughter’s life pretty normal and even fun. Emily’s son does not appear to have any allergies, just a profound aversion to the word “no.”
Emily’s tastes range from the serious to the frivolous. She subscribes to US Weekly and The New Yorker. She follows politics, theater, movies, television, fashion and pop culture. That doesn’t mean she actually goes to the theater or dresses fashionably, of course. Emily loves to cook more than almost anything else and she recently became an avid canner; but she doesn’t garden and she barely decorates. You can read Emily’s thoughts on all these topics and whatever else comes to mind at her personal blog West of the Loop.
Jen M is wife to Todd, who is a lover of all things Ohio State University; mother to Jonah (3.22.2007) and Lily (3.2.2009), writer, reviewer, music lover, researcher, activist, supporter, and so much more. Her day to day consists of wrangling two little kiddo’s while attempting to keep up with housework, writing, and managing the family, all without losing her sanity. Jen’s passions include her friends (both online and off), her kids, her husband, her cats, blogging (mommyinstincts.com), writing, Twittering (twitter.com/mommyinstincts), cloth diapers, taking pictures (Sony a300), editing pictures (picnik.com), a clean house, all natural health remedies (hylands.com), handmade products, Starbucks Peppermint Mocha’s, crafts with her kids, hanging out with her mom, Chicago White Sox baseball, a phenomenal Genius playlist on iTunes that makes her think, and 2 kids napping simultaneously. Her areas of expertise include vaccine research, homeopathic remedies, & pregnancy related depression/anxiety.
Jen blogs all about it; openly and honestly at Mommy Instincts.
Kris Cain is mom to 2 sets of twins who keeps busy working a full-time job, and fueling her gadget addiction. She learned at an early age that she loved computers and has been in front of one ever since. She dabbles in web design, graphic design, and over the past couple of years has learned that she loves blogging! You can read all about her gadget addiction and her hectic life on her blog, LittleTechGirl.com.
Laurie is a humorist/writer, wife of twenty-seven years, and the mother of two daughters and three dogs. When she is not trying to keep her husband on the ground, you can find her on her personal blogs, “Married to Middle–Aged Maverick“ and “Ruff Housen”:The Real Housedogs of Minneapolis.
Lisa is a newish mom who loves admitting what she doesn’t know and sharing all that she figures out. She appreciates humor and honesty, and luckily finds it every day as the lone female in the house she shares with her talented husband, adorable son, and attention-craving rescue dog. Recent transplants to Wilmette, they’re missing the city life a little less each day.
When not learning about life as a mom, Lisa works full time in fundraising, enjoys reading and cooking, loves a good time, appreciates great food and inexpensive wine, plans to start running again soon, and tries to maintain a social life. Check in on her life and her writings about her often nutty, always overbooked life at Hannemaniacs
Melanie stills feel like a child inside, even though she now finds herself the mother of four kids. Her student husband has promised that life will get easier when he is done with school, but she isn’t holding her breath.
In spite of two master’s degrees, she’s somehow never had a real job. Nevertheless, she dreams of the day when she can be . . . something. For now, she spends her days folding laundry, cooking, eating, cleaning up, wiping noses, changing diapers, and re-reading countless children’s books. When she can, she tries to find time for some grown-up types of thoughts to record at tales from the crib (myattkids.blogspot.com).
Melisa Wells has been happily ensconced in the Western ‘burbs for the last fifteen years along with her husband Jim, their two well behaved teenaged boys, and their poorly behaved beagle. She is a freelance magazine writer, contributing feature articles most often for salon industry magazines Nailpro and DAYSPA. She is the author of the children’s book Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet, and is currently working on her second book. She has written at Suburban Scrawl, her personal blog, since late 2007, and is also a contributing writer at The Music Mamas. She co-hosts a livestream chat show called“Suburban WoW” every other Friday, and you can find her on Twitter @melisalw.
Michelle is a recent addition to the stay-at-home workforce, and she’s still figuring out how the new gig works. Her two wee ones are busy training her, however, the best that a 6 and 4 year old can! Mister Man is autistic and keeps things entertaining, while Little Miss is the spitfire of the family. When not chasing after small children, Michelle can be found writing at Honest & Truly and Honest And Truly Reviews, in addition to contributing at The Chicago Moms. She also tweets @honestandtruly.
Miss Lori has been a National family treasure ever since she burst on the entertainment scene hosting the PBS Kids Preschool Block from 2006-2009. But even before her work with PBS Miss Lori was a family favorite because of the programs and media she offers with her company Miss Lori’s CAMPUS, such as her 2008 iParenting Greatest Products Media Award CD “Music n’ Movement TOGETHER!”, her fan favorite DVD “Activate & Be Great!”, her original mixed media theatrical production “GROWING!” and her self produced health interstitials currently airing on WTTW PBS Kids Chicago.
In 2009 Miss Lori parlayed her celebrity television status into a successful social media presence. Her insightful thoughts about life, parenting and community are as real as her music. In short order Miss Lori has become a sought after connector. She considers herself a “Marketainer,” leveraging her celebrity and her acute understanding of the needs of families, to strengthen the bonds between consumers and brands through live and social media based events. Miss Lori’s unique style has garnered the appreciation of such brands as Lane Bryant, Build a Bear Workshop, Vistaprint, GM, Disney, and 1800Baskets to name a few. She has been an official tweeter for Real Simple, blogged from the Oscars Red Carpet Bleachers for Kodak, and served as the Ambassador for The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Campaign. Miss Lori represents Nintendo as a Brand Enthusiast, sits on the board of Bloganthropy and is the face of the US launch of Australian early literacy website Reading Eggs. As well, Summer 2010 Miss Lori is the Ambassador of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women BetterU Program, sharing her personal journey to better health with her tribe and the World. You can find Miss Lori at MissLori.TV, www.MissLorisCAMPUS.com, ChicagoMomsBlog.com, ChicagoMoms.com, WeAreTheRealDeal.com, YoungChicagonista.com, on Twitter @MissLori and on Facebook.
Miss Lori is the mother of three school age children and draws deeply from her experiences as a mom for everything that she does. As Miss Lori always says “Let Your SMILE Shine On!”TM
Head Chicagonista, Online Talk Show Host of Chicagonista LIVE! and lead mom-blogger for The Chicago Moms. Also kiddie chauffeur, chef, housekeeper, zoo-keeper, and circus juggler to 3 active kids and a self-proclaimed awesome wife.
Nancy Loo is an Emmy-Award winning Anchor/Reporter with WGN News. She currently guest anchors the newscasts. Prior to joining the station in 2001, Nancy was an Anchor/Reporter at WABC-TV in New York City. She has also lived and worked in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Nancy has a journalism degree from the University of Oregon. She lives with her husband and two children in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She blogs regularly about life in television news and parenting at www.nancyloo.net.
Former Northwest side resident Rita is mom and step mom to four adult children and one furbaby. She and her husband Tony currently call Joliet home.
Rita finds herself rediscovering all things infant and preschooler as she provides daycare for two of her grandsons, ages 4 and 10 months. During naptime, Rita can be found sharing amusing stories and some fun giveaways at her personal blog Look It’s Megryansmom and you can find her on Twitter @megryansmom.
Rowena is an energetic city, turned suburban, Mom who loves fiction, art and travel and shares a passion for chocolate with her lively five and seven year old children. She truly appreciates “beauty” in areas including fashion and home décor. She is excited to be leveraging her marketing background from American Express and Hyatt by blogging about some of her favorite topics at www.shesheshoppers.com.
Jena, a native of Evanston, is now rearing (wrangling!) her two young sons in Winnetka. Jena loves cooking, entertaining, fashion, theater, literature and good old fashioned rock and roll. Combining these passions with the joy of raising a family makes every day a wonderful adventure. Her background in market research at IRI and ever-supportive husband help keep it all together. Check out more musings from Jena, and her partner in crime Rowena, at www.shesheshoppers.com.
You can take the girl out of San Francisco but you can’t take the San Francisco out of the girl (Go CAL Bears!!) even after 14 years of living in Chicago. SAHM to two boys working part-time but trying to be a WAHM once both kiddos are in school starting this fall. You can visit her website at Bento To Bento
Stacey Hoffer Weckstein is the founder of the Inspiring Moms Network, Inspiring Social Media Inc. & Chicago Spa Moms. Her dream is to use social media as a tool to help shift the consciousness and happiness of moms around the world. Stacey share’s her mind, body, and spirit adventures as a lifestyle blogger at EvolvingStacey.com and on Twitter atTwitter.com/EvolvingStacey.
With her husband and two young boys, Stacey enjoys the benefits of living in Evanston, which include biking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and taking in the views of the lake.
Susan Bearman is a writer/editor/freelancer/blogger, mama of four, stepmom of two, reluctant pet store owner and intrepid insomniac. In her dreams, all her manuscripts are published bestsellers; in her waking hours, she is still working on that. Her fondest wish is for more hours in the day. Read more at Two Kinds of People and The Animal Store Blog. Even better, you can hire her as a freelancer via her Website. Her clients frequently say things like “She makes me sound brilliant.” Find Susan on Twitter @2KoP and onSheWrites.
Tracey is mother of 3(9 yr, 5 yr and 2 yr), living in the suburbs of Chicago. Having lived here her entire life, one would think that the cities of Oaks, Parks, Forests, and Groves would make sense to her…. One would be mistaken. Thank God for Mapquest!!
Knowing that family would be her first “career” the jobs before children were just that: jobs. The ability to quit working when her eldest son was 15 months old was the beginning of a crazy career as a SAHM. 2 kids, 8 years and 2 houses later, she is still in love with her job and family.
Her time is spent carting the kids to and from school, helping with homework, and getting ready for soccer seasons. (though it never seems to truly end…) Cooking and cleaning are not top priority, but hanging out with the family definitely is. She spends the majority of her personal “free” time blogging at JustAnotherMommyBlog.
Vanessa aka (@Chefdruck) is thrilled to be an editor of the Chicago Moms blog. She is a French Foodie Mom to three little monsters who drive her to the brink of sanity by claiming to prefer Kraft mac and cheese over the real deal.
Her husband’s job recently relocated their family from the New York area to the Midwest, and Vanessa has been busy exploring the region. When not throwing her kids in the back of her dirty minivan to check out markets and farms, Vanessa blogs about cooking and parenting at her blog Chefdruck Musings and writes about books and the stuff in her life at Chefdruck Reviews. She is also a cooking and parenting freelance writer for a number of publications and websites.
Barb is the owner and founder of Game On! Sports Camps 4 Girls, multi-week summer sports day camps just for girls. With a mission that includes empowerment through exposure to and development in a multitude of sports, girls of all athletic abilities, grades preschool through 10th, experience hours of pure fun with the opportunity to grow as an athlete and a person.
Barb graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1982) and a J.D. from Loyola School of Law (1985), after which she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago office. She went on to grow her own thriving media relations business for over 12 years before shedding her corporate clothing to pursue her dream – Game On! – and the chance to give back to girls sports. Barb is also the author of Game On! Sports Girl Talk, a blog addressing issues relating to the participation of young girls in sports and fitness.
Barb is the proud mother of two, placing motherhood above all passions in life.
Jennie is a stay-at-home mom to boy/girl twins in the suburbs of Chicago. Despite the fact that she used to teach junior high English once upon a time, she often has trouble forming a complete sentence these days thanks to the brain cell-stealing world of motherhood. If you wanna take a ride on her crazy train, jump over to her blog, Nucking Futs Mama. You can also follow her tweets @nuckingfutsmama.
Contributing Writer at The Chicago Moms
Seamstress at Houseful of Stitches
Owner and Primary Blogger at Houseful of Nicholes.com
Domestic Goddess at Houseful of Nicholes
Natasha is one sixth of the Houseful Of Nicholes. Born and raised in Chicago, she is tourist of her own city. She is married to her high school sweetheart and a stay at home mom of four inquisitive children – ages 11(the cellist), 3(ladybug), and 10 month old twins (Lil Miss & Sir Twizzler). Her house can always be expected to be full of laughter, food, cloth diapers and maybe a little bit of homemade play-dough. She began blogging at Houseful Of Nicholes when she and her husband found out that their third child was indeed their third AND fourth child. Given the charge of transforming their house from one of four to that of six, she began researching everything to try and make her home life easier and her footprint on this earth a little bit better. Blogging has led her into the wonderful world of sewing, canning, reading (again) and creating. Her home life may be a bit busy, but that’s just the way that she likes it.You can follow her tweets @HFofNicholes or her online life at www.housefulofnicholes.com.
A Mama born in Poland with “Gypsy Blood” living on the American Prairie with her East Coast hippy husband and their daughters, two future Miss Poland and Nobel Peace prize recipients. Interests include green living, cooking, travel, Nature, History…
Creator/Host of Momma Cuisine and the Momma Cuisine Show. Her mission is to show busy moms (and dads) that “Great Everyday Meals” can be done with simple ingredients and basic cooking techniques. Watch her cooking show, Momma Cuisine Show on YouTube!
Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Huskey owner, book lover, and ChicagoNow blogger about family-friendly activities (Get Out and Have Fun Around Chicagoland). You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1.