If there's one thing parent blogs do brilliantly, it's document the emotional rollercoaster that is family life.
The 2012 MAD Blog Award finalists will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, cry with laughter, and sometimes just cry, as they share the ups – and downs – of being mums and dads through words and pictures.
Forget the top tips and to-do lists of parenting magazines. You can find some great practical advice on all aspects of family life on parent blogs, as well as really well-thought-out pieces about how the world sees parents and children.
Ever had your bubble burst by your children when they completely fail to recognise how much you do for them? Emma, who blogs at Adventures of an Unfit Mother, had us in stitches with her account of her children's Mother's Day 'homework'. If you think helping your child write three sentences on 'Things I like to do with my Mummy' doesn't sound that difficult, all we can say is, think again.
And if you've ever been embarrassed in public by your children you'll identify with How To Raise Chickens In Peckham's hilarious post which is worth a read for the title alone: The Headmistress, the Nun and the Washing Machine.
The best parent blogs are so well-observed you can't help but nod your way through them. 35 Ways You Know You're A Mummy on Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three is a brilliantly-observed list of all the weird and wonderful things you find yourself doing now you're a parent. Our favourite was: 'You start hearing Peppa Pig in your dreams'.
Of course there's more to family life than laughter. For a start there's the eternal question of when, if ever, is the right time to have another child, addressed beautifully by Dorky Mum. And we really love The Five F's discussion of why so many parents feel embarrassed for being proud of their children and looking at where the line falls between pride and out-and-out boasting.
There are more ways to express family life than just through words. We adore Dear Beautiful Boy's gorgeous picture-based post that sums up all the aspects and emotions involved in being a mother.
And The Boy And Me manages to capture more emotion with this one photograph than many could express in 1,000 words.
Over on Fashion Detective, Johanna also uses pictures to showcase a beautiful day at the seaside with her son. We can almost hear the waves and smell the fish and chips.
We also had a chuckle at this wonderfully-illustrated picture post from Slugs on the Refrigerator in which she theorises that she and her camera might add to the general chaos created by her children.
Our finalists have practical hints and tips for coping with family life, such as Actually Mummy's novel way of helping children deal with nightmares, as narrated by her young daughter.
We also love fashionista mummy Cocomamastyle's advice on choosing your toddler's first shoes, documented with typical flair and style.
Whatever your problem there's a parent blogger out there who can help you solve it, or who can inspire or comfort with accounts of their own experiences, happy and sad. The serious question of racism and how it affects children is brilliantly discussed in this post by Mummy Tips.
And the thing no parent wants to have to address – loss – is covered sensitively and beautifully, in this tear-jerking post from Patch of Puddles that shares her feelings about her family, which includes a baby lost shortly after birth.
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