Remember five years ago when I started @insta2yearold on Instagram? Since then, so much has changed. I mean, for starters, Harlow turned seven and I lost interest in talking from the perspective of a child. Last year, I decided to switch @insta2yearold to @MommyShortsSquad, an account that features all the other amazing moms I admire (some famous moms, but mostly regular moms within our remarkably average community) and the causes that are important to us.

When I announced the change, I thought people would drop like flies, but they stuck with me and the account began to grow. Last week, @MommyShortsSquad reached 100K followers!!! Thank you all for being a huge source of support, inspiration and humor since I started my blog ten years ago. But more importantly, thank you all for riding this parenting roller coaster with me.

A few years ago, I really thought the blog was about to die. My kids weren’t babies anymore and there was less I could write about. But then I realized that most of my audience has kids the same age that I do, and they were figuring out their next moves just like me.

So, whether you have just gotten on the roller coaster, you’re somewhere in the middle or you like looking back and helping those of us still flailing, thank you for sticking around and being a part of this ever changing community.

If you don’t already, you can follow @MommyShortsSquad here.

Here’s what you can expect to find on this account:

1) I share extraordinary stories from moms in our community:


View this post on Instagram


“Jackson was diagnosed June 13, 2016 with Stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma when he was 4 years-old. It began with a tummy ache that wouldn’t go away. Our pediatrician did an X-ray and noticed a large abnormality in his pelvis. I called John to come home from work to take him to the ER. I was home with our 6 week-old Avery and 2 year-old Macie, when John called a few hours later. His exact words were ‘Ash, it’s not good. Jackson has cancer.’ My first thought was disbelief. This doesn’t happen to us. The hardest part was accepting all the unknown. Jackson had so many tumors and wasn’t responding to chemo, so the only option left was experimental. We flew him across the country so he could undergo an experimental procedure with a specialist. The surgery involved cutting from the bottom of the rib cage to down below his waist. 188 tumors were removed. Then the surgeon ‘washed’ his belly with warm chemotherapy. We were all terrified, but Jackson acted like it was just another trip. He walked less than a day after his 14 hour surgery. Seeing his strength and bravery was breathtaking. But the moment that really got me was a few months later. His teacher told me that in class, they were talking about people who were really sick or in the hospital for awhile, and his words were ‘I don’t know anybody like that.’ Amazing that his perspective was so child-like in the midst of devastation. Jackson’s diagnosis has dramatically affected my perspective on life and family. Especially since we don’t know whether or not his cancer will come back. I can’t get rid of clothes of his that are too small or any art projects that he’s made, because it’s always in the back of my head— if he isn’t here anymore, I’ll want everything. I like to think that I was always an easy-going person, but now, I truly appreciate what is important vs. what is not. That extra popsicle on a summer night or pushing bedtime back so we can shoot basketballs together in the driveway— these are no big deal, considering the smiles in return. Time is something you’ll never get back.” – Ashley Poulos // This series is in partnership with @northwesternmutual & their initiative to help families affected by #childhoodcancer.

A post shared by Mommy Shorts Squad (@mommyshortssquad) on


2) And light-hearted regular stories too:


3) I highlight famous moms and influencers who I follow:


4) I talk about causes that are important and how they affect our children:


View this post on Instagram


”This is me, sheltering my kids on the beach at Malua Bay on New Year’s Eve. My three year-old daughter is in my lap and my 6 year-old son under that stripey towel. I was angry and scared about our government’s inaction on climate change before, but now I am furious and terrified. This disaster was exactly what I needed to snap me out of my funk, feeling like all of my activism and personal eco-choices were not achieving anything and thinking I needed to step back and regroup. This photo is my wake up call. All I could do down on that beach was protect my kids. And that’s what climate activism is all about— protecting our kids. So feel free, if you are feeling down and helpless, to draw some rage and determination from this photo. It is going to fuel me through 2020, as we collectively take the wheel and swerve this country away from ecological suicide.” I’m not sure of the name of the woman in the photo who authored this quote, but I’m hoping she is comfortable with me sharing. This photo and the ones behind it of children in Australia facing the environmental consequences of our inaction should be a wake up call to everyone who has been lucky enough to inhabit our planet. As Greta Thunberg warned us back in January of 2019, “Our house is on fire.” It’s literal now. I put the link to Celeste Barber’s fundraiser in my bio. She has been incredibly effective raising money for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service & Brigades. $27 Million raised so far. To all my followers in Australia, stay safe and please reach out if there is a story you would like to share. #australiafires #climatechange #timetoact

A post shared by Mommy Shorts Squad (@mommyshortssquad) on


5) I showcase female role models who I admire:


6) And female illustrators who make me laugh:


7) I share lists of books that teach kids important lessons:


View this post on Instagram


I’m excited to partner with @jetblue on their Soar with Reading initiative which puts vending machines filled with free books in communities with limited access. They will donate one book for each #bookdrop moment shared! What’s a Book Drop moment? It’s the book (or books) that made you fall in love with reading as a kid. For Mazzy, that was her discovery of graphic novels. The first time Mazzy picked up a graphic novel was the summer before 3rd grade. Before that, she really didn’t enjoy books and I was worried about her reading level at school. Then, she found “Spirited Away” in a free library box at the park. She opened the book, sat down on a bench and didn’t move for the next two hours. It was the first time I had ever seen her read by choice. She took the book home and finished it the next day, so proud of herself for completing a book on her own. At first, I was not that impressed with Mazzy’s interest in graphic novels. But after many battles with her to pick up a chapter book, I thought, maybe it’s more important that she enjoy reading, rather than reading what I think constitutes a “real” book. I also did some research and discovered that graphic novels have evolved a lot in recent years. They often have more complex plots and characters than early reader books, which I think was one thing Mazzy was rejecting. Early reading books, while at Mazzy’s reading level, seemed babyish. In addition to motivating reluctant readers, graphic novels teach literacy skills like inference, memory, sequencing, succinct language, and reading comprehension. So, we decided to let Mazzy read what she wanted. Fast forward a year and suddenly Mazzy had gone from being one of the slower readers to performing above her grade level. She still reads mainly graphic novels at home. Except now, when I tell her that her half hour is up, she doesn’t want to put them down. You can read more about the benefits of graphic novels at the link in my bio, along with a list of recommendations. And don’t forget to share your #bookdrop moment and tag @jetblue so they will donate a book! What’s the book that opened your kid up to the wonderful world of reading?

A post shared by Mommy Shorts Squad (@mommyshortssquad) on


8) I don’t shy away from political discussions:


9) I celebrate women doing good things:


10) And major milestones from moms in our community:


11) But the most popular posts are the albums of quotes from you guys, sharing stories and advice with one another. Click through to read some of the most well-liked quotes this year:

If you have a personal story, photo, or quote, you’d like to share on @MommyShortsSquad, do not hesitate to DM me over there! Also, I welcome feedback! Tell me in what you’ve liked about this account so far and what you would like to see more of in the new year in the comments below.

Here’s hoping next year brings more inspiration, encouragement, commiseration, laughter and a brand new president in 2020!