Jessica G Hartshorn

Jessica Hartshorn writes lifestyle stories for Scary Mommy with an eye to helping parents achieve a happy home life. She understands that hearing from other parents as well as experts can help people make decisions, pick their battles, and otherwise be the parent and partner that they want to be.

For ten years, Hartshorn was the Entertainment Editor of Parents magazine. Before that, she was the Senior Lifestyle Editor of American Baby magazine for more than a decade. Between the two, she spent twenty-plus years evaluating and rating toys and baby gear. If she reflexively looks at your stroller brand she’s not judging, just researching. She holds degrees in journalism and world literature from Penn State.

Hartshorn has gotten her own kids into their teens and now counts on friends to let her hold their baby. She photographs her cat, flowers, and cakes too often, and is happiest traveling, especially with the fam.

Fighting Words

A Relative Is Body-Shaming Your Child. How Do You Shut It Down?

Virginia Sole-Smith, author of Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture, shares talking points for *those* relatives.

Middle-School Milestones

3 Life Skills Tweens Should Have Heading Into The Teenage Years

An unofficial accounting of things your kid needs to master from about fifth to eighth grade, before high school.

Modern Families

10 Celebrity Moms Who Are Seemingly Nailing The Whole Co-parenting Thing

We take note of what they’re doing right with their post-divorce, shared-custody arrangements.

Food Fights

Is Keto Safe For Older Kids? How To Respond When Your Tween Or Teen Asks To Try

Dietitians have a lot to say about this “trend.”

This Is Wild

How Long Do Frozen Embryos Last? “Indefinitely” — But It's Complex

With the news that babies were born from 30-year-old embryos, we asked a fertility specialist to chime in.

Listen Up

Sneaky Signs Your Kid Craves Some Connection (& How Not To Blow It)

Your child is never going to say, "I’d love to have a word with you." But these actions speak as loud as those words.


Your Tween Has Their First Crush. What's Your Role In This?

It's tough to be supportive without accidentally embarrassing or annoying the heck out of your child.

Oculus Addiction

How Much VR Gaming Is Too Much For Our Kids?

Can a child Oculus themself into a headache or injury? Do hours in the metaverse lead to anti-social behavior in the real world? What are the rules with virtual-reality gaming?

Wasn't Expecting This

4 Powerful Parenting Truths In Everything Everywhere All At Once

My son's favorite film is also a fascinating look at our relationship with our kids as they grow into teens.

Maybe It's A Food Baby

Why Do I Have Phantom Kicks, Even Years After Pregnancy?

The body is wild, man.

I Screen, You Screen

Should My Kid Be Wearing Blue-Light Glasses During Screen Time?

Blue-light glasses are everywhere now, but their benefits are up for debate.

smooth moves

Is There A “Normal” Age To Start Shaving? How To Tell When Your Kid’s Ready

Kids need to stay clean, but do they need smooth legs and armpits? Do we wait for them to ask? A pediatrician answers our hairy questions.

It's 867-5309

Another Mom Just Asked For Your Favorite Sitter’s Info... What Do You Do?

To share or not to share, that is the question.

Luxury Problems

I Don't Want Botox. What Are My Other Options for Wrinkles?

I just wish to be mistaken for being like five years younger than I am. So I asked an expert what to do.

Stepping In It

Your Kid’s Upset Over A Fight With A Friend. Should You Text The Other Parent?

That awkward moment when you're like, "Hey! Um..."

Halloween 2.0

10 Fun Halloween Activities For Teens “Too Old” To Go Trick-Or-Treating

Big kids certainly can go begging for candy, but even they know it starts to get more cringe than cute. Put some of these plans in motion instead.

Not Fun At All

My Hair Is Falling Out In Clumps, & It's Not Postpartum. What's Wrong With Me?

Getting a diagnosis will be your first step to figuring out how to treat your hair loss.

Expert Advice

Understanding Why People Cheat Could Help You Avoid Raising A Little Adam Levine

What makes someone so shamelessly court extramarital nonsense? And can those kinds of grabs for validation be prevented with strong parenting?

National Coming Out Day

Do You Assume Your Kids Are Cis & Straight? I’ll Admit; I Did.

My defense would have been, "Why put other labels on them?" But cis and straight are also labels. Maybe, though it’s hard, it's best to assume nothing.

Rescue Me

The Pound Puppies Saga: How These Plush Toys Hooked Us & Now Our Kids

These beloved ‘80s toys sure knew how to tug on the heartstrings.