About Parent Hacks

Welcome! Here at Parent Hacks (this website, and soon to be a book) I celebrate the down-and-dirty, seat-of-the-pants, scrappy ingenuity we develop as we stumble through the crazy adventure of raising our kids.

I launched Parent Hacks in 2005 to collect and share our tips, workarounds, and bits of wisdom – our hacks – so we could all benefit.

Back then, my kids were six and two, and the home/kid/work juggle was at its most intense. I found that “worked for me” tips from actual parents were so much more helpful than the generic advice filling the parenting books and magazines. (Back then, the Internet was a new source of parenting information, and there was no social media for launching quick questions out to friends.)

Luke and Mimi DornfestToday, my oldest child is in high school.

The challenges that loomed back then — potty training, getting a decent night’s sleep, helping my kids adjust to school, trying to keep the house relatively clean and my family relatively fed and myself relatively sane — are mostly behind us. (Mostly.)

With older kids, there’s room breathe. There’s time to develop more confidence and a longer-term perspective about being a parent. And there are many new challenges to consider and stumble through. (Do we ever feel sure of ourselves? No. We just do the best we can.)

My attention is now focused on raising future adults: teaching life skills, giving my kids room to grow into the people they need to be (which isn’t necessarily what I would have them be).

I’m deliberately moving from caretaker to role model, which means taking a hard look at my own habits and fears and doing my best to grow. I’m doing my best to live my life in a way I hope will inspire my kids’ future selves, even if they don’t appear to be paying attention right now.

Parent Hacks has evolved into a combination of practical, life-simplifying tips and the lessons I’m learning as a mother, writer, and human. I invite you to join me in exploring this moment in our family lives. My hope is that the conversation — always the very best thing about Parent Hacks — will continue to grow. And so will we.

About Asha Dornfest

AD_roundheadshotI live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, Rael, our two kids “Luke,” 15, and “Mimi,” 11, and our dog, Teddy. (“Luke” and “Mimi” are my kids’ Internet names. When future employers and love interests Google their names, I want the results to be stuff they’ve created, not me. Teddy, however, is ready for his 15 minutes of Internet fame.)

I’ve been a writer for 20 years. Before Parent Hacks (before parenting!) I wrote books and articles about Web publishing. Becoming a parent changed everything (as it usually does).

After my son was born, I began to write about motherhood. My writing often circled the theme of “this is not how it sounded in the parenting books.” I created Parent Hacks as a way to connect with other parents and, ultimately, to find out if anyone else felt as surprised by parenting as I did. The answer was (and continues to be) a resounding YES.

I’m currently hard at work on a Parent Hacks book, forthcoming from Workman Publishing in 2016. (Ironically, Workman’s most famous parenting title, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, was partially responsible for my desire to launch this site.)

My previous book, Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less, with my dear friend and co-author Christine Koh, is available at bookstores everywhere.

I also speak, travel, and work with organizations whose missions I support.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you’ll stay awhile.

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I’m also on Twitter, Facebook (click Follow) and Instagram.

Hack submissions

Got a parent hack? I’d love to see it! Post it (or a link to it) on your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profile with the #parenthacks hashtag. I’ll be watching!

Product reviews

I no longer accept product pitches. I love to write about products and services I think make life easier or better, but I usually stumble upon these things myself.


While I’m open to sponsorship proposals from brands whose products I would use, I accept very few invitations to do sponsored work. If you’d like to discuss sponsorship, please get in touch using my contact form.

Media requests

Parent Hacks has a long-standing readership and has been honored with a number of press mentions and awards. Parent Hacks has been featured in the Wall Street JournalReal SimpleFamily CircleParentsParenting and several other publications. Babble named Parent Hacks “#1 Most Useful” of its Top 100 Mom Blogs three times.

My writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, The Week, Babble, BabyCenter, among other online publications.

I’ve also been a guest on TV shows, radio broadcasts and podcasts, including CNN and ABC News. I’ve spoken at several events and conferences including SXSW, BlogHer, Mom 2.0 Summit, and TechFest NW. I was one of the original cast members in the popular video series Momversation. I’m a proud member of the ONE Girls & Women Advisory Council, and am a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow.

If you have an editorial or interview request, please get in touch using my contact form.

Photo credit: Karen Walrond for ONE
Parent Hacks multitool logo: Bryan Bell