This South Carolina Mom Wants to Make Dinnertime Less Stressful

Kate Strickler's Naptime Kitchen blog is one of the most approachable places on the internet.

Kate Strickler of Naptime Kitchen
Photo: Courtesy @JessicaShiflettPhoto

It started as a way to pass time. "My first child was 7 months old, and he took two naps a day," says Kate Strickler, who lives in Charleston, South Carolina. "I was bored at home and cooking a lot more." She began sharing elaborate dishes on her Instagram account (@naptimekitchen) with a small group of her friends and relatives. But as her own family—and her social media following—grew, her dishes changed too. "At first, I was making more labor-intensive recipes. Over time, it's become, 'What can I dump in the Crock-Pot?' " she explains. "I show what I'm actually cooking for my family and how we're surviving in different phases of life."

For Strickler, it's about offering other moms approachable ideas to feed their children, without any guilt. "I share recipes that are mostly healthy, but I'm not harping on it intensely," she says. "Health is such an easy way to be kind of a fearmonger to the average mom who's trying so hard to feed her kids and herself. I work really hard to show an accessible way of eating. There's a lot of healthy stuff, but there's also dairy and processed food, like boxed macaroni and cheese."

It's about inspiring women to free themselves of cripplingly high expectations and show themselves some grace, says Strickler: "There is joy to be found in the normal, everyday life that you're living, even if it doesn't look exactly like you want it to or when everything isn't perfect to a T."

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