Dear Baby – Mommy Wants to Share Some Secrets with You

Dear Baby – Mommy Wants to Share Some Secrets with You

It’s past midnight. I’ve been standing by your cot now for over 20 minutes, shaking a little, taking invisible slow breaths so as to not wake you up. Checking out every little line on your face, watching every tiny movement you make. Trying hard to relax, I tell myself that I am doing ok – that we are both doing ok. We are pretty new to this baby/mother adventure, but we are feeling our way in the dark and somehow we are figuring out what to do. We are being guided by powerful instincts that neither of us totally understand. We just trust each other and are holding invisible hands on this unfolding journey. You know exactly what to do when you feed and my body synchs with yours. You have no idea what it feels like to have your little body curled up in my arms – it’s almost as though we are reading each other’s minds – maybe we actually are. Just the fact you are here is so magical, almost any impossible reality seems totally possible. Today I with our 6 (or was it 7) breastfeeding sessions, and with the help of my magic double pump, I managed to make enough milk to nourish you. You even gave me a sweet little smile – your gift for the sore nipples and numbing exhaustion that permeates every cell in my body. So my little one, we’ve made it through another day. Since you are fast asleep and can’t hear me, I can now share some of my secrets with you – things you will never hear me...

Sometimes Doctors Don’t Know Best (But Mom Does)

Image Source: Monica Bielanko Editor’s note: This piece is is not intended to be used in place of medical advice. If you or your child have a medical issue, please consult your physician. This essay addresses non-life-threatening parenting topics that are a matter of opinion, not science. It was drilled into my head from before I gave birth to my first child: co-sleeping is a big no-no. For responsible parents who don’t want to accidentally suffocate their child, anyway. A first-time mother anxious to follow all instructions, I unquestioningly obeyed my doctor’s advice. So fearful was I that something terrible would happen that I didn’t even nap with my daughter, something I now view as a rare opportunity lost. I was so convinced that doctors and “experts” knew what was best for my child that I didn’t even question it. But then, a few days after the birth of my second child, a funny thing happened. I’d spent most of the night waking to my son’s cries and pulling him out of the bassinet next to my bed to nurse him and then lay stiffly in bed waiting for the cry that would herald the next session. By 4am I was exhausted. He wouldn’t go back to sleep after nursing on both sides and my sleep deprivation was so intense I felt as though I were drunk. I turned to my side, cuddled his tiny body to my chest, gently pushed a nipple into his mouth, and we both promptly fell asleep for four much-needed hours. I’ve been co-sleeping ever since. From the moment my third child was born, he has spent every waking second next to...
30 Things That Happen When a Parent Gets Sick

30 Things That Happen When a Parent Gets Sick

Every parent has been there. You know, that dark and awful place called being sick, but with kids. A common cold morphs from nuisance to diabolical plot to kill your last ounce of give-a-damns. Without fail, your common cold will arrive at the most inconvenient time, like when your preschooler decides that he can start making his own lunch. By himself. With a knife. Meanwhile, you’re trapped on the couch, wondering how much of your self-respect you are willing to overlook based on how far out of reach the tissue box is. But it doesn’t stop there, because when a parent gets sick it means that you will likely experience these 30 things: 1) You won’t shower for three days. 2) You will wipe your nose on your shirt at least once. 3) Your kids will suddenly be very loud. 4) Like blow out your aching eardrums loud. 5) You will run out of DayQuil and eye up the NyQuil instead. 6) Your kids will want to watch cartoons all day. 7) And you kind of do too. 8) After three hours you formulate serious questions for The Man In The Yellow Hat. 9) You will not want to eat but your kids will. 10) You decide everyone can live on peanut butter and bread. 11) Except you’re out of peanut butter. So you actually have to cook something. 12) Shit. 13) Your throat will start burning, making yelling or talking impossible. 14) That’s when one hellion will convince the other hellion to go fishing in the toilet. 15) You spend 20 minutes disinfecting the bathroom. 16) You forgot you...

Why Moms of Boys Are Upset Over This New Bullying Study

image source: thinkstock Have you ever consoled your children differently? Of course no two children are the same, but if your son and your daughter both came to you with a problem about bullying, would you comfort them in a different way? Would you expect your comfort to have a different effect on them based on their gender? As the parent of a school-aged child, I am becoming well-versed in the lingo of bullying awareness. When we were kids, neighborhood bullies were a fact of life and many of us endured and suffered through emotional hardships that we never want our kids to face. We don’t want our kids to be bullied, and we don’t want our kids to BE the bully. Many schools arm parents with tools and resources for how to wade through these situations. Instinctively, I believe we all know one of the best ways to combat bullying is to listen to our kids, love them, and see them through the crisis. Researchers from the University of Michigan set out to study the role parents play on the long-term effects of bullying. They wanted to know just how effective a mother’s love could be against a bully. Could moms actually stop negative behavioral outcomes? Earlier this month they released the results of their five-year-long study. Their results sound awesome if you are the mom of a daughter, but they are brutal for moms of sons. The study found: “For girls, receiving their mothers’ warmth and open communication significantly reduced the harmful effects of being victimized by peers. For boys, however, early negative peer experiences led to a significant increase...
Assembling IKEA Furniture Will Make You Question Your Whole Relationship

Assembling IKEA Furniture Will Make You Question Your Whole Relationship

Fact: you will hate your partner if you assemble a piece of IKEA furniture together. Everyone knows this. Now, experts are confirming a trip to the retail giant will determine how much stress your relationship can handle. Basically, skip the couples therapy and purchase and assemble a 42-piece IKEA armoire. Psychologist Ramani Durvasula told The Wall Street Journal, “The store literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare.” She said she often “tasks couples with putting together a large piece of furniture at home and reporting back on how it went.” IKEA is not loving that their brand has become synonymous with fighting partners. A spokesman from IKEA told The Huffington Post: “Customers can easily prepare pre-visit by going to our website and viewing the IKEA catalog and catalog app. Then when in our store, couples, can have a bite to eat or a drink in our restaurant and talk through their choices. When they’ve made their decision, they can choose from several service options to make the final process easy. This includes IKEA picking the choice items, picking and delivering or a combo of three; picking, delivering and assembling. All these choices attribute to having a great IKEA shopping experience.” Hahaha – WHAT? I don’t care how many Swedish meatballs you consume together, unless one of those yellow-and-blue-clad, helpful employees is following you home to assemble that SPROCKEN or whatever the hell you just bought, you are going to fight. The fighting will begin as you try to extricate yourselves from the maze that is the IKEA showroom ( I told you we should have made a left after the fake plants, asshole),...