The Only Parenting Advice You’ll Ever Truly Need

The Only Parenting Advice You’ll Ever Truly Need

If you’ve been a parent for more than 13 seconds, then you’ve probably received parenting advice in some form or another. Once you’ve had a child, everyone’s a critic. “Never put Baby in your bed and always lay him on his back to sleep otherwise your baby will die of SIDS.” “Co-sleeping is a great way to get more sleep and promote bonding with your baby!” “Let your baby learn how to ‘self soothe’ (AKA cry) themselves to sleep, otherwise they’ll manipulate you into waking up all night long.” “Don’t let your baby cry it out. He’ll think he’s been abandoned and have emotional scarring.” “Nurse on demand. Baby will let you know when he’s hungry.” “Feed your baby according to a set timetable.” “Relax and go with the flow.” “Get Baby on a schedule immediately. Babies thrive on order and routine.” So many opinions. So much advice. So many thoughts on “best practices” for parenting. It’s completely exhausting. If I’m being completely honest, I spent a good chunk of my first year as a parent feeling overwhelmed with the “how-tos” and the “what-not-to-dos.” I would get down on myself for this, that, or the other and feel like I was never going to get the hang of it all. I thought my baby would never sleep or eat or act the “right” way and I was surely going to send her running to a therapist early in life thanks to all the ways I was screwing up. I finally saw the light sometime around the time of my daughter’s first birthday. At this point she still wasn’t taking regular naps and I pretty much wanted...
There Are No Rules at Grandma’s

There Are No Rules at Grandma’s

About a month ago, I got into a heated argument with my mother. Yes, the woman who gave birth to me, the woman who never served me a frozen meal in my life, and the same woman who spoils her grandchildren to no end. The problem? My children were spending the weekend at her house and she fed them McDonald’s for lunch. “McDonald’s?!” I squealed into the phone. “Mom, how could you do this to me?!?” Because, naturally, anyone with wifi access will tell you that fast food is the devil’s meal and that given the alarming rate of obesity in our country, we need to chill with our deep-fried Oreo doughnut holes. Kids with bad eating habits oftentimes grow up to be adults with bad eating habits. But it was too late. The kids ate their chicken nuggets, absolutely loved the Minions figurine, and devoured their fries like they were air. The kids were happy, which according to grandma, was all that mattered. Meanwhile, I was left worrying they’d become future diabetics. All because of one Happy Meal. I have this same issue with my mother-in-law, too. We visited her last month for a two-week stay, and what’s the first thing she does? She hands my children bags full of candy, chocolates, and lollipops, not to mention the ice cream she had stored in the fridge. I mean, I know it’s a grandparent’s job to spoil our children, but give me a break here. (And no, not a Kit-Kat one.) If it seems easy to blame my children’s eating habits on their grandparents, it’s because it is. And I’m not the only...
10 Clues Becoming A Parent Has Turned You Into A Superhero

10 Clues Becoming A Parent Has Turned You Into A Superhero

1. You spawned a life. Not to take away from the male, um, contribution, but growing a baby in your stomach, and then surviving their transition to the outside world, seems like pretty convincing street cred supporting your new Superhero status.   2. You can see seconds into the future. You know before anyone else does that your kid is about test the gravitational pull of the earth with their forehead. You are aware of their next move before they are aware of their next move. If you had more time on your hands, you could open up a 1-800 hotline and tell people their (immediate) futures, but let’s be honest. If you had more time on your hands, you’d take a shower and maybe, just maybe, brush your teeth.   3. You have superhuman reflexes that, when coupled with Superhero power #2 mentioned above, allow you to prevent any number of daily disasters. You can catch your kid, mid-fall, and have an uncanny ability to snare anything making the short journey from your kids mouth to their party dress. These same reflexes have saved your toddler AND your iPhone from a watery toilet grave/unwelcome wastewater booty bath. You could probably catch a fly with chopsticks, but then you’d just be showing off.       4. You can survive on minimal sleep for years and somehow not turn into a Supervillain. Usually.   5. Your nutritional needs are somehow met by some combination of eating scraps of small slobbery cracker bits, and sips of pureed food product you squish out of the bottom of packets before throwing them away (and feeling...
8 Ways Motherhood Is Exactly Like A Disney Princess Movie

8 Ways Motherhood Is Exactly Like A Disney Princess Movie

You could compare motherhood to a lot of things – a horror movie, a circus, prison – but you probably wouldn’t consider comparing it to a picture-perfect Disney fairy tale. Your Prince Charming leaves his dirty socks everywhere, the walls of your non-palace are littered with Crayola stick figure families, and you’d pretty much kill someone for a chance at an eternal slumber. Despite all of this, you’d be surprised at how much you and Ariel actually have in common. Here are 8 ways your life as a mom is exactly like a Disney princess movie: 1. You have totally messed-up body proportions. Most leads in Disney movies are 5’11” and have a waist smaller than the width of their eyes. Moms also have measurements that shouldn’t exist in nature. For instance, my boobs are exactly as long as my arms. My hips are as wide as I am tall. Oh, and like any Disney princess, I have long, flowing hair – it just happens to be on my legs. 2. There’s tons of annoying music. Kidz Bop, Daniel Tiger, the songs your kids make up about every activity they’re doing – oh, and also you’ve had “Let It Go” on repeat for the past 14 months. Your life is full of musical interludes, and it’s not nearly as fun as it looks on screen. I’d love to tell you it gets better, but I remember my youth. Pretty soon these tots will grow up and discover boy bands and terrible goth rock and then you’ll be begging for “Hakuna Matata.” 3. Inanimate objects randomly come to life. Belle had...
Don’t Do It, Kids. Mom ALWAYS Knows

Don’t Do It, Kids. Mom ALWAYS Knows

The other afternoon I was sitting in our library reading a book, because it has a direct line to my 3-year-old twins’ room, and they’re not traditionally great nappers. I guess they didn’t know I was watching, because one of them was hanging from his top bunk like a monkey, trying to swing into his brother’s bottom bunk. The other was laughing hysterically. “Get back in your bed,” I said, startling him so much he lost his grip and crashed to the floor. “You scared me,” he shouted as he was climbing back up the steps to his bed. I didn’t feel sorry for him, though, because how many times have I told him not to hang off the side of the bed like that? At least twenty billion. There is something I’ve noticed about my boys. When they think they can get away with something – not because they’ve gotten away with it before, ever, but because they think someone’s just not paying attention – they will do it. It’s easy to understand in a house with so many kids, but there’s something they haven’t quite figured out. This mom sees and knows everything. So, in the interest of helping them out with this hard-to-understand mystery, I’ve compiled an easy-to-read list of everything a mom knows. 1. I know what you’re doing, even if I can’t see you. Call it eyes on the back of my head, call it intuition, call it whatever you want. I know. I know that when you go to the bathroom, you are probably going to play with the plunger because you’ve done...