It was 4th grade. Mrs. Nata's class. It was my 10th birthday. And I got to go through the Birthday spanking train. I was stoked. I was the center of attention. The kids lined up and made an upside down "V" with their legs and I crawled through the 24 person tunnel and each one of my classmates took a whack at me. We all laughed hysterically. My goal was to get through the spanking tunnel as quickly as possible and my classmates joked as they over emphasized winding up their arms to insinuate I was sure going to get a good one from them. Every kid got to go through it on their birthday. It never. Ever. Occurred to me that this was wrong.
But times are different now. Or maybe they're not all that different, but now everybody is just so ... touchy. And I get it. I do. As a mother of two, I don't want anyone, I mean ANYONE touching my children's tooshies and certainly not to "spank" them.
But, WHY is it so different now? Have we crossed the line? Or just blurred it so much into one big grey area where everyone is so afraid to do something wrong or to be misunderstood and their actions to be misinterpreted. We are all so afraid of bad things happening, which we rightly should be, but it's to an extent that we are taking something assumably innocent and making it ugly.More Here...
Every child is an individual of course, born with their own personality waiting to blossom. How much do we shape them with the pre conceived stereotypes we inevitably have, is subjective. Was I rougher with my boy? Tossing him in the air, wrestling, role play? I don't think so. Was I more delicate with my girl, playing more softly with her? I really don't think so. Apart from the gender specific gifts they have received from before they were even born, I don't feel that I have made an obvious distinction in raising them or how I treated them. I mean, I'm not naive, I'm sure there were SOME things I did subconsciously, but nothing obvious.
The difference in my children is striking. And it goes way beyond the black and white differences of one being a boy and the other a girl. And the differences are a surprise to me. My early expectations of how they would be in their genders were way wrong.
For starters, my daughter who is 2 1/2 years younger than her brother is... well... tougher. Physically. It might be that he was my first and I was more worried for him than I was with her, but she is more coordinated than he is and was climbing things a lot earlier than he was. She can run faster and her form is athletic looking, where as my son, prefers not to run, but when he does, there's a scuffle thing he's got going on that makes him look... new.
Also, my daughter can take some cuts and bruises in stride, clean them off and off she goes with minimal nurturing needed. Where as my son, you would thing a limb was torn off over a cut that in all honesty I can rarely even SEE. Maybe she's just more naturally athletic than he is, I don't know. I've found, by talking to other moms with different gender siblings that this is the same for them. But then all the boys are the older sibling. More Here...
My mum has always had a way with words. When she sees something she doesn't like she insults it and forces her opinion on you as well as unpicks any reason you have as to why you did it that way.
Before her insults killed my self-esteem. I used to have bad acne on my forehead and she would mention it any time she was close enough to my face. "We need to try a different cream", "The skin on your forehead looks so...", "Maybe we should take you to the doctor." constant comments on something that I was already very hyper-aware of whenever I was in her presence.
Many times I am so grateful to a person I have never, and will never meet. I am so grateful for a life I never really knew I had waiting for me. As much as my wife Alicia and I knew we were going to have a family and that we both wanted to be Moms, I had yet to really experience what was on the other side of those hopes and prayers. And one day, the anonymous donor we chose became so important to our life changing.
Being a two Mommy family, Alicia and I chose to use a sperm bank and select a donor in hopes of conceiving a child. We chose a fertility doctor and did tons of research. I met many amazing people along the way on our TTC (trying to conceive) path. Single moms by choice, husbands and wives facing the use of a donor, other two-mom families, all had something to share or advice to offer. One thing no one could assist us with was the very personal decision of choosing a donor. Every facility offered something. If you went with this bank, all their donors have a doctorate level in education. Another bank prides themselves on their celebrity look-a-likes or upon paying for the service, their ability to closely match donors to the looks of submitted photos. Everything had a price, and regardless of the bank, someone could truly learn just about anything in the profiles of the donors. Personality testing, even their astrological sign. Alicia and I started our broad search after selecting the particular facility. We sifted through profile after profile; we knew we were looking for a donor who would remain anonymous, as that is what we wished for our family. Reading and searching, we looked at education, their career, allergies, and medical history. Some profiles stood out enough that we eagerly listened to the recorded interview with the donor. Surprisingly, just listening to some of the donors, we knew they were a “no” right away (as superficial as it may sound)! We weren’t kidding ourselves that these were individuals who were compensated for their time and donation, but it was still important for us to find someone who seemed to have an open mind and came from a positive place or outlook on life. More Here...
We've all been there. Found ourselves in a diaper predicament, no changing table in the restrooms, what to do?
Well, the cliff note version of this couple's choice, was to say screw it and changed their baby on the public couch seating area at the local Starbucks. For all to see and potential germs to spread. Neither the establishment OR the parents handled the situation with grace or respect so shocker, the cops were called.
I have deep empathy for the parents dealing with a loaded diaper and little options for changing it. Changing a diaper in the car, in the cold is never ideal and they DID probably think they could do it quickly and discreetly and DID plan to wipe up afterwards, but then a nasty barista allegedly tossed a towel in their direction and giggled amongst their barista friends. More Here...
Let me begin by saying that I am PRO breastfeeding. I think, if you CAN it's the way to go. We all no the pro's. The nutrients, the anti-bodies, the colostrum, the bonding, the beauty, etc. But just because I'm pro breastfeeding, doesn't make me ANTI bottle feeding. There are breastfeeding advocates and then there are breastfeeding ADVOCATES. I won't even go there.
But it's time. It's time we give mother's a break. A guilt free OUT from breastfeeding if they so choose that way. The health benefits of nursing are enough to make a mother who either chooses not to breastfeed or just CAN'T, feel like a horrible mother, do we really need to nail her to the wall?
I nursed my first born, my son for 8 months. I tried to nurse my second born, my daughter for four days and neither of us was having it. I knew the tools to get through the tough part; the pain, the bleeding and scabbing. And with my son, I was able to walk around topless, with lanolin smeared all over them, airing them out and icing them after and wrapping them at night. But, when I had my daughter, I was not able to take as good care of myself as I was with my son. Going topless with my 2 1/2 year old running all over the place and my 6 year old step son in the house was not okay and quite frankly, I didn't have time for the pain.
I cried for two days about what a failure I was as a woman. About how she's going to resent me later knowing that I took that time with my son. And I imagined massive ear infections and colds on a monthly basis due to the lack of nutrients and anti-bodies she would get. But she took to that bottle like she had been starving and I cuddled her close every second I could.
AND she ended up being the healthiest out of all of my kids. My step-son, whom was nursed by his birth mother had chronic ear infections leading to tubes being placed in there and later his adenoids removed. My birth son was luckier, but still suffered from the usual ear infections and colds AND had asthma and still suffers from allergies at 8. My daughter on the other hand, my bottle fed, sleeping through the night by 3 months daughter, has had three infections in her now, 6 years. She has NO allergies, no asthma and is as smart as whip. More Here...
Want a little something all to yourself for when the kids are in bed and it's time for a treat? This cannoli dip is easy, sweet, and a perfect companion to a broken waffle cone, graham crackers, or by the spoonful.
"Busy schedules of parents are increasingly deprieving their children of their company and hence, they are growing up cocooned in their own world." A study by Assocham Ladies League (ALL) shows that over 65 percent of youngsters between the age of eight and 24 get to spend less than one hour with their parents.
"This leads to a situation where youngsters become aloof, introverted, impatient and intolerant", says the study.
Parents are reaching home much later in the evening and leaving home much earlier in the morning and the consequences of this are that with the growing number of nuclear families, there is no one to look after the children in their absence, adds the study.
But do these families have any other options?
When I became a single mother, my kids were 1 and 3 and when I started to look for work, I found that Child Care is absurdly expensive. Even Part time. And having been out of the "work force" for so long and never really qualified to make much more than a teacher type salary to begin with, I was stuck. I didn't have any family near by and sure, my friends could help out with the kids here and there, but full time?
I realized that I would be spinning my wheels. I would be working to pay for child care. This didn't make any sense to me. The way I saw it, I would be working to make ends meet so that my kids could be raised by someone else for 8 hours of every day. I didn't want this and it seemed to me that I would almost do BETTER financially, NOT working. It was so backwards. I wanted to be with my kids. So, I found a way. I took on every odd job I could find. I catered when my friends could watch my kids, I stuffed envelopes for a marketing company, I worked for an Errand service and ran errands with my kids napping in the back seat, I was a secret shopper, I tired out new products online and gave feedback and I started a toddler Soccer class three times a week at the local Recreation Center so my kids could play as well. We lived in a one bedroom apartment that was rent controlled and had a pool. I slept on the couch and gave my kids the bedroom so they felt like they had a normal home like their friends. I made ends meet. I made rent and provided food. We played a lot of board games. More Here...
In a very unexpected but inspiring revelation, Angelina Jolie writes about her recent decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy in a New York Times essay. After discovering she is a carrier of the BRCA-1 gene mutation, and had an 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer, Jolie made the brave choice to remove all of her breast tissue.
After losing her 56-year-old mother to ovarian cancer in 2007, Jolie wanted to ensure her own children won’t have to watch her suffer from the debilitating disease. “We often speak of ‘Mommy’s mommy’, and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me,” Jolie explains. “I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene.” More Here...