POSTS WITH TAG: time for mom

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    Dear Mary,

    Before I go any farther, there's something you need to know and absorb and repeat over and over in your head every time you think you "just can't take it anymore."

    It's going to be ok. This too shall pass. Oh, and ... BREATHE.

    I know, I know -- the last couple of years or so have been a whirlwind of emotions, to say the least. Remember when you were pregnant, how you'd brag to everyone who would listen about what a piece of cake this little gig called motherhood was going to be, duh -- because you babysat dozens of kiddos from the time you were 12 until you graduated from college?

    Yeah, I know I don't have to tell you that your words are biting you in the ass now. (You really have a big mouth sometimes.) Again -- it's going to be ok. I promise.

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    I can't stand it when celebrities say they aren't working hard to lose their baby weight, but by the same token most of us simply can't live on lettuce and treadmills alone, like our girl Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian's Atkins diet, though it may be working brilliantly for the future Mrs. West, doesn't seem like a practical option for any hot-blooded Italian girl who refuses to give up her pasta. 

    That's why I am loving Jessica Simpson's weight loss plan. It's novel, it's refreshing, it' boring and normal. 

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    Motherhood has a funny way of shifting our former judgments on other parents into the ability to make fun of ourselves. I can’t be the only one that’s referred to playpens as “toddler jail,” right? Right? Just keepin’ it real, folks.

    Let’s face it -- there are some baby products out there that non-parents just can’t understand. Take the playpen example. Maybe some people can’t understand why you wouldn’t just wear your baby, or let them play nicely on the floor. The answer is that it’s freaking hard to open the oven when you have a baby strapped to your chest or crawling rapidly toward the door. So into baby jail she goes, and that’s what we call it, because if you don’t keep a sense of humor about things, what’s the point?

    Here are five totally misnamed (and renamed) baby products that are parent lifesavers.

    Do you have any to add to the list?


    Image via Joshua Dalsimer/Corbis

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    Kailyn Lowry recently sent out a tweet lamenting the fact that she never got to go to college, and hopes that her kids will someday get to do everything she didn’t get a chance to experience. She said, “Looking at all my friends pictures in college makes me want my kids to do everything I didn't get to do! Looks like so much fun.”

    Presumably, the Teen Mom reality star missed the boat on the college thing because she was busy with the whole motherhood thing. On one hand, I get where she’s coming from, because having a baby, especially when you’re really young, changes a lot of the plans you thought you had for your life.

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    It's only been three months since little North West's arrival, but that didn't stop Kim Kardashian and Kanye West from taking a trip to Paris without her in order to enjoy a little bit of kid-free time together as a couple.

    A source told Us Weekly that it was pretty tough for Kim to leave the baby behind since this is the first time she's been away from her since her birth, which is a reaction any new mom has when going away without her infant.

    But I'm sure by the time that plane landed in Paris, Kim and Kanye were both glad they took the plunge and decided to make the trip. It's something every mom and dad needs and deserves.

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    Among the many things on my to-do list, 16 weeks into my third pregnancy, is figuring out what kind of labor I want to have. Do I want to do a water birth? Use the same birthing stool I used the first time? Use a home birth midwife or regular midwives? All these questions are swirling around in my head as I prepare for my third (and probably last) labor. I am excited and nervous -- this third labor has a lot to live up to considering how perfect and quiet and meditative my first two were. But one thing is clear: I want my two older children in or near the place where I deliver.

    This wasn't something I realized right away. It has come to me in a series of moments. My kids have spent the summer kissing my growing belly, cuddling it, and talking almost non-stop about "our" new baby. My daughter will be 7 when her sister is due and my son will be 5.5. They are on the young end for being in the delivery room, so it hadn't even occurred to me that they might be able to be there.

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    Motherhood is really a complicated endeavor full of so many choices and so many twists and turns that it's no wonder we all become horrifically insecure and bound and determined to prove our choices are superior to others. The reality is, sadly, there is no one right path. There is no one recipe for raising a successful child and there is no one right answer as to whether or not a woman should quit her job to be home with her children.

    There are so many variables that go into a decision like that and countless articles have been written advocating either side of the equation. Few of these articles mention the bigger issues that go into these decisions -- affordable childcare, better maternity leave, etc. -- but they are still worth discussing.

    The latest, one from The New York Times, is a fascinating look at three women who "opted out" a decade ago and are now facing the consequences of their decisions. In short: It's not pretty.

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    Everyone and I mean EVERYONE is obsessed with a woman's body. We pick on salads so we don't get nasty looks when we prance around in bikinis. We get chastised for wearing form-fitting clothing when pregnant because heaven forbid we flaunt our well-earned baby weight. We are told breastfeeding in public is obscene because even just a hint of our breast is apparently terrifying to some and makes their eyeballs burn. And the clock starts ticking soon after we give birth with people wondering when we are going to lose the baby weight and fit into our pre-baby clothes. Because motherhood, in itself, isn't stressful enough already.

    Writer Kate Spencer's blog on how there is so much more to motherhood than your post-baby bod spoke to me. And by speak to me, I mean I was nodding my head yes the whole time and said about 14 hallelujahs throughout. Spencer is adding so much more to this ever-important dialogue.

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    I was browsing a parenting forum the other day when I saw what appeared to be a sincere response to a stay-at-home-mom's lament that she was thoroughly exhausted. "Can't you just nap whenever you want?" the person wrote. "I mean … you're at home." Another commenter chimed in, a little angrily: "Yeah, it's not like I get nap time at work."

    The question of napping sort of stuck with me for some reason. I'm at home with my kids and I've been known to lie down on the job now and then. If they're watching their afternoon cartoons and my work is mostly done, I sometimes stretch out on the couch with a book for a while. But the ability to briefly unplug is a recent phenomenon. As anyone with very young children knows, napping during the day is virtually impossible -- and even now that they're older, it's not exactly a guaranteed side benefit of being a SAHM.

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    I've always been the kind of person who takes care of everyone else better than I take care of myself. I've been called everything from selfless to a "people pleaser," and I admit that I like the feeling I get from helping others, which is much better than the guilt and self-deprecation I seem to resort to when I do nice things for myself. 

    I know now that if I'm not healthy, both physically and emotionally, I won't be around to take care of anyone at all.

    Too bad I didn't learn this lesson until recently.

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