Mom Moment

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    When I reached out to a photographer friend to book our family portrait, I had just one request. We needed to schedule an appointment for sometime before the babysitter leaves for college. We didn't need our babysitter to occupy our child or encourage her to smile with funny faces. As a family portrait photographer myself, I've seen it happen, but our daughter is 9 and quite capable of following directions. Instead, we were booking a pre-college shoot because our babysitter needed to be in our family portrait.

    In as in standing in line with my husband, my daughter, and me, smiling at the birdie.

    He made it happen, and the photos are everything I wanted them to be. But as soon as I uploaded them to Facebook, the comments flooded in.

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    Once your little one has reached school-age, it officially means that you're no longer there to supervise every interaction with classmates or can chaperone them at each point in the day. That's a nightmare in its own way. And if you agonize over schoolyard bullies, it's about to get even worse. Because news flash, parents, the jerk on the playground isn't the only one you need to be worried about. Turns out, bullying, especially of overweight children, starts before kids even begin school.

    According to a new study, published in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics, the idea that bullying is a school-age experience has been completely busted. In fact, in a sample of 1,327 children, where the average age was 6, the study authors discovered that obesity not only made a child more likely to be bullied, but also to be a bully themselves.

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  • Mom Moment

    Without My Kids, I'm a Mess

    posted by Amy Oztan Tuesday at 8:41 AM in Big Kid
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    My kids just got back from sleep-away camp. I have no problem with them being gone, I don’t get weepy, and I definitely don’t have a problem knowing what to do with myself while they aren’t here. I know they’re having a great time, and I love having the break.

    However, my house and my schedule seem to have a huge problem with them not being here.

    Without my kids, apparently, the structure of my day goes into free fall and I live like a frat boy in the last month of his senior year.

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    Do you have a "mom uniform"? Maybe you don't wear exactly the same thing every single day. But we all have a default outfit that we rely on all the time when we're having a busy morning. And let's face it, isn't every morning a busy one if you're a mom? Mine is skinny jeans, V-neck T-shirt, and blazer with boots. It covers me from school drop-off to the office and back home again. 

    I asked some of my friends around the country what their "mom uniforms" are and was amazed at how different they all look. Each of these women lead very different lives, and you can definitely tell by the way they express themselves through their outfits.

    What's your mom uniform, and what does it say about you?

    Image ©

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    When I was a kid, I was absolutely obsessed with Bill Cosby's Himself album. I had the LP and I'd play it over and over, laughing like a loon each and every time. Years later when I worked in a video shop, I'd put the VHS version on the monitors scattered throughout the store and watch as customers would cluster around a TV and snicker at Cosby's dramatic reenactment of his and his wife's Lamaze breathing: "Zup wuff snuff whoosh, push, push."

    I listened to that stand-up routine so much I can still recite entire bits word for word, but it's only now that I have children that I truly realize the depth of his genius. Bill Cosby captured more parenting truths in that one album that anyone has ever published before or since, and I swear, not a day goes by that I don't find myself mired in some kid-related frustration and think to myself, Bill Cosby told me this would all happen ... 30 YEARS AGO.

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    Even from before our babies are born, we swear up and down that we want our unique little snowflakes to be different than other kids and that we will teach them to think for themselves. We want them to be leaders, not followers. We have big hopes and dreams that they might change the world and make it a better place. We want to teach them the skills they need to make responsible decisions on their own. But there's one decision that a lot of parents make for their kids that could leave them feeling very lost and confused later in life.

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    Dori, the author, at the same age as her daughter nowIf I had a dollar for all the times I’d heard mention of how the father of a newborn daughter is going to have to get a shotgun to someday ward off the boys -- I’d be a zillionaire.

    It’s almost as if there’s this programmed script we can’t let go of that dictates the desire in us to keep our daughters pure, virginal, and untouched by any kind of sexual encounter.

    My 16-year-old daughter, who looks like a cross between Sofia Vergara and Lana Del Rey, would beg to differ. And I would fully support her on this.

    More from The Stir: Sofia Vergara Celebrates a Big Birthday

    I don’t know about you, but the last time I looked, the Victorian age was over. What on earth is it about daughters that make us assume that we should want their potential suitors dead?

    I, for one, feel differently.

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    So, last night a little girl managed to do the impossible: Upstage Beyoncé during her Video Music Awards performance! Cameras caught none other than Bey's daughter Blue Ivy showcasing her own flawless dance moves on dad Jay Z's lap. She had the cutest, sassiest look on her face during "Flawless" and "Drunk in Love."

    Instead of enjoying a rare 2-year-old sighting on the VMAs, judgy moms are throwing Bey under the bus for not getting a babysitter. Yeah, it's Monday ... not our best day of the week ... but come on now. Grab a cup of coffee and get over it. Like, now.

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    Many moms try to save time, water, and sanity by bathing with their children. Killing two birds with one stone for the win! But when should joint baths be put to an end? Here's how you know ...

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    It’s the number one question on the mind of every mom thinking about having another child: When’s the best time to do it?

    A recent study from the University of Notre Dame found that kids who are at least two years older than their siblings are smarter. And the Mayo Clinic cites some health risks for getting pregnant within 12 months of your last delivery -- there’s a higher risk of placental abruption during the pregnancy and a slightly higher risk of autism in second-born children.

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