It was an ordinary summer day. People were milling on the main thoroughfare, bikes zig-zagging through traffic, cafés and pubs spilling onto the sidewalk, patrons sipping their way through a lazy Friday afternoon. We were ordinary that day too. Just another family, managing the hectic jumble of kids' lessons, bills, our careers, endless streams of birthday parties, too little sleep and the occasional date night out. But it was all shattered with a single word: autism.
It's really important to talk to your doctor about what you're going to do. It's good to be in shape before you get pregnant. And doing some form of exercise in pregnancy and after. But enjoy your baby! I wasn't rushing back into training. It's a special moment when your baby arrives and that's your focus.
Let me make this clear: It is not just one little sleeper. It is countless versions of these little declarations appearing on t-shirts, cups, purses and other random propaganda, coming together to form one big, persistent message. This message will help shape my daughters view of being a woman as she gets older and it tells girls exactly what society expects of them before they can even walk, or you know, hold up their own heads.
Parents often think that they have to have an immediate answer or solution at their fingertips, but sometimes all a kid needs is to be heard. When we listen to young people without interrupting, it helps them feel understood and it validates their feelings by making them feel less alone in whatever they may be coping with.
A recent study calling family dinners 'elitist' and 'unrealistic' has ruffled some feathers. I don't think family dinners or home cooking for one or more is elitist and unrealistic, but I do think that we have to temper our expectations of ourselves down to what is doable under the circumstances of our lives.
I don't have time to hide veggies in everything I cook, and I can make only so many muffins. I continue to offer her veggies often, but I'm battle weary, folks. Ready to admit defeat. Then I imagine her little body deficient in countless vitamins and minerals, and I strategize my battle plans for the week ahead.
As a mother, I have struggled with being labelled at times. Even so recently as last week, I denounced myself in conversation with my husband as being a helicopter parent, feeling defensive about my level of involvement in our children's lives. As a mom, I find myself consistently teaching, mentoring, coaching and loving our four.
I just sat in the car and had a good cry. I was in the parking lot of my 11-year-old daughter's school on her first day of middle school, but I wasn't having the "oh my child is growing up" type of cry. Instead, I was unexpectedly engulfed in fear about her life threatening allergies to peanuts and shellfish.
I'm torn because my family always comes first, but I also have these ideas and opportunities and the iron is hot and I'm not getting any younger and this is my time, bitch. I'm riddled with guilt just typing that, because society and my upbringing and all that bullshit has programmed me to believe I'm a mother now, so I'm supposed to sacrifice my own dreams for everyone else's. But I'm determined to try my best to fuck that noise and do it all, even if I don't do any of it perfectly. I'd rather live with failure than regret.
The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.
Memories are tumbling through my head as my oldest daughter starts middle school this week. I'm trying not to let my past demons get the best of me, but I'm worried. I don't want her to lose herself, to lose her confidence, to dim her own light like I did. Here are my wishes for you, my daughter, as you enter this new phase of your life.
My daughter Journey will not live on a shelf. We may not be able to protect her from every seizure risk and she may incur some injuries now and then, but she will live life fully and share diverse experiences as a result of the collaborative efforts of her family, friends, educational team, and community.
Men, just remember that a vasectomy won't stop you from pitching a tent. It simply means that when the volcano erupts, the lava won't flow and the villagers won't have to run for their lives. Why not man up and undergo a routine procedure that you won't even feel or remember, one that's along the lines of your circumcision (if you had one, and if you didn't, then along the lines of your first routine infant vaccination)?
Every August, I write a blog directed at readers doing back-to-school shopping for their kids. I remind them that while the sales are great at this time of year, there's a story behind every price tag. I urge moms and dads to consider the global economy that keeps Western prices low by paying child garment workers in poor countries next to nothing.