When my son was a toddler, I remember a few events that I declined to attend simply because it was too complicated -- I just didn't have it in me. Looking back at the earlier years, I realize just how little people new about my son and his autism. I think our experience would have been different had others been more aware.
Exam time is a major moment of anxiety for young learners -- and the adults who love them. While the holiday season is on the minds of many, for others, it means that exam period is just around the corner. A common school-related question from parents is how to best prepare students for these super-stressful tests.
By exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding, we make it all too easy to cross the line from making a personal decision to breastfeed to the fervent belief that all mothers should breastfeed. If breastfeeding really will protect a baby from everything from diabetes to cancer, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that feeding a baby formula represents some kind of parental failure.
Emily was two and a half years old. She was a beautiful blonde toddler with a shy and quiet nature. For most of her life we lived in Niger. I always thought (and I still do) that it was a wonderful place for our children to grow up. I look back on the nine years we spent in Niger as among the happiest years of my life. I vividly remember the afternoon we spent relaxing at the pool of the old French club. Emily was full of life -- jumping and splashing in the pool with all the others. We went to church on the Sunday evening in a nearby village the night before she died.
As much as we want to sit and communicate with our spawns of Satan, to talk it out, to discuss the situation calmly and rationally, they will stare blankly over your head, at the wall behind you, at the fly on the window and then insist they were listening. Ask them to repeat back what you just said and it's instant amnesia.
Forget the mommy wars. Companies pit us against each other and sell more products. Once we realize that mommy wars don't exist and that we are all actually just trying to do whatever works best for us we can focus on talking about our differences and opening ourselves up to what others are doing and have to say.