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There are toys... everywhere.
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It is a common joke amongst new parents and parents-to-be that babies do not come with an instruction manual. And while there are thousands of books on parenting style, breastfeeding, the 'science' of raising children, and more, none of them cover ways to make life easier. Most parents would happily give up (more) sleep if they just had some clues on ways to soothe, settle, schedule, and survive their child's infancy.
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I only met her once. She was the close friend of a close friend. While I don't remember much about what we did together that evening over a decade ago, I remember the feeling she left; the sweet scent...
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A beautiful envelope has arrived at your home addressed to the family and as you open it, you realize it's a wedding invitation. Now as parents of a toddler, you may have mixed feelings about the invite. You may not be sure whether you would like to bring your toddler with you or not -- and that's perfectly natural! But if you decide to bring your little one along, keep these tips in mind.
With a threenager in the house, there's nothing I enjoy more than having real conversations with other mums and dads about the shitty side of parenting. Because it does exist, despite what Facebook would have you believe. There's something incredibly comforting about hearing other parents' tales of woe and seeing how they've come out the other side.
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Milo was probably one of the easiest babies you would ever meet. He ate, he didn't fuss, he slept through the night, pretty much fell asleep instantly when putting him down. He still sleeps amazingly well but he is getting pickier at eating, and well, he's now a toddler. And parents know what that means.
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Reading has been an ingrained part of our family life since even before she was born. My husband read Dr. Seuss to her while she was in utero, and we've continued to incorporate books into her life as she's grown. Reading in the "big bed" is an essential component of my toddler's bedtime routine.
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Being British is an integral part of my identity. From Monty Python to EastEnders, baked beans on toast to a nice cup of tea solving all of life's woes, I am quintessentially English. And as much as I love Canadians, and moved here solely based on falling hard for one, in particular, I have no desire to become a Canadian.
So it was with some trepidation that I realized shortly after the birth of my son, that this precious little man of mine, was a Canadian. At least, until he started talking.
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As I sit here writing this post, coated in the slick, stench of black licorice fennel oil (for breast milk production), I can honestly say I'm more stressed now than before parenthood. And I know I'm not alone in this.
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As I watched you with your sweet babies, realizing how difficult this stage of life is for mamas like you, I felt a twinge of sadness come over me. Your children are still at that stage of life where they want YOU and you alone. You have the monopoly on their attention and love.
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I know there are going to be many, many more hard moments when I ask myself how much longer a certain behaviour of my children's is going to last. But with each of those hard moments that I want to end, there are a dozen precious moments that I want to hold onto for a lifetime.
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One day I will turn around and you won't be sitting in the car seat behind me; you will be the one driving. That day is still far away, but this new path you are on is another step in that direction. Part of me wants to keep you close forever. I know this can't happen, but I feel the urge all the same.
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I never fully realized how much of a strain parenting would be on my relationship until my daughter arrived. Sure, in theory I knew that having a baby would change everything -- forever -- but I didn't really grasp just how much that extra person would alter the fabric and dynamic of our lives.
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I've experienced different kinds of neediness in my life: My professional contacts have reminded me since you were 6 months old how badly I'm wanted back at work. Your father has patiently waited for me to become a friend and a wife to him again. Your grandparents have always missed spending time with their only child. But nothing like this.
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Extending maternity/parental leave to 18 months doesn't actually solve the problem. It's a ninja turtle Band-Aid that looks cool and will make us feel better until it's peeled off and we are faced with the same bloody daycare crisis. In 2008 UNICEF declared Canada tied for the worst child care out of the world's 25 richest countries. Since then costs have only gone up and access has only gone down. There are available spaces for only one out of every five Canadian kids. It's clearly high time for Canada to build on Quebec's lead and develop a universal child care program that extends across the country just like universal health care, social security and education already do.
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As you gain distance from the early days of babies and toddlers, preschool and elementary school, from this place above the trees you can finally see. Like that mama bird sitting up high in the tree, you stand now as a humble mom of 17 years, better able to discern where you've been and where you're going.
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I have a FitBit because it helps me take fewer steps. I got it because I needed to know -- do I spend as much time running around as I say I do? Do I really put in miles and miles just bringing toys back from the living room to the bedrooms? Because it feels like I never, ever stop moving.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but hear me out. The word "no" is powerful. Though it is contrary to the people-pleasing nature that is innate in all of us, the word "no" sets clear boundaries. Boundaries that I want my daughter to be confident in setting for herself as she grows older, goes to school, and eventually moves away from our ever-watchful eyes.
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As time went on and I grew more confident in my mothering, I began to open up more when I would randomly meet other families at the park or the store. I craved adult company and conversation, but something always stopped me from suggesting we meet up.
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You wonder if it will ever get better. Wonder, too, if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wonder incessantly if you will ever have energy again. All while you also wonder if you ever will see a semblance of your former self again. I hear you, friend, and I truly feel for you. I remember those days.
Toddlers get a bad rap. Caused by communication frustrations, feeling helpless to control their own lives, experiencing an influx of new hormones and emotions, and constantly pounded with large quantities of new information to process to throw tantrums and test our limits many times, in many ways.
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Changing a toddler's dirty diapers is truly one of the worst things you have to do as a parent, but somehow those five minutes were some of the best of my night.
Adults and children alike need to practice self-regulation.
I darted the way she had gone, but there was no sign of her. I was praying for her little legs to appear under the hanging shirts and pants, but there was just empty space. As every excruciating second ticked by, I felt a little more hysterical.
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Life with a child is rarely picture-perfect. Yes, there are flashes of unfiltered happiness to be captured and held close to the heart, but more often than not, there's also a lot of mess and chaos and crying behind the scenes.
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At the age of 2, a child has a vocabulary of at least 50-100 words. If your child is still only using a few words and has not caught up with peers, it could be the sign of a language delay.
What is the original invitation to play? The word "yes." I just need to stop saying no. So when my kids grab at the bag of oatmeal, I remind myself to give them a measuring cup and bowl and let them mess up my floor.
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Even though I knew it would be pretty stressful to go to IKEA with two toddlers, I just needed one item -- a picture frame -- and we were driving right by it. RIGHT BY. So I turned, even though I hadn't been planning to, and I parked in the underground parking lot, and we headed to IKEA.
Have you heard this before? Are you a dedicated breast-feeder to a toddler or older child? If so, you are not alone. I see many women in my office each week who continue to breastfeed their toddlers, sometimes while also nursing younger babies. Women who breastfeed "older" children are often stigmatized and looked at as strange.
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So come this past January, our family of five started a mission to live with less (minimalism for rookies). I know it's not for everyone, but it is for us. Our first long drawn-out step is to "remove the excess" of belongings. Since January we have done two toy purges and reduced the kids toys by over half.
It’s a lesson most parents try to drill into their children from an early age -- don’t talk to strangers. But if a stranger approached your child with an adorable disarming puppy, would he or she be a...
Kids love many of these snacks, but buying them all the time can get expensive. Make these snacks yourself to save more money and keep track of what your kids are eating. %Slideshow-560073% ALSO ON HU...