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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.
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.