Tara Mandarano
Tara Mandarano lives just north of Toronto. A first-time mama navigating life with a tyrannical toddler, she loves to share stories about life with her two-year-old daughter on her blog, taramandarano.com. She's also a book lover who drinks copious amounts of herbal tea. Her work has also been published in The New Family. Follow her on Twitter (@taramandarano).

Entries by Tara Mandarano

Some Days, Parenting Just Really Sucks

(6) Comments | Posted November 8, 2016 | 5:27 AM

We've all had them: those marathon days that begin in the dark, when your kid creeps stealthily into your room way too early, demanding to watch videos before the sun comes up.

You know the days I'm talking about.

The mornings where your three-year-old refuses point-blank to walk down...

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How Children's Books Make Me A Better Parent

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2016 | 3:05 PM

My bookworm heart always hoped my daughter would take after me. That she would turn naturally toward the written word, and find herself another world. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her, tucked up on the fuzzy carpet in her room, flicking through brightly coloured pages, and I feel the wonder in...

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PMDD Symptoms Turned My Period Into An Emotional Write-Off

(6) Comments | Posted August 3, 2016 | 4:54 PM

I remember sitting on my psychiatrist's fancy white couch six months after giving birth, perched on the edge of sadness. I had already been diagnosed with post-partum depression and prescribed anti-depressants. They were helping me cope with the chaotic day-to-day life of new motherhood, but inside I was...

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How I'll Survive My Daughter's Transition To Daycare

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2016 | 1:43 PM

Change is on the way, and I am not ready for it. Daycare is your destination, the next step in your development, but my heart is struggling at the thought of letting you go. For two and a half years I have loved you and worried about you, nearly in...

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How To Hang On To Your Marriage When You Have A Kid

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2016 | 1:06 PM

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...

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My Daughter Taught Me It's OK To Be An Introvert

(10) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 3:29 PM


Thirty-six years. That's how long it's taken me to discover it's OK to be a soft-spoken introvert in a loud-mouthed world. I've always felt like an imposter and an interloper. The life-changing event that changed my perspective happened in 2013: I gave birth...

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Lena Dunham And I Have Something in Common: It's Called Endometriosis

(15) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 12:15 PM


When I saw Lena Dunham post recently about her battle with endometriosis and how she needs to take some time off work to rest, it really struck a chord in me. I never expected to have much in common with a famous actress, but it's...

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Motherhood Is A Constant Challenge - And Not Just On Facebook

(4) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 5:54 PM

When my friend nominated me in a "motherhood challenge" on Facebook the other day, I glanced at her cute photo collage and smiled. It didn't make me angry. I wasn't outraged on behalf of all women, and I certainly didn't feel tempted to punch my computer screen.


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5 Lessons Play Dates Have Taught Me About Life

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 12:45 PM

For the first 18 months of my daughter's life, I avoided play dates and mum groups like the plague. Any mention of a social outing involving a bunch of mothers and their babes left me feeling anxious. Introverted by nature, I dreaded the thought of trying to strike up conversation...

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The Moment I Lost My Toddler At The Mall

(10) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 9:39 AM

It was a Wednesday like any other: a mid-morning outing to the mall with my two-year-old. We were enjoying our new mother-daughter tradition -- strolling around the shops and splitting a banana chocolate chip muffin in the food court. She ate most of it while I inhaled my caramel-flavoured coffee,...

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Maintaining My Identity In Motherhood

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 11:28 AM

I remember sitting in the fertility specialist's snazzy chair and not quite comprehending what I was hearing: my baby was due on my birthday? Did this actually happen to people? 

It felt like I was winning some sort of cosmic, karmic lottery. What were the odds? What did it mean?...

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Let's Stop Pretending We're Perfect Parents

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 6:29 PM

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.

When I see friends, family, or even complete...

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A Second Glance At First-Time Motherhood

(6) Comments | Posted November 27, 2015 | 3:46 PM

It's amazing what a second glance at first-time motherhood reveals. Those early days are steeped so strongly in my memory. Before my daughter was born, my brain drew up a blueprint of what I thought life would be like, post-baby. It included nursing in the rocking chair in the middle...

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