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Tara Mandarano

Mother, storyteller, blogger at taramandarano.com

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, <a href="http://www.taramandarano.com" rel="nofollow">taramandarano.com</a>. 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).
Some Days, Parenting Just Really

Some Days, Parenting Just Really Sucks

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.
11/08/2016 05:27 EST
How Children's Books Make Me A Better

How Children's Books Make Me A Better Parent

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.
09/08/2016 02:05 EDT
PMDD Symptoms Turned My Period Into An Emotional

PMDD Symptoms Turned My Period Into An Emotional Write-Off

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is like PMS on steroids; it's not just a bad mood or feeling over-emotional for a few hours. It's an ongoing pattern of severe premenstrual symptoms (both physical and psychological) that interfere with your daily life and relationships.
08/03/2016 03:54 EDT
How I'll Survive My Daughter's Transition To

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

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.
05/26/2016 12:56 EDT
How To Hang On To Your Marriage When You Have A

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

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.
05/13/2016 12:06 EDT
My Daughter Taught Me It's OK To Be An

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

I see so much of myself in her; it's both heart-warming and heartbreaking. I don't want her to suffer socially like I did growing up, but I've realized I can't keep her in a bubble, either. Sometimes when I'm with her, my memory casts back to my own childhood, and I remember a fleeting instant in time when I was free to be myself without shame.
04/18/2016 02:29 EDT
The Disease Lena Dunham And I Have In

The Disease Lena Dunham And I Have In Common

Endometriosis a chronic condition that's all around us, but nobody talks about it much. So I want to thank Lena Dunham. For raising some much-needed awareness. For being honest about the debilitating effects of the disease. For naming it and not feeling shamed into silence.
02/10/2016 12:15 EST
Motherhood Is A Constant Challenge - And Not Just On

Motherhood Is A Constant Challenge - And Not Just On Facebook

At the end of the day, the Facebook motherhood challenge doesn't make us measure ourselves in an unfair way. We do enough of that on our own. Is there anything wrong with singling out your mum friends to tell them you think they're doing a great job? Hell no. Am I proud to be a mum? Hell yes.
02/04/2016 05:54 EST
5 Lessons Play Dates Have Taught Me About

5 Lessons Play Dates Have Taught Me About Life

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.
02/01/2016 12:45 EST
The Moment I Lost My Toddler At The

The Moment I Lost My Toddler At The Mall

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.
12/21/2015 09:39 EST
Maintaining My Identity In

Maintaining My Identity In Motherhood

I noticed a distressing new trend: whenever we visited friends and family, they didn't really see me anymore. It was all about the baby -- how she'd changed, which adorable outfit she was wearing, or who she happened to look like that week. It took a while to get used to this strange sense of invisibility.
12/10/2015 11:28 EST
Let's Stop Pretending We're Perfect

Let's Stop Pretending We're Perfect Parents

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.
12/02/2015 06:29 EST
A Second Glance At First-Time

A Second Glance At First-Time Motherhood

I remember the anticlimactic feeling once the baby was born and everyone went home. Looking at that tiny, unfamiliar face and not recognizing the reality of the child in my arms. The possibilities of the dream child gone, the actual baby a monumental mystery.
11/27/2015 03:46 EST