From the moment you announce your pregnancy no matter where in the world you are living, as a new mother you will be offered tons of unsolicited and oftentimes unwanted advice. Every person seems to have an opinion on what to eat, how to birth your child, and of course, how to raise them once born. In many societies, in addition to the advice of others, you will also have a myriad of books to choose from, books on attachment parenting, books on raising independent children, books that tell you to breastfeed or to bottle feed. You will literally be inundated with information all of which you must filter through your own belief system and decide what is best for your child and your family.
President’s Day, or the 3rd Monday in February, has been set aside as a national holiday for most all of our lives. This day, meant to celebrate the birth, lives, and sacrifices of the incredible men who have led this great country, has turned into nothing more than a commercialized shopping day with sales on everything from cars to home appliances. Like many American holidays lost to sales and school closures, gone is the meaning of the day. It is unlikely the majority of Americans can even tell you what this day is about, much less why or when it was contrived.
Although it seems like it’s been around forever, body shaming is a relatively new issue facing our young girls today. The age of social media and reality television has taken the act of critically looking at women’s bodies away from scouts of runway models and puts it into the hands of every person who has a smartphone. Even before this new generation of technology, women were praised looking a certain way, but the era of photoshopped magazine covers and edited Instagram photos have given us regular folks a false sense of what a person’s body – no matter their size – actually looks outside of staged shoots.
We all want to raise our children to be good people with strong character, and in a recent national parent survey, an overwhelming majority believe that in today’s social media-focused world, nurturing positive character traits in children is more important than it used to be. Compassion, Honesty, Generosity – How Soon Should Parents Start Helping Their Kids Develop These Traits? Believe it or not, nearly half of parents surveyed think that preschool age is too young to begin learning social-emotional skills, skills like how to be generous, getting along with others, and compassion. So, how soon should you start… the answer may surprise you.
From day one, we should be reading to our children. Reading unlocks the doors to so many wonderful things in life. Reading out loud to your babies is important for brain development. Read to kids early and often as it helps with language development, literacy, social skills, and more. We all want the best for our kids and we know reading is the key to so much success later on in life. With the ever growing competition for our children’s attention from technology, how do we keep our kids interested in books? Everyone should see reading as a gift because that is truly what it is. What is better than snuggling up with your sweet kiddo with a good book, excited to see how the story ends together? If you want to instill that love of literature in your young children, Bookroo wants to help, and they even have a special discount just for Daily Mom readers.
… of course that depends. How many times have you heard, “If we were in a better financial place, we’d have more”? What exactly does that mean? When pressured a little bit more into what that really means, you realize that that was just the short cop out response. No actual dollar figure was ever mentioned, or location preference; nothing tangible as far as being measurable. So how do you really afford a large family if you want more children? What is your measurement? And if your spouse isn’t into having more children because they have been deemed “too expensive”, well then, perhaps they are, or perhaps there’s more to discover about children and how much they really cost once you put a figure to it.
This past year our nation experienced an unprecedented turn of events as we elected our 45th president. Not only was this election season a tumultuous one, it also marked the first time a female could be elected President of the United States. Despite the outcome of the election, parents of little girls all across the country noted the significance of this event. Little girls now know that becoming President of the United States can be a goal within their reach. They have a figure of a woman who they can use as a model for overcoming sexist boundaries in a male-dominated profession. They have a role model of a female who worked hard to get to the top, and gracefully bowed down when it wasn’t her turn. In this day and age, it’s stories about women like Hillary Clinton that will help our little girls continue to break glass ceilings.
Remember when you used to fly? You know, back before you had a bunch of little ones clinging to your leg and transporting your family via continental air wouldn’t have meant selling one of them in order to afford the costs? Your flight attendants gave you very sound advice; good advice in the event of an emergency on the plane, but really, good advice in general. They always told you “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”
Sound advice right? However, “how to be a mom” classes, “good parenting” magazines, and “what to expect” types of books typically advise us to tend to our babies before ourselves. No one ever informs us that being a selfish mom is the best way to be a great mom.
My Darling Children,
I do not consider myself a political scholar, or even possessing extensive political knowledge. I cannot relate to all the woes of the world – because I am only one person. I only know what it is like to be me – a white woman in trying times. Times that will test us, bring us to our knees. I cannot speak for the minorities or the masses. I can only speak for myself – and as your mother – I must speak up for your future.
It is no surprise to most that breastfeeding is beneficial to both baby and mother. But many are not aware of exactly how breastfeeding can improve the health and cognitive abilities of mothers and babies, especially when nursing is extended to at least one year of age. Dr. Rachel Borton, the director of Bradley University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program, has conducted extensive studies in the benefits of increasing the length of time women are advised to breastfeed. She is currently working to educate other doctors, mothers, and the community as to why extended breastfeeding is so important and to remove the social stigma against nursing, especially in public.
Many couples undergoing fertility treatments wonder how they’ll know it’s the right time to stop trying for a biological child and start the adoption process. It’s not a simple answer, and for every parent it is different. In your marriage, you may find one spouse arrives at this place before the other, which is completely normal.
We suggest for you to seek in your hearts whether now’s time to transition from fertility treatments to adoption. As a fertility patient herself, Mardie Caldwell has experienced seven pregnancy losses. Once she and her husband decided it was time to pursue adoption as their route to parenthood, they were blessed with the adoption of a son.
Today, Mardie shares four signs that it might be time to consider your options through adoption.
Sleep is essential to our body’s rest and repair. While adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours of solid sleep, there is also evidence to suggest that women need a slightly longer amount of sleep due to their more complex brains. Sadly, women, and especially mothers are typically expected to get by with the least amount of sleep of anyone in the family. Mothers are also most likely to receive interrupted sleep, which one study showed is actually as detrimental as no sleep at all!
“Our study shows the impact of only one disrupted night. We know that these effects accumulate and therefore the functional price new parents — who awaken three to ten times a night for months on end — pay for common infant sleep disturbance is enormous,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University.
The disturbance of sleep affects all of us and is especially detrimental to children. The National Sleep Foundation recently changed its sleep recommendations for various age groups. They now recognize that, depending on their age, children need anywhere from eight to 17 hours of sleep.
With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be preparing for a winter vacation or trip to visit family and friends. Chances are that in all the hustle and bustle of year end, you’re not thinking about water safety, but if you’re going to be near a pool, you should be.
Whether traveling to warmer climates to visit grandparents with pools, plans to stay at beach resorts, or traveling to colder temperatures with frozen ponds and snow covered rivers, water safety is key to an accident-free, fun family vacation this holiday season. From the United States Swim School Association (USSSA), the largest and preeminent swim school association in the country, here are 8 tips for water safety for your upcoming holiday vacation.
The world can be a sad and scary place. Every time we open up our computers or turn on our televisions, there is another tragedy taking place before our eyes. The gravity and magnitude of the problems are overwhelming. We can and should grieve about the sadness in the world but after the initial shock or grief passes, discouragement comes along and tells us there is nothing we can do to make the world less crappy. We turn away and move on with our day. You hear people asking for help all the time. Support this cause or that. The need can leave you feeling weary, especially if you don’t have any extra money to give to worthy causes. Budgets are incredibly tight for most American families. However, there is always something you can do, every single day, to make the world a better place. You can help others without writing a check. Here is how…
Receiving a phone call from a police officer that your child has been arrested is one of those gut-wrenching moments for a parent. Immediately you have questions… what did they do? Is it drugs? Are they ok? Now what? As the initial shock wears off you will be left wondering what to do and where to go to get help for your child and you need to act quickly.