Photo: ThinkstockI was a stepmom long before I became a bio mom, and for years Mother's Day was one of those awkward times that we didn't really know how to handle in our household.
Of course it's important to feel acknowledged and appreciated. But as much as I love my stepkids and think of them as my own, I am not their mom. And on Mother's Day, I think the focus rightly belongs on the woman who is.
There are millions of stepmothers who disagree with me. For them, Mother's Day is about frustration, not celebration. It often underscores the fact that they feel unappreciated, and can heighten resentment about the realities of life in a blended family.
"All they really want on Mother's Day is to have their stepchildren say, 'Happy Mother's Day' or give them a a card or small gift," says Rachelle Katz, a psychotherapist, stepmother, and the author of "The Happy Stepmother: Stay Sane, Empower Yourself, Thrive in Your New Family." "They don't want to usurp a biological mother's role; a token
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Sat, May 12, 2012 3:00 PM EDT
Photo: ThinkstockI was a stepmom long before I became a bio mom, and for years Mother's Day was one of those awkward times that we didn't really know how to handle in our household.Read More »from Being a stepmother on Mother's Day: Tips to make the holiday a happy one
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, May 11, 2012 4:48 PM EDT
Is this swimsuit model too tan? (Photo: H&M)Just days after "tanorexia" became a household word (thanks to New Jersey Tanning Mom Patricia Krentcil), fashion retailer H&M has come under fire for featuring a deeply tanned model in their latest swimwear campaign, sparking outrage from the Swedish Cancer Society for promoting tanning as a fashion accessory.Read More »from H&M Apologizes for Featuring Bronzed Model. Are We Too Worried About Tanning?
"Tanning mom" case spotlights tanning bed dangers for minors
"The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly," the group wrote in an opinion piece in the Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursday, AFP reported. "Every year, more people die in Sweden of [skin cancer] than in traffic accidents, and the main cause is too much sunning."
H&M released an apology almost immediately.
"We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behavior, but was instead to show off our latest summer collection," the Swedish clothing company said
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, May 11, 2012 2:03 PM EDT
Jamie Lynne Grumet and her son, Aram, on NBC's Today show.Jamie Lynne Grumet, who posed for the cover of Time Magazine nursing her 3-year-old son, appeared on NBC's "Today" show on Friday to talk about the controversial cover.Read More »from Jamie Lynne Grumet Defends Her Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover
"We knew exactly what we were going to get in to," Grumet said as her son, Aram, fidgeted on the couch beside her. "I do understand why Time chose this picture because…it did create such a media craze to get the dialogue talking."
Related: Moms react to Time Magazine's breastfeeding cover
But the outrage that followed the cover's release on Thursday took her by surprise. "I don't think anyone was expecting it," she said.
Does this cover go too far? (Photo: Time.com)The headline reads, "Are You Mom enough?" But if that wasn't enough to fan the flames of the Mommy Wars, there's the photo that goes with it: A pretty young woman wearing skinny jeans and a tank top, nursing her nearly 4-year-old son. It's meant to illustrate a story about Dr. William Sears and attachment parenting but, given that there's more to that movement than extended breastfeeding, it seems as if Time magazine was going for sensationalism and shock value.Read More »from Time Magazine's Breastfeeding Cover: Moms React
Related: Child Star Mayim Bialik still nurses her 3-year-old son. Here's why…
"Breast feeding is a natural thing to do, but standing on a chair and having mom stand there like she is a water fountain isn't the way to portray this," Yahoo! reader, San2, wrote.
"As a pediatrician, I believe that every mother should breastfeed her child for at least six months, preferably a year (even longer if they like)," KP.MD commented. "This, however, is extreme. And the photograph -- everything about its composition - sends
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Wed, May 9, 2012 3:36 PM EDT
How North Carolina's amendment against gay marriage could affect heterosexual couples.Voters in North Carolina on Tuesday passed Amendment One, agreeing to change the state's constitution to say that the only valid "domestic legal partnership" allowed in the state would be marriage between a man and a woman and banning gay marriage even though it was already prohibited by state law.Read More »from North Carolina's Ban on Gay Marriage Could Also Affect Unmarried Straight Couples
Related: Why I don't want gay marriage
"I think it sends a message to the rest of the country that marriage is between one man and one woman," Tami Fitzgerald of Vote FOR Marriage NC told The Huffington Post. "The whole point is simply that you don't rewrite the nature of God's design based on the demands of a group of adults."
The last time North Carolina's constitution was amended in regards to marriage, it was to make sure that "all marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the third generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited."
The new amendment against gay marriage passed 61 percent to 39 percent even though,
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Tue, May 8, 2012 5:07 PM EDT
New studies indicate that gym class may make girls hate to exercise.A new study in Britain confirms what some of us have always known: High school gym class can be such a traumatic experience for girls that they get turned off exercise for life, even though they know that it's crucial to their health.Read More »from Studies Show that Gym Classes May Make Women Hate Exercise
Researchers at the Institute of Youth Sport at Loughborough University asked 1,500 students how they felt about fitness -- and the answers won't surprise anyone who has ever felt awkward in an ill-fitting Phys-Ed uniform.
Forty-eight percent of girls surveyed said that "getting sweaty is not feminine"-- and almost a third of boys surveyed agreed, according to a report in the Telegraph. Fifty-seven percent of girls agreed that girls tend to drop out of physical activity because their friends do, and 76 percent of girls agreed that they feel self-conscious about their bodies; about a quarter of them feel like gym class forces them to put their bodies on display.
Apparently, the insecurity and self-consciousness continues into adulthood. A different
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Team Mom – Tue, May 8, 2012 1:04 AM EDT
Think that the U.S. is the ideal country in which to be a mom? A new report says otherwise.The United States may be a wealthy, privileged, industrialized nation, but when it comes to being an ideal place to raise a family, it ranks well below several European countries. Take into account nonexistent parental leave policies, low preschool enrollment rates, and high teen-pregnancy rates and its rank falls even further, according to Save the Children, an independent organization dedicated to helping children around the world.Read More »from The Best Country for Raising Kids? Report Says It's Not the United States
Related: The deadliest states for kids to live in
In Save the Children's 13th State of the World's Mothers Report, released today, the United States ranks 25th out of 165 countries overall. That's up six spots from its 31st place showing last year, largely thanks to improvements in education rates for girls, Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children told Yahoo! Shine in an interview.
"The longer a girl stays in school, the later she'll have a child, and the healthier the child and the mother will be," Miles said.
The report includes a
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Mon, May 7, 2012 7:36 PM EDT
An Arizona law bans funding for Planned Parenthood, while a Utah bill triples the waiting period before an abortion.It sounds like something that would expand access to family planning and women's health services, but the Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act actually ends funding for cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV testing if they're provided by an organization that also offers abortion services. That means Planned Parenthood, of course.Read More »from The Government, Your Uterus, and You: New Laws in Arizona, Utah Affect Women's Health
The new law, which Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed on Friday, stops any government entity (cities, counties, and the state itself) from giving money to Planned Parenthood and similar organizations, even though government funds are already not allowed to be used to pay for abortions. According to backers of the bill, the extra step of prohibiting something that's already prohibited is necessary in order to make sure that state money provided for acceptable purposes doesn't free up private funds for unacceptable ones.
"This is a common sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, May 4, 2012 4:04 PM EDT
Patricia Krentcil, 44, waits to be arraigned at the Essex County Superior Court, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)The New York Post calls her the "Toast of the Town." Dermatologists suggest that she suffers from "Tanorexia." And tanning-booth veteran Snooki, of "Jersey Shore" fame, slammed her for being a bad mom.Read More »from Tanning Mom Patricia Krentcil Lashes Out at Critics
But Patricia Krentcil, the Nutley, N.J., woman accused of taking her then-5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth, leaving the little kid with burns severe enough to alarm the school nurse, says that her detractors are just jealous. And fat. And ugly.
Related: "Tanning Mom" case spotlights tanning bed dangers for minors
"I saw the headlines today, but I don't care! I don't care what anyone thinks of me!" The New York Post reported that she said outside of her hair salon yesterday. "There's somebody out there, for my whole life, that doesn't like me because they are jealous, fat, and they're ugly."
"I don't always sit in tanning booths," she insisted. "I have a life."
The 44-year-old mom of five repeatedly told reporters that she doesn't think she has a tanning problem. "Some days I
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Thu, May 3, 2012 10:09 PM EDT
Opening a lemonade stand can teach kids plenty about entrepreneurship.Opening a lemonade stand seems like simple summer fun, a childhood rite of passage. But, according to seasoned entrepreneur Michael Holthouse, it can be so much more.Read More »from On Lemonade Day, Kids Learn About Entrepreneurship and Fun at the Same Time
Related: 10 expert tips for running a successful lemonade stand
"There are so many life skills and character building elements" involved in opening your own lemonade stand, he told Yahoo! Shine. "We should have all of our kids learn about that."
Inspired by an afternoon spent running a lemonade stand with one of his daughters, Holthouse launched Lemonade Day six years ago. At the time, his daughter hoped to earn enough money to buy a pet turtle, but Holthouse recognized that their little business venture offered a chance to do much more.
"What happened that day was amazing," he says. "It was this beautiful day's worth of learning."
Holthouse's experience as an entrepreneur shaped his vision. A two-time winner of Inc. Magazine's 500 Fastest Growing Company award and an Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year, the father