Blog Posts by Babble.com

  • 8 Reasons Why You Need to Vacation Without Kids

    8 Reasons Why You Need to Vacation Without Kids8 Reasons Why You Need to Vacation Without KidsMy husband and I were a couple for almost a decade before we had children. We traveled the world. We slept in and spent entire rainy Sundays at bookstores, sipping coffee, and leisurely reading novels.


    Sometimes we read out loud to each other.

    Sadly, I can't remember much more about what we did with all that time. We were a couple for such a long time before kids. What the hell did we do?

    We had no idea that the clock was ticking on our leisure time.

    Things have certainly changed. Our chaotic home is full of humans besides us. On any given weekend you'll find all four of my kids and at least a few stragglers, here for a sleepover. We split up the driving duty.

    We try to plan for date nights. Grand plans of dinner and a show. This inevitably gets downgraded to dinner and a movie, then someone catches a cold and a sitter flakes, and we've got exactly one hour for a rushed "date night" in between drop off birthday parties and community theater rehearsals.

    We sip decaf

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  • The Definitive Ranking of Teens on TV (From Least to Most Accurate)

    In pop culture, especially TV shows and movies, teenagers are often portrayed as being selfish, constantly doing the wrong thing, and the bane of their parents' existence. In reality, however, we're not all bad. Yes, we're totally self-centered. I'm not going to lie, the majority of the time we don't think about how our actions will affect anyone but ourselves. We also have our moments where we scream like a 2-year-old and say horrible things to our parents that we later regret, followed by a slam of our bedroom door that shakes the whole house. Sure, we sometimes make mistakes, but who doesn't?

    Our bad rep is pretty much deserved, as far as these things go. Other things that are considered synonymous with teenagers though, (like sneaking out your window to meet a boy, getting arrested, and having a house party and breaking everything) is less stemmed from reality and more from pop culture, in my opinion. While we're not the most considerate of people, we can also act mature (it's Read More »from The Definitive Ranking of Teens on TV (From Least to Most Accurate)
  • Teacher Says She Lost Her Job for Taking a Sick Kid to Hospital and Paying the BillTeacher Says She Lost Her Job for Taking a Sick Kid to Hospital and Paying the BillQuick! Pop quiz! Your high school student is sick. Would you want your kid's teacher driving him to the emergency room and footing the bill?

    My immediate instinct is to say yes because I'd want my kid to receive help as quickly as possible. But then, when I step back and ponder different variables I wonder that maybe a Tennessee teacher made the wrong call even if she did have the best of intentions.

    As reported on The Huffington Post, Jennifer Mitts, who has been at Red Bank High School for 14 years, says she lost her job because of those good intentions. Mitts says she was forced to resign after taking the student to the emergency room and footing the bill. Upon learning of her actions, Mitts told WTVC-TV that school officials "dictated to (me) what (I) should write in the resignation letter, including forcing (me) to waive (my) right to a hearing."

    That's not what the school says, though. Stacey Stewart, assistant superintendent of human resources for the district tells

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  • 6 Ways to Stay Active and Healthy at a Desk Job

    5 Ways to Stay Active & Healthy at a Desk Job5 Ways to Stay Active & Healthy at a Desk JobOf all the dangerous career possibilities out there, one of the jobs most likely to make you sick is a desk job. While you may have found a stable job with a decent salary, it could actually be putting you at risk. Research shows the paycheck and benefits of a sedentary job come with higher medical costs and an 82% increase of dying from cardiovascular disease.


    The occupational hazards of desk jobs rank right up there with firefighters, pilots, and construction work. Who knew? Unfortunately for my husband and I, our salary greatly depends on spending hours upon hours at our desk. I write, he codes, and it's all done at a computer. Ergonomic keyboards and desk chairs have nothing on reduced activity levels. So, we have to get a little more creative to stay active and healthy with our 40-hours-at-a-desk job.

    Here are 5 ways to lower your health risks with a desk job:

    1. Take frequent breaks.
    Get up at least once an hour to walk around, even if only for a minute or two. You

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  • Meet the Mother Who Risked Her Children’s Lives for a Job Interview

    The Heartbreaking Mugshot Of A Mom Who Risked Her Children's Lives For A Job InterviewThe Heartbreaking Mugshot Of A Mom Who Risked Her Children's Lives For A Job InterviewI can't imagine how desperate one must be to leave two children in a parked SUV in a sweltering parking lot while going for a job interview.

    But that's the choice Shanesha Taylor made when she left her 2-year-old and 6-month-old in her SUV while she went in for a job interview with a Scottsdale, Arizona insurance agency last month. The mother was trying to get a leg up and get off food stamps -- instead she got herself arrested for child abuse.

    How desperate one must be to make that choice.

    She couldn't find a babysitter to look after her kids for the interview, so she brought them, and left them in her SUV outside the office.

    After being inside her appointment for an hour, Ms. Taylor was arrested when she returned to her vehicle parked in the 100 degree temperatures. She had left the keys in the ignition, and the windows open a crack. Witnesses called authorities after finding the children sweating and "crying hysterically."

    As much as I want to scream, "How could you do

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  • 7 Annoying Things You Should Expect when You Have a Cat

    7 Annoying Things You Should Expect When You Have a Cat7 Annoying Things You Should Expect When You Have a CatI have grown up with cats in my life since I was a small child. I have been around them so long that I don't really see those little quirks we take on when bringing a feline friend into the home.

    Just like people, cats and life with cats, have their good and bad points. Most of the negatives are not big enough to justify not having the best in our lives, but that doesn't mean we have to love every bit of it.

    If you've not lived with a cat before and you're thinking about getting one -- there are some annoying things that are bound to happen at least once. They're not deal-breakers to own a cat, but just don't say no one warned you.

    Here are 7 annoying things that you should expect to happen when you have a cat in your life -- because they're basically inevitable.

    1. Your new wake-up time will be 5 AM.

    I don't know what it is about this particular time of the morning, but it doesn't matter which cat we're talking about -- they like 5 AM. It's the universal time cats want

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  • Stronger Than Fiction: What a Real Life Marriage Proposal Looks Like

    Stronger Than Fiction: What a Real Life Marriage Proposal Looks LikeStronger Than Fiction: What a Real Life Marriage Proposal Looks LikeI've watched hundreds of bogus, unreal, crazily old-fashioned "will you marry me's" on TV, and I have rolled my eyes quietly to myself through each and every one. What is this sham that we're continuing to perpetuate? Is this truly anyone's reality when popping the big question?


    Maybe there was a time when couples really didn't talk about their future and really didn't know if his or her significant other wanted to get married. Heck, maybe those couples still do exist, and I've been living in a sheltered world over the past 20 years of my life - and that should surprise no one. Regardless, pretty much every married couple I've ever talked to about how the couple got engaged went pretty similar to how I ended up being engaged to Casey.

    Casey and I didn't know each other for very long before we began having the serious talks about our futures. It was about two weeks into our relationship when Casey asked me if I wanted to drive to Las Vegas to get married over the weekend. She

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  • Please Stop Telling My Son He’s Exceptional. He’s Not

    Please Stop Telling My Son He's Exceptional. He's Not.Please Stop Telling My Son He's Exceptional. He's Not.My 5-year-old son is used to hearing how smart he is. How his memory is "incredible" and his vocabulary is "impressive" and his brain is just so, so, so amazing.


    "Michelle! Did you hear what your son just said?! He's soooo smart," he hears.

    Now I'm not saying it's completely unwarranted. What I am saying is that it's often coming from love-beaming family members who are astounded that this little boy is suddenly using big words and reading sentences. He was the first baby our family had in decades, and I so appreciate the pride and unfiltered love that they wrap around my little boy like a safety net.

    But is it healthy for him to be over-praised for things that are basic parts of growing up? Because the truth of the matter is this: He's not all that exceptional.

    While he's certainly smart - and by smart, I mean he learns the way we expect him to learn, and he has an innate hunger for information - he's developmentally on par with the ordinary 5-year-old kid. He wasn't

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  • The 5 Strangest Wedding Trends of 2014

    The 5 Strangest Wedding Trends of 2014The 5 Strangest Wedding Trends of 2014It's been a long time since I got married; this summer will mark our 10-year anniversary. Our wedding was was all done before smartphones, Pinterest, and before I had any interest in online forums for any subject. I have been thinking a lot about my wedding day lately, and I've realized how much different the whole experience would be if I got married now versus 10 years ago.

    The trends are a lot different now, from how we invite guests to wedding fashion and all things in between. We have social media now, which is becoming a key part in weddings and a new way to entertain our guests while they celebrate our big day with us. I am not planning to ever plan a wedding again, so I don't have to keep up with the trends. However, I couldn't help but notice there are some new ones that are a bit on the strange side -- at least for an old married lady like me. if I got married now versus 10 years ago.

    Here are 5 strange new wedding trends we're seeing in 2014:

    1. "You're Not Invited"

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  • Mom Confession: Sometimes, It’s Good to Be Alone

    Mom Confession: Sometimes, It's Good to Be AloneMom Confession: Sometimes, It's Good to Be AloneI spent much of last week lying on my couch, sick and tired. My two younger children played (cars, trucks, planes, trains strewn all over the living room) and raided the fridge as only a 20-month-old and 4-year-old can (cheese sticks, cheese sticks, and more cheese sticks). We watched some movies, took some naps, read some stories.

    And for much of the time, I felt very, very alone. I know that many, maybe even all, moms feel this way at times -- perhaps especially when being crowded, climbed on, pestered, and pulled in several directions at once. There's nothing like being the most popular girl in the room to make you feel … apart, different, other, isolated. In my illness-induced haze, all I wanted was for someone to come and take care of me (or, more accurately, to take care of my kids so that I could take care of me). I wanted to be surrounded by people, to have everyone over for a play date -- or at least to have someone to commiserate with over the injustice of still having to

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