Blog Posts by Babble.com

  • 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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  • Why the Mets Baseball Player's Paternity Leave Uproar is Great News

    Home Run! Why the Baseball Paternity Leave Uproar is Great NewsHome Run! Why the Baseball Paternity Leave Uproar is Great NewsAs a proponent of paternity leave, I'd like to take a moment to thank Boomer Esiason and Mike Francesa for all they have done in support of the cause.

    No, I'm not being sarcastic.

    If you haven't heard of the baseball paternity leave kerfuffle, here's my quick and dirty summary: Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has the audacity (!) to take three days of paternity leave after his wife's water breaks and she gives birth to the couple's first child via cesarean section. The timing of his leave means he misses the Mets' first two games of the season, much to the dismay of talk radio hosts like Esiason and Francesa. Both men blast Murphy for his decision, with Francesa denouncing paternity leave as a "scam and a half" and Esiason arguing that Murphy's wife should have had a scheduled C-section before the season began so he wouldn't miss any games.

    I'm not going to bother delving into how obviously ludicrous Esiason and Francesa's respective statements are, other than to say that you

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  • Infant Circumcision is the Healthiest Choice, Says New Study

    A new study has raised a lot of eyebrows and tempers in the ongoing debate about infants and circumcision.

    According to an article over at the The Daily Beast, the recently released study, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings medical journal claims that having your infant circumcised promotes health benefits that actually outshine any risks by a factor of 100 to 1.

    Of course, this viewpoint isn't exactly a fresh one. Over the past decade or so there have been a slew of advocates for and against circumcision, many of them fueled by perpetual argument about it all over the Internet.

    Still, whenever an opinion comes down from the world of medical professionals, it inevitably makes waves.

    This particular study, according to The Daily Beast, is largely the work of one of its authors, Professor Emeritus at The University of Sydney, Australia and Brian J. Morris, a well-known supporter of circumcision. Using a comparison to vaccines as an example, Morris has been advocating

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  • You Bet I’m Raising a Mama’s Boy (Otherwise Known as a Good Human)

    You Bet I'm Raising a Mama's BoyYou Bet I'm Raising a Mama's BoyI didn't think I was on a stalwart mission to raise a mama's boy. It's the sort of pursuit that evolved as my relationship with my son has developed and deepened over the years. We are tight, my son and I. He's the sort who initiates luxuriant rounds of sweet cuddles and kisses. He has, in fact, dubbed himself my "kissy-bear."


    "I'm your kissy-bear, right mama?" he asked me, glowing with pride and a huge smile, immediately after coming up with the phrase all on his own.

    It was inevitable, I suppose, since I'm a hands-on, affectionate person. I'm secretly relieved that it hasn't blown up in my face yet and that my son still savors all of the physical touch, doting, and love I shower upon him. When I think about our tender, close mother-son connection, I don't think about whether this means I'm raising a mama's boy.

    I just think (and hope), that perhaps I'm raising a good human. A sweet and sensitive one, an emotionally-developed and confident one who will one day shower endless

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  • The Truth About Young Marriage

    The Truth About Young MarriageThe Truth About Young MarriageCan I say something crazy?



    (Yes, sorry, but after watching the movie non-stop straight for the past week, it's kind of in my head, ok? #FrozenForever)



    At 27, my husband and I have been together for a shocking 11 years. In five years, we will have been together longer than we have lived apart. How strange is that?



    Yesterday, I wrote a piece about some of the most common mistakes couples make in a marriage that can lead to a divorce, and one of the factors that kept popping up over and over in my research was something that hit a little too close to home for me:



    Couples who get married too young.



    It's really not an uncommon idea - many studies cite getting married too young as a factor in divorce, like this one that says that young couples with low education are one of the most likely groups to get divorced. One divorced woman even advocates that no one should get married before age 25.



    And while I'm of course biased because we got married at the ripe old age of 21, I am

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  • 12 Things I’ve Learned (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries

    25 Things I've Leanred (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries25 Things I've Leanred (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries1. Even if you're the most careful person in the entire world, it can still happen to you.


    2. You are not invincible.

    3. Even if you have friends with superhuman running powers that do all the things you're not "supposed" to, it doesn't mean it won't happen to you.

    4. Doctors don't know everything.

    5. What's best for person x may not be best for you.

    6. It doesn't matter what any doctor says - only you know if you're getting better and when it's time to get back into action.

    Related: 10 surprising benefits of taking a walk

    7. Rest is evil.

    8. Rest is oh-so-necessary.

    9. You will not spontaneously combust if you do not exercise for a week. Or a month. Or FIVE.

    10. Not all doctors are created equal.

    11. When all else fails, keep finding something else to try.

    12. Don't give up. Don't ever give up.

    Got anything to add to the list?

    Photo source: Heather Neal

    -By Heather Neal

    For 13 more things I learned (the hard way) about running Read More »from 12 Things I’ve Learned (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries
  • 7 Unique Wedding Dresses and Tips to Find Them

    When I got married over 10 years ago, I had the hardest time finding a wedding dress to get excited about. There was a sea of sameness, and I wanted something unique. Even today, the majority of bridal gowns are strapless with full skirts. If that's the type of dress you are looking for, then you're all set. If you want something a little unexpected, this is the article for you. I have curated a collection of 7 unique wedding dresses and tips to help you find the one that's right for you. A decade ago there weren't as many online retailers, Etsy wasn't connecting people with creators, and brides weren't sharing their wedding details in such high numbers. Because of all the weddings you can see online, there are a larger variety of styles and choices out there in this big world. Don't let having more choices leave you feeling overwhelmed - instead take advantage of it. Figure out exactly what you want and what your style is, then go out and find it. The slideshow below will help you get

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