Blog Posts by The_Stir

  • Sometimes Maybe I Don't Want to Put My Child First

    When I learned I had cancer, my daughter was less than 6 days old.

    You never know how you'll react to receiving a serious diagnosis until you actually receive one. For instance, pre-diagnosis, I always thought that taking the more natural, holistic approach to cancer sounded like a very viable option. I'd heard many stories of people whose cancer had gone into remission or disappeared as a result of a variety of homeopathic methods and lifestyle changes. And natural is usually better, right?

    Maybe.

    More from The Stir: The Chemo 'Tip List' I Wish I'd Had

    The day after we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital, I received a call from my obstetrician. I was holding my baby in my arms when I learned I had cancer.

    My doctor told me she would be referring me to an oncologist, but that there'd be no question that I would need chemotherapy, among other things.

    "No problem," I said. "Sign me up." I didn't hesitate to agree to the most aggressive, toxic

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  • The Best Breast Pumps for Every Kind of Mom (PHOTOS)

    baby bottlebaby bottleWhen it comes to baby gear, there are plenty of things you can skimp on or skip. You don't need a fancy diaper twister, or a bottle warmer, or countless other things they try to sell you, nor do you need the top-of-the line products for every little thing. When it comes to breast pumps, however, if you're going to breastfeed your baby you really do need to choose one with care to best meet your needs.

    More from The Stir: 25 Ways You Know You're Such a Mother

    Pumping can be a painful process (literally and figuratively), and the right breast pump can be key to your success. After reviewing plenty personally and checking with other moms, here are five of the most highly rated ones out there for every situation to consider in your search.

    Best Manual Breast Pump Best Manual Breast Pump

    Best Manual Breast Pump ($29.99; Target)

    Moms love the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump for its lightweight portability and comfort.

    Best Breast Pump for Working Moms Best Breast Pump for Working Moms

    Best Breast Pump for Working Moms ($327.43, Amazon)

    The Medela Freestyle Breast Pump is a

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  • Schools Should Have the Right to Ban Non-Vaccinated Kids from Attending

    vaccinevaccineCall me ignorant or an alarmist, but I'm terrified of childhood vaccines. My children have received all of theirs, but it doesn't mean that each one hasn't caused me sleepless nights and heart palpitations.

    After countless hours of reading and research, I came to my shaky conclusion that the risks of vaccinating are less than those of not vaccinating, but I'm far from staunch in my beliefs about this. The fact is that each one feels like a terrifying leap of faith. Countless other parents, however, aren't willing to make such a leap, and they choose not to vaccinate their children. Good for them; I absolutely understand and support their decisions. They're their children, their choice.

    More from The Stir: Mom Who Jumped Out of Moving Vehicle for Baby is Braver Than Us (VIDEO)

    With that choice, however, come potential consequences, one of which may be their non-vaccinated children being banned from school. And as difficult and frustrating as it may be for anti-vaxxers,

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  • 15 Chats You Must Have Before Saying 'I Do'

    Almost every single one of my girlfriends spent their childhoods talking about their dream wedding -- most had rotating maids of honor and sketches of wedding dresses drawn and redrawn and adorning their walls.

    But marriage is more than poufy dresses and making your best friends wear hideous outfits. Marriage is about the merger of lives, the happily ever after often as exciting as "who gets to pay the electric bill this month."

    In that vein, here are 15 things you should talk about before waltzing down that aisle to "Canon in D."

    More from The Stir: The Anniversary Gift You Hoped You'd Never Get but Know You Need

    1) Dolla Billz: While nothing is as un-sexy as talking about a budget, money is one of the biggest sources of contention in a partnership. So bring it up. Talk about it often. This matters.

    2) The "C" Word -- Children: Do you want them? Does he? How many? When do you want to try to have them? All very important questions as kids are more than a fashion

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  • 5 Romantic Ways to Reconnect Other Than Date Night

    Date night alternatives for parentsDate night alternatives for parentsAs busy working parents with four kids, a date night to us is more like an urban myth. With no family close by and money spent on a babysitter during the day, my husband and I can probably count the times we've been out alone together on two hands.

    But when our 8th wedding anniversary rolled around this past week, we wanted to celebrate. So kudos to my husband for getting creative, and instead of a date night, we did something else that worked so brilliantly I wish I had thought of it myself.

    If you're finding it hard to schedule a date night with your spouse or partner, here are five alternatives that work just as well.

    More from The Stir: The Anniversary Gift You Hoped You'd Never Get but Know You Need

    1. Date Dinner

    Alright, so it's pretty similar to date night, however, going out late in the evening doesn't work well for us, particularly because it's hard to financially rationalize paying a sitter for four kids when we've already got one coming during the

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  • Tackling Your Childhood Demons Could Save Your Marriage

    How your childhood affects your marriageHow your childhood affects your marriage

    Now that my husband and I had finally taken the leap to save our marriage through therapy, we were asked in our second session to broach the sometimes painful subject of our childhood. As a former therapist myself, I've been aware of how much my own upbringing has affected me as a person and a parent. I've also known how my husband's childhood shaped him, but he needed to hear about that from someone else other than me.

    More from The Stir: 5 Romantic Ways to Reconnect Other Than Date Night

    But you can only dwell on your past for so long, which is why I'm so happy that our therapist showed us how to move forward in our relationship by looking back.

    Much of what we seek in a relationship is what we never received from our parents when we were kids, which is one thing to hear when you're an adult in a failing marriage and another when you're also a parent.

    More from The Stir: The Anniversary Gift You Hoped You'd Never Get but Know You Need

    In my own case, I grew up

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  • A Few Simple Steps May Mean Never Having a Bad Work Day Again (VIDEO)

    Karen WalrondKaren WalrondPhotographer, writer, and all around amazing human being Karen Walrond is exceptionally inspiring. As someone who went from a successful career in corporate law to finding her passions for speaking, writing, and "shooting" (photography) and making that equally successful, she is someone we should all emulate career-wise.

    More from The Stir: 40 Funny Ways to Say 'Mom' on Your Resume

    But of course, Walrond would say (and rightly so) it's not about her. It's about us. This week, the CafeMom Studios Karen Walrond Show centered around finding our passion and making that our lives.

    Sadly, how many of us can say that we do what we love? See below:


    As a writer and editor who gets paid to write about things that interest me with a staff of pretty amazing women, I can honestly say I feel blessed. I did follow my passion. But it wasn't always so.

    I worked the slog-fest jobs where I hated going in every morning. I dreaded Sunday night because the weekend was over and I

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  • Making Divorce Easier on the Kids Starts at Mom's New Home

    To those of you who read my blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, you know that I'm in the process of a divorce. In fact, just this very weekend, I moved out of my home of seven years and into a one-bedroom apartment of my very own.

    On the one hand, it's an exciting time, and on the other, change is HARD, yo.

    More from The Stir: 10 Things Ever Woman Going Through a Divorce Wants to Hear

    The most important thing for me is not, "Do I have a working coffee maker?" but "How can I make this adjustment easiest on the kids?" I've spent more time thinking about that than I've ever spent despising John Mayer or mayonnaise (unrelated, of course) combined.

    It's been of the utmost importance to me that my beloved children are okay. While I may be riding the roller coaster of emotions associated with the termination of my union, what I feel is not important by comparison to how my children are coping.

    One of the first things I did when I was told I had to move out as I couldn't afford

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  • Kate Gosselin's Alleged Wooden Spoon Spankings Show She Needs a Time-Out

    wooden spoonswooden spoonsAfter recently seeing a photo of a seemingly angry Kate Gosselin holding her daughter's shoulders, I didn't want to judge even though the caption claimed she was berating her child. I've been in that exact pose before, firmly talking to my little one after she ran into the street. I've also had moments -- moments I'm not proud of -- where I've lost my cool and yelled a little too loud over something minor. I'm human. I apologize. I learn from it. Birthing six babies at once does make Kate seem superhuman, but she's a mom who makes mistakes just like the rest of us.

    More from The Stir: Mom Gives 11-Year-Old Daughter Heart Tattoo ... Just Because

    There are, however, some claims that Kate repeatedly used a wooden spoon to hit her then-2-year-olds when they got into the candy, didn't use the potty, or climbed out the crib. When we as parents find ourselves in moments like this -- repeating a pattern that we don't want to repeat -- shouldn't that be a sign that we, not our

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  • 10 Biggest Breast Cancer Myths to Forget Right Now

    Advertisementbreast cancerbreast cancerOne of the most frustrating things about breast cancer is how much current information is just plain wrong. It seems like everywhere you turn, there is a myth that needs to be debunked, a rumor that has to be laid to rest. It can be very frustrating.

    More from The Stir: Celebrating 3 Brave Moms Who Beat Breast Cancer

    For a woman with a recent diagnosis or someone who is worried about her chances, these myths can be frustrating and scary at best. If you're diagnosed with the dreaded disease, it isn't a death sentence necessarily even though it may feel like it is.

    With that in mind, here are the 10 biggest breast cancer myths to forget right now:

    1. Breast cancer is a death sentence: With so many new treatments and constant research, the old way of thinking about this disease is becoming obsolete. More and more women are surviving. Currently, the 10-year survival rate is about 85 to 90 percent.
    2. Everyone who is diagnosed has a family history: In fact only about 70
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