Blog Posts by Mommyish

  • How Important Is Your Child’s Appearance?

    My daycare provider and I have a pretty amazing relationship, which means that I get to have honest and insightful conversations about her perspective on modern motherhood. Annie is in her sixties with three grown children and four beautiful grandchildren. Being a mother and someone who deals with mothers all day long, she's formed some pretty strong opinions about how parenting has evolved and changed. Last week, we discussed one of her very biggest pet peeves.

    A toddler who goes to our daycare comes in every day with a huge mess of tangles in the back of her hair. It constantly looks as if the child has never seen a comb. Everyday, Annie sits down and patiently brushes out the little girl's hair. Even though this frustrates her, she never mentions anything to the mother, never suggesting that the child's hair be brushed before she comes to daycare. One particularly busy day, Annie didn't get a chance to fix the girl's hair. It stayed tangled and ratted all day long. At 5pm,

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  • Dads And Affection: How Much Is Too Much?

    One of my fondest father/daughter memories is the time my dad grabbed my hand in the grocery store parking lot and led us, skipping, into the store. I was about 28 at the time. As we frolicked past the people and cars, I had that all-too-rare "I'm a kid again!" feeling. It was as if my hand had shrunk down to the size of a toddler's and folded perfectly into the strong, protective hand of my father. At the same time, adult me was proud that my dad could still get in touch with his own skipping inner child and that he knew I would never be too old to love being his little girl.

    So it was particularly upsetting to me when my husband wondered out loud a few weeks ago if it was okay for him to kiss our three-year-old daughter on the mouth. "Of course it is," I said. "It would be harmful if you rebuffed her or made her self-conscious about seeking affection from her dad." Yet, I understood where his fears were coming from. Our culture hints at a certain ickiness factor when it comes

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  • Splitsville: Honey, I Bruised The Kid

    Welcome to Splitsville. This weekly column will focus on parenting after a divorce, break-up or one-night stand that didn't end like a Katherine Heigl movie.

    We all know the sinking feeling in your stomach when you watch your child get hurt. There's an overwhelming panic when they first cry out that's almost impossible to describe. I've never felt anything like it. Whether its a splinter in their foot, a scrape on their knee or a bonk on the head, child injuries are heart-wrenching and terrifying.

    Splitsville: How To Talk About New Relationships

    The most awful injuries produce large marks for the world to see. A black eye, a bruised cheek, or, Heaven forbid, a cast can make every passerby look at you like an awful person. You take an injured child into the store and people start to stare. Sure, there's a logical explanation for the boo-boo, but its not like you want to explain it to every person you see. Even if you tried, people would wonder why you're so defensive.

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  • Key Pregnancy Wardrobe Pieces For The Summer

    I am all about keeping an ironclad grip on my pre-pregnancy style. While I'm more than happy to make safety concessions (at six and hald months pregnant, the heels are now staying put in my purse until I get my be-flip-flopped self to wherever it is that I'm going), to me, dressing in a way that makes me feel pretty and stylish isn't just a mood-lifter…it's an essential aspect of my pregnancy. Having a baby may very well (and probably will) change everything in my life…but it doesn't mean that I have to "tone it down" or "dress more maternally" (whatever that means). If short shorts (or muumuus, for that matter) are what make me happy, then that's what I'm wearing.

    That said, as your waistline expands, it's just a fact: some former favorites just naturally phase themselves out, while other pieces in your wardrobe take on a starring role. We all know about wrap dresses and leggings, but here are the items that are really taking me through the summer comfortably while keeping

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  • How Come Men Don’t Suffer From Parenting Guilt?

    Unless you've been doing something truly virtuous over the past few weeks - building schools in South Sudan, perhaps - you'll have noticed that guilt has been in the news a lot. Anthony Weiner's weiner, DSK, Casey Anthony, Silvio Berlusconi, British tabloids… they've all been subjects of scrutiny, not least from the women of the world.

    Why the women? Because women know from guilt. And it feels good when we're able to discuss somebody else's for a change.

    Guilt is a mainstay of femalehood. We become acquainted with it in childhood, when our mothers lay it on thick like Jiffy on toast. Eventually, being mothers ourselves, we get it from our children. No wonder, then, that by middle age we've learned to pass it along with aplomb. You could say it's guilt and not money that makes the world go 'round.

    Hey, Moms, Here's How To Get Over Your Guilt Complex

    Nearly 40 years into my own femalehood, I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that my penchant for guilt is here to

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  • Grow Up And Get Over Your Bad Childhood

    Even though I only started getting interested in the Casey Anthony trial after it ended, I'm now going to get all Nancy Grace-ish and start talking about it nonstop. Just kidding, but did you see that Anthony's defense spared no one in their attempt to get their client off? Including Casey's immediate family.

    Casey Anthony's first-degree murder trial descended into chaos on Wednesday morning when prosecutors entered a flurry of objections as the defense attempted to question the accused child killer's parents about sexual abuse they allege she suffered at the hands of family members.

    "I would never do anything like that to my daughter," the defendant's father, George Anthony, said when asked if he had molested Casey.

    Who knows what went on in the household in which Casey was raised? I mean, she turned out spectacularly awful but how much of that is attributable to the parents? Either way, though, I'm sick of this mentality that you get to excuse your bad

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  • The Internet Is Making Your Kids Think Differently, Not Less

    Contemporary parents generally worry about how much time their little ones spend in front of search engines and social media, poring over Google searches and YouTube videos. Although kids seem unable to tear themselves from the web, the brain is more or less addicted to the medium because it's able to access so much more information than ever before. The brain is therefore not so much remembering specific details, but rather where to find them.

    Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University, a researcher who conducted a study on the internet and memory, observes that humans have always thought in terms of references or "transactive" memory: experts or printed books. The internet, Sparrow argues, is no different.

    Gary Small, a University of California, Los Angeles, researcher of how Internet searches influence brain activity in older Americans, told Livescience that although the internet may be negatively impacting social intelligence and empathy in younger populations, their learning

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  • My Daughter Potty-Trained Herself While I Was Away On Vacation

    I've long held that the first rule of Potty Training Club is "Do Not Talk About Potty Training Club." But what happened to me last week is so awesome that I just have to share.

    The first thing to know is that I did not do a great job of training my older daughter. After one particularly brutal day of failure, I decided to read up on the topic for tips about what to do. That was when I learned that I was doing it all wrong. For instance, apparently you're not supposed to lock the child in the bathroom until something happens. Live and learn, I guess. So my oldest daughter was only trained completely a few months ago.

    I figured my younger daughter would be a year away from training. But a few weeks ago we were in New York with my cousin. We all went to the park and then my cousin took the kids back to put them to bed while my husband and I went to dinner. Somehow we left the diaper bag at the playground. By the time we realized, retrieved it and got it back to my cousin, my

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  • The Realities Of Back-To-School: Why Carpooling Stinks

    We're still six weeks away from back-to-school reality and yet I'm already stressing about what's headed my way: carpool. In case you didn't know, carpooling sucks. Sure, it means someone else picking up your kids from school every day or two so that you don't need to schlep. But with it comes endless politics and logistics and, worst of all, other people's annoying, whiny, misbehaved kids.

    For working moms like myself, carpool is just par for the course. But it doesn't mean we like them. They're simply one of those necessary evils. Here are some helpful tips for surviving your carpooling duties:

    • Bribe 'em with junk food. Okay, so this might upset the other moms in your group. But, really, desperate times call for desperate measures. It was taking my crew of three boys and two girls 2o minutes to get from the schoolyard to my car that was parked 10 feet away. The solution? Telling them about the chocolate-chip granola bars awaiting them in the car. It worked like magic.
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  • How To Deal With Back-To-School Anxiety: The Mom Edition

    These days my inbox is inundated with back-to-school emails that are putting a major buzz kill on my glorious, all-too-short summer. There's the school administrator with her 2011/12 calendar and supply list (supplies! In July!). There's the potential carpool mom (can I do Wednesdays and alternate Fridays?). And there are the endless back-to-school promotions from Old Navy, Staples, Groupon. Plus, now's the time when parents are starting to put in their high-maintenance requests to the principal (please place little Suzy with Jennifer L. but not with with Jennifer B. andpossibly with that new kid Ryder).

    It's a harsh reminder that pretty soon we'll be getting back into a "normal" routine (no more extra-long weekends and 9 p.m. ice-cream runs). And it brings me back to my own days as a student. In fact, I can still remember picking out my first-day-of-school outfit for seventh grade: denim miniskirt, Naf Naf short-sleeve button down and white leather Keds (don't judge, it was

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