Blog Posts by Erin Zammett Ruddy

  • My Rock-Bottom Mom Moment Caught on Camera

    Photo: Erin Zammett Ruddy There are so many things wrong with this photo that I don’t even know where to begin (the iPad usage; the fact that my 4-year-old is sitting in an infant carrier and wearing Christmas pajamas in late January; the sharpened pencil in her hand; the lack of love being shown toward the 2-month-old, who’s being fed by a 6-year-old). Trust me, it’s not my finest moment. But rather than write about how embarrassed I am by all of it, which is what I had planned to do, let’s talk about why it’s really not that big of a deal. You see, sometimes I feel like a great mom and think people would be impressed with all I do and how I do it (sans electronics), and other times, like this one, I’m not so on top of my game. And that’s OK.

    More on Yahoo Shine: "Why I Let My Son Skip His Homework"

    The shot was taken at 6 p.m. last Wednesday, a snow day here in New York. The day before was a half-day, and the day before that was a holiday, which means we’d been cooped up in the house for five days straight at

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  • Read This Before You Take Another Antibiotic

    Last Friday I went to the doctor after my seemingly benign cold got way, way worse. I couldn’t take a breath without hacking up a lung. Even my eye sockets ached. Within seconds of seeing me, the doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis, which is what I had suspected, and I was prescribed a 10-day course of antibiotics, which I also expected. I thanked her and left, but when I got to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription, I couldn’t do it. Because here’s the thing: Bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus NOT bacteria, which means the antibiotic would do absolutely nothing to combat the illness (nor would it make me any less contagious). What it would do:

    1. Wipe out all the good bacteria in my gut causing digestion issues and making me vulnerable to other, ickier bugs.

    2. Make it so the next time I needed an antibiotic it would be less effective (every time we take an antibiotic—whether it’s necessary or not—the bacteria in our bodies has a chance to develop resistance and outsmart

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  • The Best Kind of Mom Facebook Statuses

    Photo: Thinkstock
    When you scroll through your newsfeed, what do you gravitate toward? For me, it’s the stuff that makes me laugh or think, oh, I’ve so been there. I love when other moms admit (in clever, anecdote form) that they’re not perfect. We’re all doing our best at this parenting thing and if a quick Facebook perusal can make you feel better about your own shortcomings (or your own sassy spawn), it’s a win. The stuff I never “like”: blatant bragging, poop talk, super earnest “I love being a mom!” posts or complaining about sick kids—sorry, I know that’s a popular one. Fortunately, I have a ton of smart, funny, over-sharing moms in my network who blow up my feed with light, likable stuff every day. Here are 10 of my recent favorites….enjoy!

    Krista Bennett DeMaio
    Aubrey just said that she's drinking "little girl wine." I expect a concerned phone call home from her new nursery school teacher in the near future.

    Taryn Kirk Glynn
    Bedtime cuddles with Luke.... as he was picking his nose, he asked, Read More »from The Best Kind of Mom Facebook Statuses
  • Why I Let My Son Skip His Homework

    Learning to meet deadlines is an important skill kids learn in school but is it more important than actually absorbing the material?My son is only six years old but, as any of you parents know, the current public education system is, well, hard core. School has become about grades and test scores and meeting common core standards. Gone are the days of cutting and pasting and making All About Me posters. Homework, even in first grade, is a big deal. And it’s a big deal to me that my son follows the rules and does what he is asked (when he’s asked to do it). He gets a package every Monday that has to be completed by Friday. It’s a doable amount of work and I love that there aren’t daily deadlines but sometimes, like last week, we still find ourselves in the weeds. For a number of reasons (a busier-than-normal after-school schedule, the fact that I have an eight-week old, my husband’s new job making him MIA every morning and night), Thursday rolled around and we hadn’t found time to finish. Actually, we found time but it didn’t always coincide with my son being able to focus. I mentioned that he’s a six-year-old boy,

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  • How To Fake a Hot Body (in 10 Minutes or Less)

    Photo: CBS

    It’s only mid-January so you probably haven’t made good on all your get-in-shape resolutions just yet. Or maybe, like me, you never even made them. (I had my third kid two months ago; unearthing a hot bod isn’t on top of my to-do list). But we all want to look good, right? Like, right now?

    I spoke with Mary Helen Bowers, the former American Ballet Theater ballerina-turned celeb trainer (she worked with Natalie Portman for Black Swan) for her best no-time-to-hit-the-gym-but-need-to-look-like-I-did tips. She shapes some of the most incredible bodies in the world with her brand of ballet-inspired fitness and swears by the following three tricks for anyone looking to feel more toned, more confident, and less stressed before heading out the door. She has the Victoria's Secret models do them right before walking down the runway! “Anything you can do to get the blood pumping and activate the muscles quickly will make an instant difference in how you look and feel,” says Bowers, whose DVD

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  • What 4-Year-Olds Should Never Do

    Don't let the sweet smile fool you.This is Nora, our spirited, sassy, smart-beyond-her-years little girl. She is hilarious and fun and a good helper but she can also be the exact opposite and, lately, she’s been just that. Times 10. The past few months have been chaotic for our family, which is partly to blame (I had a baby--our third--my husband just started a new job with long hours, Christmas break was fantastic but endless). I fully admit to being less rigid with the rules and regs of being a Ruddy, leaving room for the crazy to seep out. I’m sure she’s also acting up to steal back some of the attention from the baby. Whatever the reason it’s definitely come to a head and something has to change. She turned four on Sunday so I’m using that milestone to rein her in, convince her that she’s such a big girl now and that big girls behave differently (i.e. way better). Here’s how I plan to school her:

    Four year olds don’t…

    …call their mothers by their first names. Nora has taken to calling me Ewin Zammett Wuddy and goes

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  • The 'Old-Fashioned' Life Skill I’m Teaching My Kids

    Thank you!
    Do you get many handwritten thank you notes from kids these days? I don’t and I really, really hope they’re not a thing of the past. We’re in an age when kids practically come out of the womb knowing how to email and text; by the time my three are in high school pencils and paper will probably be obsolete. Kids (and by extension parents) are also busier than ever, constantly racing from one activity to the next, iContraptions in hand. Sitting down with a pen to write a personal note seems downright old-fashioned. But it’s such an important skill to have, no? Growing up my mother always had me send personalized thank you notes and though I’m sure I’d groan when she’d make me sit at the kitchen counter and tell Aunt Judy why I love the Lite-Brite or Easy Bake Oven, I came to take pride in my notes. As an adult, I try to write them as often as I can for the little things and always for the big things. Of course my good intentions sometimes get eclipsed by other things on my to-do list so Read More »from The 'Old-Fashioned' Life Skill I’m Teaching My Kids
  • 10 Reasons I'm Not Killing Myself to Lose the Baby Weight

    US WeeklyUS WeeklyThis is not one of those beautiful, poetic odes to the female body and all its child-rearing powers. Yes, pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding (if you choose to do it, which I didn’t — here’s why) are amazing but I do not glance at my stretchmarks and think of my sweet children, I think damn, I’ll never wear a bikini again. I do not grab my muffin top and remember how that muffin top housed my sweet baby girl for nine months, I think, wow, I’d rather not have this gut (I can only imagine what Jay Mohr would say if I forgot to wear spanx!). My body changed and I plan to have it change back. But I’m not sweating it. I had a baby, my third, seven weeks ago. I am squishy and chunky and still have 15 pounds to lose (I gained 35). This is normal. And yet the pressure to lose seems to be on from the moment we give birth. I can’t walk past a newsstand or open my homepage or scroll through my newsfeed without someone telling me how to drop the baby weight--fast! Google “celebs, baby weight”

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  • How One Sandy Hook Hero is Honoring the Lives Lost

    Kaitlin Roig-Debellis. Photo by Michelle BelleFirst grade teacher Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis and her students had just sat down for their morning meeting on December 14, 2012, when the unmistakable sound of gunshots rang out. Roig-DeBellis could tell the blasts were coming from near the entrance of the school, less than 50 feet from where her class sat. Knowing she had only seconds to act, Roig-DeBellis ran to turn out the lights and close the door (the keys were in her desk on the other side of the room so she couldn't lock it). Then she told her students to get into the bathroom. "They looked confused and said, 'what do you mean?' so I just repeated myself with the same firmness and seriousness and they knew they needed to listen," says Roig-DeBellis. "They could tell something was very wrong." She packed her entire class into the tiny three-foot by four-foot space — lifting some kids onto the toilet — barricaded the door with a rolling bookshelf and waited. "Ours is the first classroom you come to after entering the school so the

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  • What It's like to Have Kids After Cancer

    How lucky am I? Today I restart my cancer treatment after being off of it for over nine months. I've had chronic myelogenous leukemia (a slow-moving form of blood cancer) for 12 years and though the disease has been in a deep remission for 10 of those years, I still take meds every day. I am extremely lucky that those meds come in pill form and have almost no side effects for me. Gleevec, a targeted therapy considered a miracle drug for CML patients, was approved by the FDA just six months before I was diagnosed (it brought the CML survival rate from 50 percent to 95 percent — a miracle, indeed). But Gleevec is not a cure, which means I have to stay on it indefinitely. It also means I had to stop treatment and risk my life in order to have children (the drug is not pregnancy safe). I know some of you will think this next part is crazy, but…I did that three times.

    On November 16, I gave birth to my third post-cancer child. When I was diagnosed — at 23 — I didn't know if I'd live five years let alone if

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