I always thought I would make a great mom to a little girl. As a fairly girly girl, I always just assumed mothering a girl would come naturally. But, I'm not a mom to a girl, I'm a mom to a boy. A very young, very impressionable little boy, who I know learns something from each and every one of our interactions. I often find myself questioning what I want him to know about traditional gender roles, wondering if it's okay for him to play with that pink starfish or if I'm encouraging him to be girly by baking with him and reading to him so often. It's absolutely ridiculous, but it really is a result of the societal constructions I grew up with--American ideals paired with Latino machismo. I find myself correcting my own thinking and consulting with my husband A LOT about what is and isn't okay for a little boy--about what we want to teach him about being a man.
Before having babies, I thought I knew what parenting was all about. Boy, was I naïve and pompous? If I could go back in time, I'd probably slap and shake myself. I thought that parenting would be easy. Not easy like sitting on a beach in Aruba drinking appletinis, no, but I knew there would be some work and sacrifice. I knew there would be an adjustment period to get into a rhythm. I had no idea that adjustment period would be forever.
Here are five lies, like the one above, we believe about parenting before having children.Continue Reading >
This year my daughter started elementary school and the next thing I knew it was time for my first parent-teacher conference. WHOA! How did that happen so quickly? I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous. I guess that is not surprising, but what was surprising to me was that at first I was nervous for myself, not my kid. What the heck does one wear to a parent-teacher conference that conveys, I'm a responsible parent with a sense of style who isn't trying too hard? Heck if I know, honestly I can't even tell you what I wore because I don't remember. But I do remember how terrifying I found the experience.Continue Reading >
Why do people who don't have children feel it's their civic duty to pass judgment and criticize those of us who are parents? There are no manuals. Parenthood is strictly on the job training. I read an article written by a 45-year-old woman who referred to herself as "childless," even while writing the post about her stepson and daughter-in-law. She boldly said that even though she is "childless" she's got more childcare experience than her stepson and daughter-in-law. Maybe she does. But babysitting and being a mother are two very different things. She continued berating her daughter-in-law for being in awe of "every single thing the child does" finding her parenting style to be "exhausting."Continue Reading >
As my first year of motherhood came to a close a few months ago, I keep thinking of things I would have done differently or things I wish someone would have told me before I became a mom. The only regret I actually have is that I spent so much of my son's first year of life stressing out about things that ultimately mattered very little. Here are six rules to help keep you from having the same regret:Continue Reading >
You know what no one ever tells you when you're pregnant? How exactly you're supposed to keep a small child entertained for hours upon hours every day. Sure, they nap and they eat, but after the first six weeks or so, they become a lot more like tiny humans. And humans need entertaining--just ask the creators of cable television and the internet.
Whether you're a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time working mom with just a few days to fill, the prospect of spending 12 or so hours a day engaging your tiny companion can be overwhelming. So, here are a few fun ideas to fill the time:Continue Reading >
Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead, as it's called in English, is one of my favorite Latino celebrations. I love the idea of celebrating those who are no longer with us. Dia de Muertos gives me the opportunity to talk to my kids about death in a way that's not super sad or scary and it allows me to teach them even more about my beloved father, who left us way before they were born.Continue Reading >
As new moms, women are often inundated with advice and tips from well-meaning friends and relatives, and oftentimes that advice directly contradicts what we hear from pediatricians and other parenting professionals. Needless to say, figuring out the best way to take care of your baby can be pretty confusing. Now, I will say that I don't always think pediatricians get it right--a mother's intuition is worth its weight in gold, and ultimately how you feel about a certain course of action is probably the most important factor. However, there are some parenting myths and old wives tales that needlessly cause a lot of worry for first-time moms. Here are five of them and why you shouldn't let them stress you out:Continue Reading >
As a first-time mom it can be tough to remember all the gear you may need on even the shortest outings. A lot of us either end up packing practically the entire nursery or forgetting some of the most important items--sometimes, we even pack up nearly every thing and still wind up forgetting something, like, oh ... diapers. But never fear, your diaper bag doesn't have to weigh more than your baby if you simply pare your haul down to just the essentials. Check out our cheat sheet below:Continue Reading >
Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, back-to-school is an important time to teach your child about staying safe while they are away from you. Everything from traffic to playgrounds and stranger danger, becomes an issue during school days, but you don't have to be paranoid. Instead, just be prepared--and make sure your kiddos are too! Here are seven tips to make sure they're protected before, during and after school:Continue Reading >