I want my husband to help feed our baby. What I didn't expect was the incredulity people expressed when I told them I wanted my husband to be involved with the feeding of our child and, if that means we supplement with formula, then so be it. This decision has nothing to do with me shirking my duties as a parent, and it's not a way to somehow coerce my husband into more late nights than are his due. I just really want him to share in the fun of feeding time.
The number of American women without children has risen to an all-time high of 1 in 5, a jump since the 1970s when 1 in 10 women ended their childbearing years without having a baby, according to the Pew Research Center. About 1.9 million women aged 40-44 - or 18 percent - were childless in 2008, an 80 percent increase since 1976, when just 580,000 -- 10 percent of those in that age bracket -- had never given birth, the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey shows.
You don't necessarily buy into the theory that men are not nurturing, and that they act like little toddlers when they are sick but expect the exact opposite of their wives. He's a good man, and will do almost anything he's asked. But then, that's it. The asking part.
As family life unfolds, bringing, as it must, shares of both pain and pleasure, I find myself looking for comfort in places I never looked before. I've turned to comfort foods and the comfort of cooking, the comfort of sex with my husband of 22 years, and the comfort of good friends. I've rediscovered the comforts of music to calm my soul, books that speak to my scrambled emotions, and films and television programs that help to settle sadness. A noisy restaurant, and even occasional strangers have also offered unexpected comforts. I thought I knew by now everything that could bring me comfort, but it seems there's a source I've been overlooking—the comfort of my kids.
Self-improvement and I are old pals. At age 11, I decided to fix my thighs (aerobics); at 19, to fix my soul (daily mass). In my 30s, I vowed to fix my mothering (support group, too many books). I've spent considerable hours of my life delving into self-actualization, mindful growth, claiming my authenticity, expanding my horizons, seeking enlightenment, making positive affirmations, eating and being in some zone, and twelve-stepping to some new place that was always just another plateau. I took classes, joined support groups, journaled for peak performance. Then I realized that if I didn't stop the manic frenzy of trying to better myself, at age 95 I'd likely still never know the secret. Lately, I began to ask myself why was I behaving as if only the new, improved person I would someday be, mattered more than the me I was, the me I am, now? What was I showing my kids about judging oneself too harshly, about dissatisfaction as a default mindset? And did I really want my husband to think I wasn't pretty terrific as is? I decided to knock it off.
We asked some of the top love experts to give the final word on the most-asked relationship and dating questions. In this episode of "The Final Word," Ian Kerner, Evan Marc Katz, Debra Burrell and Andrea Syrtash give advice on how to deal with an intrusive mother-in-law.
I determined that I wanted to be a writer when I was 5. At about the same time, I decided that I would also be a mother. 22 years later, I still wanted to be a writer... and a mother. And more than anything else, I wanted to be home to raise my children. So my husband and I sat down and hashed out how we could keep me at home full-time without going bankrupt, going into foreclosure, becoming homeless and perhaps resorting to cannibalism.
Six weeks ago, I was cruising through my happily-ever-after in a mid-size SUV. I had one foot planted in soccer mom territory, the other firmly in "I’m still the cool chick I was before I had kids" land. My vehicle reflected this. But five weeks and three days ago came the news that the stork had us on his spring delivery schedule. This is when my husband suggested the mini-van.
I recognize that parenthood is a journey filled with responsibility and challenges far greater than political quibbling. I also realize, that in the end, the political choices of our child are not up to us, but up to that squirming little fetus, who is currently making me puke and want to eat jars and jars of caramel ice cream topping. And yet, I am worried about what we will teach our child about conflict and resolution though our political wranglings. Will our child grow up to be polarized? Afraid of confrontation? Apathetic? Or will our child learn to build consensus and disagree with respect and love?
Famed mommy blogger Heather Armstrong—better known as Dooce—recently wrote about the reasons behind the dwindling coverage of her older daughter on her blog. She mentioned that her daughter had been squeamish lately about getting her photo taken, and also wrote that she now asks for her daughter's permission before mentioning her on the blog. It brings to mind questions that have been swirling around the blogosphere for awhile now: Do parenting bloggers compromise their chidren's safety by revealing so much online? Is this type of blogging exploitative? How much is too much, and where should we draw the line?
How do you react when your mother gives you advice about your relationship? Kate Reardon set up TopTips.com TopTips.com so that we could all benefit from mothers' advice, even if those mothers are not our actual relations. The second book of tips from the site is called Your Mother Was Right: All The Great Advice You Tried To Forget, here are a few Reardon's favorite relationship tips:
We recently wrote about a study in which researchers found that divorce may run in the family. This study focused on the influence of siblings rather than parents, but that's probably because the parent-child connection is already so obvious. Of course children will model the relationships they've seen growing up. Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He's Just Not Your Type and That's a Good Thing, is writing a book about marriage, and this is one of the many areas she's doing research on. If you'd like to weigh in and be quoted in her latest book, tell us below: How is your marriage different from your mother's? And is that a good or a bad thing?
Our sister blog—Love Buzz—previously ran a number of Twitter Top 10 lists. Those lists told you who to follow for sex advice, dating advice and more. They cut out the riffraff and presented you with the awesome. Well. We thought it was about time that, here at LoveMom, we shared the goods on the coolest moms and dads on Twitter. Because—when it comes to parenting—we could all use someone to reach out to every once in awhile, even if it's only virtually.