Becoming a father and stay-at-home dad puts a strain on a couple's marriage. "Even though we split many of the chores involved in caring for our son, my best energy, both physically and mentally, was going to our baby; my wife was getting the leftovers. She was understandably frustrated, but we both assumed it was just the natural process for a newborn. After a while, though, the position became untenable."
A father imagines his daughter's future boyfriends. "My elder daughter, who's 12, is just beginning to show an interest in boys, and since it's every man's dream to have his little princess marry a guy just like her father, I'm trying to craft a personal ad to attract the ideal candidate. Though my daughter's dating debut is 10 years down the line (at least), I find that I have a problem: I am horrified by the man I envision her with. Because, in reality, who the heck would date me? Then again, the kid could do worse..."
His girlfriend's mother had Alzheimer's; visiting her allowed him to comfort them both. "When Anne first asked me to join her on one of her weekly visits I agreed, thinking that we would pop in and say "Hi" to a confused old woman, chat for a few minutes and be on our way. Instead, I witnessed the change in the relationship between parent and child."
Since there have been mothers, they've been doling out advice to their children on what to eat, how to behave, and when that long-overdue haircut is urgently needed. When it comes to love, some mothers adopt a strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy while others find themselves privvy to all of their offsprings' relationship secrets.
This isn't another story about the current state of a mother's breasts, the kind that—if you've never had kids—makes you decide right there and then that you will not be nursing any future children. Solely because you can't imagine ever describing your own breasts as "saggy," "lifeless," or "uneven." This is, however, a story of ownership. From one relationship stage to the next, these breasts seem have fallen under someone's else's domain—except my own.
"The childbirth books speak of diminished desire post-birth and suggest lubrication, but nobody talks about the other possibility. What if sex were better? What if all of the inhibitions and disparaging thoughts that once filled our heads fled? What if the very act of childbirth forced them out?" How one couple's sex life improved after they had a baby.
A couple weeks ago I addressed the issue of a woman changing her name when she marries. I expressed that although I don't plan to change my name when I get hitched this summer, I respect and appreciate every woman's right to choose what's best for her. I reject the notion some have expressed that when a woman takes her husband's last name she's giving up her identity.
The past 25 years have left women's plates increasingly—some might argue, precariously—overloaded, as they try to keep healthy portions of career, love and family. In her upcoming new book, "In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures In Finding Love, Commitment, And Motherhood," New York City journalist Rachel Lehmann-Haupt explores the expanding buffet of choices that exist for women hoping to "have it all" today.
Studies say that the quality of a marriage drops when a couple has kids, and rises when the children leave the nest. But, says one woman, if would-be-parents plan in advance, they might be able to avoid ruining your marriage. In fact, mom and dad might both end up loving the baby more than they love each other—and that's OK.
Oprah Winfrey's resident sex doctor, Dr. Laura Berman encourages parents to embrace their children's sexuality and even encourage it. A stoic-faced Berman told the rows of moms sitting in the audience yesterday, where the topic was How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, that the ripe, old age of 13 or 14 is way too late to have the "big sex talk." Instead she guesses around 9 or 10 is appropriate. She even suggests mothers buy their teenage daughter a vibrator. To empower them, of course. "You're teaching them about their own body and pleasuring themselves and taking the reins of their own sexuality so that they don't ever have to depend on any other teenage boy to do it for them," Dr. Berman says. We saw that grimace you just gave the computer screen. We feel you, reader. The thought of our mothers gifting us a pocket rocket isnt anything that would've made us any more sexually balanced as a teen. In fact, we probably would've been less likely to use it, but Berman is intent that parents evolve with the times and strip away anytaboo when it comes to sex. Specifically sex toys.
According to a recent study by scientists at the University of Queensland, a Hugh Hefner-aged father may actually be detrimental to the child's cognitive abilities. Out of a pool of 33, 000 children it was found that those with the oldest fathers consistently scored lower on intelligence tests. Unfortunately, no exact age was pinpointed as too old. Rather, the scientists just witnessed a general decline with more mature dads—66 being the oldest father in the study. While, yes, the reasons behind a low IQ score could most certainly be blamed on a myriad of factors, researcher Professor John McGrath said the results were "startling" and goes so far as to say the age of the father is as important as the age of the mother. While we always thought of sperm as evergreen, new research proves that older men "accumulate more mutations" in their swimmers as they age.
Last night I had a drink (okay, we had three) with my ex-fiance’s mother—she had called me previous to her coming into town and has asked if I wanted to meet up. When I told a few friends that I was planning on meeting her for drinks, a couple thought I was a little nutty. One friend said, “I would advise against that. People lose things that mean a lot to them when break ups happen, but moving on does not mean keeping the ex’s mother in your life.” When I explained that she was much more to me than my ex’s mother, and that the relationship we hoped to maintain was about friendship, and one that had nothing to do with HIM, he softened. Still, though I was 99% excited to see her, a small part of me was nervous—would we end up talking about my ex? What if I was to find something out that would hurt me? Would hurt to see her and be reminded that she could ONLY be my friend and not my mother-in-law?
Ah the mother-in-law. She loves her son and wants what's best for him, which may or may not include you. A study by a British psychologist found that 60% of women felt tension with their mothers-in-law, compared with 15% of men. But not all MIL relationships are strained. This week's New York Times Modern Love essayist tells of her incredible relationship with her lover's mother. Then there are the famous MIL relationships: Barack Obama's mother-in-law may be moving into the White House, and Heidi Montag's mom thinks marrying Spencer Pratt was a bad idea. Read the full article to find out how to ease conflict with a mother-in-law.
After the birth of her daughter, one woman learns how to come to terms with her mother-in-law: "With the birth of my daughter came the clarity to see why I rebuffed her: I did not want my mother-in-law to replace my mother. That hole in my heart was purposefully empty, a placeholder for the mother I couldn't have. My immature behavior was stuck back in my 23-year-old mind, the one that lost her parent far too young… It took gaining a daughter to find a mother—not the one I was originally given, but a supportive, giving parental figure nonetheless."