Profile for Avital Norman Nathman

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Mommie Dearest: Some Thoughts For Blake Lively On “Preserving” Her Pregnancy

Mommie Dearest: Some Thoughts For Blake Lively On "Preserving" Her Pregnancy

If you haven’t heard already, let me be the one to fill you in: Blake Lively is pregnant! Lively, an actress and Martha Stewart wannabe (without the jail time, one hopes), announced her pregnancy via her lifestyle website Preserve. I’m actually fairly surprised that no media outlet hasn’t jumped all over writing “Will Blake Lively be able to ‘Preserve’ her body post-baby?” but sadly, such double entendre headlines are most likely around the corner.

Preserve serves up a wistful, dreamy, fanciful, and 99 percent unattainable aesthetic, unless you happen to have an extra $150 to spend on pants that look like an upside down sweatshirt or want to drop $65 on something that looks like it was made by my 2nd grade son. And, I have a sneaking suspicion that all things pregnancy will be treated similarly. But here’s the thing: pregnancy isn’t all that dreamy and fanciful. Sure, you can take some heavily filtered but no less gorgeous photos of you cupping the new life inside of you with the sun shining down, but that’s not really representative of pregnancy as a whole. And when you think about it, I can understand why. Nobody wants to talk about the not-so-perfect parts of pregnancy. Nobody wants to talk about the icky, weird, or strange parts. Nobody wants to preserve those parts. But, just in case, I’ll share a few so we can get a balanced look at what pregnancy is really like. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: So-Called Overprotective Dads Are Doing Their Daughters No Favors

Mommie Dearest: So-Called Overprotective Dads Are Doing Their Daughters No Favors

A tale as old as time. A so-called overprotective father writes an extreme list of demands for dating his (currently only 2-year-old) daughter, and it goes viral. Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell took to his public Facebook page to rant about all the things he’ll do to any potential suitor that may take a liking to his little girl. Among the challenges Luttrell would pose to any future Romeo:

  • Make him contact all the toughest dads that he knows — MMA fighters, boxers, police officers, firefighters and police guards – to get their blessing to date his daughter.
  • Make him meet Luttrell’s teammates to get their blessing, while being introduced to their armory (aka scare the shit out of some kid with a bunch of guns). Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Your Kids Need To Know About Consent Long Before They Head To College

MD sexual assault
Teach Boys Not To Rape
On Steubenville High School and teaching boys not to rape. Read More »

Talking about sexual assault is never an easy thing. But as a parent, it’s crucial to find ways to talk to your children about it. Lately, there’s been a lot of attention focused on campus rape and sexual assault, and with good reason. Many colleges have been called out (and even sued) for not taking the right steps in handling sexual assaults that take place on campus, which has sparked the Campus Accountability and Safety Act bipartisan bill that could improve the way colleges deal with sexual violence.

What’s a parent to do? It can be difficult to figure out where to start with all of this, especially in talking about it to our own children. Recently, there have been a few resources that parents may want to look into. In hopes of providing a jumping off point for folks to discuss sexual assault,the White House recently unveiled their It’s On Us campaign, using videos of celebrities taking the pledge to keep women and men safe from sexual assault. The idea sounds really great and revolutionary at first glance — celebs like Jon Hamm, Connie Britton, and Questlove all standing up against sexual assault. The heart of the campaign is in the right place. But the execution leaves a bit to be desired. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: On Adrian Peterson, Discipline & Child Abuse

MD Adrian Peterson

Growing up, I was occasionally threatened with “the belt,” or asked if I wanted a “patch on my tuchus” whenever I behaved extra naughty. But that’s all they were — threats. Instead, my parents sent me to my room, took away prized privileges, or assigned me extra chores. Now, with my own son, there aren’t even threats. There are other methods of discipline that are more than effective for us so I don’t need to hit, whip or spank my son in order to get him to behave.

I’ve never quite understood the idea of corporal punishment as a method of discipline. In my mind, discipline is used in order to shape good behavior while eliminating bad behavior. In the best case scenario, inflicting pain as punishment, especially when used on young children who may not quite understand what is going on, breeds fear and resentment. In the worst case scenario, it breeds the notion that physical violence is acceptable. In fact, studies have shown that the use of physical punishment actually increases violent behavior in children.

But what if your defense is that you beat your child out of love? Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: On Breastfeeding In Bars

MD baby beer
Drunk Mom
drunk mom jowita bydlowska
Jowita Bydlowska on alcoholism, parenthood and writing. Read More »

Sometimes it feels like moms who breastfeed in public can’t catch a break. Or, in the case of a Virginia mother, a few sips of beer.

A woman identified as “Crystal” was thrown out of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill for drinking a beer while she nursed her baby. Crystal says she only had one sip before beginning to feed her 11-month old and was going to drink the rest once she finished nursing. Before she was able to, however, a handful of other customers complained and she was asked to leave the restaurant by management. According to the bar’s co-owner, Jeff Leroy (who was not present at the time of the incident), the issue was less with the breastfeeding and more about the drinking of alcohol. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: How Not To Get Suspended

suspended 090314

It’s back-to-school time for everybody from preschoolers to college students and you can’t throw a No. 2 pencil without hitting some advice on promoting academic success. Create routine! Eat properly! Get enough sleep! These are all well-intentioned suggestions we hear repeatedly. But I’m here to offer up one more nugget of educational guidance:

Don’t get suspended.

Sounds logical, and probably rather obvious, but what’s not so obvious are all the reasons that might cause you to be suspended this upcoming school year***: Keep reading »

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