Category Archives: Parenting

Babies With Eyebrows Are The Best Kind Of Babies

What’s the point of having a baby if not to draw scraggly, cartoon villain eyebrows on her face? (Yeah, I know there are other reasons to have a baby. Indulge me on this one.) Thanks to all the parents willing to put  black eyeliner little Connor or Emma’s big bald noggin and share it with the rest of us through the Instagram hashtag #BabyEyebrows. But I think that unibrowed baby from “The Simpsons” deserves a little more credit here.  [Instagram.com/lawrentabor via Laughing Squid]

Frisky Q&A: Hip Mama Editor Ariel Gore Talks Parenthood, Abuse & Her New Memoir

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Mother’s Day is when advertising distills motherhood down to home-cooked brunch, a bracelet, or a fragrant bouquet. But for far too many people, the relationship with their mom is a complicated one. Not all mothers have been nurturing and caring; not all daughters and sons have overcome the trauma of their childhoods as adults.  There can be a lot of love in a mother-child relationship, but also a deep well of pain. That’s why The End Of Eve: A Memoir, by Ariel Gore, is the perfect antidote to Mother’s Day.

Several years ago, Gore, who is the editor of Hip Mama magazine, was happily in a relationship with her partner and raising a college-aged daughter and a toddler son, when she got some news. Her narcissistic, emotionally abusive mother, Eve, announced she had cancer.

So, Gore and her family picked up their lives and moved to spend the last couple of years caring for Eve — who, in turn, made everyone’s lives difficult in every possible way, like reporting Gore and her partner to Child Protective Services for (nonexistent) child abuse. But Gore was dedicated to both caring for her sick mom and trying to keep her relationship with her girlfriend together.

As a memoirist, Ariel Gore is gifted: she is able to tell a heartbreaking story of illness and betrayal with the perfect mix of respect, humor and irreverence. I called Gore at home to talk about The End Of Eve, which I absolutely devoured. Our conversation is after the jump!

Keep reading »

Girl Talk: When You’re Not A Mom On Mother’s Day

When You're Not A Mom On Mother's Day

As the song so painfully and beautifully goes, motherless children have a hard time. I am lucky I was not one of those children. And I’m not one of those adults. My mom is in excellent health and we have a close relationship. I’m grateful for that. But as mother’s day approaches, I can’t help but feel that life hasn’t been entirely fair to me where maternity is concerned. That’s because, at 37, I haven’t been lucky enough to give birth. I’m what you might call a childless mother. Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Let’s Talk About The Placenta

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It always amuses me when something concerning pregnancy, birth, or parenting pops up as a “trend.” Odds are, that “trend” has been in practice for ages, but most likely in non-urban, non-privileged, non-U.S. areas. Take, for example, the notion of using midwives to deliver babies over OB-GYNs. Only when it hit Brooklyn and the New York Times Style section covered it, did using a midwife become a trend. Nevermind the fact that midwives remain the only option for maternal health care in much of the developing world! They’re also the preferred choice in places like the UK: midwives perform 80 to 90 percent of all low-risk births in England.

Recently the “trend” of doing stuff with your placenta post-delivery seems to be resurfacing. I say resurfacing because I feel like I’m always hearing stuff about other people’s placentas and what they’re doing with them. From burying them under a tree in the front yard to dehydrating them them into capsules, eating them , or using them as art pieces. Recently, Nick Baines wrote a piece for UK Guardian in which he described in great detail the various ways he ingested his wife’s placenta after the birth of their son. Keep reading »

California Considers Bill To Put More Diaper Changing Stations In Men’s Restrooms

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  • Sounds like a good idea to me. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Brunei, which is located in Southeast Asia, has instituted a penal code which would publicly flog women who have abortions, jail women who get pregnant out of wedlock, and stone to death lesbians and gays. [Feminist.org]
  • A member of the all-female band Warpaint has apologized after saying Beyonce’s new album had her “basically looking like a slut.” [Pitchfork]
  • On the meaning of Lupita Nyong’o's ”Most Beautiful Person” distinction. [The New Yorker] Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: An Interview With Dana Ben-Ari, The Filmmaker Behind “Breastmilk”

"Breastmilk"

Breastfeeding: it’s one of those heated topics of motherhood where everyone has an opinion and they’re not afraid to share it. For me, nursing was just something that was a part of having a baby. I was breastfed, I grew up among women who breastfed, and it was assumed that I would as well when the time came. After a bit of a rocky start, I got the hang of it and had a successful three-year run nursing my son.

Personally, I’m a proponent of breastfeeding, as there are numerous benefits to it for both baby and mother. But I’m also fully aware that we live in a society that is not set up to help support women who want to breastfeed. When debates surrounding breast milk versus formula arise, I’d rather attack the system rather than individuals. That’s why I appreciate the new documentary “Breastmilk” by filmmaker Dana Ben-Ari, which follows a handful of new mothers to learn more about their breastfeeding journey and the challenges they face. There’s no stigma or judgment about choices here. Instead, it’s a refreshing look at breastfeeding in today’s society and the challenges and joys that come along with it.

I had the pleasure of talking to Ben-Ari about the film to learn more. Our conversation, after the jump: Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: My Son’s Long Hair Gets Him Mistaken For A Girl

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My seven-year-old son has hair that many people would kill …  or at least pay an arm and a leg at the salon for: honey blonde with natural ombre highlights, ringlets that cascade down, skimming right above his shoulders. [I have seen photos of Avital's son and his hair is indeed glorious. -- Amelia]

To top it all off, he loves his curls. When he was younger I would trim them just a bit so that he could see (AKA shaggy dog syndrome). But as he grew older, he let it be known that he was super into his curls and refused to cut them. And to be honest? I was kind of thrilled. I loved his hair just as much as he did, and was happy that he wanted to keep it long. We only have a few simple rules if he wants to keep his hair long: It has to be up in a ponytail during hot/humid weather to avoid heat rash, it has to stay out of his eyes (which he accomplishes with various cloth headbands/sweatbands), and it has to be — relatively — knot free.

So, my rough and tumble, soccer playing, LEGO-obsessed, drum-playing seven-year-old still rocks his long curls. And for some reason, it completely throws everyone else off balance. At least once a day, ever since his hair started growing in earnest, my son gets mistaken for a girl without fail. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of feels. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Melanie Notkin, Author Of The Otherhood, On Women Who Want Children But Don’t Have Them Yet

melanie notkin otherhood

The Otherhood: a growing population of educated, professional women in their 30s and 40s who have yet to find love or start a family. In fact, statistics show that almost 50 percent of American women are childless — yet our society still isn’t quite sure how to treat these women, placing all sorts of assumptions and opinions on them without truly understanding their decisions.

Enter Melanie Notkin, the successful founder of Savvy Auntie and a vocal representation of this demographic. Melanie’s new book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind Of Happiness, is part memoir and part reflection, digging deep into world of these women and the challenges they face. Keep reading »

5 Annoying Things Parents Say To People Who Don’t Have Kids

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As a father of three children, it takes quite a bit of teeth-gritting for me to admit that parents can be the most eye-roll-inducing shitbags on the planet. We don’t mean to be. The problem is that we’ve lived life before kids and we’ve lived life with them, whereas our counterparts have only experienced the former. This makes every kid-related topic that comes out of our mouths sound condescending and patronizing. I don’t think most parents understand that, so on behalf of not-spawn-having people everywhere, allow me to tell parents to shut the fuck up when they consider saying the following. Read more on Cracked…

33 Telltale Signs You’re Turning Into Your Mother

33 Telltale Signs You're Turning Into Your Mother

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you’re just going about your daily routine, folding and putting away your underwear or shoving old candy wrappers into your purse, and BAM— you realize you’re becoming your mother. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, but as we get older, and as hard as we may try to avoid the “transition,” it’s inevitable — you will one day morph into your mom. First comes realization, then denial, then questioning/concern, then acceptance. If you exhibit any of the following behaviors, I regret to inform you that you’re already on your way to ugly full-coverage bras and cringing at vulgar Beyoncé lyrics. Keep reading »

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