I so desperately want to tell you about good stuff in the world. Like, Joe, the retired barber who cuts homeless peoples’ hair in exchange for hugs. Let Joe remind you that humans are great sometimes. I wish Joe’s haircuts cancelled out Stephanie Redus’ attempt to unload her toddler son on Craigslist. The 29-year-old Texas mom was charged with “unlawfully intentionally and knowingly” placing her son, Conner Danger Redus, up for adoption. In an ad posted on CL on May 1st, Redus said:
“Hi, I’m trying to adopt out my three year old son. I’m not in a good place in my life and don’t feel like I can care for him properly, but I don’t know where to start. If you or know anyone who is interested in caring for him please let me know. I’m a single mom and can’t do this. Thanks, Desperate.”
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Remember how George Foreman named each of his five sons George? He couldn’t get enough of his own name, I guess. Well, a Brazillian mother of 12 has got him beat by a friggin’ mile. She’s named each of her 15 kids Walter. Like, all of them. Even the girls.
Erotides Brandao promised she’d name her firstborn after her husband Walter — and she did. The girl’s name is Walterlucia. But then Walter got a big head about it, and decided all of his kids would bear his name. Walter died in 2003, but the tradition continues on: all 33 of his grandchildren also have Walter in their names.
And my, did Brandao get creative.
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It’s never too early to start prepping your child to be a beauty queen. At least, that’s what mom-to-be Jenny Oliver thinks. At seven months pregnant, she’s already entered her unborn daughter, tentatively named Ella, into her first Bonnie Baby pageant.
“With my dance skills and her sister Jess’s knowledge of pageants, there’s no way she won’t win the prize for bonniest baby … It was only a tenner to enter her and I believe you should start them young. Ella will do so much better in life with all that experience under her belt … She’s only going to be three months old but she’ll have a bit of fun on the day … Walking down that catwalk with my gorgeous baby will make me feel a million dollars — even though I’ll still be carrying my baby weight and wearing daggy clothes. I hope she wins — it would be fab to have a baby sash and crown to add to the collection. I have so much planned for her.”
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In a New York Post expose that made my stomach turn, I learned that rich, Manhattan mothers have discovered the most despicable way imaginable to bypass long lines at Disney World: hiring disabled people to pose as family members so their precious children don’t have to wait in line.
According to the rules of the theme park, patrons with a wheelchair or motorized scooter can bring up to six guests to a “more convenient entrance.” The only other way to get preferential treatment at Disney World is to purchase a VIP Tour Package for $300-plus an hour, which includes a personal guide and fast passes. But even with the package, the park warns patrons that there “may be a waiting period before boarding.” In comparison, these “black-market Disney guides,” as they’re being called, cost about $130 an hour and are allegedly more efficient when it comes to cutting the line. Keep reading »
When I was pregnant, everyone warned me not to judge myself against other women either positively or negatively. They told me not to compare myself to the Super Moms, the Momzillas or even the Deadbeat Moms. People warned me that once I was a mother there would be some things I would do effortlessly, and others I would fail dismally at.
Largely, I ignored their advice and trusted in my own self-worth and confidence. I was a little older than most of my mom friends and figured that with those extra years came extra wisdom. I instinctually understood that hanging out on online baby forums leads to intense paranoia about teething, and battling it out with anonymous strangers is stupid. I never thought I would succumb to the motherhood comparison game. But in the end, I was wrong. I did judge myself harshly. But it wasn’t against other moms. It was against my own husband. Keep reading »
It has been five-and-a-half months since my dad died and yet it sometimes feels like it hasn’t hit me yet. Even though his ashes are sitting in a box in my apartment. He had been absent from my day-to-day life for years, our interactions limited, at their most intimate, to Skype. Then we stopped talking. And then eight months later, he died. After the initial shock, my day-to-day life didn’t seem to be that different. I was used to not speaking to him, and had long ago resigned myself to not seeing him again. I couldn’t figure out how to grieve. Keep reading »
Last week, The New York Times published a fairly straight forward news piece on the bountiful array of studies conducted here and in other parts of the world that suggest that offering paternity leave to new fathers could actually help stimulate the U.S. economy while also supporting women in their quest for work/life balance. The piece starts off with a brief anecdote from writer Catherine Rampell’s personal experience, about having two relationships come to an end because the men she was dating expressed a desire to see her eventually put aside her career, at least temporarily, should their relationship become so serious that they get married and have children. She writes:
I don’t pretend to know how common this situation is, and how many other young women have found themselves in it. But it clarified not only the choices that future mothers must make about their careers, but also how early in their careers they must begin to think about them. And while fairness and feminism may urge us to find better ways for women to balance work and life — Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter have certainly made impassioned cries — the most convincing argument seems to be an economic one.
The rest Rampell’s piece focuses on how women who hope to have children someday have a better shot at being successful at “leaning in” at work if their male partners are “leaning in” more at home, and are being given the support to do so via things like paternity leave. And, more importantly, should the United States follow in the footsteps of countries like Sweden and Norway and offer paternity leave, it would not only benefit those straight couples who chose to partake in more balanced work-life accommodations, but the economy as a whole. Men would be given the flexibility to spend those precious early weeks with their children, women wouldn’t find putting their careers on the backburner the more financially feasible option, and, by keeping more women in the workforce, the economy would grow. Rampell offers a whole bunch of supporting evidence and, all in all, it is one of the least objectionable pieces I’ve read on the benefits of our society striving towards equality for men and women at work and in the home.
But lo and behold, one person managed to be deeply offended by Rampell’s article: Tom Matlack, the founding editor of The Good Men Project, who published a response called “What’s A Guy To Do?”, which, among other things, calls Rampell’s piece an “attack on dads-at-large.” Say what? Keep reading »
A dad overheard his son talking on the phone about coming out to his parents, and decided to write a pre-emptive letter to his kid, letting him know that he and the entire family supported him no matter what. The letter details that his father knew from the time his son Nate was very young that he was gay, and even makes a total dad “out” joke. If you don’t smile or tear up a little at this, well, maybe you’re a little dead inside. [FCKH8]
Rachel Braaten of Washington was arrested after this video of her giving her 22-month-old son a bong hit surfaced.”I guess it was a joke and a stupid mistake that wasn’t really funny,” the 24-year-old told authorities.
I would strongly, strongly agree with that statement. Never has a joke failed so heinously.Braaten is facing charges for delivering a controlled substance to a minor. Her fiancee Tyler Lee, the child’s father, who was not involved in the incident, facing charges of his own. Lee was arrested for selling marijuna and unlawful possession of a firearm.The 22-month-old and the couple’s 5-year-old child are in custody of the state.
This incident is a grim reminder that there are so many people out there who should not be allowed to reproduce.
Sadly, this is not the first baby bong smoking incident. Back in 2010, Rachel Stieringer was arrested for posting pics of her baby smoking a bong on Facebook. [Huffington Post]
When Crystal Kelley agreed to carry a child for a Connecticut couple, she was expecting a happy ending. The 31-year-old (29 at the time), who had been a surrogate before, enjoyed helping couples with fertility problems. The couple’s frozen embryo was implanted into Kelley’s uterus and the pregnancy took. Everything seemed to be going as planned until Kelley went for her five-month ultrasound. Tests confirmed that the baby had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in the brain, and a complex heart abnormality. This is when everything went to hell in a hand basket.
Considering the findings, the parents felt that the most “humane option” would be for Kelley to consider “pregnancy termination.” Kelley adamantly opposed the idea of terminating the pregnancy.
“They said they didn’t want to bring a baby into the world only for that child to suffer. … They said I should try to be God-like and have mercy on the child and let her go … I told them that they had chosen me to carry and protect this child, and that was exactly what I was going to do … I told them it wasn’t their decision to play God,” Kelley said. Keep reading »