Does Motherhood Make Us Mean?

shutterstock_184064648I once participated in a perception exercise with 19 coworkers as part of a team-building program. We were each given 19 small pieces of paper and asked to anonymously describe each fellow employee with a single adjective. The tiny papers were then collected and distributed face down to their rightful new owners.

Carefully situating each 3×3 paper into a perfect pile, I wondered what these folks — the people I saw more than my own friends — thought of me.

I anxiously flipped over the first perception: “Nice.”

Nice. I could live with nice. I was nice. I flipped over the second perception: Nice. The third: Nice. And the “nice” continued 13 more times, followed by one “sweet,” one “helpful,” and one “always friendly.”

I’ll admit I was proud of myself. I’d somehow managed to stay nice in a professional environment that was anything but. And I suppose if I had to describe myself in one word, I’d use the same. I may not have been the smartest or the boldest, the prettiest or the cleverest, but I was always, always nice.

That was, until I became a mom.

With a baby on my hip I wasn’t as nice as I used to be. I found myself easily irritated, resentful, selfish with my time, and if I’m being completely honest, maybe even a little bitter. Me, bitter. [read more…]

10 Ways Parents Have it Easier, According to Kids

shutterstock_199904957“I can’t wait to be grown up!” my 7-year-old grumbled while putting the finishing touches on his famous American project.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because grownups have it easier.”

Oh honey, if you only knew. Just as I opened my mouth to launch into the whole “you don’t know how good you kids have it” speech, I remembered thinking the same thing as a kid. My parents were people who worked hard, sure, but they were also people who got to do what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted. And really, isn’t that trifecta of adult awesomeness enough to convince any kid they got the raw end of the deal?

Right or wrong, in the minds of kids, the struggle is real. Take a look at 10 ways kids think parents have it way easier than they do.

I Let My Kids Fight It Out for a Week and This Is What Happened

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Author Pamela Dugdale once said, “Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.” “Quite often the hard way,” is right. I have two sons who can’t seem to stop fighting. They love each other, sure, but not half […]

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10 (Sometimes Crazy) Thoughts I Had When My Husband Went Away

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I don’t have a husband who travels for business, or pleasure, or really ever travels at all. In the more than 20 years we’ve been together, we’ve never even had reason or opportunity to be apart for more than five days. So when he decided to return home to the Philippines for the first time […]

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8 Movies Your Tween Won’t Be (Too) Embarrassed to Watch with You on Valentine’s Day

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Who says Valentine’s Day is only for couples? In our household, we celebrate the big day ‘o love as a family. And this year, now that my tween is better able to understand romantic love, I’m planning a family movie marathon centered exclusively around the joy (and heartbreak) of first love. Take a look at […]

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6 Reasons I Don’t Wear My Wedding Ring

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“Where’s your wedding ring?” my girlfriend asked as we compared thrashed mom-icures, “Don’t tell me you lost it!” “I didn’t lose it, I just never wear it,” I explained, “I guess I just don’t care about it that much.” “Don’t care about it that much? That’s your wedding ring! It’s sacred! I never take mine […]

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I’m Afraid to Start Having Babies (Again)

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Three days ago I decided I was ready for another baby. Then yesterday I changed my mind. Today I feel indifferent. And that’s only the last three days, folks. This yes-no-maybe so baby pendulum has been swinging back and forth for a couple of years now. Unless you’ve been living under a pile of laundry […]

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6 Ways I Want to Parent More Like a Grandparent

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As a parenting blogger, I spend a lot of time thinking — really thinking — about parenting. Am I doing it right? Do I like what I see through my children’s mirror eyes? Sometimes the answer is “yes” and I pat myself on the back. Other times the answer is “not so much.” It’s those times […]

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My Husband and I Went on Three Dates in Three Days

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It’s not often my husband and I get a break from the kids. In our tenure as parents, we’ve hired a babysitter a grand total of one time, reserving the balance of our limited childfree adventures for family members. So when my parents offered to take the kids for three nights over their holiday break, […]

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6 Rules for Tween Moviegoing Without Mom and Dad

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As much as I’d like to believe that my 11-year-old is still a little boy, he’s growing up. He’s eager to take on new responsibilities and venture out on his own with his friends, so I’m tasked with learning how to let go while fostering his independence in age-appropriate ways. When my son asked if […]

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