Can I make a confession? Every year on my son’s birthday, I try to steal a moment and give myself a little pat on the back. For the excruciating hours I labored in the delivery room. For all the soupy, smelly diapers I’ve changed. For the countless books and articles I’ve read so I could be a better parent. For the long nights spent rocking him back to sleep. As much as I love being a mom — and I very much do — it’s not the easiest gig out there, and I think there’s something to be said for acknowledging the hard work every now and then.
Pampers Japan is right there with me and devoted an entire commercial to us mothers (h/t Huffington Post). In the tearjerker of an ad, we see moms taking their babies for their first-year checkup. They talk frankly to the pediatrician about their child’s progress but also about their first year as a mom. “I was so unsure when she was first born,” one woman says. “I’d worry myself to tears almost every day.” Another wondered, “Am I doing this right?” (Sound familiar?)
But more interesting than that were the goings-on in the hall outside the doctor’s office. Dads were setting up a surprise party, but the guest of honor wasn’t their newly minted one-year-old. It was mom, who was also celebrating her first year as a parent. There was cake, yes, but also (and here’s where I start bawling) photos and signs celebrating them and their commitment to their families. “I almost cried when you first said ‘hello’ to our son,” one dad wrote on a sign. “Thank you for deciding to do this,” wrote another.
Grab the tissues and watch the full video below. (And be sure to turn on the video captions, unless you speak Japanese.)
Tell us: How has motherhood been for you so far? What has surprised you the most?
California dads on diaper duty may have to fend for themselves for now, but life just got a little easier for nursing moms there. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that requires all of the state’s major airports to offer a private room for moms to breastfeed or pump, reports ABC10 News.
By 2016, all airports that serve 1 million passengers or more a year must offer breastfeeding women rooms with a chair and an electrical outlet for the pump. New terminals must provide all of that plus sinks. Right now, the only airport that has such comforts is San Francisco International.
Personally, I think this mandate is a big win for nursing moms, who as of late have been booted out of stores, given flack at work, and even censored on Facebook for (gasp!) feeding their babies in public. Laws like this one aim to give us the privacy we need to perform this most natural of jobs. “This is not something they want to do in bathroom stalls,” Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, the bill’s sponsor, has said of nursing. (Truth.) “This is just one more added protection for mothers with new babies to continue breastfeeding in a comfortable place while they’re on the road, while they’re traveling.”
Tell us: What do you think about California’s new law? Do you think it will inspire other states to do the same?
The Clinton entourage just got a little bigger — former first daughter Chelsea gave birth to a baby girl Friday night, reports the New York Post. The new momtook to Twitter to share the happy news with her followers, writing, “Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.”
This is the first child for the Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky and the first grandchild for Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have made no secret of how excited they are to become grandparents. On Sunday, the former president told CNN, “I can’t wait. We’re on watch now. I hope by the first of October I’ll be a grandfather.”
Chelsea was busy right up until the delivery. Earlier this week, the very pregnant mom-to-be was at the Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City, along with guests including President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sting and ”Late Night” host Seth Meyers. Although the event’s focus was on the environment, Chelsea’s bump stole some of the spotlight. The president jokingly offered her use of his motorcade to navigate New York City’s traffic in case she went into labor, ABC reported. And Meyers joked that the famous family doesn’t care if the baby was a boy or girl, “as long as it’s a swing voter.”
Congratulations to the happy family!
Tell us: Did you work right up until your delivery?
I never gave Sweden much thought until I got pregnant. As I was negotiating my maternity leave — and trying to figure out just how long I could afford to go without a paycheck — the cold reality of being a working parent in this country hit me. Instead of lusting over fancy cribs or cute onesies, I’d read with great envy the generous leave policies in other countries. Fifty-two weeks in Australia! A full year in Serbia — even with baby number two! An astounding 480 days off in Sweden!
Of course, it’s no secret that when it comes to paid maternity leave, the United States lags behind most other nations. The most Washington is able to offer many of us working moms and dads is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows you to take up to 12 weeks — unpaid — to be with baby after she’s born. Still, many people aren’t able to go without a paycheck that long and end up having to cut their leave short. And the picture is even bleaker for if you have a sick baby. You need to be with your child but you also need the money and benefits of a steady job. Considering that in most homes, both parents work — in almost three out of five married families, according to the U.S. Department Of Labor – it’s astonishing that our workplaces aren’t offering many moms and dads the guaranteed flexibility they need.
A new video and social media campaign created by the DOL hopes to shine a light on the need for paid leave laws, both on the state and federal level. It comes hot on the heels of this summer’s White House Summit on Working Families, which was also designed to give lawmakers a wake-up call to the issue. Both are a step in the right direction, but as the video below shows, much more needs to be done. But don’t take my word for it — watch it below:
Tell us: Were you satisfied with the amount of maternity leave you were given? Did you end up taking any unpaid time off?
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s baby girl has arrived! The Jersey Shore star and her fiance, Jionni LaValle, shared the happy news this morning on Twitter:
So happy to let you know we had our beautiful daughter this morning Giovanna Marie LaValle. 6.7 lbs, full head of black hair & perfect
Snooki’s been sharing her pregnancy journey from the very beginning, from the pregnancy announcement to her surprise gender reveal video to her dedication to a fit, healthy pregnancy to the funny things her little meatball was doing in the womb (did you see that sonogram picture?!). We’re thrilled that baby Giovanna is finally here!
Congrats to the happy new family of four!
Get more details about the baby name Snooki and Jionni picked at our sister blog, In Name Only.