Monday, December 9th, 2013
I was talking to a pregnant friend, and she was saying that she wished there was a way to know if she was really ready to be a mom. I’m not sure if you’re ever really ready—even after you have kids!
I was reminded of this funny “Test for Future Parents” that has been circulating the internet, which supposedly tells women and their partners whether they’re really ready to become moms and dads. Author Colin Falconer has come up with 14 steps to follow before you have children in order to know if you can handle being a parent. They were originally printed in his book, A Beginners Guide to Fatherhood back in 1992. Ten years later, it went viral, and it’s been circulating on mom blogs for the last year!
I couldn’t resist sharing. Of course it’s not to be taken too seriously. BUT as a mom of a 16 month old, I will say it hits very close to home. You be the judge.
Test 1: Preparation
Women: To prepare for pregnancy
1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5 percent of the beans.
Men: To prepare for children
1. Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.
Test 2: Knowledge
Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild.
Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior.
Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.
Now take Parents’ quiz: What’s Your Pregnancy IQ?
Test 3: Nights
To discover how the nights will feel:
1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-13 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
4. Set the alarm for 3am.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
6. Go to bed at 2.45am.
7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
10. Make breakfast.
Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.
For real advice, check out our Age-by-Age Sleep Training Guide.
Test 4: Dressing Small Children
1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hangout.
Time Allowed: 5 minutes.
Test 5: Cars
1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door wagon.
2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
4. Take a box of chocolate cookies; mash them into the back seat.
5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Test 6: Going for a walk
b. Go out the front door.
c. Come back in again.
d. Go out.
e. Come back in again.
f. Go out again.
g. Walk down the front path.
h. Walk back up it.
i. Walk down it again.
j. Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
k. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least six questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
l. Retrace your steps.
m. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
n. Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.
Test 7: Conversations with children
Repeat everything you say at least five times.
Test 8: Grocery Shopping
1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
Test 9: Feeding a 1 year old
1. Hollow out a melon
2. Make a small hole in the side
3. Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
4. Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
6. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.
Now read our Age-by-Age Guide to Starting Solid Foods.
Test 10: TV
1. Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.
2. Watch nothing else on television for at least five years.
Find out the definitive answer on kids’ TV habits here: Is TV Really That Bad?
Test 11: Mess
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
4. Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor and proceed with step 5.
5. Drag randomly items from one room to another room and leave them there.
Test 12: Long Trips with Toddlers
1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mommy’ repeatedly. Important Notes: No more than a four second delay between each Mommy. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
2. Play this tin your car, everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mommy recording listed above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
Test 14: Getting ready for work
1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
2. Put on your finest work attire.
3. Take a cup of cream and put one cup of lemon juice in it.
5. Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt.
6. Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture.
7. Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel.
8. Do not change (you have no time).
9. Go directly to work.
You are now ready to have children. ENJOY!
TELL US: If this was a real parent-to-be quiz, do you think you’d pass it?
Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Sure, over the years you’ve fantasized about having a doctor as hot as Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. McDreamy or Dr. McSteamy. But most doctors don’t look that good in real life, right? Well, apparently in Chile they do!
Manuel Rico, this sexy 24-year-old OB-GYN internist—who is originally from Spain, but in Chile to finish his studies—has the women in Concepción, Chile, thinking about conception all right! After the Region of Conception Hospital made a formal press announcement about him joining its team of doctors, women have flocked to the practice in unheard of numbers. Um, can you blame them? He was actually named 2010’s King of Beauty (whatever that is!) in his home country of Spain. Now the story has gone viral, even getting Buzzfeed’s attention.
I understand the appeal—obviously, I have eyes!—but I also have to say that having someone so handsome that close to my nether regions on a regular basis might just cause a whole new set of problems! I mean, who wants to have to worry about “looking good” down there, when you’re going for a check up? Or having to dress up to go to the doctor when you’re 9 months pregnant and ready to pop?
And for the single ladies, who aren’t pregnant? Fuggedaboutit! How could you sit there and talk about your sexual history with someone you’ve been daydreaming about jumping into bed with? It’s all too much pressure, if you ask me! I’ll stick to my female OB-GYN, thank you very much!
TELL US: Would you go to a hot OB-GYN or would it make you uncomfortable?
NEXT: Find out if you’re having a boy or a girl!
Image of Manuel Rico via Facebook.
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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
This is proof that a mama-to-be is a total warrior and can—and will—do anything to save her baby! While the Philippines was being ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan’s 20-foot storm surges and winds that went up to 170 miles per hour, a 21-year-old pregnant woman was swimming for her life, and that of her soon-to-be daughter’s.
Emily Ortega was in an evacuation center all by herself (her husband was away in the Philippines’ capital of Manila), when the storm flooded her city of Tacloban and the evacuation center she was staying in. The waters picked her up, but she fought back, swimming her hardest and clinging to a post so she would not be washed away and drowned like the 10,000 victims feared to be killed by the typhoon.
I can’t even imagine the panic that must have been running through her entire body. Feeling the water rising, the natural pull of it, taking her further and further from safety. What must have been running through her mind—the fears, the prayers. But she had to put that all aside to concentrate on her precious cargo, and what she needed to do to get them both to safety.
Emily managed to maneuver her way to a dilapidated airport—where her labor was assisted by military medics. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, named Bea (as a dedication to Emily’s mom, who is still missing). Baby Bea’s middle name is appropriately enough, Joy, because when she was born, survivors of the typhoon cheered. It was as if her birth was a beacon of hope, a sign of rebirth, and a start to the rebuilding that will take years for the Philippines to fully recover. More than 9 million people have been affected by the storm, according to the United Nations, and more than 660,000 have been displaced.
But in the midst of all of that devastation, Emily and her husband have their little bundle of Joy to be thankful for; their own little miracle.
If you’d like to help those in need in the Philippines, you can donate to the Salvation Army here or Unicef here.
TELL US: Do you think you would have been as strong as Emily during a typhoon? Do you have loved ones who may have been affected by the disaster in the Philippines?
Image of collage courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, childbirth, Emily Ortega, Miracle baby, natural disaster, Philippines, pregnant, Tacloban, Typhoon, Typhoon Haiyan | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News
Friday, October 11th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, your OB tells you all of the things that you can’t eat—and soft, unpasteurized cheeses are right at the top of the list. As my doctor was running down the list of noshing no-nos, I wondered, How bad could cheese really be for you? But being the goody-goody, by-the-books type I would never break the rules if it could possibly harm my little peanut. So I said buh-bye to my beloved Brie, Feta and Queso Fresco.
Now after reading this horrifying piece in The Daily Mail, I’m so glad I didn’t take the risk. Twenty-five-year-old mom-to-be Vanessa White from Las Vegas is thought to have contracted tuberculosis after eating unpasteurized cheese from abroad, which caused her to go into premature labor. And now for the really sad news: She and both of her daughters ended up dying. Because. Of. Cheese!
How could someone die from dairy? It sounds impossible, mind-blowing even. Well, it truly is dangerous. Unpasteurized soft cheeses may contain dangerous bacteria including the one that can cause fatal tuberculosis, and another one called Listeria, which can cross over into the placenta and lead to infections or blood poisoning in the baby, or even miscarriage.
If you don’t know much about listeria, get educated now! According to the FDA, symptoms of Listeriosis can take days or even weeks to appear and may include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, and loss of balance. Often the pregnant women who are infected don’t even feel sick, so they are passing the infection on to their unborn babies without even knowing it.
While Listeriosis is still pretty rare in the US (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur annually in the US due to Listeriosis), the sad fact is that it really does happen, and it wouldn’t seem all that “rare” or “unlikely” if it happened to you or one of your loved ones. Plus? Research has shown that pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get Listeriosis than other healthy adults, and an estimated 14 percent of Listeria cases occur in pregnant women.
No matter how fantastic a creamy cheese is (and, boy, do I love ‘em!), it’s obviously not worth risking yours or your baby’s life over. But after the baby’s born, you can let loose and fill those cravings with a much-deserved girls’ wine and cheese night!
TELL US: What is the hardest food or drink for you to give up while pregnant?
Image of cheese plate courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
It kills me to write this post, knowing how many couples want so badly to be parents, who go through all of the intense pain and high cost involved with IVF (including close friends of mine). They feel as if they’ve won the Lotto when they can finally hold their babies in their arms after sometimes years of struggling to become adoring moms and dads. Ah, a happy ending. It makes all of the physical, emotional and financial troubles worth it, right? My answer would usually be yes.
That’s why after reading about a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, my stomach is in giant Girl Scout badge-worthy knots. Researchers reviewed 25 studies from 12 developed countries, including the US, the UK, Denmark, France and Israel, from 1990 to 2010, and they found that babies born after fertility treatments were 33 percent more likely to have childhood cancer, 65 percent more likely to develop leukemia, and 88 percent more likely to develop cancers of the brain and central nervous system. That sound was my heart sinking.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, researchers made a disclaimer. “They warned these changes could be triggered by aspects of fertility treatment such as exposure to hormones, semen preparation, freezing embryos, growth conditions of embryos or delayed insemination. But they could not rule out the chance that the increased risk was the result of parents’ infertility, not the treatment.”
Either way, it causes a huge dilemma for fertility-challenged couples. Do they still try a round of IVF despite this new information that says their children may have an increased risk of developing cancer? Or do they give up all hope of carrying a child, and look into surrogates, or if a biological child still isn’t possible, adopt? And is it selfish to still go through IVF knowing the cancer risks involved for your future children? Are you putting your needs before theirs? There are so many questions. As if going through fertility treatment wasn’t stressful enough!
After hearing this, and already having a child, it’s easy for me to think that I wouldn’t go through IVF if I was to have secondary infertility. But I don’t think I could really know what I’d do for sure without hearing my doctor say that getting pregnant was impossible without IVF. I think when you have that tear-filled conversation, you’re willing to do just about anything. So how can you judge someone for making the decision to continue to try? After all, IVF still produces some healthy children, too. Did I mention this is making me sick just thinking about it? This is one study I really hope is wrong!
TELL US: Would you still use IVF after hearing about the possible link between it and childhood cancer?
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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