Archive for the ‘ Holidays ’ Category

Plan a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu With Udi’s (Yes, It’s Possible!)

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Udi's gluten-free food - sweet potato hummus, sausage and fennel stuffing, roasted beet salad with garlic croutons, snickerdoodle cranberry cream cheese tartRounding up the family together for Thanksgiving (and having them get along) is already hard enough without the added worry of creating dishes to satisfy certain diets and picky eaters. And if you have family members who have certain food allergies and sensitivities (especially to gluten), you might feel even more overwhelmed.

But don’t throw in the towel yet.

Hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving feast is possible — and Udi’s Gluten Free has simple and delicious recipes that can even convert gluten lovers (like me). Recently, another editor and I were invited to a special Udi’s Thanksgiving luncheon, along with other Meredith editors, to sample gluten-free takes on classic holiday dishes. As a foodie and someone who believed going gluten-free meant eating pale imitations of “real” foods, I was surprised by the versatile spread and even more surprised by the delicious flavors.

On the menu was a whole course that incorporated gluten-free bread, chips, and cookies:

I could definitely see the sweet potato hummus and roasted beet salad on my own Thanksgiving table, which usually has some gluten-free (and dairy-free) dishes made especially for my little nephew, who has a few food allergies. Even if no one in your family has gluten allergies, there are still some benefits to going gluten-free, like taming tummy troubles and maintaining a healthy weight. And some studies have shown a gluten-free diet could possibly help kids with autism, though research results are inconclusive.

Best of all: these gluten-free dishes could easily substitute Thanksgiving mainstays (without sacrificing tastiness) and be worth repeating for Christmas, perhaps served with an additional dessert like ice cream sandwiches made with Udi’s maple pecan chocolate chip cookies. So now that you have some new recipes, I hope this year’s dinner planning will be just a little easier!

More Gluten-Free Foods on Parents.com

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Are They Making Their Lists? Are You Checking Them Twice?

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Holiday catalogs started arriving at our house last week. My kids are pouring over them, and their little minds are clicking with ideas of what they want for Christmas. I, like most parents, want to shout, “Can’t we get through Halloween first?!” But no, kids and toy companies have their eye on the prize, which seems to be a big pile of wrapped gifts at the end of the year. 

I “help” my kids edit their lists. If they’re trying to put, say, an iPad Air on there, I jump in and say that Santa doesn’t build those. And I try to make sure that the toys they’re picking out aren’t total junk. We have SO many toys already, we don’t need anything if it won’t really get played with!

Fortunately I get a sneak peek at all new toys by running the Parents Best Toys program. Each summer Parents, American Baby and Family Fun test some hundreds of toys. So if you want to match up what your child is circling in those catalogs with what we found to be great, take a look! Parents Best Toys includes 50 ideas divided up by babies, toddlers, preschool kids, school-age kids, and big kids. Family Fun’s Toys of the Year names a top-ten list of 2013 toys, plus twenty other faves. American Baby’s Best Baby Toys list hones in on fifteen great gifts for babies, especially those 12 months and younger. There’s some crossover in our three lists (great minds think alike!) but all in all, a huge range of ideas. You’re bound to find things your kids want, you can afford, and that tested well with one of our mags.

Are your kids already talking about holiday gifts? Let us know what they’re asking for! And just for fun, here’s a short video about our toy-testing. It’s a lot of work, so we hope you find our guides helpful!

 

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Last-Minute Halloween Bargains

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Halloween is just one of those holidays that creeps up on you. While it’s fun to plan costumes and treats with the kids, it’s easy to put off buying these items until you need them most. If you’ve yet to figure out a Halloween game plan, we’ve scouted some awesome finds to make your day a little less frightening.

Alex and Alexa’s Halloween shop offers cool updates on traditional ghoulish wear and décor. Use this fun, $24 pumpkin storage head from Lego to hold Halloween treats now, and those stray Lego pieces down the road.  It also comes in a cute skeleton face. Don’t forget to check out the clothes, too, featuring offbeat prints, like a Stella McCartney Glow in the Dark tee, on sale for $34.50.

 

Online costume retailers have scores for under-the-wire shoppers. Costume Express’s Pumpkin Busters start around $10. That’s where we found this undeniably adorable lady bug outfit for $20 for Baby. Buy Costumes also has Grave Busters lasting until this Friday; our favorite is this $17 red dragon get-up for toddlers. With attached wings and a one-piece body suit, it’s easy to put on and entertaining. Both sites feature clearance up to 60 percent off as well.

 

For more bargains, check out Walmart’s Halloween store, where children’s costumes start at $6.97 and candy packs at $2. Beyond the savings, you’ll find guides for easy crafts and recipes, such as carving the perfect pumpkin.

Just remember, if you want your loot by the 31st, you’ll need to order online sooner rather than later. With seven days left until the big day, procrastination is not your friend at the moment.

Up for some old-fashioned in-store shopping? Old Navy announced an exclusive deal; For today only, and only in stores, all baby costumes are $5, and all other Halloween items are 50 percent off. Now, that’s a good reason to get your feet moving.

Finally, if you’re looking more for craft ideas than costumes, don’t forget our awesome 100 Days of Holidays section on our Web site. We’ll take you through Halloween and on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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Star Dads Celebrate Father’s Day, Share Cherished Family Moments

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Star Dads Celebrate Father's Day, Share Cherished Family Memories

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, we’re taking a look at some of Hollywood’s leading men from father-of-two Freddie Prinze, Jr., to new dads Nick Lachey and Bill Rancic, to dad-of-one Richie Sambora, and father-of-five Chris O’Donnell.

We’re highlighting 16 proud papas who share their upcoming Father’s Day plans, the joys of fatherhood, and their cherished family memories.

Richie Sambora:

Rockstar papa Richie Sambora, 53, and his ex-wife, actress Heather Locklear, are parents to 15-year-old daughter Ava.

The Bon Jovi rocker opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the joys of fatherhood and his plans on Father’s Day.

“I’m very lucky because to me, every day that I spend with my daughter is Father’s Day,” the proud papa gushed. “She is my diamond. No matter what happens there is a joyful energy around us. My favorite thing in the world is her.”

He went on to talk about his late father, whom he continues to cherish.

“I celebrate by thinking about my dad and all the gifts he’s given to me,” he shared. “He was non-judgmental, good natured and had good humor and morality. I also celebrate by going out on a daddy-daughter date.”

What has fatherhood taught the award-winning guitarist?

“A lot of things to mention here but, I guess truly, how to love unconditionally,” Richie said. “I’ve learned to take responsibility, be flexible, and have respect for my parents for what they’ve given me.”

Tamera Mowry-Housley & husband Adam Housley:

Tia & Tamera star Tamera Mowry-Hardrict and husband Adam Housley are parents to 7-month-old son Aden.

The Sister, Sister alum, 34, spoke about her hands on hubby.

“My hubby has a lot of patience, and I knew that because he has a lot of patience with me,” she laughed. “He has so much patience with Aden and will do anything for him and his family. He definitely puts us first, I feel it and I know it.”

Tia Mowry-Hardrict & husband Cory Hardrict:

Tamera’s twin sister, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, and her husband Cory Hardrict are parents to nearly 2-year-old son Cree.

What makes her hubby such a great dad? “Aww, that’s such a great question!” Tia gushed. “No one has ever asked me that.”

“What makes my husband a good dad is that he’s very aware,” she added. “Let’s say I’m exhausted from working all day. He’ll see that and say, ‘You know what, Tia? I’ll go ahead and take care of Cree and give him a bottle when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Why don’t you go to the other room and get a few extra hours of sleep?’ He’ll also say, ‘Alright Tia, go take a nap. I’m going to take Cree to the park.’”

She added: “I think ‘considerate’ is the best word to describe my hubby. That’s what makes him a good dad. He’s aware and he also takes the time to play with Cree. He’s very proactive, which I think is awesome.”

Freddie Prinze, Jr.:

Star couple Sarah Michelle Gellar, 36, and Freddie Prinze, Jr., 37, are parents to daughter Charlotte, 3, and 9-month-old son Rocky.

SMG opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about their thoughts on celebrating Father’s Day.

“We always say that every day is Father’s Day and every day is Mother’s Day so we don’t make a big deal out of that specific day,” the Buffy alum shared. “And we always spend the weekends together as a family anyway.”

Antonio Sabàto, Jr.:

General Hospital alum Antonio Sabàto, Jr. is dad to three kids: Jack, 18, Mina, 11, and Antonio, 2.

The actor-model, 41, recently talked about the joys of fatherhood.

“Everything!” Antonio gushed on what he loves about being a dad. “It’s a constant responsibility—everything that I do, every move that I make, is for the well-being of my family. All of my decisions are made with them in mind, and they are the most important part of my life.”

The Guncles:

Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood stars Bill Horn and Scout Masterson (a.k.a. The Guncles) are parents to 3-year-old daughter Simone.

The proud TV dads spoke about their upcoming Father’s Day plans.

“In past years, Simone and her Nana took us out to brunch,” Scout said. “Since Simone is 3-years-old now, we’d like to do something a little more fun – like mini golfing!”

He added: “We feel so blessed to be dads, that everyday truly feels special to us.”

Helen Slater:

In honor of Father’s Day, The Good Mother actress Helen Slater dished to us about her devoted husband, Robert Watzke.

When asked what makes her hubby such a great day, she shared, “His devotion to the family, sense of humor, and kind nature,” she also said. “It helps that he’s from Iowa City [laughs].”

Elisabeth Röhm:

The Client List’s Elisabeth Röhm - who raises 5-year-old Easton with fiancé Ron Anthony – recently had this to say about her partner in life.

“Easton is Ron’s top priority, and that is obvious,” she shared. “He shows her plentiful love and affection, and it’s clear that everything he does is for her and our family. She knows it as well, and I think that’s important.”

Chris O’ Donnell:

NCIS: Los Angeles actor Chris O’Donnell is dad to five children: Lily, 14, Chip, 13, Charles, 10, Finley, 7, and Maeve, 6.

The Scent of a Woman star, 42, told us what Father’s Day means to him.

“It means spending time with my family,” he said. “I also plan to play golf without a trace of guilt. Some of my most memorable gifts from my kids have been homemade cards – my kids putting their feelings into words.”

Melissa Rycroft & Tye Strickland:

Reality star Melissa Rycroft and husband Tye Strickland are parents to 2-year-old daughter Ava.

The Bachelor alum, 30, boasted about her “hands on” hubby.

“Oh my gosh, I lucked out on the daddy department,” she gushed. “I have to say, the fact that he’s hands on, that he wants to be involved, that he enjoys daddy daughter time, is just such a blessing. I know that I’m very, very lucky. Just seeing him with her and seeing how she responds to him, it definitely makes you fall in love a little bit more.”

Amy Grant & Vince Gill:

Grammy Award-winning singer Amy Grant and husband, country legend Vince Gill, are parents to five children: Jenny, 31, Matt, 25, Millie, 23, Sarah, 20, Corinna, 12.

The singer-songwriter, 52, opened up about what makes her famous hubby, 56, a great dad.

“He is good at lightening the mood. He enjoys teasing, and I think that’s a good thing,” she shared.

“I’ll tell you what makes him a good stepfather,” Amy continued. “He has three stepchildren and he gave them all their space and didn’t pretend like he was their choice. He was their mommy’s choice, and slowly over the years they grew to love him.”

Scott Wolf:

Party of Five alum Scott Wolf is dad to sons Jackson, 4, and 6-month-old Miller.

The Everwood star, 45, spoke about fatherhood, the favorite role of his life.

“[Father's Day] means celebrating my favorite (tied with husband!) role in this life,” he gushed. “Hopefully it means breakfast in bed and a relaxing day with the family. Every day with these too beautiful boys feels like Fathers’ Day to me.

Nick Lachey:

Nick Lachey, 39, and wife Vanessa Lachey, 32, welcomed their first child, son Camden, on September 12.

“It has changed me for sure. It literally affects everything you do, every decision you make,” Nick said. “Your priorities completely shift and your kids instantly become the most important thing in the world. I think it’s made me a more patient person as well.

“My greatest joy is waking him up every day,” he added. “Seeing that little boy look up and smile at me every morning is the perfect way to start my day. The biggest challenge is having enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.”

Perez Hilton:

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton became a dad earlier this year when he welcomed his son Mario Armando Lavandeira, IIIor Perez Hilton Jr., on February 16.

The first-time dad gushed about the joys of fatherhood.

“Being a father is awesome and everything I could have hoped for and more,” he shared.

Giuliana Rancic & Bill Rancic:

Bill Rancic and wife Giuliana Rancic welcomed their first child, son Duke, on August 29.

Giuliana shared about celebrating Bill’s first Father’s Day.

“I want to plan a very special Father’s Day since this will be Bill’s first,” Giuliana said.

She added: “Since we’re spending Mother’s Day in LA, I’d love to plan an exciting weekend in Chicago – Bill’s hometown – with both of my boys. Depending on the weather, I’d love to start off with a run with Bill and Duke in the jogger along the lakefront. It would be really nice to walk to the zoo, some museums, and then top the night off with dinner at RPM Italian.”

Jewel & Ty Murray:

Singer-songwriter Jewel and husband, rodeo cowboy Ty Murray, are parents to nearly 2-year-old son Kase.

The Grammy Award-winning singer happily shared this about her “dedicated” and “hands on” husband.

“My husband’s a very dedicated dad,” she gushed. “He doesn’t want to work or do anything but stay at home and help with the baby. He’s a very hands on dad, which is a great thing about him.”

Andrew Zimmern:

Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern is proud dad to 8-year-old son Noah.

The television personality, 51, talked about how fatherhood has changed him.

“It has increased my patience by a factor of about fifteen, and it has also made me increasingly aware of the problems I have with my own selfishness,” Andrew shared. “When I am just thinking about me, I am not being very useful to my son or my wife. Having a child is a supreme motivator in that regard.”

Happy Father’s Day to all the fabulous dads out there!

Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.

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Going “From Frazzled to Focused” for Father’s Day

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Busy dad's plannerEditor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.

As a dad and a pediatrician who has worked with families of all types and sizes for more than 30 years, I want to tell you about a great book written for moms that dads should read, too. After all, why should moms be the only ones who know the secrets for turning chaos to calm?

From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity, and Their Lives is written by Rivka Caroline, a Florida-based time management and organization expert who juggles seven kids, a speaking and consulting career, and graduate school. I discovered this book when the author asked me to review it for a possible endorsement because of my own time management book, No Regrets Parenting.

I loved Caroline’s book, and endorsed it with this quote: “From Frazzled to Focused is a brilliant blueprint for recapturing minutes, hours, and days otherwise lost to inefficiency and disorganization. This book will change your life.” Yes, it’s that good. But notice nowhere in that endorsement do I mention moms — or, for that matter, dads. This is a really wonderful book for moms and dads because efficiency, effectiveness, prioritization, and systemization are gender-neutral goals. This is not a book full of platitudes and bumper stickers. Instead, it’s a concise, organized, and focused 180-page playbook with an action plan for achieving, de-cluttering, and systemizing your work and home life.

Whether at home or at work, these From Frazzled to Focused guiding principles and recommendations apply to all parents:

  • Switch from doing it all to doing most of it (and know that’s okay)
  • Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities
  • 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of your time and effort
  • Work expands to fill the time available for its completion
  • Create a “to don’t” list
  • Streamline your home and your head
  • Avoid decision overload

You’ll learn when to “do,” to “delegate,” and to “delete.” And deleting some of the items crowding your thoughts and your desk may be the most important paradigm of all for many of us. You’ll come to recognize that “practice makes good enough,” that perfection isn’t the be-all and end-all. This realization is really liberating.

Dads can particularly benefit from Ms. Caroline’s advice for systemizing, and her supermarket analogy is spot-on: When you go grocery shopping, you put more than one item in your cart at once so you’re not constantly driving back and forth to the store. Get ahead by always thinking, “What can I do now that will make things easier later on?” Batch your tasks, and block out chunks of time for doing them — returning phone calls and e-mails, paying bills, and filing should be done in batches, not piecemeal as the e-mails or bills arrive. Although the second half of the book is devoted to specific spaces in your home, taking control of those spaces isn’t just mom’s work; dads live in those spaces, too. Both Mom and Dad can use the principles in this book for equally effective rethinking of the workplace and the work mentality.

So, with Father’s Day approaching fast and the usual panic setting in about buying yet another necktie, take this message from Caroline’s book to heart: “Last-minute problems are a lot easier to take care of when they aren’t actually happening at the last minute.” Get this book for Dad. Do it now, while you’re thinking about it, so you don’t have a last-minute problem on June 16.

Happy Father’s Day!

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).

 

Image: A busy daily schedule book via Shutterstock.

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Ten Star Dads Celebrating First Father’s Day

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

In celebration of Father’s Day on June 16, we’re taking a look at Hollywood’s newest patriarchs who will celebrate for the first time.

From Channing Tatum, to Steve Martin, to Nick Lachey, to Bill Rancic , look through our list of 10 celebrity dads enjoying their first Father’s Day.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum and wife  Jenna Dewan-Tatum are the latest Hollywood couple to became first-time parents.

The Magic Mike star, 33, and the Step Up actress, 32, welcomed their first child in London, England on May 30.

As of June 2, no further information had been announced about baby Tatum. But just hours before welcoming their baby, we saw the handsome couple walking their dogs in their London neighborhood.

Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic and wife Giuliana Rancic welcomed their first child, son Duke, on August 29.

Giuliana opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about celebrating Bill’s first Father’s Day.

“I want to plan a very special Father’s Day since this will be Bill’s first,” Giuliana said.

She added: “Since we’re spending Mother’s Day in LA, I’d love to plan an exciting weekend in Chicago – Bill’s hometown – with both of my boys. Depending on the weather, I’d love to start off with a run with Bill and Duke in the jogger along the lakefront. It would be really nice to walk to the zoo, some museums, and then top the night off with dinner at RPM Italian.”

Dax Shepard

Parenthood star Dax Shepard, 38, and House of Lies actress Kristen Bell, 32, became parents in March.

The engaged couple welcomed a daughter on Thursday, March 28. “Lincoln Bell Shepard is here,” the proud new papa announced via Twitter. “She has mom’s beauty and dad’s obsession with breasts. Hooray!!!”

The Veronica Mars star recently boasted that Dax is “the best” dad. “It’s like he’s just made a new best friend,” she added. “He just talks to her all the time. And sings to her all day. It’s wonderful.”

Chris Pratt

Scary Movie star Anna Faris, 36, and husband, Zero Dark Thirty actor Chris Pratt, 33, welcomed their first child, son Jack, on August 25.

“He was born nine weeks premature, so we spent a month in the intensive care unit with him,” Chris revealed in January. “But he’s totally healthy now. He is just so perfect and I love him so much.”

“Chris is an amazing dad. He really is,” Anna recently gushed of her husband. ”He feeds the baby almost every morning so I can sleep in. . . It’s very sexy to watch him be a dad!”

Wiz Khalifa

Model Amber Rose, 29, and fiancé, rapper Wiz Khalifa, 25, welcomed their first child, son Sebastian ’The Bash’ on February 21.

The rapper tweeted the happy news, writing, “Happy Birthday Sebastian ‘The Bash’ Taylor Thomaz!!! Everyone welcome this perfect young man into the world.”

Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey, 39, and wife Vanessa Lachey, 32, welcomed their first child, son Camden, on September 12.

“It has changed me for sure. It literally affects everything you do, every decision you make,” Nick recently shared of fatherhood. “Your priorities completely shift and your kids instantly become the most important thing in the world. I think it’s made me a more patient person as well.

“My greatest joy is waking him up every day,” he added. “Seeing that little boy look up and smile at me every morning is the perfect way to start my day. The biggest challenge is having enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.”

Jackson Rathbone

Twilight star Jackson Rathbone, 28, and his girlfriend Sheila Hafsadi welcomed their firstborn child, son Monroeon July 5.

“He’s the most wonderful thing,” Jackson gushed of his baby boy. “He’s so beautiful, he’s got the greatest smile, little dimples. We’re blessed because he sleeps through the night.”

A.J. McLean

Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean, 35, and wife Rochelle McLean welcomed their firstborn child, daughter Ava, on November 27.

“I can’t stress how much my daughter is an inspiration to stay sober,” the boy bander said. “When I come home and she opens those big blue eyes at me, it’s the most amazing feeling I could ever feel.”

He added: “I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s a constant struggle, and it’s not as easy as you think.”

Steve Martin

Funnyman Steve Martin became a first-time dad at the age of 67 when his wife, Anne Stringfield, 41, welcomed a daughter in December. No further information has been announced on baby Martin.

“Steve’s very private,” a source said. “They are thrilled. They worked hard to have the baby.”

The couple were wed in a private ceremony in July 2007.

Robbie Williams

British popstar Robbie Williams, 39, and wife Adya Field, 34, welcomed their first child, daughter Teddy, on September 18.

“I am on nappy patrol,” Robbie said after Teddy’s birth. “I am nappy changer, chief nappy changer. I love it. I love burping her. I love feeding her and I love changing nappies. It’s weird – I find it uniquely bonding.”

“Your world changes for the better – she’s an absolute gift, she’s an absolute joy,” he added. “I absolutely adore being a dad.”

 

More Celebrity Parenting News:

Chris O’ Donnell On Father’s Day Plans And Friendship With The Afflecks

Scott Wolf: “Every Day With These Two Boys Feels Like Father’s Day To Me”

Hank Baskett On How Fatherhood Has Changed Him

A Look At Top Ten Favorite Celebrity Dads

Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.

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All I Really Want for Mother’s Day Is…

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

mother's day ecard minivanThis post is by Julianna W. Miner, who writes the blog Rants from Mommyland (recently named The Blog Most Likely to Make you Laugh by Parents Magazine). She has three kids, a long-suffering husband, a very naughty dog and a geriatric, ill-tempered cat. In addition to blogging, she teaches at a college she couldn’t have gotten into because she made bad choices in high school.

I love Mother’s Day, but I’m somewhat confused by it. I think it’s like New Year’s Eve; a combination of high expectations and inevitable disappointment. It always feels like there’s some ideal that only specials get to experience. I’m a regular, so it doesn’t happen to me.

I feel kind of stupid and whiny complaining about Mother’s Day. It’s not like my husband and kids ever got it wrong, per se. Or that I had really high expectations. Mostly I just wanted to sleep. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET ME SLEEP. But then someone would always get an ear infection. And I would forget to go to the grocery store the day before so my “special” breakfast would be comprised of an old Capri Sun and a crumbly granola bar fished out of the bottom of a school bag.

But here’s the problem: what I really wanted, they couldn’t give me. Because the only people who truly understood what I needed to hear on Mother’s Day were other moms. They get it. I needed someone to look at me and say: “Remember that time you showed up at preschool and you hadn’t slept all night and there was a booger stain on your shoulder and you were counting the minutes until you got back to your empty house so you could shower and possibly take a nap? But your kid was upset and needed you to stay and so you did? THAT WAS AWESOME OF YOU. High five.”

I needed someone to tell me that even though sometimes I yelled at my kids or let them watch too much TV, that I was still doing a good job. That making mistakes is part of it. That waking up every day and trying as hard as you can to be the best person you can be is enough. That you fall short. But you get up and start over. And that is what makes you a good mom. Not being perfect. Not being a person who never messes up. With the notable exception of Gwyneth Paltrow, those people don’t exist. Those imaginary perfect moms are like the idealized New Year’s Eve or the “Pretty In Pink” prom moment that none of us actually got.

Realizing all that made me feel better. It also gave me some much-needed perspective. I have a family who tries to make Mother’s Day special for me every year. I have friends who get it and who love me, even though I’m a big weirdo. I began thinking about all of the moms who have nothing. Who work twice as hard as I do with half the resources to support them. I began thinking about the women who struggled to provide a home for their kids. Or who were brave enough to leave bad situations to make a better life for their families. For those women, Mother’s Day is just another Sunday. Another day struggling and living in need.

What better way to acknowledge Mother’s Day (and give thanks for my own blessings) than to honor moms living in homeless and domestic violence shelters? So that’s what I decided to do. I enlisted my friends Courtney and Christine from Naughty Betty (the world’s most amazing gift and greeting card company) and together we designed a bunch of hilarious Mother’s Day eCards for the Real World. Then we found a sponsor. The folks from Sweet Relish.com stepped up and offered to donate up to $10,000 to Shelter House (an organization that helps families struggling with homelessness and domestic violence).

So here’s how you can help moms in need this mother’s day: check out our eCards, and if you like them, share them! The more they’re shared across the internet, the more money Sweet Relish will donate. We think the cards are pretty awesome on their own, but if you factor that they’re going help families who need it, we think they could go viral.


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Celebrate a New Holiday: Monthly Mother’s Day

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Mother's Day BreakfastEditor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.

First conceived by Julia Ward Howe (the composer of the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”) in 1870, advocated by Anna Jarvis in 1908, and officially established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Mother’s Day has become a proud American tradition that is now observed in more than 70 countries worldwide. A 2010 study by VIP Communications found that Mother’s Day has the highest phone call traffic of the year, exceeding Valentine’s Day and New Year’s. Another 2010 study, by the Society of American Florists, found that more than one quarter of all floral purchases in the U.S.  each year are for Mother’s Day. Everyone knows everything there is to know about Mother’s Day, and writing about it is a little like writing about love or money or religion: What more can anyone say about it that hasn’t been said? Well, for the first time in the century since it became a national holiday, I think it’s time for a fundamental change to the Mother’s Day ritual. Drum roll, please

From this Mother’s Day forward, I propose that the first Thursday of every month be declared Monthly Mother’s Day. And the third Wednesday of every month shall henceforth be declared Monthly Father’s Day. Every household with a mom gives her special treatment on the first Thursday of the every month, and every household with a dad gives him special treatment on the third Wednesday of every month. Each of these new monthly “‘holidays” gives us 12 additional opportunities to celebrate parenthood with our kids, and 12 times the number of traditions, memories, and family moments.

Why am I not making my new holidays on Sundays? Because weekends are for big traditions, and these are small observances that don’t require a whole day; they can fit into school nights, early bedtimes, and daily routines. These are family traditions that should take little time and no money – they don’t have to involve dinner out, gifts, flowers, or even candy — but they do require a fair amount of thought, something special that isn’t done the other days of the month. One month, give mom the night off after dinner so she can read, take a bath, or watch her favorite show. The next month, cook her favorite dinner. Create a handmade card or hand-painted picture frame for another month. Ditto for dads on their special monthly Wednesdays. Best of all, you still get to celebrate the “real” Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. While we’re at it, why not establish a monthly Kids’ Day, too? Like the second Tuesday of every month. On these days, parents can prepare kids’ favorite meal or dessert, have Scrabble night, or plan a Wii table tennis tournament.

Life is short. The years go by fast. You can never have too many reasons to celebrate each other. And thinking about ways to honor moms, dads, and kids is good for the soul, and good for the whole family. May 12, 2013 may be the “real” Mother’s Day, but the one after that will be coming up soon, so start planning. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).

 

Image: Breakfast for Mother’s Day via Shutterstock.

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