Posts Tagged ‘ parenting ’

Spyware Gadgets for Parents

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

spyHigh-tech kid-monitoring gadgets like these take helicopter parenting to an NSA-worthy level.

Mini Hidden Alarm Clock
Little does your tot know, this device comes equipped with a motion-activated video recorder, so you can catch him the moment he starts shoving jelly beans up his nose. Plus, a rechargeable battery with 10 hours of recording power means you can creep on your little angel. All. Day. Long. $129; brickhousesecurity.com

BeLuvv Guardian
Rambunctious preschoolers may be difficult to wrangle, but this stylish Bluetooth-enabled device can be worn by your child as a bracelet or a necklace. An app monitors the distance between you and your kiddo, and alerts you if he moves outside of a range you set, between 0 and 230 feet. $30; beluvv.com

MamaBear App
This nifty app helps you GPS-track your kid’s location, monitor social media accounts, create account restrictions, and will even alert you if he’s traveling in a car that’s going over a speed limit you select. Plus, the easy-to-use child’s version of the app lets him check in to let you know his location, ask to be picked up,or send an “SOS” if he’s in trouble. App and basic service, free; mamabearapp.com

—Sabrina James

Are you a positive parent? An attachment-style parent? Take our quiz and find out!

What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?

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Kym Whitley: “My Parenting Style Is Ever-Evolving”

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Actress and comedienne Kym Whitley, known for her larger than life personality and hilarious roles in movies and film alike, is back with all-new episodes of her hit docu-series, Raising Whitley on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The episodes premiered January 4, 2014 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

Kym opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the upcoming episodes of Raising Whitley that she says “dive into my life as a mom.” She goes on to talk about her 3-year-old son Joshua and the “village” it takes to raise him. Continue reading about her upcoming projects and New Year’s resolution.

CBS: All-new episodes of Raising Whitley premiered on January 4th. What can fans expect to see in the upcoming episodes?

KW: They are going to see more fun, of course, as well as more motherhood. We’ve expanded the episodes from 30 minutes to an hour. Before the show played like a sitcom, because the 30 minutes were mostly all fun, and now we have the chance to really dive into my life as a mom. It’s an expansion of that.

CBS: Could you tell us about The Village in the series?

KW: The Village consists of a group of my friends that have been around for years, some of them not necessarily on a day-to-day basis. My ‘village’ and I work together, and baby Joshua is the glue that keeps us all together. I don’t think a lot of us would hang out as much as we do if there wasn’t Joshua.

All of the ‘villagers’ came in when Joshua became a part of my life. I had made a call crying out for help in raising the child and they all agreed. They all split up the responsibilities and everyone has their own certain specialty. Some of them are good at education and handle that and some are good at nutrition so they talk about that. What I like to say about The Village is that they are all the parent. Instead of just trying to do everything myself, they are the other parent that helps.

CBS: Why do you think viewers are so drawn to your hit docu-series?

KW: I believe that it is a good escape. It is a docu-series that is fun and funny, and you can learn something. If I can get you to laugh and you walk away learning something, then I’ve done my job. I believe that people just want to laugh and have a good time. I am a different kind of celebrity; I don’t have the big, giant house, the fancy cars, and all the designer stuff. I am just a girl from Cleveland. I believe in letting people see the real. For example, I have a microwave in my house that has a turn dial [laughs].

CBS: The upcoming episodes will also give viewers an inside look at your quest to raise awareness of childhood allergies. Could you tell us about your “Don’t Feed Me” allergy awareness T-Shirts and care packs?

KW: Absolutely. I didn’t know that my son had allergies until he spit up eggs one day and one day he had a little peanut butter and his face swelled up. I took him to get tested and found out that he is allergic to everything. I had to figure out a way to make sure my son was always safe while he was in the care of others like the ‘villagers.’

I made a T-shirt that features the child’s name and checks off all of the allergies he or she may have, and you can also write them in. That gave me peace of mind when I sent my son to baby daycare or when he went out with friends to a birthday party. I also made a medicine bag where you can check off the child’s name and check off what he is allergic to, so that the caretaker always knows what he is allergic to and has the necessary medicine.

CBS: How old is Joshua now? What is he like personality-wise?

KW: Joshua is such a joy! He will be 3 years old this month. Ever since he was born, he has been a very special soul. He is extremely smart and knows every little thing. He catches on to everything! He also loves music – he plays the drums and the piano and he’s only three. He loves music and is an amazing little boy.

CBS: What are the greatest rewards of being a mother? Are there any major challenges?

KW: One of the rewards is the discovery. My life is different now and I have a different path of discovery. I would have never had that if I hadn’t become a mother. It has made me look at life differently. The reward is that instead of a barometer, I now have a meter of what is important in life, because I put him first before I make a decision.

There are definitely challenges. For example, trying to work creates challenges and you wonder about a lot of things. Where does he go to school when you’ve never been a parent? I probably wouldn’t get him into kindergarten until he is nine if I didn’t have the help, because I have no idea [laughs].

I am actually working on a book right now, because I thought to myself, ‘If I am a mother and I don’t know what is going on, I am going to write a funny book to help moms. It makes no sense. Do you put them in daycare then preschool, then do they go to kindergarten?’ Those are some of the challenges I highlight in the book.

I am working on the book as we speak. It is a funny take on motherhood. I think I have a different perspective than a lot of mothers. I am open and honest, and sometimes things are ridiculous. I want the book to be where the readers can see themselves and not be so serious about it. I wanted to do a funny take on that and show mothers how to get that fifteen minute nap. For example, inviting your girlfriends over and telling them you have a new recipe you want to show them, then you lock the door of your bedroom and go to sleep [laughs].

CBS: What kind of mom are you? What is your parenting style?

KW: My parenting style is probably like that of my parents, because you do how you learn. My mother was very nurturing and loving, but very stern. She was a disciplinary. My dad was also very loving. I would say that I am funny and I give a lot of ‘time-outs,’ but they work.

My parenting style is ever-evolving, and the first thing I learned is patience. The biggest lesson I have also learned is that a child needs a nap. When you think your child has lost his or her mind, and there is nothing that Superman or anyone can do, you just stop and think, ‘Oh! He needs a nap!’ Hands down, it works every time.

CBS: Do you think that women can really “have it all?” Why or why not?

KW: We work very hard and the biggest job is being a mother, then you put a career and being a wife on top of that. It’s almost impossible. You only have 24 hours in a day and you have to sleep, eat, and some of us have to work. I believe that women must know that they need to pace themselves and ask for help, then they can have it all.

CBS: With the New Year here, do you have any special resolutions?

KW: This year when I meet women on the street, I want to be forward with compliments and encouragement. Sometimes women ultimately judge and look down on one another and will say something, but we very seldom say something nice to a stranger. ‘Beautiful dress! Love your hair!’ That is what I want to do this year.

CBS: What else is up next for you?

KW: I have a show that just got picked up on ABC Family called Young & Hungry. It is a very funny show about a chef named Gabi who tries to find a job with a young, hot millionaire. I play his maid. I also have a movie with Marlon Wayans called A Haunted House 2 that is also coming out. My cartoon Black Dynamite is also coming back for a second season, and I also did a family movie on the Hallmark Channel called Anything Is Possible, which is about a boy who starts playing the piano at three years old and now he is eleven. It’s an incredible film!

Please follow me on Twitter at @kymwhitley.

To catch Kym on Raising Whitley, tune into OWN on Saturdays at 9:00PM ET/PT.

Take our parenting style quiz to see what type of parent you are, check out which celebrities gave birth in 2013, or find kids’ toys at Shop Parents.

Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope

More celebrity & parenting news:

Jill Zarin: “I Hate New Year’s Resolutions”

Shanola Hampton: “This Has Been A Super Easy Pregnancy”

11 Most Shocking Headlines of 2013

CelebrityBabyScoop.com 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 CelebrityBabyScoop.com. 

 

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Why All Parents Should See the Movie Gravity

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Major spoiler alert: Gravity—the box office hit starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts—isn’t about space at all. I mean, of course all the action takes place in space, and it’s packed with plenty breathtaking shots of our planet as seen from above, but Gravity is about something far more down to earth. Specifically, it’s about what it means to be a parent.

Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, is a scientist on her first venture out into space. Much like a newborn baby, she’s in a brand new place where the very unexpected and dangerous can—and does—happen. (Director Alfonso Cuarón even goes so far with the newborn metaphor as to show us Ryan floating in the fetal position with what looks like an umbilical cord tethering her—watch for it maybe 30 minutes in, really cool shot.) Luckily for Ryan she’s not alone. Matt Kowalski, her far more space-savvy colleague, takes on a very paternal role, coaching her through unfamiliar situations, and straight-up parenting her. But, like with all parent/child relationships, there’s a time that Matt has to literally let go, and Ryan will have to find her own way armed only with the lessons Matt has left her. It’s one of the most direct stories of growing up and finding your legs that I’ve seen in ages. It’s also a beautiful, if painful, lesson in the necessity of setting your progeny free.

But let’s talk more about Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan. She isn’t just any woman trying to grow up and find her way in this unpredictable, often scary universe. We learn early on that she’s a mother—specifically, a mother whose daughter was killed at a very young age in a freak playground accident. Some critics have called Ryan’s backstory “schmaltzy,” but I think it’s vital to the story, in underlining that parents (and people in general) want to think we have control, when in reality so many things in life are terrifyingly beyond our influence. No, it’s not a warm and fuzzy message—but I don’t think parenting is warm and fuzzy all the time. Raising a child, knowing that her well-being and even existence depends on you, can be scary. Nearly as scary at times, some might argue, as floating above the earth, unprotected, with giant hunks of space debris hurtling in your direction.

The lesson Gravity teaches is that parenting (and life in general) can be a harrowing experience. The best thing we can do is to push forward, never give up, and try to cherish the exquisite view along the way.

What’s your parenting style? Find out here.

Image of Gravity star Sandra Bullock courtesy yahoo.com

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Red Tricycle Announces Totally Awesome Awards Winners!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Red Tricycle announced the winners of its 3rd Annual Totally Awesome Awards, a reader-driven awards program recognizing the best parenting brands, products, neighborhood services and resources for families with children ages 0-10. Urbansitter Team at Bay ARe Discovery Museum

The Totally Awesome Awards included 64 national Baby & Kids Essentials categories and 31 Local categories in 12 U.S. cities.

Parents from across the nation picked their favorite family-friendly businesses throughout a 12-week period. More than 236,777 votes were cast and the results for the Totally Awesome Awards Essentials winners are listed below. The local winners can be found at awards.redtri.com

Red Tricycle celebrated the winners and Top 10 finalists of the Totally Awesome Awards with 9 parties in 9 U.S. cities (Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.). Sponsored by Zulily, Zevia, Urbansitter and Smartypants, the Totally Awesome Awards parties brought together all the winners, finalists and local influencers in each market.

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The Master Manipulator

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

In the past week, my 6-year-old has lost 4 teeth.  She has trouble eating, and I just can’t help snapping a million pictures of her toothless smile and video taping her talk. I asked her what her classmates think of her new smile and she said “No one in my clath hath teeth.” The poor thing. 1st grade is rough.

The other night, I reached under her pillow to swap a tooth for a dollar and I found a note written on an index card that read: “This stuff is for you the tooth fairy. I love you. Love, Leli.” And, as if it couldn’t get any cuter, she drew an arrow at the bottom and wrote “Write back.” Her tooth was sitting in the middle of a bracelet with a toy flower, a button, and a bead. I melted. I took all of the gifts and wrote on the back of the card in swirly letters, “Thank you, Leli. You are so special and I love you.”

It seemed like the only thing to do, but when she woke up in the morning, ecstatic and dreamy eyed, I felt pretty guilty. She said, “If I knew what size the tooth fairy wore, I’d make her the prettiest little dress,” and I thought, What am I going to do when she finds out the truth?

What am I really doing when I forge a letter from the Tooth Fairy, or wrap the presents from Santa in different wrapping paper? Am I making her childhood magical, or am I setting her up for heartbreak?

I remember when I was in 2nd grade and my teacher told a boy in my class to stop telling the truth about Santa, because some kids still believe. I went home to my parents and said, “I don’t know why my teacher made it seem like he’s not real.” That’s when they broke the news, and that’s the first time I experienced the feeling of betrayal.

Not to get all dramatic, but  7-year-old me couldn’t believe that my parents (who I thought loved me) would lie to my face and make me look like an idiot. That’s really how I felt. So why am I doing this to my child?

Honestly, part of it is because I want to make the most of her innocence before it’s gone. I can be Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Mama, and best friend, until she’s around 12 when I’ll become Mom, and my only super power will be the ability to suppress and annoy her. But another part of it is that losing your teeth without the Tooth Fairy would be the pits. And wrapping gifts at midnight while she sleeps without the cookies for Santa would be unfair (whoops, that’s me again).

I’ve come to terms with the fact that one day, she’ll peek behind the curtain and find me — the master manipulator; but I’m determined to rack up as many smiles as I can before that day comes. Hopefully love will magically make her forgive me.

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One and Done

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Last week, when the winds of the back-to-school  storm were just dying down — the 2-page list of supplies were purchased, new clothes and shoes and accessories had their way with my wallet, afterschool plans were set and paid for, the pediatrician saw us, and any sneaky lice were evicted from my 6-year-old’s head — my sister asked me, “When are you going to have another one?”

I kindly asked her to zip it.

She’s not the only person concerned with the contents of my uterus. Since my daughter’s first day home, I don’t think that I’ve gone a full week without someone asking when I plan on giving her a friend.

“She has plenty of friends,” I reply. “Friends that I don’t have to pay for.”

But everyone from my grandmother to strangers on the subway tells me that I am doing my daughter a disservice by “forcing her to go through life alone.”

At this point I wish I had a big buzzer like the ones that go off on game shows when a contestant gets an answer wrong, because according to studies (and me—Mother knows best) my only child is going to be just fine.

In a study titled, “Good for Nothing: Number of Siblings and Friendship Nominations Among Adolescents,” researchers found that the very modest social deficit sometimes seen in kindergarten evaporated when only children reached middle school. A large number of children (13,500) in grades seven through twelve at 100 different schools were asked to name ten friends. The only children were just as popular as their peers with siblings. Furthermore, the authors noted, “These results contribute to the view that there is little risk to growing up without siblings-or alternatively, that siblings really may be ‘good for nothing,’” reports Psychology Today.

So there you have it. She won’t be lonely. But what about the self-centered only child stereotype?

Confession: When I was in middle school, people always said, “You’re so bratty. You must be an only child.” And then they would find out that I’m the youngest, and that fit too — it’s always something.

In a study titled Behavioral Characteristics of the Only Child vs First-Born and Children with Siblings, researchers found that the status of being an only child is not associated with a poor outcome in several areas of the development.

“Simply, we tend to succeed at significantly higher rates than people raised with siblings, whether it’s at school or in our professional endeavors. Solitary pursuits like reading train our focus and curiosity and the verbally rich environment of life among adults accelerates our learning,” Lauren Sandler writes in her book One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One.

I suppose I cannot say for certain that the future doesn’t hold another child for our family; we haven’t done anything to make it technically impossible. But it is reassuring to know that, while I’m comfortably balancing my career, marriage, and one child, my daughter is not lacking in a single thing.

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Introducing Harley Rotbart’s Developmental Milestones of Parenting

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Stones and pebbles in feet shapeEditor’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.

Volumes have been written about kids’ developmental progress—when they first roll from front to back, sit, walk, utter their first words, and countless other baby benchmarks. But often lost in the glow of babies’ accomplishments are the parallel milestones parents achieve after their kids are born. Similarly to how the age of a child’s first steps and first words can be roughly predicted, I’ve identified 14 reliable markers you can anticipate along your developmental path as a parent. So, published here for the first time are Harley Rotbart’s Developmental Milestones of Parenting.

The Womb: Nurture, Nest, and Nausea

The parenting adventure hasn’t even started yet, but there are great expectations mixed with apprehension and mystery. How is it possible that each edition of Heidi Murkoff’s wonderful What to Expect When You’re Expecting gets thicker and more intense than the previous edition? How can there be so much to learn and prepare? What did expectant parents do before books?

Birth to 1 month: Fear, Shock, and Awe

Everything about your first newborn is, well, new! You can’t even begin to know how much you don’t know, but you’re sure there’s a lot. How did your parents ever do this? How did the neighbors? Add to that sense of ignorance a creeping sense of panic, and a sense of responsibility like nothing you’ve ever felt before—not with a new car, a new house, or a new job. Nothing puts more weight on your shoulders than an 8-pound baby.

1 month to 3 months: Warmth and Wide-Eyed Wonder

Now we’re finally getting somewhere. Eye contact, babbling, and smiling all reassure you that there may be a little person hidden in this bundle of blankets and diapers. This is the developmental phase, when intense bonding takes place because the interactions with your baby are now more consistently two-way. If he’s smiling, you must be doing something right.

3 months to 7 months: Vaudeville and Variety Show Performer

Parents now go through what appears to the rest of the world to be a developmental regression: speaking baby talk, making goofy noises and silly faces, dancing daffy dances, singing senseless songs, and peek-a-boo-ing endlessly. Doing whatever it takes for your baby to give you one of those belly laughs that turns your insides to goo.

7 months to 12 months: Biographer and Curator

Although your baby’s first smile and laugh are unforgettable events during the earlier stages of parenthood, the “firsts” now come fast and furiously. The first time your baby sits, pulls to a stand, cruises, takes steps, and utters a word are the firsts you’ll remember most, the ones that you’ll write down and film for posterity. More photographs are taken per minute during this phase of parenting than any other.

1 year to 2 years: Secret Service Agent

Parents are now in full bodyguard and gatekeeper mode, from the time their toddler wakes up until the time he’s asleep for the night (if you’re lucky enough that he’s asleep for the night!). Your tot’s mobility and curiosity are soaring, and the dangers surrounding him are becoming your constant obsession. You feel as though you always have to be one step ahead of your little adventurer.

2 years to 3 years: Designated Bad Guy (stage 1)

This is the stage when parents teach boundaries and rules to their kids, and in so doing they learn to live with being the bad guy. Parents of toddlers say “no” more than any other word, which is excellent practice for having teenagers (when you enter Designated Bad Guy stage 2). Although experts extol the virtues of setting limits and structure for kids, that doesn’t help with the guilt you feel as the constant naysayer.

3 years to 5 years: Best Friend

This is the age when your kids are beginning to form their lifelong memories—and just in time because they’re now able to do so many more memorable activities. Your child is now a tricycler, climber, artist, and actor. Now is also when all their questions start: Whyyyy, Mommy? Howwww, Daddy? Better get your answers ready, because this is the parenting stage when you should become your kids’ best friend forever. This is when they learn to come to you not only with constant questions but also with problems you may see as exaggerated, but your kids see as front-page news. If you handle this bonding time right, they’ll keep sharing issues with you when they’re older and their problems are bigger.

5 years to 7 years: Separation (stage 1)

Some parents are jubilant about their child’s first day of kindergarten; others, not so much. In describing grief, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted five distinct stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Just sayin’.

7 years to 10 years: Chauffeur, Choreographer, and Cruise Director

Your kids’ calendar is now filled up, and the tires on your car are worn down. Juggling your kids’ schedules with your own commitments could be a full-time job for a party planner or White House Chief of Staff. But since you can’t afford to hire either, this is when you had better master parental organization.

10 years to 12 years: Life Coach

The so-called tween years of your kids’ lives are also tween years in yours. You’re now transitioning from a period of reasonable control over your kids’ lives (7 to 10 years) to the next phase (12 to 15 years), when you lack all sense of control over anything. Your crisis and stress management skills will be tested in a gentler and kinder way now than they will be in few years, so this is the time to establish healthy parental coping patterns in preparation for what’s to come. This is also when you become your kids’ life coach—anticipating the challenges they will have as teens, you may now feel an uncontrollable urge to tell them everything they’ll ever need to know in their whole lives. That’s okay, but check periodically to see whether they’re still listening or if they’ve put their ear buds back in.

12 years to 15 years: Designated Bad Guy (stage 2)

This is when you catch yourself sounding like your own parents, something you promised you’d never do. The word no returns to your vocabulary with a vengeance.  The early teen years force you to answer the question “Am I my kids’ parent or their best friend?” And the answer that most helps you get through the challenges of these parenting years should be “yes.” Kids need law and order now more than ever, but they also need your friendship and love more than ever—a tricky balancing act.

15 years to 18 years: Separation (stage 2)

Now is the time for parents to develop nerves of steel; nothing else will get you through your child’s getting a driver’s license. Driving is your child’s first launch into independence. Although their most dramatic declaration of independence will occur as you say goodbye at their dorm room a few years from now, driving is nature’s way of easing parents into the idea of their kids leaving home. No longer needed to chauffeur or accompany, you now face the challenge of adjusting to the new reality of having near-grown kids. You’ll go to bed before they do, so remember to ask them to wake you when they’re home for the night.

18 years and Beyond: Long Distance

For many parents, college means empty bedrooms at home. Parenting isn’t over, it’s just more remote. Read my NYTimes.com blog post 8 Tips for Keeping Adult Children Close for some tips.

As you notice your children’s growth and development, be conscious of yours as well. Enjoy each stage of parenting for what it is: another leg in the unique journey of your life.

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: Two traces of feet made of pebble stones via Shutterstock.

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Rosie to the Rescue: The Gift of You

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Rosie PopeCheck out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!

As parents, we try to be the very best that we can be. And it’s easy to fall into making comparisons: What is everyone else doing with their kids? What gear do they have? What parenting techniques are they practicing? The list of questions goes on and on.

With all this looking outward for answers, we have the tendency to turn these thoughts inward in an anxious, “I’m not doing enough” kind of way: Am I playing with my kids as much as I should? Do I encourage creativity? Do I make time for my partner? Just think of the many questions we ask ourselves in, I suppose, some desire to be perfect. Quite frankly, its exhausting! And it’s no wonder that by the end of the day we don’t feel good enough about ourselves and our contributions to our families. Instead we feel overwhelmed, irritated, and ready to dive into a random box of cookies! Your day’s good intentions are shot. Forget going to the gym—it’s just not worth it since I won’t be running as fast or as long as that person on the treadmill next to me. After satisfactorily feeding our frustrations, we then vow to make tomorrow a new day! As much as you hate to admit it, you’ve probably gone through this same roller coaster of emotions at one point or another… maybe even last night.

Well, my lovelies, I have decided that being perfect is no fun and the endless journey to achieve it certainly isn’t either! If everything’s perfect, what can we laugh at? Perfect hair and perfect pancakes in a perfect house simply isn’t that amusing! And laughing, after all, is one of the greatest joys we can share with each other and especially our children.

I’m starting to learn that owning up to imperfections and letting our children see us embracing and dealing with them is what can teach them more than anything else. If they see us being happy and confident in the face of imperfection, focusing on our strengths and not swamped by our weaknesses, they, too, will do the same. Being perfect after all (or at least trying to be) doesn’t really teach them a great deal—other than sending the message that you are totally distracted, not relatable, ridiculously unapproachable, and absorbed in reaching some standard. Our kids don’t need us to be perfect; they need us to teach them how to deal with real life.

When we are constantly trying to be the best moms we can be, so many of us ignore perhaps our greatest gift to our children—ourselves, faults and all. However, I see it every day with the moms I meet: the insecurity. They have nothing to feel inferior about; they are doing a fantastic job, but somehow they are not able to see themselves as the great mothers they are. If you feel insecure about yourself and your contributions to your family, your anxiety will take hold. You won’t be able to be yourself and that is when things can go wrong as a parent. I am convinced that if you can let go of all the self-criticism and comparisons, you will find the confidence to just be the real, no-walls-up you. And that is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little ones as a parent.

So maybe I drank some wine on a Monday night, and maybe I slept in this morning and didn’t go running, but you know what I did do? I played a darn good game of “Mommy is a horsey,” and I’m feeling pretty fab about it!

Follow @RosiePope on Twitter.
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