Archive for the ‘ Celebrity ’ Category

Jennifer Garner Wants You to Join the #GlobalMoms Discussion

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

What kind of world do you want for your family by 2030? What can be accomplished in 15 years to make this a better world for our children?

Experts and advocates came together last Friday for the third annual Moms +SocialGood event to jump-start this very conversation. The all-day event, which is just one part of the Global Moms Challenge, is dedicated to the power of mothers and families to improve the future for their communities. This United Nations Foundation initiative, along with the support of Johnson & Johnson, has already helped more than 120 million women across the globe.

The event included individual speakers and panel discussions focused on the many facets of parenthood and childhood. One of the many speakers was mother, actress, and member of Save the Children’s board of trustees, Jennifer Garner. Like every mom, Garner adores her three young children—but she’s also devoted to the well-being of all kids. Parents had the opportunity to submit questions to Garner, who answered via video response, about her experiences with motherhood and some of her greatest passions.

Moms +SocialGood is all about the power of moms and families. When do you feel the most powerful as a mom?
JG: I feel the most powerful as a mom when I can handle the challenges of motherhood with equanimity and remember that they’re just little kids and not try to expect them all to be mature enough to handle the disappointments of life that can throw kids into a tizzy. When I can be calm and carry on that’s when I feel like…okay, I did it!

As the third annual Global Moms Relay kicks off, what’s your answer to the question, “What kind of world do YOU want for your family by 2030?”
JG:
If I’m thinking just about my family, I’m hoping that my kids are engaged in the world, that they have balance in their lives, and are enjoying all of the incredible opportunities that the world has to offer them. But I also hope that we have enough water, I also hope that kids’ needs are being met all over the world, that kids are living until 5 in developing nations, which is so doable, and that kids in the United States are getting the right chance to start off on the right foot.

Although you’re actively involved in many ventures, what specific projects are you channeling your energy toward right now?
JG:
With Save [the Children], I was just in South Carolina trying to raise the visibility of the importance of birth to five education, development, nurturing moms who have newborns—particularly, moms who are raising kids in poverty. One in three kids in rural SC is growing up in poverty and 72 percent of 4th graders in SC are not reading at grade-level—there’s a real connection there. So I was just there trying to boost the morale of the legislators and say ‘come on, let’s fight for little kids and let’s make sure money is going in the most effective places.’

When you first became a mother, what would you say was the one thing that changed the most?
JG:
It’s such a huge change, and it’s such a huge shift. I had to really fight from becoming isolated, and I’ve always been social and I love my girlfriends, but you kind of go into your little bubble, which is not really a great place to be. Parenting should be done as a part of a community.

Millions see you as a role model, but who do you look up to the most? And why?
JG:
I look up to my sisters and my mom—I think they’re pretty cool. And I look up to all of the moms that Save is helping around the United States, these mothers love their kids just as much as I love mine, just as much as my mom loves me, and are doing their best to give their kids the right start without the help and resources that I have.

Related: For more on mothers around the world, read about Save the Children’s recently released State of the World’s Mothers report.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years

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3 Reasons Why I Love Kourtney Kardashian as a Mom

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Unless you’ve been avoiding TV, radio, and magazines the past few years, I’m sure you know the Kardashians get a ton of bad press. After all, they are constantly in the spotlight and are bound to make choices that not everyone likes. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I can appreciate that they are a tight-knit family that really cares about one another. When the press leaked that the oldest Kardashian sister, Kourtney, was pregnant with her third child, people had some downright mean things to say. Many people criticized her for not being married and others claimed she got pregnant only to bring more attention to the Kardashian name. Kourtney is now about 4 months along and the judgment keeps on coming. Commenters on a recent Daily Mail article had this to say about Kourtney and her pregnancy: “I think she is addicted to being pregnant.” “OINK!!” “Can’t we stop this utterly vacuous family breeding?” Yikes! I may be in the minority, but I think Kourtney is a great mom who is doing the best that she can. Her children are loved and appreciated. I am happy that she is pregnant with her third child with longtime partner Scott Disick and wish them the best. Here are three reasons why I love Kourtney Kardashian as a parent:

  1. She works hard to balance her career and her kids. (In fact, she combines the two and designs kids’ clothes!) Kourtney may be a successful clothing designer, business manager, and reality TV star, but she cherishes her role as Mom the most. Kourtney doesn’t have a nanny when she’s not working, and feels guilty if she goes out without her kids. A self-proclaimed attachment parent, Kourtney co-sleeps with both Mason, 4, and Penelope, 2. She breastfed Mason for 14 months, and made baby food for both children. When she is with her little ones, she doesn’t have a set schedule and tries to make the most of the time she has. Ultimately, her kids’ needs come before work, Kardashian has said.
  2. She struggled to get rid of the baby weight and ended up embracing her new body. After giving birth to Mason, Kourtney lined up a photo shoot with Life and Style but realized that her body hadn’t bounced back the way she would have liked. She tried to become a gym rat for a week but ultimately realized that her body is never going to be quite the same (even though it is still amazing!). When pregnant with Penelope, Kourtney eased up on her workout routine and even gave into some In-N-Out Burger cravings. Now that Kourtney has a third baby on the way, she’s not afraid to show her baby bump. Kourtney has been spotted in the Hamptons in a bikini, and she uploaded the Instagram photo to the right yesterday with daughter Penelope.
  3. She’s not afraid to enlist help. Celebrities are real people, too, and it’s nice to know that they can’t do it all on their own either. When Mason was a baby and Kourtney was a new mom, she went shopping and couldn’t open his stroller. One woman volunteered to help open the stroller, and Kourtney happily took her up on her offer. When Kourtney discovered she was holding onto too many of her kids’ old toys and was having a difficult time parting with them, she enlisted her family to help her sell them in a charity yard sale. She also relies on her family to help out with watching the kids. Lucky for Kourtney, she has a lot of people willing to lend a hand.

I hope that when I become a parent, I can be the cool, devoted, loving mom that Kourtney Kardashian is to her kids. I may not be whipping up any baby food, but I can certainly appreciate how she cares for Mason and Penelope. I can’t wait to “meet” Baby #3!

Are you pregnant? Use our Chinese Gender Predictor to find out whether Baby’s going to be a boy or a girl. 

What You Need to Know About Your Youngest Child
What You Need to Know About Your Youngest Child
What You Need to Know About Your Youngest Child

Images courtesy of Kourtney Kardashian’s Instagram profile. 

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What Happened to Moms? How Dads Became the New TV Role Models

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Family Watching TV

When you think about the best TV moms, who comes to mind? Clair Huxtable? Carol Brady? Lorelai Gilmore? Or perhaps June Cleaver? But what about moms currently seen in primetime?

Nurturing moms appear to be getting less-and-less screen time while, let’s say complicated mothers are becoming the norm. The so-called “Momsters,” as coined by the New York Daily News, include characters like Games of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, Mad Men’s Betty Draper, and Scandal’s Maya Pope, who just happens to be a for-hire terrorist. (Yes, Rowan Pope is no saint either, but at least he’s not a terrorist…yet.)

While there certainly are still positive mom characters on TV (Kristina on Parenthood, Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and Claire from Modern Family come to mind), doesn’t it seem like moms are getting a bad rep recently? Even moms that don’t make regular appearances on shows can’t catch a break. In The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular shows currently airing, the moms of the four main characters can seem less than ideal – they include one who’s emotionally-unavailable to her son, one who, though loving, is judgmental of her son and his friends’ ‘alternative’ beliefs and lifestyle, one who screams at her son from another room, and one who’s constantly pressuring her son to marry, preferably within their own race.

What gives?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, dads are getting a nice boost in the positive role-model department on TV. Have you noticed?

Burt Hummel on Glee is incredibly supportive of his openly-gay son and often encourages Kurt to follow his seemingly impossible dreams. Danny Williams (aka Danno) on Hawaii Five-0 is a single dad who moved more than 4,000 miles just to be closer to his daughter. And the Reagan men on Blue Bloods have proven time and time again how much they value family time.

For years, we’ve heard complaints about how dads are portrayed as absent or the ‘dummy,’ but as the number of stay-at-homes dads continues to increase, and more fathers are spending more time at home.

A 2012 Wall Street Journal article asked, “Are Dads the New Mom?” and declared “the age of dads as full partners in parenting has arrived.” And apparently popular culture has followed suit.

So, is the demise of the good mom character connected to the rise of the good dad? I certainly hope not! Why can’t we have co-parents who love their kids, support them emotionally, and don’t murder people? That’s not too much to ask for, right?

 

Tell us! Who are your favorite TV parents?

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How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity

Image: Young family watching TV together at home via Shutterstock

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Angelina Jolie: Champion of the Struggling Mom

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie could be forgiven if she were one of those completely out-of-touch-with-the-real world celebrities. After all, she’s an Academy Award-winning glamazon megastar who happens to be partners with Brad Pitt. But in fact, she’s proven that she knows just exactly how good she’s got it, and how hard life can be for other working moms.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, she was asked about that always-provocative topic of mom-guilt, and responded, “I’m not a single mom with two jobs trying to get by every day. I have much more support than most people, most women in this world. And I have the financial means to have a home and health care and food.”

She continued, “When I feel I’m doing too much, I do less, if I can. And that’s why I’m in a rare position where I don’t have to do job after job. I can take time when my family needs it.”

Angie’s not the only celeb who gets it, either: Second-time new mama Drew Barrymore had her own refreshing no-mom-guilt-here approach to movie promotion, telling People magazine: “Listen, it’s two to three weeks of work, and I’m going to be back in sweatpants until November! I am literally never without my family. My kids go with me everywhere, I’m a stay-at-home mom, I’m a work-from-home mom a lot of the time, so to get out for a couple of weeks is actually kind of okay!”

I don’t know about you, but after the whole Gwyneth Paltrow it’s-much-harder-for-me PR debacle, it’s beyond refreshing to hear celebrity moms acknowledge some of the perks in their lives—especially perks that can make parenting easier.

As Angelina continued in the Daily News interview, “I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain,” she added. “Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard.”

Well said, Angelina.

Image of Angelina Jolie courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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Why I Pity Gwyneth Paltrow…Sort Of

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Let’s face facts: We all love to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. And she makes it really hard not to hate her. She still looks like that all-too-pretty popular girl from high school, with her over-whitened teeth and sleek blond locks. Her dating pool has been A-list all the way (we’re talking Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck before she settled down with her soon-to-be ex, Coldplay rock star Chris Martin). She has an Oscar, for God’s sake. And as the celebrity daughter of a celebrity couple, she’s never really ever set foot in the real world, which explains why she doesn’t quite get why we won’t be spending $450,000 on our spring wardrobes. Nor does she understand why her recent comment about how much harder she has it, working 14-hour days on a movie set, than those of us with “office jobs,” is setting the social media abuzz. (Don’t even get me started.)

But as she’s undergoing this divorce (ahem…conscious uncoupling), I’m feeling a teeny, tiny bit bad for her. Because in some ways, she’s just like you and me (or at least, like those annoying acquaintances we haven’t had the heart to unfriend yet). We’ve all been guilty of trying to make our lives look better and more perfect than they really are. We shove the dirty clothes out of the Instagram shot we’re taking of our kiddos finally playing nicely together for once. We gloss over the fact that we fed our kids chicken nuggets five times this week, and instead showcase the awesome tofu stir fry we whipped up on Sunday. (And we also neglect to mention how the kids made barfy noises when they looked at the dish.) Gwyneth’s just kicking her efforts to look perfect up a notch by getting some pseudo experts to reframe her crumbling marriage as a success, and by name dropping all her famous friends into interviews (Beyonce, Jay-Z, etc., etc. ad nauseum).

Gwyneth also has a tendency to get (more than) a little judgy. Like when she said that she’d rather die than let her kids eat Cup a Soup. Or when she talked about how she couldn’t wait to get back to Europe, because America’s such an “adolescent culture.” But let’s face it—we’re all judgy. Even with our very best BFFs, and most especially with strangers. (Have you ever seen some of the comments on blogs and Facebook pages? Seriously, it’s enough to make even the Grinch cry.) And didn’t we all have a lot of fun dissing her choice in baby names? (Apple, anyone?)

But still, who really wants to be in her expensive shoes right now? No matter how you try to spin it, divorce sucks. And it’s got to be even worse to break up your marriage when you’re always in the public eye and you have small kids you’re trying to protect.

So maybe we don’t really believe her (and we kind of roll our eyes) when she comes out with a gem like: “I’m just a normal mother with the same struggles as any other mother…There’s absolutely nothing perfect about my life, but I just try hard.” But she does have a struggle that many families are facing right now—and one I definitely don’t envy her.

Tell us: Do you love or loathe Gwyneth Paltrow?

 

Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail

Image: Gwyneth Paltrow by DFree / Shutterstock.com

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