May 10, 2013
Raising a human being is arguably one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Often, successes and failures are experienced through trial by fire.
However, it can be embarrassing to reveal that we may not always know exactly what we’re doing as mothers and fathers.
In early 2011, Jill Smokler founded ScaryMommy.com in effort to provide a safe place for parents to admit faults, secrets, and fears through an anonymous online confessional.
In her newest book, Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies), the New York Times bestselling author seeks to debunk a few myths of motherhood.
Jill humorously takes an honest look at more than twenty myths we all wish we knew beforehand, and had the courage to admit in hindsight.
May 10, 2013
If my father's dementia had a silver lining, it was that I learned a lot of family history as a result.
Turned out that Dad enjoyed looking at old family photos, which spurred many stories about his childhood in northern Michigan that I'd never heard before. I only wish that, besides lapping up these stories, I'd done more to record his memories.
A diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's is a call to action to take care of financial, legal, and future housing considerations -- but it should also serve as a wake-up call to preserve family memories and stories while your loved one still retains them and can communicate them.
Older memories tend to be held longest, and in the disease's early stages the person usually still has the verbal and cognitive abilities to share these memories.
May 9, 2013
Image credit: MeGustaCreations on Etsy
This Mother’s Day, we had the chance to chat with Dr. Kevin Leman, psychologist and bestselling author of Have a New Kid By Friday and What A Difference A Mom Makes.
With more than 30 books in publication and appearances on Oprah, CNN and Good Morning America, Dr. Leman adds his thoughts on the importance of mothers and the best gifts a mother can give her children.
As Dr. Leman says: "Moms are the centerpieces of the American Family. I like to refer to them as velcro -- everybody wants a piece. Today 72% of mothers are also in the workforce, meaning they bring home the bacon and they have to fry it. No one will argue that moms have a lot on their plates."
MARIASHRIVER.COM: What are the best gifts mother’s can give their children?
May 9, 2013
My mother and I are complete opposites. I love to ask questions and seek logical advice; she makes decisions based on emotions.
I’m not afraid to be blunt; she doesn’t say harsh things, even to mean people. We partner well, though. My mother has out-of-the-box instincts, and I excel at transforming them into executable ideas -– fast.
Then there was Grandma Wang, who I resembled in many ways. Two months before Christmas 2011, my grandmother was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer.
We were hopeful, but the passing of Steve Jobs a few weeks earlier to pancreatic cancer was far from comforting. The first question my grandmother asked was, “What did I do wrong?”
May 8, 2013
Grief is a tricky thing. Just when you think you’re doing okay, it sneaks up on you when you least expect it.
And it hits you hard like a hammer, delivering a swift blow of sadness and a steady stream of tears.
It has been five month since my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s. Somehow I had fooled myself that everything was just fine.
Whenever someone asked how I was doing, I’d channel my mother’s positive attitude and give a cheerful reply, “I’m fine.” Honestly, I thought I was.
Mom had lived a rich full life—80 amazing years.
May 8, 2013
Photo credit: Dr. Tareq Salahuddin
The first few days after my son Bobby’s birth, I found myself gazing at him for extend periods of time.
Likely this was in part due to complete exhaustion from 24 hours of labor ending in a C-section to bring him into the world, but there was more to it than that. I marveled at this beautiful creature that inspired something close to awe in me.
I’m normally kind of a tough customer, not easily moved by much, but this little breathing, crying, sleeping human with his wispy red hair, sparkling blue eyes, and tender yawns engaged my spirit as nothing had before.
About a week after we got home from the hospital, I was fully engaged in the disorienting new mom-breastfeeding dance, where night and day blur together in a flurry of feedings, diaper changes and catnaps.
May 7, 2013
Image credit: PrintsByStellaChili on Etsy
My older brother and I were fortunate to have a great mom. Growing up, I thought my mom was amazing until my obnoxious teenage period, when she couldn't do anything right.
And, except for those years of my mouthy disrespect, Mom and I were best friends.
Like many quasi-traditional families of the 50’s and 60’s, Mom was the Go-To parent for everything.
One of her vast repertoire of expressions included the description “Chief cook and bottle washer” and she was all of that.
May 7, 2013
Photo Credit: Tommy Voeten
I told my mom I was going to be writing an article on her for Mother’s Day. She told me, “I know what you should write about!” I snottily replied, “You want to tell me what to write about you?”
If only we confronted our mothers without teenage attitude. She kindly replied, “You should write about the mothers you saw in India! I mean, I don’t want to tell you what to write but…”
Perfect, I think. Once again she is teaching me. Not only teaching me to be kind to your mother, always, but to think about the bigger picture.
She doesn’t want me to just think about her. She wants me to share a larger message. She wants me to think globally, compassionately and honestly about the larger lessons I have gained -- and though she wouldn’t go this far, I would say the larger lessons I have gained because of her.
May 7, 2013
It's that time of year: daughters and sons are buying boxes of chocolates, putting the finishing touches on their cards and making reservations for brunch to show appreciation for their mother's love, sacrifice and support..
I love Mother's Day, but since I lost my mother almost four years ago, I have to admit: it's a little bittersweet. My mom was my best friend, my champion. She pushed me, prodded me, challenged me. I miss her very much.
Our mothers give us so many gifts. They give us the precious gift of life, of course, but they also leave treasured lessons that can guide us along our journeys even when they are no longer with us.
The gift my mother gave me was the gift of possibility. From an early age, she instilled in me a belief that I could do anything I wanted to do. It wasn’t a matter of, ‘Can I?’ or ‘Should I?’ It was just, ‘You can, you must, you will!’
She wanted me to believe that anything was possible. That belief was at the core of who she was and it was at the center of how she lived. My mom was a competitive, forceful, free spirit...and she changed the world.
May 6, 2013
Image credit: QuotableLife on Etsy
My mother is attempting to communicate. I've been with her for almost two hours on this bright spring morning, and during my visit she keeps trying to tell me something.
Unfortunately, she's unable to find the words. Often I can guess what she wants to convey, but today I'm coming up empty handed.
Mummy, as we affectionately call her, starts out in a strong, clear voice, "I want to say...." Then the words trail off. Her face darkens, her eyes dart back and forth, and her hands nervously rub the arms of her chair.
She's struggling and the words elude her. Inside her brain I’m sure it's a jumble. Mummy has had Alzheimer's for more than five years and speaking has become progressively more difficult.