Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about drowning. I took my eyes away for seconds to check on my 4-year-old swimmer. "Great job!" I shouted out, so proud that he had reached the other side of the pool without any help. He was coming along quite well as a swimmer! I wasn't surprised; we've practically lived at the pool since he was 2 years old! Related: If hospitals don't teach new moms how to breastfeed, who will? I turned my head back to my 3-year-old whose quiet desperation was begging for me to grab him. He was bobbing for a breath. His hands weren't splashing. Without a word, his wide panicked eyes were imploring mommy to HELP! Seconds ago, he was playing on the steps. Seconds ago, while my head was turned, he had decided to swim to mommy. Seconds ago, I didn't realize I may only have seconds left. I pulled him up and rushed him to the side of the pool. He gasped and coughed. I had been right there with him the whole time, but with one moment it could've been bad. So bad. It all could've happened so fast. We were lucky. This week, the BabyCenter community has been abuzz with an article about what to look for in drowning—the first paragraph alone should shock anyone into reading and memorizing the whole article to learn more about what to look for when it comes to drowning. None of this is new though, BabyCenter blogger Kristina Sauerwein wrote about her experience a couple of years ago in the post "In a blink, my son began to drown." "Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect," writes Mario Vittone, author of "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning." Drowning is quick and silent. Have you ever had a close call while swimming with your kids?
When Anita Padilla of the FOX Chicago Morning News Team was pregnant, she didn’t feel well. But because she had always heard about the ugly symptoms of pregnancy, it didn’t occur to her that something may be wrong. She just chalked it up to regular pregnancy pain and did her best to deal with it.
Turns out, she was suffering from Preeclampsia, a sometimes fatal disorder that is found in one out of 12 pregnant women today. She went on to deliver a happy, healthy baby, but only because it was caught in time.
Last week, my mom and I participated in the Chicago Promise Walk with Anita, who emceed the event as a way to help spread the word. The Promise Walk is an annual nationwide fundraiser hosted by The Preeclampsia Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing maternal and infant illness and death due to Preeclampsia.
We walked alongside survivors as well as families who have lost wives, sisters, sons, daughters and mothers to Preeclampsia.
Being in the midst of this made this so much more real to me. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it must be when one of the best days of your life turns into a living nightmare.
It was heart-wrenching to see children planting pinwheel flowers in the ground to honor the living survivors and remember those lost. One of the flowers had the name Shelly Warner Bridgewater written on it. I learned later that Shelly passed away in 2005, one week after delivering her daughter Hailey seven weeks early.
Well meaning and kind strangers strike up conversations with me quite often when I’m out with my 9 month old baby. Which is great, I like talking to people. But it seems like I get one question more than anything else, “Is she sleeping all night for you?”
Unless I’m looking at someone who looks like she’s at the same stage of parenting as I am, pushing a stroller with a little one, I try to avoid the topic of sleep. I smile and just say, “she’s a great baby!” Which she is, she is a great baby, she just wakes up at night.
I’m done with sleep drama and obsessing about sleep. I’ve been there. With my first I read somewhere that babies can sleep through the night at six weeks. Luckily for him he complied and started sleeping at seven weeks old. I was spoiled. I was spoiled and thought I did everything right and was a sleep expert. I would happily and probably obnoxiously give sleep advice and tell people how *I* did it.
When my second came along he didn’t sleep through the night. I was so confused. I did everything the same. I had my sleep routine, a perfectly timed nap schedule, blasted the white noise, I swaddled and shushed and rocked. I researched and read and researched and read some more determined to fix what was wrong. I tried everything and was emotionally exhausted from caring and worrying about sleep. And then suddenly he was 15 months old and sleeping all night and it was like the sleep issues never happened.
So with my third, I just started going with the flow. If he woke up, I trudged into the nursery and nursed him to sleep. It was the path of least resistance. I decided it was okay and it became okay. It lasted until he was around a year and then suddenly he too was sleeping all night.
My 9 month old is my fourth and final baby. And she wakes up at night. Right now she’ll usually stir around midnight and then again at 3:00 am or 5:30 am. I can basically sleepwalk into her room, scoop her up, snuggle her and nurse her for five minutes. I put her back in her crib, shuffle back and fall into bed.
Many mornings I’ll wake up and I’m not even completely sure how many times she woke up. It’s just another part of my day. She naps and she’s happy, so I’m happy.
I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it’s just looking at her next to my eight year old. I have no idea how he’s not the little one in the crib crying for me. I swear he was just her size yesterday and now he’s such a big kid. Maybe it’s the fact that she kicks her legs with joy and stops crying as soon as she hears the door creak open. Maybe I’m just too worn down from caring about homework and sports practices and if my kids are making friends or doing well in school to worry about something I know will end with time.
So when people ask me about sleep, I want to tell them all that. That she doesn’t sleep all night, but it’s fine and that it’s just a phase that will be over before I can blink. That sometimes the quiet moments at night are the most peaceful times of my day. That she may not sleep all night, but she’s the best and sweetest baby on earth. That I have heard all the sleep advice in the world and none of it could make me not walk into that room when I hear her cry. It really is fine.
Am I alone in deciding not to worry about sleep?
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about what moms regret teaching their kids.
When you're a new parent, seeing your baby learn new things is nothing short of exhilarating! You photograph it, get it on video, share it on Facebook, blog about it, and create a great scrapbook. As they get older, though, sometimes what they pick up works against you. Moms in BabyCenter's community were talking about the things they regret teaching (intentionally or not) their children. I've pulled together a list of the top 10.
- Teaching them how to spell. Buh-bye days of c-o-o-k-i-e and S-a-n-t-a.
- How to open the refrigerator. Clean up on aisle four!
- The word "boobie." It's cute until you're in church and somebody wants a snack.
- The words to any children's song you don't want to hear a bazillion times.
- How to blow raspberries. It's absolutely adorable until you're covered in spit for the 10th time today.
- How to turn on the iPad. Tech addiction obviously starts early.
- Sarcasm. It's just so precious. Seriously.
- How to open doors. "Mommy, what are you and Daddy doing in here?"
- How to say "no" and other useful (sometimes profane) phrases.
- How to unbuckle a car seat. What seemed like a handy thing to know turns parents into an octopus while driving and hearing that unsettling click.
What can you add to the list?
More great reads from BabyCenter:
How to Establish a Nap Schedule
Is Kim Kardashian Sacrificing Comfort For Style?
Why We Grieve With Fellow Moms When Tragedy Strikes
6 Yummy Dishes For Your Memorial Day Menu
There are certain things only mothers can understand. From the feeling of holding your child for the first time to screaming with joy at a peepee in the potty, some moments are only experienced through motherhood.
In our BabyCenter Community, members have long listed their ending to the sentence, "You know you're a mom when."
In honor of all the moms out there in the trenches of motherhood, those wiping heinys, changing diapers, folding clothes, wiping tears, holding babies, and sending little ones to time out, this is for you.
You know you're a mom when . . .
- . . . your perfume is Eau de Baby Food.
- . . . you know closing a door silently is an art form.
- . . . you realize you're talking about poop in public. Again.
- . . . you realize the kids have been in bed for an hour and you're still watching cartoons.
- . . . shopping alone feels like a vacation.
- . . . you reheat your coffee three times and still don't get to drink it.
- . . . you've experienced stroller envy.
- . . . you've found something you lost in the toilet.
- . . . silence makes you nervous.
- . . . nothing feels better than a long shower. Alone.
- . . . you fold laundry during your "free time."
- . . . you believe doorbell ringing at nap time is unforgivable.
- . . . you wish every store had a drive-through.
- . . . you have 100 Cheerios and 50 raisins at the bottom of your purse.
- . . . the gift doesn't matter, only the little person behind it.
What would you add to our list? You know you're a mom when . . .
More great reads from BabyCenter:
Which pregnancy symptoms would you pass on to Dad if you could?
7 fabulous toys for outdoor fun!
9 simple shortcuts for healthier eating
How to tame your family's tech habits
Late last year, the Dadlers went to Disneyland. We drove through the night to get there, and I felt horrible for my kids as they struggled to sleep in their booster seats.
More than once I was tempted to stop, fold down the back seat, and let them sleep flat as we continued to the park.
After all, that's the way it was done when I was a kid. And some of my fondest memories are of lying in the back of the station wagon napping, reading, or just resting there watching the world go by.
But of course, it's not safe, not legal, and our car could be the one that gets smashed.
The reality though is that my kids were unsafely slumped over and barely in their boosters. And the only way they would be perfectly positioned in their seats would be if I either gave them each a cup of coffee or I used duct tape to keep them in a permanent, upright position.
I don't know what to do. That's not one of mine in the photo above, but I'm desperate enough to actually like that completely unsafe seat belt technique (that kid is going to be an engineer). But seriously, does anybody have a solution for this mess? Does anyone just let their kids sleep flat?
I'm surprised there's no product for this problem. Seems like there's a million dollars to be made (I'd do it but I'm too busy writing my parenting book, Force Father).
More great reads from BabyCenter:
Is "daddy" a Southern term?
Kate Middleton's baby stroller choice is causing some controversy
A Pinterest board guaranteed to give moms a good laugh
Adorable organic rattles and gifts for baby
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about what moms really want for Mother's Day.
The question is innocent enough, right? "What do you want for Mother's Day?"
My husband asked me this over the weekend. Instead of shrugging and saying nothing, like I usually do, I took the time to think about what I'd like. And, oddly enough, none of the things I came up with were things you can buy at a store.
All of them require a little effort from my family. Maybe that's why they're so hard to come by?
I have a feeling I'm not alone here. Without further ado…
10 Things I Really Want for Mother's Day (That Don't Cost A Dime)
- My baby to sleep through the night. Please God, if you give me nothing else my whole life, I'll take this and be eternally happy.
- Everyone in my family to pick up their own clutter. This includes your socks, toys, water bottles, keys, mail, books and anything else you routinely leave strewn about.
- An unexpected treat that I didn't have to ask for.
- Everyone to put away their own laundry. In a timely fashion.
- The kids not complaining about the dinner I've cooked. And on that note...
- A really yummy homemade meal that I didn't have to cook...
- Followed by some homemade chocolate cake.
- A nap where no one bothers me, asks me to get them something to drink or cries because their Legos fell apart.
- Someone to make my mud room look like the ones on Pinterest.
- A real neck massage. Not a gift card for a massage (because I do not have time to use that.)
What would you like for Mother's Day?
I don't know about you, but teaching basic life skills to my children is pretty much last on my list of likes when it comes to parenting. Want to chat about your day? Great. Want to ask me a question about the sky, or the circle of life or religion? Let's do it. But you want to know how to use scissors? Or how to hold a pencil? I have no idea how to communicate this.
My preschooler is learning to write, and I recently had a parent-teacher conference discussing how we can help him. He is 4 and refuses to hold writing utensils properly. Part of it is his age; I know this will come with time. But I think part of it can also be traced back to my complete paralysis when it comes to teaching this skill. After a chat with his teachers and a few friends, I decided to make a list of helpful items to get kids on the right track. Or should I say write track? Groan. I know, I know.
Check out these 5 products to help your child learn to hold a pencil:
- The Crossover grip from The Pencil ($11 for six) helps keep fingers where they are supposed to be.
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about parenting advice from around the world.
"To find the most awesome teenagers you can and interrogate their mother as to how she parented them. Then do that!" — Karyn Van Der Zwet, New Zealand
"When my first child was born, the nurse midwife told me not to get into the habit of overextending yourself. The "master" (she means husband) in your life will come to expect that and take it for granted. Especially at first, do what you can do and "remove the hand" from rest. (That's a Japanese way of saying to let it go.) I should have listened to her; it would have made my first couple of years as a mother much easier." — Melanie Oda, Japan
"Remember that whatever it is you're going through, it will pass. This little piece of advice has helped me endure the tough times and savor the good times." — Dee Harlow, Laos
"Let them figure out the solution, don't always give it to them." We are too quick to help our kids figure out life's puzzles. We try and solve every argument they have and end up with them coming to us for every little thing. Sometimes, we just need to stand back and let them figure it out. — Mama B., Saudi Arabia
"Don't make sleep a goal. Just enjoy it when you can get it. Considering my newborn stayed awake for eight-hour stretches and didn't sleep through the night, constantly hoping and expecting sleep would have made me miserable. Instead, I just slept when I could. It made a huge difference to my sanity." — Carol, Canada
"My mum, when I was a frightened and very tired new mother said, 'No-one will ever know your child better than you do. Trust your instincts.' It's gotten me through every challenge with my daughters so far." — Sophie Walker, United Kingdom
"Someone once told me to do the best I know how, then leave the rest to God. Whenever I go through tough periods of change and tantrums, I try to step aside and re-focus on the bigger picture—my end goals, vision and hope for my family." — June, Singapore
"Back when I was a clean freak (which to my husband's chagrin has passed), my grandmother would tell me, 'If it's a choice between cleaning your house or playing with your kids, play with your kids because they are so much more important.'" — Susie Newday, Israel
Last week, the parents of a six-year old girl learned that Child Protective Services might take their little girl from them. Their crime? They allowed her to walk a couple of blocks to the post office alone.
She doesn’t live in a busy city. She had to cross one road, a “T” intersection with a stop sign and traffic light. It was a very common walk for her, but her parents rehearsed her doing it independently as well. She had a cell phone on her just in case. And now, she might be removed completely from her family.
I feel terribly sad when I hear these stories. For one, I’ve been interrogated by CPS after a doctor irresposibly jumped to conclusions because my daughter is brain damaged. But, I also feel for the members of the public. As in the case of this six-year old girl, the ones who felt they had no choice but to involve the police, rather than believe the parents. It must feel awful when you can not remove yourself from suspicions, even after a reasonable explanation is given.
I’m geniunely unnerved by this state of fearfulness. Fear of your child being snatched from your peaceful suburban town. Fear of CPS knocking down your door if you allow them to explore safely. Fear of your child being kidnapped from your locked car when you run inside to grab your forgotten purse off the counter.
The statistics about child abduction may surprise you. Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says, “More missing children come home today than at any time in our nation’s history. And the total number of missing children has been on the decline over the past 10 years.”