I’m a real mom. And I’d take a stab that you’re a real mom, too. Like many of you I have a full-time job that I love, a family that I adore, and a laundry list of obligations that vary from the actual laundry to charitable work and everything in between. In the midst of all that, I’m conscious about my health, do my best to workout regularly, keep my daughter active and entertained, and give my husband a full eye-contact hello on a semi-regular basis. Oh, and I make dinner most nights. It’s a lot to balance.
Do I have more or less to balance than all of those Hollywood moms we all admire from a very far off distance? These days, more and more of them try to at least paint a picture of themselves in a normal mom light. Jennifer Garner and Alison Sweeney seem to have that down between movie sets and book deals, but Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker seem to be more on the celebri-mom wavelength. And Jenna Fischer, star of The Office, is making sure everyone knows she’s a normal mom, too.
The drop-dead gorgeous actress told People that “I think there’s the perception that every [famous] woman has a driver and a chef and a personal trainer and a nanny.” And she’d be right, but she’s trying to correct that stigma. “I don’t have any of those things. Like other working moms, I’m trying to figure out how to balance it all.” In fact, in the November 2011 issue of SHAPE Magazine, she brags about how she ditched her trainer and got her enviable body all on her own.
Like many of us normal moms, she told People that she’s grateful for a steady job and health insurance. To add to her aura of normalcy, Jenna is raising infant son Weston on with her husband, but no other helping hands. She thinks there’s a cynical opinion of her life when people see her on a jog or looking fit because of the assumption that she has a team helping her pull it all off.
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Bachelorette season 8 has got America talking about southern sweetheart and bachelorette Emily Maynard.
If you don’t know Emily’s heart-touching story, about six years ago Emily was engaged to a race car driver and the love of her life, Ricky Hendrick. But just six months after their engagement, he passed away in a tragic plane crash. Days after Ricky’s death, Emily found out she was pregnant with his child. Emily named her now six-year-old daughter Josephine Reddick “Ricki” Henrick.
Four years after the death of Ricki’s father, Emily jumped back into the dating world and appeared on season 15 of The Bachelor. She turned out to be the winner on the show by winning over bachelor Brad Womack’s heart. Although the couple got engaged on the season finale, they eventually called off the wedding due to a number of reasons. But now, Emily’s back to find true love as Bachelorette Season 8′s woman to win over.
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When my husband and I decided to start potty training our two-year-old this summer, we agreed to be patient, let her lead but with some firm direction, and not dazzle her with sugar. I won’t say that we’ve been obsessive about her eating habits since she started on solid foods, but I will say we are hyper aware of what she eats and her nutrition is of utmost importance. Because of that, my daughter turns away offerings of cake, ice cream, or even small pieces of candy. However, she’ll knock you over for a bite of avocado.
I’ve watched friends charm the training pants off their toddlers with promises of suckers and candies to convince them to potty on the toilet; specifically one incident where one-and-a-half Fun Size candy bars and a handful of M&Ms were used to reward a toddler for taking care of business. That’s a lot of sugar and calories for a little tinkle. My daughter gets none of that. She gets high-fives, a big cheer along the lines of “great job! I’m proud of you!”, and two or three squares of toilet tissue.
This, I kid you not, is a really big deal to her. That she is allowed to get squares of toilet tissue to clean up is like she’s arrived at the throne of the big girls. Every time she potties she announces, “I get tissue now!” and she is proud of it. She earned it. Not long from now I won’t be able to reward her with septic-friendly paper, but for now, I’m totally rolling with it.
I can feel half the world rolling their eyes at me, but that’s the decision my husband and I made – candy-free potty training. It’s the choice that’s right for our daughter. Maybe it’s not right for your child, but I at least ask you to listen with an open mind and consider that maybe it might just work.
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“Mommy, catch my hand so I can run faster!”
This was the unique stringing of words my three-year-old yelled to me years ago as I ran by his side at one of his first foot races. He had to run an entire kilometer on his little legs and he was feeling fatigued. I grabbed his hand, or “caught” it as his vocabulary requested. We ran together for the first time that day and I count it as one of my life’s greatest blessing that we’re still running together today.
Running with my son, Judah, has had many ups and downs. I’ve nearly lost him in big crowds as he jack-rabbits a start. I’ve lost my patience with him when he’s given up because it’s gotten too hard. I’ve also had the pleasure of watching him push himself to victory.
Since my Dad and I share the love of running, I was hopeful Judah would want to follow in our footsteps. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from running with him is that you can’t push your kids to enjoy your hobby. If you push too hard, the experience will just be miserable. I’ve tried to be a very gentle, yet persistent, nudge for Judah. I’ve had to learn that he is a little kid and wants to have fun when he runs. He has no interest in competing, generally, and I just have to be thankful that he wants to participate with me at all.
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By Karen Sherwood
In a land of go-gurts, happy meals, lunchables, and clever junk food marketing geared toward kids, raising a healthy child is becoming increasingly difficult. We are never more than five feet away from a food message and 90% of those messages are not about health food. So what’s a parent to do? KISS (Keep it Super Simple) those problems away! Here are four super simple tips to keep your child healthy while maintaining your sanity.
1. Lead by example – How can we ever expect our children to grow up healthy if we are setting examples that are far from it? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is the result of more than just genetics, but a culmination of behavioral and environmental factors. Like it or not, until their 18 years old (sometimes even longer), parents are responsible for setting a healthy environment for their children. Needless to say, it does a child no good when they’re receiving orders to eat more broccoli while their parent is lying on the couch with a bag of potato chips and a diet soda.
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