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Cara McDonough
Cara McDonough is a freelance writer living in New Haven, Connecticut. She writes for websites, newspapers and magazines about parenting, women's issues and other subjects, and blogs about life in general at

Entries by Cara McDonough

How Mini Muffins Helped my Middle Child

(2) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 4:24 PM

"Coffee shop?" my son asks, quietly, understanding that a sweeter cadence will appeal to my good will. He's 3 1/2, so it's not caffeine and conversation he's after. It's the mini muffins that have become a moderate addiction.

Gabriel's preschool is located next to this particular coffee shop. We...

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5 Tips for New Parents From a Third-Time Mom

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 9:21 AM

Having our third child this summer definitely didn't make me an expert on parenting (although I am an expert on who's got the best coffee in town, trust me).

But there are some things I understand much better now than when I had my first baby six years ago....

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A Thank-You Note to My Parents

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 3:17 PM

Having children changes you. You might, for instance, have a new understanding for the value of a minivan -- a vehicle that once caused you to recoil in horror -- or find yourself rhapsodizing on the timing and importance of daily naps with the passion you used to reserve for...

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What I Realized When I 'Stepped Away' From My Children

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 2:41 PM

As far as proximity goes, "close" doesn't even begin to cover it when it comes to the physical relationship I maintain with my two young children.

I'm sure many mothers out there know exactly what I'm talking about. They crawl beneath my legs -- creating an impromptu "tunnel" --...

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Church Must Let Schools Remain Separate Entities, Says Catholic Leader

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 12:28 PM

There is a dissonance in today's Catholic Church. The new pope's resonance with so many church members -- as he openly distances himself from ongoing Church struggles regarding issues like abortion, gay marriage and the role of women -- shows that among more progressive Catholics, there is a true desire...

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An Open Letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

(13) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 4:54 PM

Dear Sirs:

I have noted, with some confusion, the pressing agenda items to be discussed at the annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 11 - 14 in Baltimore.

Most interesting, a presentation for a "proposal to develop a formal...

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Room For One More?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 7:15 PM

There's a question often asked among parents, along with, "How is everybody sleeping?" and, "Another glass of wine?"

And that's: "So, are you having any more?" More children, that is.

For those of us on our first, the answer is often, though not always, an excited, "Yes! We want...

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Forget the Children, Let's Talk Marriage

(4) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 2:33 PM

I have two small children and when I'm concerned about some aspect of their upbringing, there is no shortage of parenting advice.

In fact, the advice assails me. The rapid-fire output level of today's child rearing advice gives me a slight case of heartburn as I attempt to digest...

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All Hail Princess Leia

(8) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 6:53 PM

My 4-year-old daughter loves Disney princesses in the same way many other little girls her age do, her interest in them both startlingly specific -- knowing their ball gowns down to the neckline, for instance -- and glaringly vague (grasping none of the cultural significance of Tiana's New Orleans roots...

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A Catholic Leader Calls for Church Reform

(16) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 10:06 AM

For the most devoted Catholics, the recent holiday season was a time to reflect more fervently on spiritual endeavors, a time celebrate their faith in its fullest terms.

For many, however, Christmas marked the first time they attended Mass in months. Some cite a growing personal conflict with Church practices...

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My Dad, the Social Media King

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2012 | 11:34 AM

One simple story most accurately illustrates the way my father views the Internet.

He and I were talking once about how modern technology has changed journalism.

"No, I have a blog," I told him, explaining my job writing about motherhood for the website of a local newspaper. He...

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Dads, They're Just Like Us

(8) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 7:12 PM

One of the first things I notice about Anthony Law as I'm talking to him about his life as a stay-at-home-dad at his home in New Haven, Conn., is how well he juggles taking care of his two-year-old son, Oliver, while he's talking to me. His multitasking is impressive.

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'The Hills': Why I Miss It

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2012 | 5:40 PM

I was sick recently, and, as all other activity was clearly beyond my energy level, sank onto the couch for a rare bout of absolutely mindless television consumption.
Free from the guilt involved in trying to productively occupy my time, I tuned in to the MTV...

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Real Catholics Don't Get Married Outside: Why the Church Should Reconsider

(50) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 11:00 AM

My sister-in-law is getting married this spring. I've tried on my bridesmaid dress, jotted down the date of her New York City bachelorette party and also, intrigued, watched her struggle as she strives to book a priest.

Like me, she was raised Catholic and is marrying one. And, like my...

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What Potty Training Taught Me

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2011 | 5:38 PM

I swore I'd never write about potty training, worried that somehow voicing my anxieties aloud to a captive audience meant selling out my daughter. But it's time I talked.

She's three now, and I know -- oh I know -- "She just turned three? She's young, give her time!"...

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I Don't Care How My Baby Is Born

(8) Comments | Posted February 2, 2011 | 1:21 PM

I know. I do. I should care.

Total apathy regarding my obstetrical choices could result in a huge backlash for the feminist movement, for our collective nether regions. Or something like that.

I'm not an awful version of the fairer sex, I swear. I agree that the C-section...

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Just Say No: Lessons Learned About Holiday Stress

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2010 | 7:35 PM

How obnoxious and silly to say, at the age of 32 years old, that I long for the energy and youth that carried me through the busiest social periods of my past.

I used to thrive on evenings that consisted of multiple plans. Three or more parties? Then we...

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Why I'm (Still) Catholic

(562) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 11:14 AM

I don't think I'm all that unique in my religious practices. I'm the kind of Catholic who attends mass on the holidays and the kind of friend who says, "My thoughts are with you," rather than "my prayers." I believe in God, or at least I think that belief in...

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A Mother's 'Time Out'

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 6:18 PM

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 9.6 percent unemployment rate in August. Men still make up the majority of the labor force currently without work. But the women, like me, are certainly out there.

I've gone through several stages of self-directed pity regarding my new role as stay-at-home...

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