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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

I Felt Hopeless About the Gun Control Debate. So I Talked to Gun Owners.

(1619) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 5:13 PM

A few months ago, after the shooting that occurred at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, I wrote about gun control for this site.

It wasn't a scholarly or data-driven piece, but instead a compilation of my feelings. I admitted my lack of expertise on the...

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Keeping Track of Milestones When You Have 3 Children

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 3:21 PM


As a mother of a seven-year-old, a four-year-old and our youngest, who is 16 months, it's important to keep track of all the notable events that have occurred during this enchanting period of young childhood. It's tiring, for sure, but it also goes...

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Holiday Cards: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 3:32 PM

It's Christmas card season again!

One night last year as we were working on this delightful seasonal task, my husband looked up from ink-stamping our return address on several envelope corners in rapid fashion. "We've been doing cards for several years now,"...

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Gun Control: The Saddest Debate in America

(866) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 9:59 AM

I live in New Haven, Conn., and when the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred in December of 2012, details were revealed all day long.

There was one segment that afternoon when a reporter fell silent for a remarkably lengthy period of live news coverage, and I later realized he must...

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Things I Know About My 4-Year-Old Son's Pants Situation

(10) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 11:15 AM

1. He likes the "soft blue pants with the white drawstring" best.

2. None of the other pants (i.e. "not these PANTS!!!") are suitable for wearing or, when you get down to it, existing within the confines of his wardrobe.

3. Nobody is going to enjoy their goddamn...

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7 Things That Are OK When You're Home With Kids, But Not OK in the Real World

(5) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 4:06 PM

As any parent knows, having kids changes you in immeasurable ways. Since becoming a mother and spending countless hours with my three young children, I've adopted and identified habits and behaviors that are just fine when you're in the confines of your home, but aren't really a good idea once...

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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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