I ate lunch alone for months and remained stoic until one day I came home, went straight to my room and burst into tears. The pain of my loneliness could no longer be contained. My mom came in and sat down on the bed beside me.
Something happens when you have kids, it's like this guilt trigger, which didn't exist before. It gets turned on and quickly goes into overdrive. The worst part is that the guilt is completely unfounded -- it's kind of like F.E.A.R. -- false evidence appearing real!
This year, we are trying something different. Out with the big gifts, the expensive, over-the-top extravagances. We are also putting the kibosh on the "But, Daddy, Everyone Else Has One!" gifts. If it's so popular, go play with it at someone else's house. We're not buying it.
It's not enough to only stop complaining about your own body; we must also compliment ourselves and show pride in our bodies. What you say becomes the script running through your child's mind.
There will be stress and strain, of course. Frustration. Maybe even fury. How can you ensure that you and your tweens and teens experience cheer rather than confrontation and conflict over the holiday season? What follows are some quick tips to encourage a happy holiday season.
The main difference between our model and that of previous generations is that roles are not divvied up based on gender (even if they may appear to be on some level), but rather on personal strengths and interests.
There's no feigned shock. No forced surprise or mild disappointment. Just thick air. Deafening silence. And the weight of generations of false hope of equality sitting on my chest, on my shoulders, preventing me from breathing.
I pulled out the list and began to make my way through it, finding that some names were easy to add to the delete columns, while others were a little harder, but still necessary. But then the unexpected happened.
My view is that it's always a good choice to read to your children. Reading has been shown to diminish stress, improve concentration, fuel academic achievement and build empathy. So whether it's on a page or on a screen, read with your child as much as you can.
I have one piece of advice for new mothers: Don't put the baby's blanket in the microwave. This is a public service announcement. It happened to me and it can happen to you.
Over time, you find that the love isn't split into three, it's multiplied by three, and that sharing isn't sharing anymore; it's a way of life that is so natural, beautiful and fulfilling that you can't imagine any other way.
I really don't remember doing any chores as a kid... ever. And while I think there is some value in letting kids be kids, I also think doing chores as a child makes adjusting to doing them as an adult much easier.
The point here is that as parents, we have to pick and choose what we value -- and what we think our children need most. These value-based decisions offer us opportunities to discuss what is important to us as grown-ups.
When you hang the lights, turn up the festive music to drown out the swears.
I've never been a sister or had a sister. I've just gone along assuming sister experts were right; that our two little girls would walk hand in had across clouds, their pet unicorns nibbling at magic dust they held in cupped hands.
There is nothing like a holiday to bring people together. And once you're together, you have to converse. There is a whole list of typical questions...