Everything You Need to Know for the First 15 Years of Motherhood: An Extremely Abridged Guide

The best advice I got on my wedding day had nothing to do with the vows, the flowers or the groom for that matter: A friend who had been married years earlier whispered in my ear that I should make sure to pee before putting on my dress. It hadn’t crossed my mind before, but I did what she said and once I was strapped, locked and loaded into 50 pounds of lace, silk and crinoline, I realized that it would have taken an army of bridesmaids to help maneuver me through that otherwise unremarkable activity. That was 20 years ago and I have always been grateful for those simple pearls of wisdom that helped me to avoid unnecessary difficulties and frustrations. My children are teenagers now so I’ve collected quite a few of those pearls over the years. Here are the ones that I’d like to whisper in every mom’s ear:

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Big Girls Don’t Cry: 18 Ridiculous Reasons My Kids Cry

If there is one thing my kids do well, it is cry. They came into this world crying and they haven’t really stopped since. Children cry for so many different reasons, I can’t even keep track of them all – Mommy leaving, not wanting to eat their veggies, getting hurt – you name it. But, most of the time they cry for completely ridiculous reasons that don’t even make any sense. Here are 18 ridiculous reasons my kids cry.

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2 Ways to Make Kids Feel Extra Special on Birthdays (And Learn More About Them)

Every year on each of my daughters’ birthdays, we did a tracing of their hand onto a piece of paper. I also created a birthday survey for them to fill out. Then I had my daughter sign the paper at the top and include her age and the date. My daughters loved the hand tracings and survey. In fact, if I forgot, they’d remind me! This was a wonderful way to watch them grow both mentally and physically, and has become a cherished tradition that lives on with their kids.

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Between Infertility and Alzheimer’s: Standing in the Gap of Motherhood

What does it mean to be a mother? I faced that question as I watched my mother gradually evolve into someone I hardly knew. I was in my early 30s looking forward to becoming a parent when my mother began her slow spiral into Alzheimer’s. At the same time, I experienced my first miscarriage. The next several years brought more miscarriages, and my mother lost the ability to hold onto her memories.

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A Story of Wonder: A Father’s Story About Creativity and Hardship

What started out as a 250-word creative writing assignment written by an 11-year-old, gradually evolved into a 250-page children’s book. Author Brian Abela tells Hooray for Moms how the birth of his son, Eric – who has a rare syndrome – gave him the push he needed to publish The Ponds of Wonder, which he is now sharing with children all over the world to instill in them a passion for reading.

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Twin Toddlers, Teeth and Torture

Well friends, that magical time in our lives just recently rolled around – I made the bi-annual trek to the dentist’s office with the twins. To say that the twinnies hate the dentist would be the grossest understatement of the century. I thought we had a chance at a pleasant visit this time. The girls were so enamored with the office fish tank and the buckets of toys. They are two though and unfortunately had no clue that the brightly colored games, toys and Disney wall decals were nothing but smoke and mirrors.

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Is Social Media Ruining Our Ability to Socialise?

The internet has 3.17 billion users. Let that number sink in. Now, 2.3 billion of those users are active on social media. Technology is evidently everywhere. Our society is one providing information we want at the open of an app. Gone are the days people discovered news from a newspaper delivery to their homes. What’s more, social media is obviously reigning supreme, and human interaction is feebly trying to hold on.

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A Child’s “Special Time”: Giving Individual Attention

If you have more than one child, it is sometimes hard to give each child that individual attention they need and crave. One mother found a way around that obstacle. Because I think it’s such a wonderful idea, I am dedicating today’s entire column to this one suggestion. Read on to see what this mother did.

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3 Character Traits to Instill in Children

Character Education is a structured program to teach children good behavior traits. The usual traits include respect, caring, self-discipline, honesty—typical characteristics that most people would agree are indicative of a “good” person. I would like to propose a few more “soft” traits that I think should be included in every program of character education. I believe these traits are important because they create well-rounded children who are fulfilled.

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9 Real Mom Fails

Recently, I’ve been thinking about all of the ‘mom fails’ I have committed. I’m sure you have your own list as well. These fails bring guilt into our lives and torment us day after day, causing us to wake up every morning with a new mission to be a “better mom.” We stress about things such as making sure our kids eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day, or reading 20 minutes with them every night. Don’t allow them to eat sweets and only use detergent specially made for kids’ clothes. But honestly, I think there are bigger problems, ‘real mom fails’ that we all should be aware of…

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