Grant V. Faint
When my son informed me that he was having your kids over I was a tiny bit nervous. You can probably guess why.
I've tried so hard to teach my son about rape culture without making him believe all men are bad. Because they're not.
It was more than 15 years ago that I had my only child. Like a lot of other mums, I remember it like it happened yesterday. But unlike a lot of other parents, I don't remember a lot of joy from that day.
The leggings phenomenon has taken over in such a way that we hardly even look twice when we see people at the supermarket or trotting around the suburbs in lycra-type leggings. So why can't we introduce that same joy to our feet?
Why are so many of us still attached to the mobile phone yet keep as much distance as we can between the phone and our mouths?
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I will never forget my son's school orientation. I was genuinely afraid, not at the thought of my little boy going to school, not of the enormity of this milestone and not even because finding parking that day had used every bit of my given quota for patience, but because of the other mums.
Quite by chance, I have come across a well of unexpected angst in a corner of the web I thought was reserved for foodies or hungry people. This angst, often manifested as anger, is literally bubbling away in online recipes. Yes, simple solutions for dinner are the new heartland of irate commenters.
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Far from becoming more accepting of each other's choices, we are coming up with new ways to compete -- whether it be through an unassisted outdoor birth or a placenta cake served at the baby naming or, you know, rubbing vaginal juices over our babies because we didn't have a vaginal delivery.
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A motherhood challenge seems to carry its own brand of smugness and competition. Turning that joy and pleasure into a competition to rake up views and entice validation is not going to create any winners in the end.
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I am not a fan of the smug, know-it-all kind who tell you how to nurture/care for/raise your kids. The worst is people telling you how you should feel, especially about your own kids. But her words stuck with me for a reason.
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It's often only when the snuggle is less forthcoming that you realise how important it has been. And sometimes you'll find you need it more than they do.
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There are some truths about parenthood you just can't escape. It's actually quite affirming to know that you are not alone. No matter how isolated you feel sitting on the floor pretending to be Olaf from Frozen, all around the world millions of people are going through the same thing.
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I played with my Barbie like any child plays with a toy -- I used my imagination. Her body may have been created by a large corporation but her personality and her character were created by me.
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Our kids might be young and entertaining but that doesn't mean they're not deserving of privacy -- and the respect to live and learn their lessons away from the eyes of strangers.
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To avoid any issues with you calling yourself a regular parent only to discover that you aren't (although your child is perfectly fine) let me help you with a list of things that regular parents do.
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I think it's important to take an interest in his homework. Call me old-fashioned but I think respecting his day and what he's doing at school teaches him a little about respecting me and others and what we do.
My mother was not the first, or the last, to warn me that what lay ahead of me when I would be responsible for parenting a teen was worse than anything a toddler could offer. But she was wrong.