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motherhood

Why You NEED to Take a Day Off (Hint: It's not about self-care)

I just spent the afternoon listening to the legendary author and feminist Gloria Steinem. Among the topics she addressed was the issue of democratic heterosexual households. She argued that society has convinced us there are "male" qualities and "female" qualities. However, when we realize that the "qualities necessary to raise children - patience, nurturing, attention to detail, empathy" - are HUMAN qualities, we'll have taken the first step towards a democratic household.

Why don't many men...

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Rediscovering Motherhood

An American friend and colleague who lives in Asia recently shared with me that her in-laws had moved out of her house. They had been very involved in raising her children, so I asked if she missed having the help. She texted back, "No. I'm forced to be the mom and it's what my kids want and what family is supposed to be."

As I sat staring at her words on my screen, the last seven years of my life - my entire parenthood journey - flashed before my eyes. I remembered how both times I had a baby...

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The One Thing I'll NEVER Do as a Parent

When I was pregnant, people who knew I was a Montessori guide would say: "Wow, you're going to be such an amazing mom!" My standard, humble reply was: "I'll be a mom, like any other mom."

But deep down inside, I had my list of things I was sure I would NEVER do, buy or use as a parent. That list was long and it was judgemental.

My mom and her best friend took me shopping for baby items. "You'll need bottles," they said. Of course not, I'll breastfeed on demand.

Sippy cups? Waste of money, my...

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They're Watching...

In the past couple of days, even with a really bad cold, 13-month old Zach has made huge leaps in the "sequences" department. Last night he took his sandbox shovel to the open dishwasher (while I was loading it), put it in the top rack, pushed in both racks, and closed the dishwasher door. I thought he was going to pull out the silverware, as he tends to want to do, but I waited a moment before leaping to action and just stared, slack-jawed, until he closed the dishwasher door and toddled...

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Learning

So often we focus our parenting energies on "teaching moments": spouting nouns ad nauseum, choosing the perfect picture book, or refereeing toddler interactions on the playground. We fail to notice, however, that babies and toddlers really learn the most when they are given the time, space, and framework to explore, experiment, and reach their own conclusions.

Zach is transitioning from babyhood to toddlerhood, a process that's as enthralling as it is exhausting. Meals are messy food-flinging...

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What's the Rush? (a rant of sorts...)

Our daily rhythm involves spending an hour at the park between morning and noon naps. Before Zach was mobile, I would lay out a blanket on the grass and he would be content rolling, playing with toys, and watching the other children. I would push him on the swing for a few minutes, which he loves, but for the most part we would just hang out on the grass and Zach would do his thing happily while I chatted with other care givers (i.e. nannies and grandparents).

Zach has recently started wanting...

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Dog Days of Summer

When Zach was a newborn, we had a hammock set up in our family room/bedroom. I spent several nights dozing with him on that hammock in the fog of early motherhood. We eventually took it down to put up the mobiles, but a few days ago Zach was grumpy, so my husband decided to rock him. Within minutes, our baby was asleep with his hanging wooden ring safely tucked in his hand (check out the toes!!)...





When my husband's younger sister was a baby, she received as a gift a cloth frog that could...

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Zach's Home Birth Story

I knew that home birth was right for me ever since I did my Montessori Children's House training, learned about Dr. Frederick Leboyer, and read "Birth Without Violence" (click the link to download the free pdf). In the course we discussed the importance of a natural and intervention-free birth, and I knew that in the current obstetrical climate of unnecessary interventions and C-sections my best chance at going natural would be to stay away from hospitals. I got pregnant for the first time at...

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