April 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM ET
Just a day before she was scheduled to fly home, one mom in the British Army was seriously wounded in a mortar attack. While on guard duty, a bomb hit the building she was in, destroying it. She screamed for help until she passed out, allowing other guards to find her. It took them two and a half hours to dig her out of the rubble. She awoke to discover that, amongst other injuries, she had a traumatic brain injury, a pole sticking through her left thigh and the heel bone in her left foot had been shattered. She was also later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After she was stabilized, she was sent back to England for more medical treatment. She was so badly wounded that her young daughter walked right by her in the hospital, not even recognizing her. This brave mama had to undergo 19 surgeries, while doctors attempted to save her leg, which eventually had to be amputated. "After I was injured it was so, so hard because I couldn't even do the basics with my wounded leg. I couldn't bathe Milly, I couldn't cook her dinner... all the things mums take for granted," she told the Daily Mail. She also admits to feeling guilty about how the injuries affected her daughter. A year and a half after losing her leg, this amazing mom is up and running on prosthetics, literally. She'll even be running the London Marathon soon to raise money for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association. As for her daughter? She's just glad to be having some girly time with her mom again and be able to take walks together.
Ditch the mom guilt
Sometimes, it seems common wisdom holds that, when in doubt, blame the mom. Often, it feels that no matter what we do, someone's going to say we're doing it wrong. We're either smothering or too lax in our parenting style. And forget the working mom debate -- it seems that the Mommy Wars may wind up making the 100 Years' War look like a brief skirmish. As one mom writes for Huffington Post, it's time for us to end the blame game, tune out the criticism and all just focus on the task at hand, being the best moms we can be. She suggests that we refuse to be judged and we give up the quest for perfection. We need to relax and just be ourselves. She advises us to figure out what's really important for our families and make it happen. If it's important to us to eat dinner together, we need to be at the table, ready to talk with our kids. Whether you choose to stay home or work, just do the best you can. If your kids see you trying hard at whatever it is you do, you're setting a good example for them.
Baby's first workout video
Speaking of mom guilt... One of our favorite things to feel guilty about is "screen time." We're constantly told that we need to limit it, that we need to keep those little eyes away from the TV, computer and iPad and get those little bodies moving more. But, oh, how those little eyes and bodies crave their screen time. The latest viral YouTube video shows the lengths one baby will go to in order to get in some extra screen time. Desperate to see the computer screens on the desk, this muscular little guy did repeated chin ups in the hopes of glimpsing a mere second of a beloved show. Given the workout he's getting, we'd say he's earned his extra screen time.
Wallpaper so yummy you want to lick it?
10 years ago, wallpaper was so over. Every home improvement show featured people stripping the stuff off their walls and whipping out their paint brushes. Well, wallpaper's back and this time around, it's cookie-flavored and lickable. Umm, wait... Lickable?! According to Mommyish, elevators in a London office building are said to now be covered in lickable, cookie-flavored wallpaper. Supposedly, once a cookie's been licked, it's removed from the elevator (that's a decidedly unappetizing-sounding job, we must say). While it's hard to imagine a bunch of businesspeople in suits licking the elevators, it's easy to imagine this concept going over big-time at daycares and schools. Hmm, or maybe putting it on a bit of plywood and turning it into a game at a kid's birthday party? Yummy, just think of all those delicious germs, erm, cookies, that kids could lick.
Hey kids, how about a nice game of Parcheesi instead?
Remember when Ouija seemed like a deliciously risqué game? Aah, the good 'ol days. Now we have to hear about kids and teens playing the choking game. Yes, it's pretty much what it sounds like-- using a belt or rope to limit oxygen and blood flow to the brain, hoping you a) don't die and b) get a high when the blood and air come rushing back. Luckily, as MSNBC reports, a survey of eighth graders showed that only 22 percent of kids had even heard of the choking game and only six percent of kids said they'd tried it. Of course, that's still about 22 percent too high... Rather unsurprisingly, the survey also showed that kids who played the choking game were more likely to participate in other risky behaviors like sex, substance abuse and gambling.
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.