The mommy wars have a new battle zone -- the cookie sheet. Are we now to divide ourselves amongst the bakers and the non-bakers? Those who bring nothing but homemade cookies and bundt cakes to potlucks versus those who swing by the grocery store and pick up a dozen store-bought cupcakes? One woman wrote an article recently lamenting how many people bring purchased goods to communal events, a move she describes as "cheating" and "tacky." Unsurprisingly, her missive didn't go down too well with a number of moms. These moms wonder if we really need to start judging (and criticizing) each other for our lack of interest in the kitchen, along with everything else we judge and criticize each other for. What do you think about bringing store bought goods to potlucks and bake sales? Is it tacky or a time (and sanity) saver?
Does your preschooler reject the veggies? Bribe 'em. A new study says that giving young kids a sticker for trying even a teeny tiny bite of vegetables will help improve their attitudes toward all things green and leafy. The study showed that after two weeks of sticker bribery, or rewards system if you prefer, children were much more likely to give carrots and their cohorts the thumbs up. Verbal praise for being a super-veggie taster did not produce the same results. This idea is controversial because some other studies have shown that rewards systems can backfire, causing kids to lose interest in foods they once enjoyed. Many parents, desperate to cram a veggie in those little bodies, may not care if it's controversial and might be willing to give just about anything a try.
Does your kid love "horsey" rides courtesy of dad's back? Does the slipping and sliding (and lack of cushioning for dad) detract from the hilarity of the horseplay? If so, simply strap Pops into a Daddle(that's dad saddle, li'l equestrians), and everyone's guaranteed a romping good time. For just $35, you can order a Daddle on Amazon for the perfect holiday gift. The Daddle features adjustable stirrups, a soft horn for your little buccaneer to hold onto and built-in cushioning for dad. However, as one witty reviewer discovered, the daddy-saddle may not be compatible for all riders, "Please note that this Daddle is Western Style and will not be appropriate for those trained in the English Father Riding Method whereby one holds a rein in each hand and posts the trot. If you are looking forward to father jumping, father fox hunting, father polo or daddy dressage you will not be able to use this Daddle."
There's about to be a new Disney princess in the castle (and on backpacks, t-shirts, notepads...) and before she even makes her big TV debut, moms are already debating the merits or need for Sofia the First. While Sofia checks some of the traditional princess boxes -- big blue eyes, lots of bling and a puffy dress -- she's a bit of a departure from previous Disney princesses. She's a young girl for one, her dress is blue (not pink! Disney carefully noted) for another, and most importantly, she's said to focus on helping girls develop their inner character. Is there room in your daughter's toy chest for another princess or do you wish Disney would do their part to put an end to the princess culture?
When we think of heroes, we usually envision caped crusaders, flying in to save the day. But in real life, the true heroes are often much more unassuming, quietly saving the lives of those in need. Such is the case of "Mother Robin," a midwife in Indonesia, who provides free prenatal care and birthing services to moms in that poor country. It's common practice for Indonesian hospitals to hold on to babies until their parents have paid off their hospital bill. Moms are allowed to visit their babies just twice a day, visits that allow them to feed and change their babies' diapers. After a series of personal tragedies, Robin Lim, a U.S. citizen, realized how great the need for maternal care was in Indonesia and moved her family there and began her work. After volunteering to help midwives, she went on to get her own midwifery certificate and traveled from home to home, assisting mothers. She and her husband eventually opened a free birthing clinic, and then another. Mother Robin is clearly a hero to every mother whose baby she has delivered and an inspiration to us all.
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.