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I’m Talking About ‘Mommy Time’ on ABC News

by Amanda on June 29, 2009
category: Health and Fitness,Humor/Random,In the news,Inspiration

abcnews Two weeks ago I filmed a segment for ABC News show “Moms Get Real” with Juju Chang. The episode aired last week on ABC’s website. You can watch the show by clicking on the photo of it here on the right. In the show Juju Chang, Romi Lassally of truuconfessions.com, Anonymous Mom, and myself talk about Mommy Time.

The first question that Juju asked me was, “Was there a time that you realized that you needed mommy time?” I actually had 2 answers to this question. I told the producer on the phone that it is more of a day to day need. There are days when everything goes wrong. A day where the kids have misbehaved all day, have been whiny or very needy, or you just can’t figure out what they need. A day where you are just exhausted at the end of it. I also told the Producer that Summer has increased my need for Mommy Time, because I am with my kids 24/7. In the interview, I brought up a funny anecdote about how I had gotten blood, throw up, and poop on me in the span of 30 minutes (true story!) There are times when I just feel plain disgusting. Have you ever had a moment when you realized that you needed Mommy Time?

I don’t remember the next question that Juju asked me, because I was trying to remember to smile and not look like a doofus when they were talking. It was also difficult to pay attention, because I could only hear Juju and and Romi speaking through a static-y connection. I couldn’t see them. I totally freaked out when I realized that I hadn’t heard what Juju just said. I think she asked about why we need Mommy Time. I really believe we need Mommy Time because we pour ourselves out with all our heart, body, and soul all day long. We need some time to fill our cups, so we have something to pour out again. Our energy, patience, and compassion dries up and we need time to refill and rejuvenate ourselves. Why do you think we need Mommy Time?

Finally we discussed how we get Mommy Time. I feel very lucky that I am able to work out a schedule with my husband to find the time. Taking 2 to 3 hours by myself on a Sunday afternoon works for my family. My husband is completely off work and is able to watch the kids for me. I have tried to do every Monday night, but I found it hard to pull myself away from the house after a full day with the kids. I also needed time that wasn’t late at night, so I could be alert to work on my blog and do other fun things. I am not a morning a person at all. I have a friend that takes Saturday mornings off.

In the video they also mentioned a mom who confessed that she sat on the toilet for a break. I know I have sat down in the shower when I have felt overwhelmed. The important thing is that we take some Mommy Time to do whatever the heck we want without having to worry about our kids. How do you get Mommy Time?

Amelia recently wrote a blog post titled, How To Take Care Of Yourself (as the mom). The article has some good ideas to take care of yourself. iVillage published 31 Mommy-Time Ideas for Busy Moms which includes, chatting a with a friend as a way to relieve stress. There are many creative way to take Mommy Time.

Is Mommy Time realistic? Do you actually take time for yourself to do whatever you want? When was the last time you had a minute to yourself?

Divorce Rate Among Parents of Children with Down Syndrome

by McKenna on June 8, 2009
category: Down syndrome,In the news,Special needs,Uncategorized

1056041_man_woman_heart_5 Until recently, I assumed that the divorce rate among parents of children with special needs, including Down syndrome have a higher divorce rate than parents of children who do not have special needs due to the additional obstacles these parents face. I was surprised to learn that, in fact, parents of children with Down syndrome have a lower divorce rate than parents of children without special needs. In my own marriage, I can see how having Darah has strengthened my relationship with my husband. She is an absolute joy to parent and watch grow up.  Neither of us could have ever dreamed that we would have this much love for someone.  Our perspective on life is drastically different than what is likely would have been had we not had a child with special needs.  We appreciate the small things and have overcome very big things since Darah has joined our lives, which has definitely strengthened our relationship.  Truth be told, having a child with Down syndrome has most certainly added stress to my relationship with my husband, but we both hands-down agree that the most stressful season of our relationship were the colicky days of our typical developing son. 

This article discusses research performed at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. One theory in the article as to why the divorce rate may be lower among parents of children with Down syndrome may be due to the “Down syndrome advantage.” Meaning, children with Down syndrome have easier behavior than typical children and that parents of children with Down syndrome are often older, more educated, and married before having children.

I disagree with their theory.  This article isn’t accurate when they say that most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents. Actually, most children with Down syndrome are born to parents UNDER the age of 35. This is a very common misconception, even misunderstood by some physicians. While it is true that women over the age of 35 have a higher chance of having a child with Down syndrome, the pregnancy rate every year after age 35 decreases exponentially compared to the pregnancy rate before age 35. So, if you consider that most children in general are born to women UNDER 35 years old, there is going to be a larger pool of children born with Down syndrome in that population, due to sheer numbers. In other words, if a 49 year old woman has a 1 in 10 chance of having a child with Down syndrome, but it’s difficult to find ten 49 year old women having babies.  If a 26 year old woman has a 1 in 800 chance of having a child with Down syndrome, it is pretty easy to find 800 24 year old women having babies.  {I hope that makes sense!} 

I have my own theory on why the divorce rate is lower in parents of children with Down syndrome. If you consider the fact that in the U.S., more than 90% of babies who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, most babies born with Down syndrome are born into families who either refused prenatal testing because it did not make a difference to them or learned of their child’s diagnosis prenatally and chose to give that child life regardless of their number of chromosomes.  I believe that their approach and attitude about raising their children is what positively influences their marriages.  My theory is consistent with this research findings that parents of children with special needs other than Down syndrome actually have a higher divorce rate than parents of children without special needs.  Most other serious congenital issues are not detected prenatally as often as Down syndrome.  I believe that once autism and other congenital issues are able to be determined prenatally, our population is going to sadly become a lot smaller.  Most people are unaware of the waiting lists in the United States of people who WANT to specifically adopt a child with Down syndrome and other special needs.  Of course, that is my own personal theory. I’d love to hear yours!

Are you surprised to learn that the divorce rate is lower among parents of children with Down syndrome?  Why do you think the divorce rate is lower among parents of children with Down syndrome?

The 1st National Mom’s Nite Out is on Thursday!

by Amanda on May 6, 2009
category: Cool websites,In the news

momsniteout The very first ever National Mom’s Nite Out is this Thursday night! “National Mom’s Nite Out is the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood. Intended to bring together today’s moms, physically and virtually, National Mom’s Nite Out will unite over 150 social media groups, companies, local playgroups, mommy bloggers and mother social networks in giving moms a well deserved night off.”

There are many sponsored events around the U.S. You can click here to see if there is a party at a retail space in your part of the country. If not, then you could host one in your home or check out the websites hosting parties online. I am sure there will be many tweets about the joys of being kid-free for an evening. (Follow @MomsNiteOut on Twitter here.)

So leave the kids with Dad, a sitter, a family member, or a friend and take the night off!

Burger King’s Spongebob Commercial: What Do You Do?

by Dawn on May 1, 2009
category: In the news,Pop culture

bk-kid For several weeks, Burger King has been airing its ad for a kids’ meal deal.   I don’t normally watch commercials if I can help it, but this one is hard to avoid.  While I thought the whole thing was pretty dumb, I was quietly amazed to discover that it was marketing a kids’ meal.

Naturally, the ad has caused plenty of controversy, which was probably Burger King’s goal to begin with – more talk = more sales.  You’ve got people on both sides crying out their points of view: “Get over it!  Your kid has seen worse!”  or “I am never going to Burger King again.”

My question is, what do you do when your kid sees this?  Do you discuss it with them?  Turn it off as quickly as possible?  Explain to them in pre-school vernacular about the objectification of female bodies and using sex to sell hamburgers?

As a rule, we generally don’t watch t.v. when our kids are awake.  It only comes on after they go to bed.  But when they get older, this will inevitably change.   I don’t look forward to seeing that line be pushed even further in a mere couple of years.   Sure, we won’t allow them to have their own televisions, and yes, we’ll be monitoring what they watch as much as we reasonably can.   We’ll be big supporters of reading books for entertainment and cultivating hobbies that exercise creativity.  Bottom line, though, it’s pretty exhausting, trying to let our kids be kids in a culture that wants to make them grow up so fast.


Mom Arrested For Endangering Her Daughters

by Dawn on April 24, 2009
category: 5 – 12 years (kid),In the news,Practical Tips

lucy-in-disbelief I don’t normally watch the morning news shows.  But yesterday, I was doing my routine search for the day’s weather and I saw a segment on the Today show about a New York mother who was arrested for endangering the welfare of her daughter.  Did you see that?

Madlyn Primoff, a lawyer from Scarsdale, NY, reportedly got so fed up with her two bickering daughters (ages 12 and 10) while driving that she booted them from the family car at an intersection 3 miles from home.  Primoff then drove off.  She stopped and allowed her older daughter to get back in when the girl ran after her.  But the younger daughter was left alone to fend for herself.

What astounds me most about this incident is what happened next: Primoff went home and reported her younger daughter missing.

That is when she learned the girl was already in police custody, thanks to a responsible citizen who took her in.  Mom was then arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor.

Today hosted a psychologist and a parenting expert from Momlogic.com to discuss this matter, and they acknowledged that all parents have high-stress moments, and that handling bickering children is inevitable.  They also agreed that this was not a good method for dealing with anger.  Instead of totally losing it and doing something reckless, parents should

  • take deep breaths/count to ten
  • stop the car to take a “mommy time out”
  • have a plan in advance for how you will handle those high-tension, breaking-point moments with your children

Primoff made a mistake, no question about it.  My goal in this post is not to judge her harshly, but to elicit suggestions and techniques that have worked for you.  This is a cautionary tale.  :)   Let’s take advantage of it.

The floor is yours, mom crowd!  What do you think?  How do you keep your anger in check when dealing with unruly kids?

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