The Baby Comes Out Where??

The baby comes out where?

Why aren’t women educating themselves about childbirth? If our rising maternal death rate, high Cesarean-section rate, and abysmal childbirth education attendance isn’t enough to prove—or at least strongly suggest—the need for more education about birth, let me share this with you: Early in my 20s, when I had it all figured out but was typically clueless about life, a pregnant friend who was a few years older posed an important question: “Where exactly,” she asked, “does the baby come out?” She was clear about her basic bodily functions, namely elimination (or, in the mommy … [Read more...]

40 Minutes Later…

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Today is that day. The one with so much to do that it feels impossible to know where to begin. The day when my work-from-home status isn’t sure whether it’s dedicated to clean-the-house work, pay-the-bills work, feed-the-soul work, or keep-this-whole-Mann-Fam-operation-afloat work. I’m stuck. Every room in the house calls for my attention and a claim on my time. I want to snuggle up with the DVR remote and clear that sucker out … 2 episodes of a show I don’t even like yet … 4 doses of 30 Rock … a nerd-heaven documentary about dolphins. The brain candy awaits, right. over. there! But … [Read more...]

Is Your Self Care a Pile of Poop?

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As I pulled into the driveway at a friend’s house this weekend, I noticed her in the backyard. She had on her cozy sweater (don’t we all have that sweater?!), well-loved pajama pants, and a pair of hard-soled slippers. Then I noticed the plastic bag in one hand and the shovel in the other. She was scooping the dog poop. I went around back and teased her about the glamorous chore. She laughed, and then confessed: With a baby and a just-turned-3-year-old, she no longer had time for gardening. Picking up dog poop was about as close as she got, she said, and actually, it had a sort of … [Read more...]

Fighting Breast Cancer: Make it Personal

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I never expected to be writing about breast cancer twice in one week. But as I’ve watched one mother of three undergo surgery for breast cancer and witnessed the toll it has taken on her mother—against the backdrop of the Susan G Komen debacle—well, that’s where the writing life and a bunch of conflicting feelings has landed me for the moment. This week my friend had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in an effort to wipe out her 87% chance of getting breast cancer. She was inspired by her mother, who had a similar surgery four years ago. And my friend was inspired to take action after … [Read more...]

No-Fear Solo Parenting

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Earlier this week, a revelation: I no longer fear the solo-parenting stint. Single parents may roll their eyes or snicker a bit. After all, they’re pros! But for me, parenting without backup has typically involved a lot of yelling, a ton of tension in my body, sad-turning-to-mad kids, and finally, a side of self-loathing to compensate for crummy parenting. So this week was a milestone. My husband was away for a long business trip. Normally, I’d have some handwringing around that, and a ‘circle the girlfriends and ready the margaritas’ mantra in mind. I’ll still be plenty glad to have my … [Read more...]