Tired of the Mommy Wars and the pressure to be perfect? This movie is probably for you!

Written by the duo behind the “Hangover,” “Bad Moms” stars Mila Kunis as an overworked mom of two who is struggling to juggle the many – and often unreasonable – demands of parenthood.

Kunis’ eventually reaches her breaking point at a PTA meeting when the queen of the perky moms, depicted by Christina Applegate, outlines no less than 14 dietary restrictions for the school’s upcoming bake sale.

“I’m so tired of trying to be this perfect mom, I’m done” she says to Applegate’s obvious confusion.

Two other moms played by Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn join Kunis in solidarity to ditch the rules of perfect parenting and the rest is history.

See the hilarious trailer below as the “Bad Moms” crew goes wild all over town, including – gasp – showing up at the bake sale with store-bought donut holes. The horror!

An advocacy group representing fathers who are their family’s primary caregivers is in the spotlight this week for its “Dads Don’t Babysit” campaign.

The grassroots project went viral on social media after a Reddit user wearing a “Dads Don’t Babysit (It’s Called “Parenting”)” t-shirt posted his picture on the site under the heading “Important Message From a Dad to Society.”

Since being posted, the photo has generated more than 3000 comments, including from men who say they can identify with the stereotype often imposed on them when they look after their kids.

“It hurt really bad when I was a new, stay-at-home, dad and people would say or ask about me babysitting,” one user wrote. “My wife’s job had 70% travel and she’s going back to school for her masters, and we were in a new city with no family and only a couple friends, so I was “on” 24/7.

The organization behind the t-shirt is the National At-Home Dad Network, a non-profit group that seeks to “empower fathers and champion a culture that recognizes them as capable and competent parents.”

You can see the photo of the t-shirt below:

Photo Courtesy/facebook.com/athomedadnetwork
Photo Courtesy/facebook.com/athomedadnetwork

RELATED LINKS:

CBC Host Mark Kelley Talks About Fatherhood

Keeping Up in the in Era of Social Media

No App for That! A Parent’s Guide to Explaining Simpler Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 100 days to go until the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, Procter & Gamble has released an inspiring new ad celebrating the vital role moms play in bringing-up strong children.

The ad – appropriately titled “Strong” – is part of the brand’s “Thank-You Mom” campaign and portrays elite athletes flashing-back to moments of adversity in their childhood when they turned to their mothers for comfort and encouragement.  The video then shows the athletes channeling that inner strength into a winning Olympic performance.

“This campaign began with the insight that behind every athlete is an amazing mom,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G Global Brand Officer in an online statement.  “We see how strong moms are in every facet of their lives, and how their children draw on that strength as they grow. Through our campaign, we invite everyone to join us in saying ‘Thank You’ to moms for the role they play in raising strong children.”

You can see the ad below:

RELATED LINKS:

Olympic Legacy

WPT Interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Whitfield

Parenting Athletes

Reflecting on Mothers

Who knew date night could be so controversial?

Model Chrissy Teigen found herself embroiled in an internet controversy this past weekend when online photos surfaced of her and husband John Legend enjoying a (gasp!) night out without their newborn daughter Luna.

Detractors immediately took to social media to slam the star for leaving her baby at home less than two-weeks after giving birth, calling the outing “disgraceful” and questioning her dedication to motherhood.

“I’m not saying new parents have to be tied to their babies 24/7 but I find it hard to understand how any new mother can tear themselves away from a much longed for baby at nine days old for the sake of a night out,” wrote one Facebook commenter in response to a Daily Mail article.

Unwilling to take the criticism lying down, Teigen – a prolific social media user – faced her haters Sunday morning, posting: “I went to dinner. People are pissed. Good Morning!”

Teigen’s Twitter and Instagram pages have since been flooded with supportive comments telling her to turn a blind eye to the cowardly critics.

“Of course you have the right to go on a date,” wrote one Instagram user. “It is even a MUST for a healthy, well-balanced family. Let these bitter b**ches talk. Luna has one hell of a mamma. May you raise her as fierce as you.”

Teigen is a public figure so it’s natural to assume she’s caught-up in controversy and judgment simply because of her fame.  Unfortunately, the hostility extends well beyond Hollywood to the greater parenting community illustrated by the nearly 1-million search results for the term “Mommy Wars” on Google.

Furthermore, a 2013 poll conducted by Quester and commissioned by Parents magazine found that 63 percent of U.S. mothers believe that so-called “mommy wars” exist, yet less than half those respondents recognize that behaviour within their own social circle.  The study was unable to elaborate on the reason for the drop, but it’s safe to assume the anonymity of social media has at least something to do with it.

With the challenges of work-life balance still facing many 21st-century mothers, why is the parenting community so quick to turn on itself? How much further along could we be as a community without all the friendly-fire?

It should be noted that while the internet can be a catty cesspool of mom-on-mom hostility, it can also be a source of solidarity and support if you look hard enough. Hashtags like #momlife and #dadlife aggregate thousands of encouraging and often hilarious posts that perfectly capture what it means to be a parent in this day and age.

Still, as Teigen’s experience demonstrated this past weekend, there is a plethora of anonymous negativity and online judgment to go around, which begs the question: Wouldn’t we all be better off if we spent more time practicing good parenting and a little less time preaching it?

I sure think so.

RELATED LINKS:

“Meanest Mom Ever” Trashes Ice Cream to Teach Kids Hard Lesson on Manners

Keeping Up in the Era of Social Media

No App for That! A Parent’s Guide to Explaining Simpler Times

Are Manners Passe?

Teaching Civility & Manners

A U.S. reality TV star is garnering online attention and praise for her tough-love approach to parenting.

Jaime Primak Sullivan, star of Bravo’s Jersey Belle, was appalled by her kids’ dismissive treatment of a Dairy Queen employee when the family was out for ice-cream this past weekend.   Not one of them said “thank you” to the young lady behind the counter or to their mom for purchasing the treat.

In an online post that has since gone viral, Sullivan explained how she calmly counted to 10, gave herself a silent pep-talk, then collected each of the desserts and threw them in the garbage while her children  looked on in confusion and horror.

Once everyone settled down, Sullivan says she explained to them the importance of treating people with respect and to really “look them in the eye and say thank you.”  At ages eight, seven and five, she says her kids are too old to overlook the importance of basic manners in everyday life.

Jaime Primak Sullivan's Facebook post that has since gone viral.
Jaime Primak Sullivan’s Facebook post that has since gone viral.

The reaction to Sullivan’s post has been overwhelmingly positive with many posters praising her tough-love approach to parenting and sharing similar experiences from their own lives.  The post has been shared 44, 000 times on Facebook and has drawn more than 350,000 ‘likes’ in just four days.

In a subsequent video blog on her Facebook page, Sullivan says she viewed the Dairy Queen experience as a “teachable moment” and that a more measured response would not have yielded the kind of long-term impact she’s was looking for.

“I would like them to treat people with basic human decency, perhaps more than basic – forever,” Sullivan said. “Because if I die tomorrow, I’m leaving you with my three children, so I would like for the world to be better because they’re in it.”

RELATED LINKS:

Are Manners Passe?

Teaching Civility & Manners

Service with a Smile

Keeping Up in the in Era of Social Media

No App for That! A Parent’s Guide to Explaining Simpler Times

 

 

There is nothing like seeing your child explore a new toy for the first time, especially ones with sensory or educational value like a play kitchen.  Unfortunately for the less handy among us, the assembly process can be downright daunting and it may feel like your child will outgrow the toy before you’re done building it.

Just for fun, we’ve highlighted the 5 stages of assembling a toy kitchen.  Can you identify?

Shock & Denial

You’ve opened the giant cardboard box and have dumped its contents onto your living room floor. You now find yourself surrounded with 70 unique parts and a 25-page instruction manual complete with illustrations and symbols that resemble hieroglyphics etched into the wall of a pyramid.  Panic and dismay wash over you like a thick fog.

Pain & Guilt

You’ve sliced open your hand using the Allen key and your lower back is experiencing intense spasms and shooting pain.  The thought of quitting has crossed your mind 12 times a minute since you started but you won’t give up because depriving your child of the chance to cook fake food using her fake kitchenware is plain unacceptable.

Anger & Bargaining

Logically you know that fighting with the kitchen won’t get you anywhere, but your frustration is at a boiling point and you can’t take it anymore.  After crumpling the instruction manual in protest, you return to the half-finished kitchen and beg it for mercy in exchange for keeping your cool.

Reflection & Loneliness

It’s been four hours and you’re only half-finished.  The world seems bleak and meaningless and you’re wondering if you’ll ever breathe fresh air again.

Acceptance and Hope

The kitchen is done but there are a handful of miscellaneous parts leftover and you’re pretty sure they aren’t spares.  Still, you take a step back and applaud your perseverance in the face of unspeakable odds. Parenting win!

 

 

 

I moved away from my childhood home when I was 18-years old and have lived no less than a four-hour flight from my family ever since.

As a student and single woman, the distance didn’t bother me.  I could book a trip with a couple days’ notice and be back in town for quick visit to see my parents and grandparents.

I often remarked that the second my plane touched down, I could breathe a sigh of relief.  In every way that mattered, home was where my heart was.

Now as a mom with a 17-month old in tow, traveling across the country isn’t the easy trip it once was and last-minute plans are a thing of the past.  The time between my visits is growing longer and it weighs heavy on my heart that my return trips are but once or twice a year.

As someone who’s always been close to family, it’s especially tough that I don’t get back nearly as often as I’d like.  It’s difficult to reconcile that my grandparents have only met their great-granddaughter a couple times because I know the joy it would bring them to see her grow-up.   Yet the distance between here and there means my stopovers will always be seldom and brief.

I don’t regret the choice I made to move away from home in the latter years of my adolescence because it set me on a path to meeting my husband and having our beautiful daughter.  It also laid the foundation for my chosen career and the many invaluable experiences I’ve had along the way.

Still, every time I return ‘home’ to the city where I grew-up, I feel a pang of sadness that it’s never for very long.  It seems strange to be living out of a suitcase in the place all your precious childhood memories were made.

And as I religiously comb through my old keepsakes and reminisce about the long lost days of elementary school and summer camp, I can’t help but feel torn between old and new and the feeling my heart will always be caught between a rock and a far away place.

RELATED LINKS:

Practical Tips for Flying with a Baby

U.S. Panel Recommends Depression Screening for Expectant and Postpartum Women

The Secret to Work-Life Balance as a Parent

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Slaw

  • ¼ cup Grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves (optional)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 3-4 cups shredded purple and green cabbage

For the Fish Taco Bowls

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 lb cod or other white fish
  • ½ cup brown rice flour or whole wheat flour (can use white all purpose flour if that’s what you have)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • avocado, salsa, lime wedges and shredded mozzarella cheese for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

SLAW:

  1. Blend the oil, water, green onions, cilantro (if using), garlic, salt and lime juice in a blender or food processor until chopped/chunky. Add the sour cream and pulse again until just combined (you don’t want it totally smooth more like an herby creamy sauce).
  2. Toss the sauce with the cabbage and Let it sit in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.

 QUINOA:

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions.

 FISH:

  1. Pat the cod dry with paper towels and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine the flour, spices, and salt in a shallow dish.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour and add it to the hot pan, frying for a few minutes on each side. When the fish is golden brown, remove from pan and sprinkle with the salt.

 SERVING:

  1. Plate each dish with a scoop of quinoa, a few pieces of fish, a scoop of lime cabbage slaw, and avocado, salsa, grated cheese or any other toppings you like.
  2. Serve with lime wedges

Inspired by: http://pinchofyum.com/spicy-fish-taco-bowls-with-cilantro-lime-slaw

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower Mash

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup partly skimmed shredded mozzarella

For the Kale

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 package kalettes, if you can find them Or 3 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

For the Shrimp

  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

For the cauliflower

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the cauliflower and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the milk and 2 cups broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the while beans and mash roughly with the back of a large wooden spoon or a potato masher.
  4. Stir in the cornmeal (the mixture will start to thicken).
  5. Adjust the consistency by adding the last cup of broth to the consistency you want.
  6. Stir in the cheese and season to taste.

For the kale:

  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat.
  2. Add the greens and garlic and sauté until softened.

If using kalettes, add a little water at the end to sort of steam them to finish them off.

  1. Remove kale and wipe out pan with a paper towel.

For the shrimp:

  1. Using the same skillet as you used for the kale heat it over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl mix the extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper together.
  3. Place shrimp into a medium bowl and pour oil and spice mixture over shrimp mixing to coat shrimp.
  4. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook the shrimp for ~1 minutes per side (pink and cooked through)

Serve the shrimp and kale over the cauliflower mash!

Inspired by http://pinchofyum.com/spicy-shrimp-cauliflower-mash-roasted-kale

Serves: 6 servings

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak, trim excess fat and slice into one-inch pieces (against the grain), you can also buy packages of beef cut in “stir fry” strips
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger*
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups brown rice or quinoa, cooked
  • Shredded carrots, red cabbage, julienne cucumbers and chopped green onions for serving

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE! Instead of using brown rice or quinoa try making cauliflower rice or combining half quinoa or brown rice with half cauliflower rice.

HEALTHY ADDITION!  Add kale or a leaf of your choice on top of the rice for an added green!

 Instructions

  1. Add flour and beef to a large resealable plastic bag (e.g. Ziploc) and shake to combine until flour equally coats beef.
  2. Put beef in slow cooker
  3. In a medium blow, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, honey/maple syrup, vinegar, garlic and oil.
  4. Pour over beef.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 3.5 hours.
  6. Once done turn slow cooker off and let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with rice (or quinoa) and top with carrots, cabbage, cucumbers and green onions.
  8. Top with additional sauce and sesame seeds if desired.

Adapted from http://momtomomnutrition.com/food-and-recipes/slow-cooker-asian-beef/

*Kitchen Hack: Peeling ginger with a teaspoon is a lot easier and less wasteful than using a knife.

  1. Cut the amount of ginger you need.
  2. Hold the ginger in one hand and use the tip of your spoon to scrape off your peel.
  3. The peel is very thin and you should find that it comes off easily.

HELPFUL LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9zgXSdnPGI