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JetBlue/FlyBabies Ad

A new ad by U.S. airline JetBlue is putting a positive spin on flying with babies, a scenario often dreaded by fellow passengers.

The campaign titled “Fly Babies” was released just ahead of Mother’s Day and features a handful of moms discussing their pre-flight apprehensions about traveling with a young child.

“I don’t want to be that lady with the baby who’s screaming for four hours,” said one woman.

“I think the worst thing that could happen on this flight is that he’ll get overtired which causes a lot of screaming and people definitely give you some dirty looks,” added another.

In an innovative and unexpected twist later in the video, a flight attendant takes the microphone to announce that for the first time, a crying baby on-board an airplane will actually be a “good thing.”

She then announces that for each infant outburst, passengers will be awarded 25% off their next flight, meaning four consecutive cries will yield a free trip.

It is a weird and wonderful sight from that point on to see the plane full of passengers cheer every time they hear a tiny tantrum.

The video then ends with a nudge to future passengers,  “Next time, smile at a baby for crying out loud.”

See the emotional ad here:

 

 

"Bad Moms"

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!

Screen Shot of the Procter & Gamble ad campaign titled "Strong"

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

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Pregnant and postpartum populations should be screened for signs of depression, according to a study by an influential U.S. panel.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its 2009 findings on depression screening for adults to include, for the first time, expectant and postnatal women. The panel also recommended treatment and follow-up plans post-delivery.

“The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends collaborative care for the management of depressive disorders based on strong evidence of effectiveness in improving depression symptoms, adherence to treatment, response to treatment, and remission and recovery from depression” read the report published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in reference to the study’s findings of all adults. “This collaboration is designed to improve the routine screening and diagnosis of depressive disorders, as well as the management of diagnosed depression.”

The study recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a form of treatment for pregnant or breastfeeding women because of the potential harms to a fetus or newborn from certain pharmaceutical drugs. According to the findings, the risk of harms associated with CBT treatment in postpartum and pregnant women is “small to none.”

Other medical associations, including The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend depression screening at least once during the perinatal period.

RELATED LINKS:

Part 1: Understanding Postpartum Depression

Part 2: A Snapshot into Life with Postpartum Depression

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Having a newborn is tough; there are no two ways about it. It’s a life-altering adjustment that you can’t fully prepare for beforehand and the feeling of being overwhelmed is almost constant. At one point or another, we all felt driven to our wits end by the demands of having someone rely on us 24/7 and we silently (or not so silently) prayed for the newborn stage to be over.

So you can imagine my surprise, when, as I turned the page on my daughter’s first year, I found myself reflecting on those harrowing first months with a sense of nostalgia. Maybe it’s the rose-colored glasses that go hand-in-hand with a full night’s sleep, but nonetheless, there are things I definitely miss about having a newborn.

Here are just some of them:

“Enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly”: As I wandered from shopping mall to grocery store looking like a zombie from the planet NeverGonnaSleepAgain, the last thing I wanted to hear were a bunch of clichés about cherishing this special time. Now, I begrudgingly accept that everyone was right as I realize how fleeting those few months really were.

My swollen…everything: Remember barely being able to sit down? How about the two engorged volcanoes on your chest threatening to erupt any minute? It felt like torture at the time, but looking back, those aches and pains were battle scars and a constant reminder of the tiny life that depended solely on you for survival.

Lack of Routine: Think about it. When in your later life will you ever be exempt from conforming to a schedule? In a warped way, having a newborn is like the loophole of adulthood, you’re basically encouraged to sleep in the middle of the day. Um, awesome?

The bucket car-seat: I used to curse that thing left and right! It was cumbersome and awkward to carry; I remember threatening to chuck it out the window at least twice. But now that it’s cold out, it would be SO nice to be able to fasten our daughter into the bucket indoors rather than pile her into a freezing cold car and attempt to secure her with frozen fingers.

Middle of the night feedings: There were nights I recall feeling like I was the only person awake in the entire world. The exhaustion felt relentless, like someone was forcing my eyes open with toothpicks. In retrospect, those overnights spent rocking my daughter back to sleep rank highly among the most special times of my life.

Pumping: Just kidding. Nothing to miss about that.

So you see, to everything there is a silver-lining and the newborn stage is no exception. It may take six-months and a trip to the day spa to realize it, but those challenging early days – and all the crap that goes with them – are unique and so incredibly rewarding that you might occasionally find yourself wishing for them back.

Cara Scholl lives in Toronto with her husband and 13-month old daughter.  Her passions include following politics, musical theatre and experimenting with her slow-cooker. She holds a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and enjoys documenting her parenting adventures on her recently established blog, The Mommy Brew.