As a mom to two sons, I am keenly aware of the gender expectations and stereotypes that weigh on boys and men in our culture. As this Upworthy video shows, the consequences of growing up with the belief that emotions are a sign of weakness can be damaging, at best, and devastating, at worst. Here are five simple ways you can help your little boy find—and keep—his emotional health and balance as he grows.
Taylor Hengen Newman
A little bit crunchy, a little bit rock n’ roll, Taylor Hengen Newman is an Austin, Texas-based freelance writer, massage therapist, and mama to 3-year-old Kaspar and new baby Otto! She enjoys writing about peaceful parenting, food politics and green urban lifestyles. In addition to blogging on BabyZone.com, Taylor has written for Parenting.com, WorkingMother.com, DisneyBaby.com and other parenting web sites; she also maintains a personal, just-for-fun blog at Alt-Mama.com. Taylor’s passions include cooking, yoga, photography and entrepreneurship. She hopes to inspire others, through her work, to live consciously and creatively, and to enjoy the everyday moments of their lives.
An employee at a Victoria’s Secret store in Austin, Texas, recently told a customer—who was about to purchase about $150 worth of merchandise when her 4-month-old started fussing—that she could not breastfeed her baby in one of the store’s dressing rooms… but was welcome to do so in a nearby alley. (She ended up feeding her baby in a neighboring restroom.)
These kinds of stories, as common as they unfortunately are, always surprise me. I just don’t understand how anyone finds nursing a baby offensive, let alone when it’s done discreetly in a dressing room. But at a dressing room in a Victoria’s Secret store (by all appearances a very boob-friendly establishment…)? In Austin (in my experience, a very pro-nursing town)?
I am all aboard the new Popemobile these days. The Popemobile itself, of course, now happens to be a modest Ford Focus, which Pope Francis has chosen over the limo his predecessors cruised around in. He’s a laid-back guy, this Pope, and he’s living according to what he understands as truly Christian values. Which is to say, humbly, and as an advocate for those whose voices aren’t always heard. He’s ruffled quite a few feathers since being appointed almost a year ago. In December, he offered a moral critique of capitalism that some people (less-progressive pundits, mostly) found rather alarming. And in addition to defending a more humanistic (and environmentally sound) social, political and economic world, the Pope is also—wait for it—breastfeeding friendly.
Parents go to great lengths—from Baby Einstein DVDs to cutthroat pre-school applications—in order to give their kids a leg up in our competitive world. Ensuring our children grow into “successful” adults often feels (along with keeping the littles, you know, alive and intact) like our primary job description. We want this, ostensibly, because we want our kids to be happy. But a mountain of recent scientific research on the relationship between success and happiness indicates that we’ve been approaching it all wrong. Which is to say, backwards.
Real moms share their low-maintenance, high-impact tips for when you’re short on sleep and showers, but ready to rock some style.
Everyone loves homemade gifts and DIY decorations! Spend some cozy, crafty time with your littles by creating these sweet and simple projects together; they’re perfect for gifting, or for sparkling up your own home for the holidays.