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If parenting were a horror movie—and let's face it, sometimes it is—then the villain would be the terrible twos. Everybody watching knows the that movie bad guy will wreak havoc on the
characters in the movie, just like every parent knows to beware the 2-year-old.
But when you have a 3-year-old, you realize there's a
new villain in town and her name is Threenager. Suddenly that 2-year-old throwing a tantrum doesn't seem so terrible compared to that 3-year-old who can
go totally "Real Housewives"-level dramatic within seconds of saying, "Mommy, you're my first best friend."
See, the thing about the terrible twos is they're not so
terrible when compared to the other awful phases parents will endure
with their children. Child development experts will say our young children's
hard phases are all part of their development, but those phases could cause most sane mothers to call a glass of wine her first best friend.
Well, hang on to those glasses, because here are all the other tyrant stages our little ones
will go through. Check out what you have to look forward to:
You'll love bonding with your infant for hours on end while
she cuddles in your arms for the first six months of her life, but eventually
you'll notice that's all she does. You'll chastise your husband for saying,
"Babies don't do much"—even though you'll think the same thing yourself. Don't worry, as soon as that baby starts
crawling, you'll miss those months when she did nothing but nothing.
The Wounded Walking Ones
When a baby starts walking, game on. Just
because a child can walk doesn't mean he's good at it. But your little walker won't be the only one
in the house who's feeling a little worse for wear from practicing walking.
You'll need a chiropractor and a deep tissue massage from the hours spent
hunched over trying to keep that little guy from walking into yet another
Anything can happen with a terror-alert two in the house. Well, anything but quiet, that is.
Forget the terrible twos! Two-year-olds are little terrors who thrive on destroying things, touching
things, eating things, peeing on things, climbing on things and jumping off of
anything possible. Once you have a 2-year-old in the house, your home's terror
threat level is permanently on high. Anything can happen with a terror-alert two in the house. Well, anything but quiet, that is.
Three-year-old toddlers are like little teenagers minus the
braces. They have all the attitude and eye-rolling of a teen, minus the moments
when teens remember to be nice. The most loving thing your threenager will
say to you is, "Mommy, you have a big tummy." This will be much better than her
usual comment to you: "You're the worst Mommy ever!"
The 'Eff You' Fours
Four-year-olds see the world through 'eff you!'-colored lenses and they're always looking for ways to tell you that you're wrong, don't know what
you're talking about, or how they'd be better off living in another family. This
is particularly deceptive because 4-year-olds are absolutely adorable … when
they're sleeping. Don't be fooled, 4-year-olds are brutal. Trust me, I have
The Fantastic Fives
On your child's 5th birthday, you'll hear harps
play and everything will seem to move in slow motion. That's because, for the first time in your
parenting career, your child is a real human being. Gone are the diapers, cribs and car seats
that are more difficult to unlock than Fort Knox. In their place will be a
small, but lovely human being who doesn't pee his pants or throw a temper
tantrum every time he enters the local Target. Enjoy age five while it lasts. Six is coming.
The Sassy Sixes
Just when you got used to your fantastic 5-year-old, she had a birthday and opened up a gift box filled with sass.
Six-year-olds are the Google of young children, or so they
think. That's because 6-year-olds are
experts in everything. And just when you got used to your fantastic
5-year-old, she had a birthday and opened up a gift box filled with sass. So
get ready for car rides filled with, "Mommy, you're wrong!" and "Mommy, you don't
know anything about fairies." One thing you will know a lot about is sass, because
your 6-year-old will deliver it each and every day.
Three words: Drop-off playdate! Boo-ya! You made it. Your
7-year-old will have sleepovers and drop-off birthday parties, and will start to see his
friends as his primary entertainment rather than you. This will seem amazingly
liberating for the first 27 seconds until you realize your 7-year-old is
growing up. And in a few short years—just 23 to be exact—he'll be 30. That'll
feel like it's almost tomorrow. Suddenly, those days of having a "Is This All You Do?" 3-month-old will seem like paradise.