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Ah, the sweet milestones of childhood. Nothing makes a mom more proud than adding an entry to the baby book (First steps! First words!), then posting about it on Facebook for all to like. But beyond taking the training wheels off the bike and the first day of kindergarten, there are other childhood milestones that aren’t so status worthy. These are the kinds of milestones only your mom friends truly understand.
Little kid noses are cute as a button, right? The same sweet tiny nose can pack one heck of a punch during the cold season. While sucking the snot out of a baby’s nose isn’t anything to cheer about, at least it’s contained in that snot sucker thing. But sometime around age 5 kids develop an incredibly strong sneeze that will surprise the hell out of you the first time snot flies across the room. Time to teach the “sneeze into your elbow” trick—even if you’re the one who does the laundry.
When you’ve got a new baby, you are constantly dealing with spit up. But real barf? That’s a whole different ball game. Experienced moms just smile and nod at new moms when they talk about spit up, because they know. It gets worse, ladies. The first time your kid really barfs—whether it’s all over the car, in their bed or on the table at the restaurant—you have finally become a real mom.
3. Bloody tooth
Losing a tooth is a huge milestone for a kid. I mean, the tooth fairy—what’s not to love? Um, that disgusting, bloody tooth that dangles from your kid’s gums for days, that’s what. And guess who usually has to “help” the tooth out? Mom.
4. Body odor
Seriously, this is one that takes most moms completely by surprise. Whether it happens at the age of 8 or 12, that first time you catch a whiff of body odor coming from your not-yet-a-teen kid you will be blown away—and buying unscented deodorant faster than your tween can say “Axe Body Spray.”
5. Underarm hair
Nothing is more exciting than that first summer day at the swimming pool—especially if your kid sprouted underarm hair somewhere between winter break and Memorial Day. While your girl will most likely be freaking out and begging for a razor, boys are more likely to flex and raise their arms in a show of new found manliness. See also: Body Odor.
6. Dead thing in pocket
The problem with collecting live things is that they often don’t stay alive in a pocket.
Any mom worth her weight in frogs knows, kids collect things (live things, at times). And the problem with collecting live things is that they often don’t stay alive in a pocket. Check your laundry, moms.
OK, that first baby poop at the hospital? Pretty gross. Most moms secretly cross their fingers that it conveniently happens when the baby is with the nurses. But baby poop in general aren’t really that horrible on the smell scale. But there is a distinctive shift at some point, after you’ve introduced lots of solid foods, when all of a sudden that diaper is filled with real poop. And you will silently wish that the newborn poop would come back.
8. Urine sample
The first time your kid has to produce a urine sample on demand for the pediatrician is an event to remember, especially since you probably have to “assist” in gathering the sample. This is one of many reasons moms should keep hand sanitizer in their purse at all times.
9. Stool sample
See Urine Sample—then multiply by a gross factor of 5.
10. Broken bone
Not all moms will experience this unfortunate milestone of childhood, but if you do you’ll know it’s a nasty one. Whether you’ve got a standard broken bone or a fracture that breaks the skin, be prepared for some nastiness. Kids with broken bones are not happy campers. And the smell of a cast after about four days? Ugh. See also: Barf.
Same as Broken Bone (above), but made worse by the fact that stitches are gross. And you have to keep them clean. Cue crying, projectile sneezing and several weeks of agony for mom and kid.
The first time you see actual blood pouring from your kid’s nose you will freak—seriously, you will be convinced it’s coming from their brain. But dry weather, asthma inhalers and too much nose picking often lead to a bloody nose in kids, and it’s best to be prepared instead of flipping out and calling 911.
So keep those sweet stories for the baby book, because these nasty milestones are best shared over a glass of wine with your mom friends. Trust me.