Do You “Parent” Your Partner?

We all know you’re mom of the year with your kids, but are you perhaps extending that “mothering” to your partner? There’s nothing unsexier than having to treat a partner like a kid or being treated like one. Yet it’s not an uncommon scenario between two married people with kids for one partner to sometimes feel as if he or she has to keep track of the other or refer to the partner as the other kid. Of course, it’s a problem no matter how common this situation is. Here are a few signs you’re treating your partner like the third, fourth, or fifth child.

Reminders

Nagging. Ah, the stereotypical nagging wife. There’s some truth to this stereotype at times, and if you are constantly reminding your partner of what to do day in and day out, you’re basically reducing this person to kid status. Sure, it’s annoying for you that Dad forgot to bring home the milk or give the kids their allergy medicines, but refusing to let your partner “lose” on his own and instead constantly telling him what he’s supposed to do not only makes your partner feel like a child, but it also continues to put the bulk of responsibilities onto you.

Read More: Do You “Parent” Your Partner?

Laura

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8 Reasons Moms Need Exercise

Exercising is good for everyone, but moms? Well, we need it the most dare I say! It’s not just about losing the baby weight or being able to rock a bikini if you so desire. No, that’s not why exercising is so crucial for moms. It’s not just the health benefits to your body either. Here are eight reasons moms need to exercise today. Are you ready? Grab your yoga pants, water bottle, and earbuds and get ready to sweat!

1. Stress Reduction

As mothers, we tend to worry a lot all while holding it together either at the house or at the workplace or both! Exercising is a great way to reduce your stress and release pent-up feelings without saying a word.

Read More: 8 Reasons Moms Need Exercise

Let’s Get Physical,

Laura

12 Signs You’ve Picked a Great Preschool

Choosing a preschool for your little one can be worrisome for a mom, but if you think you have found a winning school yet you’re still on the fence, here are 12 signs you’ve picked a great preschool for your little one!

Your Kid Had a Blast at the Visit

Did your child really enjoy visiting the preschool? If so, you’ve picked a good spot. Children are honest, and if they’re not happy, they won’t tell you otherwise. If the teachers could get your child to interact and explore in the preschool at a visit, it’s a good sign that your child will be able to happily adjust to this school.

Did you not take a tour? Oh no! Moms, tours are a must. Schools should allow kids to see the room and get a feel for the atmosphere.

Friendly Staff

If the staff is willing to answer your questions without sounding rude or abrupt, and if they sound welcoming as well as put you at ease, your child (and you) are in good hands. You want to feel as if the staff is approachable and willing to work with parents, especially if this is the first kid you’re sending to preschool!

Read More: 12 Signs You’ve Picked a Great Preschool

Apple for the Writer,

Laura

8 Most Important Things to Remember When Divorcing

So you’re getting a divorce? Now what? Well, only about a billion things. Divorce, whether it’s amicable or ugly, is difficult as it is. Instead of letting your mind wander on a bunch of “What If’s,” get set on tackling the most important matters first in order to move your life ahead into a happier you post-divorce.

Don’t Forget These 8 Things When Divorcing

1. How to Make a Parenting Plan

Figuring out a fair parenting plan is the most essential step towards moving on after divorce for the whole family. If you have a deadbeat dad situation or perhaps you don’t feel your children are safe with your future ex, you’re going to have a different set of challenges than the average divorcees, otherwise, you and your ex will be sharing custody.

Read More: 8 Most Important Things to Remember When Divorcing

Be Prepared,

Laura

A Letter to the Mother of My New Boyfriend’s Kids

As a single mom whose ex is already coupled off and close to introducing his girlfriend to our child, I started to think about what it would be like if it were the other way around: me, dating a man with kids and meeting his ex. Would she feel the way I do about meeting my ex’s new lady? Nervous, concerned, and hopeful? Nervous we won’t like each other. Concerned about whether she’s a good person or not. Hopeful that we can all get along. I’m in my late 30s, so the chances of me meeting and dating a man with kids postdivorce are high. How would I handle the ex-wife or mother of my potential new guy’s kids?

With class and empathy.

Read More: A Letter to the Mother of My New Boyfriend’s Kids

A Classy Lady,

Laura

8 Ways to Support Someone Going Through IVF

I’ve never gone through IVF (in vitro fertilization), but I have experienced pregnancy lossand watched while friend after friend experienced a myriad of infertility issues from stillbirths to multiple rounds of IVF. As a child, it never crossed my mind when playing “house” that those pretend babies I had might not ever be real. Once I got pregnant with the first pregnancy though, I learned that making a baby is not as easy as it looks. Hitting the end of my thirties, I am standing by and holding the hands of friends who are also discovering that, lo and behold, pregnancy is not a walk in the park. If you know a friend or family member going through IVF, keep in mind that it’s not easy and try to support them with one or all of these three ways!

Read More: 8 Ways to Support Someone Going Through IVF

Always Here for a Helping Hand,

Laura

11 Things All Highly Creative People Have In Common

Watch out; you may end up in our next novel.

As a creative person I’ve had a slightly different life than my other friends, who have walked a more traditional path. I can’t tell you how many times people have stared at my resume thinking, “That’s interesting,” or called me into a job interview just to see who I was.

But then again, as a creative person this is just one of the many parts of life we experience. To some people, the way I think is strange; to others, it’s the only way to think.

By others I mean “other creative people.” I guess you could say there’s a tribe of us artists and some folks get us, but others think we’re crazy. And perhaps maybe we are.

  1. We do embarrassing things (and usually for free).

When I started stand-up comedy, it wasn’t unusual to spot me outside a comedy club “barking,” or in other words, shouting out and wrangling in strangers to see a comedy show in which I’d get stage time and perform for five minutes for free.

It wasn’t the most fun thing I did in my life, but it had to be done for stage time, and is a comedian rite of passage. To the average Joe Schmoe, this would be absolutely ridiculous, but to a highly creative person, it’s just one of the many things you do to perfect your craft.

Of course, there was the time I did a public service announcement … and “rapped” in it. Yes, rapped, but at least I got paid for doing it and scored entryway into the actor’s union.

  1. We have endless ideas.

In my inbox, I’ve got about 90 different pitch ideas. It’s not unusual for me to pause a conversation because I’ve got to write down an idea. It’s not unusual for me to ask my friends for “quotes.”

Highly creative people have these inboxes, folders, journals, and sketch pads full of ideas that we whip out whenever the moment hits us.

Read More: 11 Things All Highly Creative People Have In Common

I Don’t Work For Free,

Laura

How to Resist the Temptation to Hover

As a mom who has suffered with bouts of anxiety, I understand what it’s like to have to say to myself, “Don’t hover,” but I have seen parent after parent, most without any anxiety symptoms, hovering over their kids.

The first time I saw hovering was at a Mommy and me class. The babies were mostly between 14 and 18 months. There was one 2-year-old. We were working on an art project and I just sat there and let my girl make her mess, while most of the other moms were taking over to make the art projects look perfect. They had missed the whole point of the class apparently: to give the little ones a sensory experience and some fine motor practice. Oh and let’s not forget: give the little ones some fun! Creating is a good time. When we all left, miraculously all the art projects looked perfect besides my daughter’s, which was exactly the whole point.

I said to one mom who was fussing over an unglued part, “Don’t worry — it’s not the finished product but the process that matters. Besides they’re just babies.”

Read More: How to Resist the Temptation to Hover

Keeping a Distance,

Laura

The Most Important Thing About Dating as a Single Parent

When it comes to dating as a single parent, there is one single most important thing to consider, above everything else:

Would you allow your potential partner to date your child?
Or in other words, is your potential partner good enough for your kids?

Time and time again, I see women and men dating people who don’t exactly cut it.

The man whose girlfriend treats him like a bank account and handyman.

The woman whose boyfriend treats her like a “sidepiece” and inconvenience.

The scenarios are the same for those in LGBT relationships– situations in which one person is settling for less than what they deserve.

Time and time again, I see divorced parents in relationships that aren’t the dream relationship they left their ex’s for.

I see people settling. I see people dating fill-in’s and warm bodies to keep the loneliness at bay.

Read More: The Most Important Thing About Dating as a Single Parent

Setting the Bar High,

Laura

6 Signs You Are in Denial Over Your Child’s Problem

When our kids have problems, it’s the worst feeling in the world as a parent. All we want to do is solve the problem, but sometimes we can’t. Even still, sometimes as parents . . . we deny that there’s a real issue in the first place. Most of the time when this happens, it’s not because a parent is stupid, but that a parent has such strong emotions about the matter that ignoring those ugly and sad feelings is easier than rolling up their sleeves and dealing with those feelings and the problem at hand. As a teacher, I used to see this all the time. A parent would brush off our concerns, refuse to communicate with me and the staff, or put the blame on the school. It was frustrating, but now, as a parent, I have more empathy for those parents who were in “Denial Land.”

Here are a few signs that you may be blowing off a child’s problem and living in that land called “Denial!”

Read More: 6 Signs You Are in Denial Over Your Child’s Problem

Be Aware,

Laura