3 Childcare Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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If you have a child older than three months, someone has criticized about your childcare choices. And unless you have thicker skin than a rhinoceros, you’ve probably felt at least a twinge of guilt about it. I understand. With my first child, I stayed home full-time till she quit napping (which, okay, was 18 months, but who’s counting?), and my friends said I was a “baby hog” because I never let anyone else watch her. When I finally put her in two-day-a-week preschool, my family shook their heads and said she was awfully young for school. It quickly became clear to me that no matter how much childcare I used or didn’t use, someone was sure to tell me I was making a big mistake.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Quit Pinterest

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Quitting social media is a thing these days. Several of my friends have recently taken “breaks” from Facebook (breaks? Really? From Facebook? The place where I connect with all my friends and family and get 99% of my adult interaction? Why?). They said something about wanting to pay attention to their children, connect with friends in real life, and stop looking at their phones every three minutes. Whatever. I’m not going to judge. It works for them.

But I’m here to tell you: if you want to quit social media, don’t worry about Facebook. Facebook helps you make friends. Twitter  and Instagram are not a problem. Pinterest is what you need to quit.

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How to Make a Phone Call Without Pissing Off Your Toddler

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Moms are 284% more likely to text a friend instead of calling. You might think that’s because your voice is tired from talking over your kids’ whining (true) or because you’ve become socially awkward since becoming a mom (probably also true). But the real reason why you text instead of call is because you don’t want to set off the Phone Call Alarm.

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3 Devious Ways to Simplify Your Child’s Bedtime

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It’s New Year’s Day morning. Before you had children, that would mean that you were still in bed right now, recovering from a night of drinking champagne, dancing till midnight, and kissing random strangers. Now that you have children, it means that you’ve been wide awake drinking coffee since six, and if you were up past midnight last night, it wasn’t because you wanted to see the ball drop. It’s because somebody kept calling you to bring them another glass of water, arrange their blanket just so, or turn back on their stupid night light that’s programmed to turn itself off after a mere 45 minutes.

In other words, it’s because somebody doesn’t understand bedtime.

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The Top 10 Annoying Toys That Are Guaranteed to Appear in Your House If You Have Little Kids

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Thanksgiving is over, which means that Christmas is coming, which means your house will soon be filled with new toys. Most of them, I’m sorry to say, will be toys that you hate. This is because they’ll be chosen by relatives who either a) have never had children or b) have children who are so old that their parents no longer remember what it’s like to have a house full of annoying toys. The likelihood that any particular toy will be given to your child by a relative can be calculated using an equation involving the noisiness, messiness, and general annoyingness of the toy. The higher these factors are, the more likely your kid will get one for Christmas.

Happy New Year.

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Clever Ways to Entertain Your Toddler That Don’t Actually Work

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You may have heard of mothers who get stuff done without babysitters.

These mothers don’t actually exist.

But for some reason — probably for the same inexplicable reason that ideas like unicorns, garden gnomes, and The Abominable Snowman persist — the myth of this Supermom survives. Women all over the world keep dreaming that somehow, someday, they could truly have it all. They could make actual income without spending 99.7% of it on childcare. They could get laundry folded before bedtime. They could pick up all the toys and the shoes. No one can really do this, at least not until their youngest child is six, at which point they have a (free!) daily babysitter (it’s called public school). But the belief that maintaining a home and taking care of a toddler are not incompatible activities just won’t disappear. And so, every day, unsuspecting moms wake up and think, I could get stuff done today.

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10 Disturbingly Codependent Children’s Book Characters

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Most classic fairy tales — the oldest form of children’s stories — have a simple moral: Do what you’re told, or the goblins will get you. Think Hansel and Gretel. Little Red Riding Hood. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If a fairy tale character is told not to do something, they’re guaranteed to go straight out and do it — and then look what happens to them.

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How Separation Anxiety Can Make You Feel Like Supermom

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It doesn’t matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be gone. You could be stepping out of the room to go to the bathroom for a 35.7-second pee. You could be leaving for an 10-hour work day. Or you could be running out for a quick errand while your neighbor watches your child. No matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be gone, your toddler’s reaction is the same. His lower lip juts out, his forehead creases, and his mouth quivers. A tear forms in the corner of his eye as his arms reach for you.

Then the wailing starts.

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The Care and Feeding of Screen Time: The Ultimate Guide

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Any mom who hasn’t had her head under a rock for the past ten years knows the ugly truth about screen time. Screens are bad for kids. TV is bad and iPads are bad and smart phone apps are equally bad. They fry baby’s brains and they make toddlers even more impatient than they already are and they ruin older kid’s creativity, destroying any possibility that your child will ever become the next Steve Jobs, which is ironic since screen time was invented by Steve Jobs. The light from screens is the reason why your kid won’t sleep at night, and the radioactive waves from screened devices will give them cancer, and the evil little-kid characters on the shows will make them whiny and rude and violent.

That’s the truth about screen time.

But it’s not the whole truth.

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Do You Qualify As a Domestic Engineer?

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So you took some time off from work after your baby came. Maybe you thought at first you’d stick with six weeks maternity leave, but by the end of that you wanted to stretch it a little more, and soon you discovered you could totally manage on one income for a while, especially when you considered that putting your baby in daycare would cost more than your mortgage. So you tightened up your budget, strapped on your baby carrier, and settled in for a few months or years of playdates, pacifiers, and long, lovely afternoon naps.

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