The Mother’s Day Predicament for Stepmothers

Trisha Ladogna and Rachel Ruby

Stepping Through Girl-with-No-Entry-SignModern-day Mother’s Day celebrations are an opportunity to pay tribute to our mothers and thank them for all their love and support. For stepfamilies, this day of appreciation of mothers and mother-figures can raise a whole lot of something – not all of it always good!

For many reasons, it can be difficult for children, even those with the most amicable of co-parents, to celebrate both their parents and stepparents on Mother’s/Father’s Day. Mother’s Day can highlight the most intractable problems between moms and stepmoms and leave children feeling like they are fighting the ‘Battle Royale’ of internal battles out in public for their whole world to see.

As a stepmother, being ignored by your stepchildren on Mother’s Day – well, it sucks. More so, if you have been in the picture for a long time and you do a lot of parent-like things for your stepchild. Putting yourself in your stepchild’s shoes and looking at the situation from their perspective might help take the sting out of being overlooked or ignored on Mother’s Day. While considering things from the child’s point of view, you might also find that their response towards you on Mother’s Day actually has little to do with you as a person or as a stepmom, but more about their own feelings and struggles. [Read More…]

Taking Back Mother’s Day

by Nancy LaMar-Rodgers

Ode to Mom

I am the youngest of eight children. I was born in 1963, a bygone era of large families and stay-at-home moms.  My mother had eight children within 13 years with a few miscarriages thrown in for good pregnancy measure.

We are Irish Catholics with no sense of rhythm and therefore yearly pregnancies were the norm.

While I remember us celebrating Mother’s Day as adult children, I have no recollection of what that day looked like for her when we were all young.  I know that Mothers Day existed, because Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation in 1914 declaring it a day of honor for mothers. [Read More…]

Celebrate Your Mother-Colleagues This Mother’s Day

by Lori Mihalich-Levin

working momsDuring the holiday season a few years ago, the chief of my division at work gave each of us a bottle of wine as an end-of-the-year thank you gift.  Attached to the bottle was a typed note of the things she was grateful for, and at the top of the page was a handwritten, personalized note of gratitude.

To me, she wrote “Thank you for juggling work and motherhood so elegantly.”  Elegence?!  I was breathtaken.  I was only a few months back from maternity leave after the birth of my second child, and that word was the antithesis of how I would have described myself.

Here I was, thinking I was frazzled beyond recognition, burning candles at both ends, wearing  ponytails and quite possibly clothing that smelled like spit-up.  And the word she chose was “elegantly”?! [Read More…]

Mother’s Day: Five Tips to Caring for a Mom Who Never Really Took Care of You

By Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. and Rosemary Lichtman, Ph.D.

Are you dreading Mother’s Day again this year and worrying about what to do for your mom? Perhaps you have never been close or are now estranged and feeling angry. Have you cut the mother-daughter ties and ignore the day, but remain resentful and sad? Or do you pretend everything is OK and give her a gift anyway?

Even though the media lead us to believe that all mothers deserve flowers and chocolates, if you don’t have a good relationship, this ‘special’ day can be agonizing. [Read More…]

Is Mother’s Day Just Another (Obligatory) Hallmark Holiday?

by Nicholas D'Ambra

Nicholas' mom II remember reading somewhere that a stay-at-home mom’s salary hangs somewhere around $112,000 a year. This includes overtime, which… lets’ face it…it should. The hourly average comes out at .25 below $18 per hour. Where we live, we pay a good sitter $15 per hour, so that hourly rate is, if anything, low (insert wide-eye emoticon here).

The two things we do not value enough in this country are stay-at-home parents (I’m including Dads here, because times have changed, people!) and teachers. It’s ironic, really, because as Americans, we want to be the best in all things and we value family so very much.

And if we value family so much, then why are moms… and dads who stay at home so under-valued/under-appreciated? [Read More…]

By |May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Gay Fathers, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , |0 Comments

11 Days to a New Midlife Mother’s – Day (A Carol Sung to “The 12 Days of Christmas”)

by Cyma Shapiro

Mothers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the 30th day of April, Another said to me, “Good for You!”

On the first day of May, Another said to me, “What were you thinking?”

On the second day of May, Another said to me, “Why would you do this?”

On the third day of May, Another said to me, “When will you retire?”

On the fourth day of May, Another said to me, “Are you the Grandma?”

On the fifth day of May, Another said to me, “You’re how old?”

On the sixth day of May, Another said to me, “You are pretty selfish!”

On the seventh day of May, Another said to me, “Is this your first marriage?”

On the eighth day of May, Another said to me, “How did you do this?”

On the ninth day of May, Another said to me, “Who is the father?”

On the tenth day of May, Another said to me, “A lot of people are doing this.”

 

12 Days to Mother’s Day (A Carol Sung to “The 12 Days of Christmas”)

by Cyma Shapiro

Happy Mother's Day

 

 

 

 

 

On the 29th day of April, my mother said to me, “Why don’t you ever call home?”

On the 30th day of April, my mother said to me, “Look at me when I talk with you.”

On the first day of May, my mother said to me, “You need a bigger diamond.”

On the second day of May, my mother said to me, “Thanks for that tchatchke.”

On the third day of May, my Mother said to me, “Would you jump off the bridge if someone told you to?”

On the fourth day of May, my Mother said to me, “I wasn’t born yesterday.”

On the fifth day of May, my Mother said to me, “Wait until you have kids.”

On the sixth day of May, my Mother said to me, “When will you marry?”

On the seventh day of May, my Mother said to me, “When will I become a Grandma?”

On the eighth day of May, my Mother said to me, “Come sit on my lap.”

On the ninth day of May, my Mother said to me, “You’ll thank me when you get older.”

On the tenth day of May, My Mother said to me, “If only you knew what I know.”  

By |April 29th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |4 Comments

What, Me Worry? (A Commentary on the Recent East Side/NYC Apartment Building Explosion)

by Lydia Chiappetti

St Mark's PlaceMy son lives one avenue over from the East Village burned-out building, destroyed by a major gas leak explosion a few weeks ago.

He had been worried that it was a matter of time before areas of the city, particularly the Village, imploded. The infrastructure is just too old and jerry-rigged, he complained, as we munched on delicious Korean dumplings, hand rolled by Korean ladies standing behind the counter in front of us.

I have always worried about someone pushing him onto the subway tracks or his being mugged on a dark street at two a.m.-never imaging a gas explosion around the corner from his apartment, destroying an entire building and quarantining several neighboring ones. [Read More…]

D(olce) & G(abbana) Are Only Two Letters in DisGust (A Commentary on the D&G Scandal)

by Nicholas D'Ambra

dolce & gabbanaImagine Oprah saying in an interview that she didn’t think African-Americans deserved equal rights. Or, Gloria Steinem saying that women should be barefoot and pregnant.

Talk about taking way too many steps backward.

I’m not saying Dolce and Gabbana are as important as the two women above, especially in reference to those ladies’ fierce opinions and ardent support of their respective causes. D&G are, however, fashion icons with a platform to speak, and in the gay world (of which I’m a member), fashion is almost like a religion of sorts.

I find it interesting that people, like Dolce and Gabbana, who excuse their words under “freedom of speech,” are generally people who are espousing words of hate. I could completely see D&G’s point of view if they were some red state-heterosexual-morons with a complete lack of education and brain function. They are not, however, and that is what is so disturbing. [Read More…]

8 Rules of Toddler Parenting

by Julie Scagell

julie and kid at hospitalI am the mother of three children; my youngest is three years old. Living with a toddler presents a myriad of challenges on a daily basis.

Here is my helpful list for parents to navigate the uncertain waters of living with a small, human- like piranha.

1 – Leave all cookies and candy on the lower pantry shelf, within their reach. This will reduce trips to the ER when they try to rescue said candy from your hiding spot. Toddlers are like tiny ninjas with zero agility. When weighing out cavities versus stiches, cavities win every time.

2 – Try to outfit your bathroom with the most comfortable furniture you own. You will spend an excessive amount of time watching and/or waiting for poop to come out of their precious bottoms. You may as well be comfortable waiting. If you can fit a small wine fridge in there, it would be an added bonus. [Read More…]

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