Posts Tagged ‘parent’

We’re born to appreciate parents!

Friday, May 31st, 2013

boc-fathers-day-55-1134-vert1The March of Dimes imbornto campaign is intended to engage with parents around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day since our quest for “stronger, healthier babies” truly begins with the most important people in babies’ lives – parents! Through our history, our support of parents has been an understated but crucial aspect of addressing the medical and public health problems that have been the focus of our mission. Only a parent can measure most profoundly the personal effects of illness and disability on a child. Our emphasis today on healthy pregnancy and healthy babies implicitly involves parents in our most important objectives. After all, this concern is at the basis of providing “News Moms Need.”

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special occasions to honor one’s parents. In the 1950s the March of Dimes recognized Mother’s Day by selecting an annual “Polio Mother of the Year.” But the hoopla surrounding such publicity skirts the momentous fact that the conquest of polio was achieved by millions of women (and men) who joined “Mothers March,” the most successful fund-raiser of those years. “Mothers March on Polio” soon became “Mothers March on Birth Defects,” and the volunteer moms and dads behind these efforts were as much responsible for improving children’s health as the creators of vaccines and the leaders in perinatal breakthroughs. This is but one reason why we laud the contributions of mothers and fathers today.

From Virginia Apgar’s 1972 book of advice to new parents, Is My Baby All Right?, to our decades-long involvement in supporting families undergoing the traumatic experience of a NICU hospitalization, the March of Dimes has appreciated the role of parents in children’s health. Our current push for creating transdisciplinary centers for research on premature birth runs parallel to our propensity for collaboration and team-building, and the role of parents in these endeavors is just as fundamental to the overarching social goals of improving children’s health.

In 1955, the National Father’s Day Committee selected March of Dimes President Basil O’Connor as “Father of the Year.” In the wake of the success of the polio vaccine created with March of Dimes funds by Dr. Jonas Salk, his selection may seem to us all-too-obvious in retrospect. His daughters, Sheelagh O’Connor and Bettyann Culver, attended a recognition luncheon, and the requisite photographs were taken. Among the many letters of congratulations that O’Connor received, one close business contact wrote, “You are a good father, and you are an exceptionally good citizen and good friend.” It is in this spirit of warm appreciation that the March of Dimes pays tribute to mothers and fathers. Hats off to all moms and dads!

A baby – are you ready emotionally?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

are-you-readyWhen we talk about preconception health, we usually mean your physical health.  But, there’s so much more to becoming a parent than just being in good physical shape. There are big changes involved that will affect you in a number of different ways.

Being a parent is a full-time job. Before you get pregnant, think about the emotional and lifestyle issues you will face as a parent. It’s important for you and your partner to agree on most of the major issues, or begin discussing your differences, before you conceive.

The following questions can help you think through some of the emotional issues you’ll face as a parent.

1 – Why do you want to have a baby? Do you want to have a baby or is your partner, parent or someone else pressuring you?
2 – How will a child affect your relationship with your partner? Are you both ready to become parents?
3 – If you’re not in a relationship, are you prepared to raise a child alone? Who will help you?
4 – How will a baby affect your education or career plans?
5 – Do you and your partner have religious, cultural or ethnic differences? Have you discussed how you’ll handle these differences and how they might affect your child?
6 – What will you do for child care?
7 – Are you prepared to parent a child who is sick or has special needs?
8 – Are you ready for your free time to become limited? Are you ready to give up sleeping late on weekends? Or find child care when you want to go out without your baby?
9 – Do you enjoy spending time with children? Can you see yourself as a parent?
10 – What did you like about your childhood? What didn’t you like? What kind of childhood do you want for your child?

These are tough questions, and there are no correct answers.  Only you can decide if you’re emotionally ready to have a baby.

Is your workplace family friendly?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

familyWorking outside the home and raising a family: That’s a tall order! So much to do, so little time.

But companies can help parents by being “family friendly.” What does that mean? Here are some policies that companies have put in place: 

Flextime. Moms and dads adjust when they start and leave work to accommodate day care, doctor’s appointments, games, recitals, school plays, etc. When my sister went back to work after the birth of her youngest son, flextime was her top priority.

* Paid leave time for new moms and dads.

* Job-sharing and part-time work.

* Telecommuting. Mom and dads work some days from home and stay in touch with the company by computer.

* A special space for breastfeeding moms. This may be just a small, plain room. But it makes it possible for moms to express milk in privacy. No more struggling with the pump in a bathroom stall.

* Backup child care for when the usual plans fall apart. And I don’t have to tell you: they do fall apart now and then.

Every year Working Woman magazine recognizes companies that are “family friendly.” Take a look at the list of the top 100 and what they do to help their employees be good parents. How does your company compare?

He had it coming – Moms upset with dads

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

madThis is my favorite song in the musical, Chicago. Yes, it’s a little dark and sinister. But I think part of the reason I like this song is because it expresses an emotion (severe, mind you) that I can sometimes “understand.” Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to physically harm my husband for forgetting to put his dishes in the dishwasher or for always leaving his socks/pants/shirts on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper. But sometimes I get so aggravated… ARGHHH!!!

I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. The New York Times Motherlode blog recently had a post about how more moms are increasingly upset with their partners. It seems that a story on called “Mad at Dad” is getting a lot of readers’ attention. The Web site surveyed 1,000 moms and found that many of them feel frustrated, angry and irritated at their partners.

Things like not helping out more around the house (just expecting things to get clean), being clueless about their children’s daily needs (Timmy’s soccer game at 3, Sally’s dance class at 1:30), and not knowing the best way to care for their children (putting hats and gloves on the kids when it’s cold outside) are causing moms to be upset with their partners at least once a week or more. The survey also found that:
• 2 out of 5 moms are mad that dads can’t multitask
• 3 out of 10 moms are mad that dads don’t do their share of the chores
• 1 out of 2 moms feel that dads get more time for themselves than moms do
• 3 out of 5 moms don’t share with their friends about what they’re going through, or will make light of it

What do you all think? Do you feel the way some of these moms do? How do you cope with it?

Food shopping on a budget, part 1

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

There’s no question that with the rise in fuel and food costs, our dollars are just not buying as much as they used to before.  Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store can give your heart and nerves a big jolt.  But, there are some ways that can help stretch those dollars if you’re food shopping on a budget.

Before heading out
• Have a budget for how much you can afford to spend at the grocery store.
• Take inventory.  Look in the fridge and check out the pantry for what items need to be purchased.  Make a list and stick to it!
• Try to come up with a menu for the week.  This can help you organize your shopping list.
• Browse the store circulars for great deals on select items.  Also, check out the manager’s specials for weekly bargains.
• Don’t be afraid to visit a few stores for various items to take advantage of the different sales at each store.
• Use coupons for items you need. But, be careful of overbuying or trying new items simply because you have a coupon for it.
• If possible, leave the kids in the care of a family member or friend.  Kids can distract you from sticking to the shopping list.
• Never go food shopping on an empty stomach.  You could end up buying much more food than you actually need.

More tips to come on what to do at the grocery store.

The stress of being a single parent

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Having been a single parent for a number of years, I can say with some authority that it’s hard, I mean really hard. But it’s also great. I have a closeness with my kids that I might never have had otherwise. But back to hard… Whether you are a single parent by choice, divorce, or your spouse is in the military on the other side of the planet, it’s a very tough job.

Day-to-day responsibilities are relentless. All decisions are made by you alone, often with nobody with whom to even bounce around ideas. And when the kids get a little older, they become experts at pushing your buttons with style. Here are some tips for dealing with trying times:

  • Continue to take good care of yourself, eating as well as you did during pregnancy, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough rest and physical exercise
  • Ask for and accept help from family members and friends. It makes them feel good, too.
  • Avoid cabin fever by getting out of the house each day, even if just for a walk.
  • Set clear boundaries with relatives and children. Be flexible, but loosey goosey all the time gets confusing and tires you out. You’re the parent, you set the rules.
  • Stick to a schedule when you can. Even babies benefit from a regular routine. Eating and sleeping times will change a lot during the first year and adapting to the baby’s schedule will make life easier for you both. Bedtime can be a fun and cuddly time for you both, but when it’s time for the lights to go out, stick to your guns – you’ll both benefit from the sleep and down time.
  • Keep up your friendships and outside activities. Get a parent or sitter to watch the baby one night a week, or take the baby with you to a friend’s house for dinner or meet for lunch.
  • Carve out a little time each day just for you, even if it’s just ten minutes. Read a book, find a quiet place to listen to your favorite music or relax in a bubble bath by candle light. Ahhhhhhh.
  • Accept a little clutter. For those of us who are neatniks, this may take some practice. But the fact of the matter is getting enough rest and spending quality time with your children is more important than a spotless home right now.
  • Talk about your feelings (including sadness, frustration and anger) with someone you trust. You can join a local or on-line support group for parents, too.
  • Make friends with other parents (did you keep in touch with the women you met in your childbirth education classes?).

What other suggestions do you have?