Let's just come right out and say it: One of the biggest perks of vacationing without your kids is that the stuff that seems torturous when you're on the road with them can be positively enjoyable when it's just the two of you. Driving in a car à deux? Relaxing! Waiting in a long security line without any whiners? OK, still kind of tedious, but not nearly as bad! I would have been satisfied just flying solo across the country with an Us Weekly and a plastic cup of wine.
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Getting the norovirus yourself is awful. Having your kid come down with it? Even worse. Each year, norovirus leads to about 21 million illnesses, 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Just eight weeks before the tragedy in Newtown, CT, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called for new community-safety efforts and gun-control legislation. But the buck does not stop on Capitol Hill or the offices of your local school district. It's important for parents to take similar steps in their own homes. Did you know that a 3-year-old has the finger strength to pull the trigger of a gun? That's scary, especially since more than a third of American families own guns, and many of them are stored loaded and unlocked.
Five days after the birth of my first daughter, I held her in my arms as my husband held me. My head was bent against his shoulder, and I was sobbing so heavily that I shook. I could barely breathe, but I pushed out the words: “I. Just. Want. To. Feed. My. Baby.”
That I wouldn’t be able to, and that no lactation consultant or midwife would admit this, turned what would have been a disappointing situation into a near health crisis for my daughter.
Your baby isn't the only one navigating a brand-new world. Life as a new mom is always amazing, often surprising and — let's be honest — sometimes completely intimidating. (What do you mean babies don't come with instruction manuals?) But being a newbie doesn't mean you can't handle your new role like a pro. We've compiled our best advice for all of the mama “firsts” — big and small — you'll encounter in the next 12 months. Get ready for the ride of your life!
The Girls Get a Starring Role