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Family

10 everyday things that might seem mundane, but all parents come to appreciate

Waking up naturally is a divine and precious gift.

parenting, appreciation, family, kids
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Take pleasure in little things when you're raising kids.

As a parent, it sometimes feels like you're supposed to be fueled entirely by selfless love and a "spiritual connection" to your children.

But you know what? You matter, too! And there's nothing wrong with needing a little soul-nourishment that doesn't end with you on your knees scrubbing barf out of the carpet.


Yes, it's possible to love your kids deeply but also be a little overwhelmed by what your life has become. It's totally normal to need a little more than just love to keep yourself going.

With that in mind, here are 10 things all parents can agree on about the tiny, but hardly insignificant, pleasures of the daily parent-grind.

1. You've determined that one and a half is the perfect number of drinks.

Perfection.

Drinking alcohol is fun! It's also a brief reminder of what it used to be like when you were allowed to have adult fun. But each drink also increases the amount it will suck if and when the kids wake up early or in the middle of the night.

wine, drinking, alcohol, responsible behavior

The perfect amount of drinks fro healthy relaxing.

Photo by photo pic on Unsplash

The magic number usually tends to be around two drinks, less the half beer left sitting on your night stand after you've just given up and passed out, netting a perfect 1.5.

2. You hate washing dishes, but you love that warm dishwater.

Washing dishes while holding baby? Parenting level: expert.

Children are basically mystical fairies that fill your home with dirty dishes while you aren't looking.

Washing those dishes is an endless, thankless chore, but at least soaking your hands in the hot, frothy water feels kind of nice.

3. You know that silence really is golden.

...

No, no, don't ruin it. Just listen.

Ahhh...

4. You don't drive just to get places.

Most people think cars are just motorized hunks of metal that take you from Point A to Point B.

Parents know that they are, in fact, complex machines designed to make children fall asleep while you pick up dinner at the drive-through, or even just drive aimlessly through an area without a lot of stoplights.

5. You cherish the days where nothing happens.

Getting up, going to work, eating dinner, and going to bed. That's all we really want.

Any day where no one gets sick, injured, or inexplicably, inconsolably cranky is a success.

6. You also love Mondays. (Really.)

Having a young child is kind of like making a bomb out of household items and carrying it around with you. Even if you're really careful, there's a chance it might explode.

Monday (for many of us) means dropping the kids at school or daycare where, short of severe injury or illness, anything that happens after that is their problem.

7. You have a new appreciation for waking up naturally.

bed, morning intimacy, freedom, slumber

Absolute joy when sleeping in and the kids are away.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I barely remember what this feels like..

Being kissed awake by the sun's heavenly rays is so rare that when it does happen, you assume your child must have died in their sleep. But once you confirm that all's well and melt back into a peaceful slumber, there's no better feeling in the world.

8. You know that hot showers are everything.

See: Warm dishwater, silence.

9. You hang out with other parents to put everything into perspective.

Hanging around a bunch of parents is amazing. Everyone's wearing sweats, no one's in shape, and showering is totally optional. Everyone's just trying to get by, OK?

And if you have to go home because your kid's having a meltdown, they're all too busy cutting food into small pieces or monitoring timeout to give you the side-eye.

10. You drink coffee like it is the source of all life.

coffee, source of life, trouble sleeping

The pleasure found in a perfect coffee.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Drinking coffee doesn't really have the same effect as getting more sleep, but it's possible to convince yourself otherwise. Sometimes, though, you'll drink coffee too late in the day and have trouble sleeping.

The only solution to that? Yep. More coffee.

Being a parent is hard. It's OK to admit it.

It doesn't matter if you're tired. It doesn't matter if you're sick. It doesn't matter if it's your birthday. It doesn't even matter if you're tired and sick ON your birthday. (And you will be.)

At least, that's how it can feel.

But psychiatrist Gail Saltz told TODAY Parents, "You have to put your oxygen mask on first," so to speak. "If you go to pieces, everyone is going down with you."

That's why we're all so desperate for that spa day or for a beer with friends. But it might be a while before we can get one on the books.

In the meantime, it pays to look for the little moments in between that give us the juice we need to keep going.


This article originally appeared on 03.15.16

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

This could be the guest house.


Inequality has gotten worse than you think.

An investigation by former "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj is still perfectly apt and shows that the problem isn't just your classic case of "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."


As much as we hear about wealth inequality these days, one disparity remains mostly ignored: the gap between the wealthy and the ridiculously wealthy.

Minhaj spoke to Richard Reeves, an economist with the Brookings Institute, who painted a dark picture:

wealth, comedy, Hasan Minhaj

Wealth inequality on the rise.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

The study Reeves refers to points to the growing wealth of the top 10th of the top 1%:

"The rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012 — a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined."

And no one's paid any attention.

Between the cries of the 45.3 million people in poverty and a dwindling middle class inevery state, the voice of the average millionaire is all but drowned out.

the one percent, inequality, investment

Millionaires unconcerned with financial disparity.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

But not all millionaires are worried about growing inequality in the top 1%.

In his search for a concerned millionaire, Minhaj met Morris Pearl, a retired investment banking director and member of an organization called The Patriotic Millionaires. Minhaj was baffled by what Pearl had to say:

resources, rich, Ronald Reagan

Investment banking pays well.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

What about trickle-down economics?

Trickle-down theory was popularized under Ronald Reagan's presidency. The idea was that clearing a path for the rich to make more money would spur more private investment, which would lead to more jobs and higher wages for all workers.

tax breaks, income, classism

Attempting the preach the reverse.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

Reagan put trickle-down theory into practice in two basic ways: by lowering taxes for the wealthy and by freezing wages for the poor.

In 1981, he cut the top marginal income tax rate — which only applies to the highest-income households — from 70% to 50%. Then in 1986, he more than doubled-down by slashing the rate to 28%. (The current rate is 39.6%.) And under Reagan's leadership, the minimum wage was frozen, even as costs of living were rising.

Pearl and other so-called Patriotic Millionaires think top one-percenters like themselves should pay more taxes.

trickle-down theory, financial institutions, comedy show

Making rich people richer.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

Not only that, they believe raising the minimum wage is critical to reducing inequality.

OK, maybe not everyone — including millionaires — are convinced that giving more money to the rich will fix the economy. So why do our policies do just the opposite?


This article originally appeared on 3.23.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Family

Mom shares simple-but-genius hack for getting kids to try new foods and eat their veggies

"They have discovered they love radishes, bell peppers, salami, cheeses, spicy things, sour things…"

Kids can be finicky eaters.

One of the responsibilities of parenting is making sure our kids are fed nutritious foods. Unfortunately, our kids are not always on board with that idea.

Children's finickiness ranges anywhere from will-eat-anything to will-only-eat-chicken-nuggets and everything in between. Picky eating poses a challenge for parents who want their kids to have balanced, nutritional diet, and all too often it turns into a battle of wills. Unfortunately, food battles can create negative associations with eating and mealtimes, which nobody wants. We do want our kids to try new foods and to learn to enjoy healthy eating, however. So how do we do that?


X user Jeff Thompson posed the question: "Kids picky about food…what’s the strategy to get them to try new things?" and people weighed in with their advice. But one response in particular struck a chord both for its simplicity and effectiveness.

Bethany Babcock wrote, "Ok I actually have a great tip for this. Movie nights the kids get a 'snack plate' for dinner. Like a blend of a charcuterie board and veggie and fruit tray. I put all their favorites and sneak in new foods. All arranged super cute."

"It’s the only time I’m full on Pinterest mom," she added.

She explained that the snacking continues as the movie plays and that the dim lights and semi-distracted state leads the kids to try everything that's on their plate. "The new foods go last but eventually everything is gone," Babcock wrote.

She said she gives them dipping sauces like hummus and dressings to dunk their healthy finger foods in. "The key is to put it all one one big board. The kids eat fast trying things because they are afraid someone else will and they will miss out. They have discovered they love radishes, bell peppers, salami, cheeses, spicy things, sour things…" she shared.

Babcock also shared a photo of how she started with the snack plate idea when her kids were toddlers, opening their "boxes" like they were a surprise.

Some people might take issue with the "mindless eating" aspect of munching in front of a movie, but when the munchies are healthy it's a great way to semi-fool kids into trying something they normally might scoff at. According to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, it can take between eight and 15 tries before a child will accept a new food, but parents often give up after a few attempts. The more opportunities you can find to get kids to taste something, the better.

Of course, there are some foods people just don't like regardless of their age, so if a child has tasted something many many times and still doesn't like it, no need to force it. There's a big, wide world of healthy food options out there, and leaning into the variety and the fun of exploring new foods helps kids expand their palate without the battle.

As KidsHealth.org points out, parents are the ones who control the food offerings, so the key is to provide a range of healthy foods in the home and then encourage kids to explore what's offered. If a little dim lighting and movie distraction helps them do that, all the better.

No need to duke it out with kids to get them to eat their veggies or protein or whatever it is you want them to eat. Just keep offering healthy options, make the food attractive, create a relaxed atmosphere around eating and most kids will inevitably come around to trying almost anything you put in front of them.

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.



According to The Guardian, Burgoyne was flying his drone through a remote patch of forest in Canada when he spotted three moose in a clearing. His drone followed one of the bulls, who began doing the wobbly little shake thing that signals these antlers are going bye-bye.

Burgoyne knew he had to keep his camera on the moment—but he had no idea that he’d hit the jackpot.

Watch below:

It’s hard to tell which is more fun to watch— the super rare moment in nature or Burgoyne’s pure passion for his hobby.

“I shook a little bit. It was an adrenaline rush for sure,“ he told CBC News, sharing that he has previously found hundreds of shed antlers in his life.

Antler hunting has become a hot and profitable pastime over the past few years, although Burgoyne affirms that his shed hunting ambitions are born from a desire for well-being, not monetary gain.

“I enjoy being in the woods. It’s great exercise and it’s fun tracking the moose through the winter and looking for their sheds in the spring. Each one you find feels like the first one. It never gets old,” he told The Guardian.

Well Derek Burgoyne, thank you for doing what you love. Thanks to your passion, we too can share this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Here’s to good moose news!


This article originally appeared on 1.20.23

Photo from YouTube video.

Photo of Skylar.

Even though he was born "Katherine Elizabeth," Skylar lived like a regular little boy for most of his childhood.

He was happy.


This is Skylar.

A photo collection of a young Skylar.

Photo from YouTube video.

Little Skylar.

Photo from YouTube video.

But when puberty hit, he started feeling intense pressure to be "normal" and fit in. So he tried to present as more traditionally "feminine."

Puberty happens.

Photo from YouTube video.

But he couldn't shake the feeling that he was denying a huge part of himself. Late in high school, he started taking testosterone.

Eating and feeling more comfortable.

Photo from YouTube video.

Skylar started feeling more comfortable immediately. And before he knew it, he was at his "dream school," having the time of his life. And taking lots and lots of pictures of himself.

A person and their dog.

Photo from YouTube video.

Access to medical care played a big part in Skylar becoming the person he is today, but that wasn't all.

Check out his story and walk five years in his shoes. It's definitely a perspective we don't see often enough:

This article originally appeared on 08.30.14

OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.


He's the father of two prematurely born kids himself, so the topic is important to him.

"My son was born at 29 weeks and my daughter at 33 weeks," he told me in a phone interview. "These are the kind of pictures I would like to have seen when my first child was born — they've been through that, and they are great now."

Méthot said he knows not all preemie stories have a happy ending — one of his photos features a child whose twin passed away after they were born prematurely — but for so many kids who come early, they go on to experience a great life.

Meet several of the beautiful kids he photographed!

infants, United States, U.S.

1. Lexiani, born at 25 weeks

Original. All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Red M\u00e9thot, project, photographer

2. Noah and Nathan, born at 32 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

kids, children, health

3. Margot, born at 29 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

medicine, doctors, early birth

4. Thomas, born at 23 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

early, healthy babies, fresh

5. Samuel, born at 36 weeks, and his sister Alice, born at 27 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

lively, normal, tough

6. Éva, born at 29 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

strong, able-bodied, recovery

7. Charles, born at 26 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

physically fit, full of life, bright-eyed

8. Chloé, born at 32 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

society, community, parents

10. Felix, born at 23 weeks, and his brother Alexis, born at almost 33 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

improvement, rehabilitation, restoration

11. Noah, born at 32 weeks; his twin sister, Victoria (on the left in the framed picture), passed away when she was one month old

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

arts, pictures, miracles

12. Juliette, born at 30 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

darling, happy, successful

14. Olivier, born at 31 weeks, his sister Ariane, born at 33 weeks, and their brother Noah, born at 34 weeks.

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

family, parenting, therapeutic

15. Émile, born at 26 weeks

Orignal.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

development, recovery, repair

16. Théo, born at 25 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

modern science, technology, p

17. Charles-Antoine and Mara, born at 27 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Méthot's school project originally consisted of 10 photos, but the reaction has been so positive and he's enjoyed taking them so much, he continued adding to the collection.

Currently, he has captured 50 images. (You can view them all in the album on his Facebook page!). Méthot told me that his favorite part of the project has been meeting the subjects.

"Each time I meet a new person, I [learn] about a new story," he said.

And I think we can all agree that Méthot is a wonderful storyteller through his photography. Between his photos showing the bright future so many premature babies have and his photo showing the loss, he captures reality beautifully.


This article originally appeared on 11.6.15