More

9 thoughtful things to stash in your favorite new-mom care package.

Making time for self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for new moms.

9 thoughtful things to stash in your favorite new-mom care package.
True
Healthy Essentials

12 days after his scheduled arrival, baby boy Alexander Anselme Keith came into the world on the morning of  Oct. 5.

His mother, Peggy, is one of my best friends in the world.

Little Alexander, hanging out with his penguin and lion friends. Image via Peggy Gordon, used with permission.


I met Peggy in our first year of university in Canada, where we're from. We were nerdy and witty, obsessed with "The Simpsons," boys with bleached hair, music trivia, and flavored vodka.

Over the last 20 years, we've grown up a lot. Our hair is better, our eyesight a little worse. There's a lot less body glitter and a lot more coffee. Peggy got married. We've both established careers and traveled. While I'm not sure I'll ever have kids, I knew from the day I met her that Peggy's fierce devotion and powerful capacity for love would make her a wonderful mom.

And, of course, she absolutely is. Once baby Alex gets a little better at object permanence, I'm excited to take on my role as a goofy, nerdy aunt and teach him about Monty Python, Harry Potter, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Me on the left, Peggy on the right. It's 1998, if you couldn't already tell by my hair. Image via Heather Libby.

In the meantime, I have another important job as a best friend: helping his mom maintain her sanity and composure while she adapts to her new role. Even though we're in the same city, I can't be there with a wipe for every stuffed nose or soiled backside. I can, however, share with her some lovely little items that'll make her busy life a little easier and her downtime a little more relaxing. Making time for self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for new moms. After all, we can only fill up our children with love if we’re full, too!

In honor of my wonderful friend, here’s what I’m putting in her care package:

1. Specialty dark chocolate

The health benefits of fair-trade dark chocolate may be up for debate, but that it is a wonderful, delicious indulgence is not. Coupled with a wheel of local camembert, some crackers, and a mandarin orange, it’s a nice treat for mom on her own or to share with dad on an impromptu date night once the baby is off to bed.

Image via Pexels.

2. Escapist reading material

The world can seem like a dismal, ridiculous place at times. But this baby — and all others born in 2016 — have the potential to grow up and change it. I picked up a Rolling Stone magazine featuring a beloved band and a book about our shared favorite nation (Canada!) for a glorious, positive distraction.

3. Tinted lip balm

Because looking and feeling put together isn't something moms should have to give up.

4. Face wipes

Blessed are you, quick-cleansing wipes. Image via Healthy Essentials®.

These face wipes are great for busy mornings that start too early, or for those times when she just needs a quick refresh.

5. A silky moisturizer for (almost) baby-soft skin

When mom is snatching a few hours or minutes of sleep at a time — and trying to raise a quickly growing bundle of love — remembering to take care of herself isn’t always a priority. This AVEENO® Daily Moisturizer will keep her skin soft and moisturized all day.

6. Dry shampoo

In my opinion, dry shampoo is the greatest innovation of the 2000s. It foofs (yes, that's the technical term) up flat, dirty hair in seconds, making the choice between "Mom gets to wash her hair for the first time in four days" and "Mom cleans spit-up off the couch before it dries" a lot less disappointing. (If you can't find dry shampoo, sub in JOHNSON'S® baby powder — it can actually serve as a form of dry shampoo!)

7. A sleep mask for napping during the day

A two- or three-hour feeding schedule makes things like daytime and nighttime seem pretty arbitrary. For moms who prefer a little darkness when they sleep, this mask comes in pretty handy during tandem afternoon naps with a sleepy babe.

8. Fancy caffeine-free herbal tea

Because it smells and tastes like relaxation. Mmmmm.

9. Hot water bottle and fuzzy sleeve

Making a baby and giving birth is some of the hardest work a mom's body will do. This hot water bottle will help sore muscles relax as her body heals. Added bonus: It looks like a giant wooly sock!

BRB, going back to the store for one of my own. Image by Heather Libby.

There's a lot I still don't know about life. One thing is for sure, though: Taking time to care — for ourselves and for those we love — is essential.

I've been friends with Peggy since we were dorky teenagers, and I know we'll be friends when we're older, grayer, and probably not wiser. Whenever we can be, we're there for each other. When we can't be, care packages are a great alternative!

via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Kara Coley, a bartender at Sipps in Gulfport, Mississippi, got an unusual phone call on the job last week.

Photo courtesy of Kara Coley.

"Good evening," Coley answered. "Thank you for calling Sipps!"

A woman on the other end of the line asked, "Is this a gay bar?"

Sipps welcomes everyone, Coley explained to her, but indeed attracts a mostly LGBTQ crowd.



Keep Reading Show less

Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.


Keep Reading Show less