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Education

Teachers are sharing their students' wildest excuses that actually turned out to be true

Here are 17 of the best responses.

teachers, students excuses, teachers funny stories

Teachers share the best excuses.

Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and college professors have heard every excuse in the book. Whether it’s a third grader claiming their “dog ate my homework” or a college freshman claiming their grandmother died to get out of a test, they’ve heard it all a billion times.

A college professor once listed the top 21 excuses he’s heard from his students. Here are the top five:

5. “It’s the last week of the semester.”

4. “It’s St. Patrick’s Day or 4/20”

3. “Our other teacher held us back.”

2. “My timetable showed the class was canceled.”

1. “I’m taking a vacation.”


Yes, some students actually say they didn’t do their work because of a holiday predicated on drinking or getting stoned and others have the audacity to say, “Hey! I needed a vacation.” After spending week after week fielding excuses, there’s a good reason why most educators are skeptical when they hear one from their students.

But every once in a while, an excuse that seems way too improbable to be believed actually is true.

Reddit user u/minecraftplayer48 asked the teachers of Reddit to share the “best excuse for being late that turned out to be true” and the stories were all pretty great. But it wasn’t only teachers who chimed in; a lot of people shared stories from when they were students and had an excuse that was so crazy they didn’t think anyone would believe them.

Here are 17 of the best excuses for being late that were actually true.

1. Revenge of the torque wrench


"My auto teacher let me practice removing and adding the tires on his vehicle. The next morning it was about 20 minutes into first period and no sign of him. He comes running into the classroom out of breath and his hair is all messed up. He points at me and says 'YOU!!!! What is a torque wrench used for???' I respond with "I don't know." He says ' I know you don't know!!!" Turns out one of his tires came off while driving down the highway." — ethnicjello

2. Mom wanted to sleep in


"She had to take her sister to school and drive her mom to rehab. She was always late to class because her mom just wanted to sleep in. Problem was if the mom was late or did not go she would have violated her probation and gone to prison. I never marked her late. If she missed anything important she could come in at lunch or after school to make it up." — RM156

3. "That was you?"


"Student here, I headed into school early to get some studying done in the library before my night class. I was one exit away when I was caught in a 3 car accident. Most of the expressway afterwards was gridlock with only one lane left open. I did eventually make it into my lab class 15 minutes late, with a few scrapes and bruises. My professors reaction was simply 'Oh that was you!''" — AlienCowAbduction

4. "School bus blew up"


"I was one of about 20 kids who were late to school. We showed up at the school office as a group and when questioned why we were late, we said 'The school bus blew up.' They questioned 'So the engine blew up?' The kids 'No, the whole bus, in flames. It blew up.'

"There was much conference between the teachers, all of them thinking we embellished the story. Next thing you know, one of the admin staff has the news website open, very obvious image of an entire bus on fire with a bunch of kids in our school uniform standing in front of it. Our late slip for class read 'School bus blew up.'" — AusPB90

5. B.U.I.


"Told me he got pulled over by the cops for wobbly driving on his bike and they thought he was drunk. Turned out he was just dodging all the slugs on the street." — Fortisvol

6. Chicken of death


"A guy in my college class missed class one day. The next day he came in with his eye covered up and medical paperwork in hand. Apparently he got pecked in the eye by a chicken." — BrrToe

7. Chicken 2: The chickening


"When I was student teaching, I was late because there was bunch chickens in the middle of the road. They wouldn't move at all. This is in the middle of a city of 200,000 people. Freaking chickens.

"I finally get to school and profusely apologize to my mentor teacher and I told her why I was late thinking it sounded ridiculous. She said, 'yeah, those chickens are fucking assholes, they surrounded my car in the McDonalds parking lot last year. Don't worry about it." — Makenshine

8. Cracker Barrel conference


"Taught a group of seniors first period. It was towards the end of the year. I had a class of around 30 and only 5 were there when the bell rang. Halfway through class, the rest of them show up. They went out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and brought me some back. All was forgiven." — SwansonsLoveChild

9. Beary late


"Bear on the backyard. No access gate. Animal control had to tranq it from the room and drag it through the house. Made the news. Got to retake the test I missed after sending her the news article." — Vladtehwood

10. Present the flat


"We had an exam in my class and the teacher got a message from a student saying that he was going to be late because his car had a flat tire (the student was known to party), the teacher didn't think it could be true, so as a joke the teacher asked him to bring the tire back. He brought the flat tire back in the middle of the exam. Needless to say, the professor didn't expect that." — Sapang

11. Moo


"A kid missed my first-period class one morning but was in school later that day. When I asked him why he hadn't arrived in time for my course, he said his cow was birthing its calf that morning, so he'd picked being in the barn over English. Made sense to me. His essays weren't going to win any ribbons at the county fair, but his calf could." — Bobosbigsister

12. Abduction


"In high school a kid came late to history class. He was a joker so when someone asked him where he had been, he goes 'I was kidnapped.' Everyone laughed, until he goes 'no really.'

"Turns out 2 guys kidnapped him and tossed him into the back of the minivan he was using for his morning paper route. They drove him around while they robbed something. I can’t remember what happens after. I think they just drove the van somewhere and got away." — notinmybackyardcanad

13. Honesty is the best excuse


"Not a teacher, but a kid walked into my class one day and literally just said 'Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to be here.' He wasn't wrong I suppose." — Scally59

14. It actually was the dog


"A little off topic but in 8th grade, a friend of mine turned in their homework late because her dog literally ate her homework. She even brought a note from her parents." — JoeyJoey2004

15. Is this a real excuse? Or is it fantasy?


"'Sorry Bohemian Rhapsody came on just as I parked.' — My art teacher when he was about 5:55 minutes late." — Deeberber

16. "I took a shortcut"


"This happened to me as a pupil; a very quiet, unassuming kid in our class came in to German with about five minutes of the class left. We went to a Catholic school and the teachers were all quite strict and intimidating. Classes were usually silent, especially in junior school. When this boy came into class at the end of the lesson that day, the door flew inwards with such force that the teacher gave an audible gasp.

"It had been raining heavily outside, his hair was plastered to his forehead. His blazer was dripping and sodden. He had mud caked into his trousers up to his knees, and he was breathing heavily. The teacher exclaimed, ‘Brendan! What happened?’ We all stared up at him in shocked silence. This quiet, unassuming little boy let out a big sigh and just said, ‘I took a shortcut.’ And went straight to his seat.

"That line became iconic in our school for years afterward." — lestat85

17. Pug lovers can attest


"Kid was late to school and had to miss a very important football game. The reason? His fat pug fell asleep on his phone. The pug’s fat rolls muffled his alarm." — tip52


This story originally appeared on 02.24.22

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

@jennielongdon/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

It might not be hip, but it makes sense!

Online shopping is an integral part of adult life no matter what age group you fall into. But apparently there’s one digital spending habit that didn’t make it to Gen Z.

UK-based radio host Jennie Longdon recently went viral for sharing how—despite being able to do virtually everything from our phones—folks over the age of 30 can’t seem to part with using their laptops for “big purchases.”

“Takeaway , clothes, shoes within reason, yeah,” she says in a clip posted to her TikTok. “But…a plane ticket? That’s a laptop job!”

Longdon continues to feign disgust as she imagines big purchases being made from the phone, as these items obviously require the larger screen. It’s just something that a millennial brain cannot get behind. “We cannot make a big or significant purchase on the phone. You can't browse properly."

“Bigger screens for the big things please,” her video caption reads.

@jennielongdon Bigger screen for the big things please. #millennial #millennialsoftiktok #millenialmum #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - Jennie Longdon

But there may be some sound reasoning behind this seemingly outdated logic. According to Fluid Commerce, the average desktop provides “over 3 times as much information” as a smartphone screen, allowing for more research. Laptops might not offer quite as much information as a desktop, but they certainly offer more than a phone, and it’s just good common sense to want as much information as possible before making an investment.

Either way, most millennials seem willing to die on this hill.

“Big purchases on the computer because I don’t trust mobile apps to show me everything I need to know,” one wrote in the comments.

“Big purchase requires the big internet,” added another.

A third said, "I will literally look at the information on my phone, then go get my laptop to go to the same site to book it.”

A few even shared horror stories of trying things the newfangled way and it backfiring immediately.

“I lived dangerously the other day and booked a hotel room on my phone and it tools ages buffering at the confirmation screen and I was fuming and knew I should’ve done it on my laptop,” one person lamented.

Another wrote, "I booked a mini break on my phone once and I accidentally refreshed the page with my thumb midway through booking.”

Still, there are some millennials who are on board with the phones-only approach.

"I booked flights, accommodation, and extracurriculars for four people on my phone recently,” one person wrote. "I was so proud."

Another said, "I'm a millennial and I just booked my Vegas hotel and flights on the phone. It's.....fine....."

Lastly—kudos to this commenter, who truly got to the root of this issue by saying:

“We grew up in an age when mobile websites were terrible and we’ve never forgotten it.”

That really hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it? Some scars just never truly heal.

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.

Education

The very real story of how one woman prevented a national tragedy by doing her job

Frances Oldham Kelsey believed thorough research saves lives. She was so right.

Image by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey and President John F. Kennedy.

True
Seventh Generation


Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey had only been with the Food and Drug Administration for about a month when she was tasked with reviewing a drug named thalidomide for distribution in America.

Marketed as a sedative for pregnant women, thalidomide was already available in Canada, Germany, and several African countries.


It could have been a very simple approval. But for Kelsey, something didn't sit right. There were no tests showing thalidomide was safe for human use, particularly during pregnancy.

thalidomide, wonder drug, public health

Kelsey in her office at the FDA in 1960.

Image by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

When Chemie Grünenthal released thalidomide in West Germany years earlier, they called it a "wonder drug" for pregnant women. They promised it would treat anxiety, insomnia, tension, and morning sickness and help pregnant women sleep.

What they didn't advertise were its side effects.

Because it crosses the placental barrier between fetus and mother, thalidomide causes devastating — often fatal — physical defects. During the five years it was on the market, an estimated 10,000 babies globally were born with thalidomide-caused defects. Only about 60% lived past their first birthday.

In 1961, the health effects of thalidomide weren't well-known. Only a few studies in the U.K. and Germany were starting to connect the dots between babies born with physical defects and the medication their mothers had taken while pregnant.

At the outset, that wasn't what concerned Kelsey. She'd looked at the testimonials in the submission and found them "too glowing for the support in the way of clinical back up." She pressed the American manufacturer, Cincinnati's William S. Merrell Company, to share research on how their drug affected human patients. They refused. Instead, they complained to her superiors for holding up the approval. Still, she refused to back down.

drugs, medication, medicine

A sample pack of thalidomide.

Image by Stephen C. Dickson/Wikimedia Commons.

A sample pack of thalidomide sent to doctors in the U.K. While more than 10,000 babies worldwide were born with thalidomide-related birth defects, FDA historian John Swann credits Dr. Kelsey with limiting the number of American babies affected to just 17.

Over the next year, the manufacturer would resubmit its application to sell thalidomide six times. Each time, Kelsey asked for more research. Each time, they refused.

By 1961, thousands of mothers were giving birth to babies with shocking and heartbreaking birth defects. Taking thalidomide early in their pregnancy was the one thing connecting them. The drug was quickly pulled from shelves, vanishing mostly by 1962.

Through dogged persistence, Kelsey and her team had prevented a national tragedy.

government, FDA, bureaucracy, community

Kelsey joins President John F. Kennedy at the signing of a new bill expanding the authority of the FDA in 1962.

Image by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy honored Kelsey with the Federal Civilian Service Medal. He thanked her for her exceptional judgment and for preventing a major tragedy of birth deformities in the United States:

“I know that we are all most indebted to Dr. Kelsey. The relationship and the hopes that all of us have for our children, I think, indicate to Dr. Kelsey, I am sure, how important her work is and those who labor with her to protect our families. So, Doctor, I know you know how much the country appreciates what you have done."

But, she wasn't done yet. Later that year, the FDA approved new, tougher regulations for companies seeking drug approval, inspired in large part by Kelsey's work on thalidomide.

Reached via email, FDA historian John Swann said this about Kelsey's legacy: "[Her] actions also made abundantly clear to the nation the important public health role that drug regulation and FDA itself play in public health. The revelation of the global experience with that drug and America's close call indeed provided impetus to secure passage of a comprehensive drug regulation bill that had been more or less floundering during the time FDA was considering the application."

Kelsey continued to work for the FDA until 2005. She died in 2015, aged 101, just days after receiving the Order of Canada for her work on thalidomide.

Bureaucratic approval work is rarely thrilling and not often celebrated. That's a shame because it's so critical.

People like Kelsey, who place public health and safety above all else — including their career — deserve every ounce of our collective respect and admiration.


This story originally appeared on 05.20.16

Pop Culture

Watch Lucille Ball repeatedly tell a host to take his hands off female audience members

People laughed every time she told him 'hands off,' but she was stone cold serious.

Lucille Ball was a powerhouse both on screen and off.

According to her daughter, Lucille Ball never considered herself a feminist, but there's no question she blazed many a trail for women. A working mother in real life, she depicted issues facing housewives with her brilliant television comedy and became the first female studio head in Hollywood. She broke glass ceilings but wasn't particularly outspoken about women's rights. In fact, in a 1980 interview with "People," she said, “They can use my name for equal rights, but I don’t get out there and raise hell because I’ve been so liberated, I have nothing to squawk about.”

Ball empowered women by example—and by speaking her mind. Carol Burnett shared a story on PBS about how Ball was unhappy with a script for her new show, but women at that time didn't raise concerns about such things. Men could express criticism and demand changes, but women simply didn't. Ball did—and firmly—despite being non-confrontational by nature. Later she told Burnett, "Kid, that's when they put the 's' at the end of my name."

A video has been circulating on social media showing Ball's no-nonsense way of speaking up when she felt the need to, and people are gushing over it.

In 1978, Ball participated in a Q & A session with UCLA theater arts students on the television program "America Alive!" The viral clip shows Ball repeatedly telling one of the hosts, David Sheehan, to take his hands off of female audience members when they were asking a question.

Watch:

@femalequotient

We love Lucy ❤️

People laughed every time, but Ball didn't so much as crack a smile during her clear, simple, repeated "hands off" admonitions. For 1978 especially, her advocacy for the women in the audience was extraordinary. Sheehan wasn't touching these women in a lewd or sexual manner, but he was touching them in a way that he wouldn't have touched a man who was asking a question. Most people wouldn't have thought much of it at the time, but Lucille Ball immediately noted it and didn't let it stand.

"I love that she didn't even laugh when the room was," shared one commenter. "She was not joking."

"'Take your hands off her, David,' should be a sound AND a t-shirt," wrote another.

"He kept trying. She kept telling him. Love her," shared another.

"Lucille Ball always reminds me of my grandma," offered another. "She hated to be seen as delicate, and she hated men that would touch her even more. She would say, stone-faced, 'Get your paws off.'"

Even if Sheehan was casually touching those women out of habit and not ill intent, it's laudable that Ball made a point of making him aware of it. Unfortunately, women are still having to deal with men touching them without being invited to, but seeing Lucille Ball's serious face while calling it out is a good reminder that women have been fighting this battle for a long time. Good for her for using her microphone and the respect afforded her to speak up for the young women in her audience.

Photo by Stacey Natal/Total City Girl used with permission.

Jillian, “... my heart skips a beat."


I'm trying desperately to be respectful of the person speaking to me, but my husband keeps texting me.

First he sends me a selfie of him with Rafi*, then it's an account of who stopped him on his way into the NICU.


Then he suggests I take a selfie with Jillian* so he can post them side-by-side on Facebook and boast that we finally have two babies.

People will ask if they're twins, I'm sure. But they're not twins. In fact, the babies aren't even ours.

family, babies, adoptive parents

James' dream come true: Two babies! Rafi in the NICU with Tatte, Jillian at home with Eema.

Photo by Ann Lapin, used with permission.

I take care of these babies because I'm what's known as an "interim parent."

volunteer, newborns, interim parents

Over the past four years, my family has cared for 22 newborns.

Photo by Ann Lapin, used with permission.

The program I'm part of is rare; there are very few like it in the United States.

While the babies are in my care, the birth parents retain their legal rights as parents and are encouraged to visit their babies (if that's something they would like).

social care, adoption, psychology

My three kids with our baby before he meets his forever mommy.

Photo by Ann Lapin, used with permission.

If they weren't in the care of interim moms like me, these tiny babies might wait in the hospital a few extra days while their adoptions are finalized — or they might enter the foster care system.

In New York, biological parents have 30 days after adoption proceedings begin to change their minds about their placement plan.

I became an interim parent when a local mom posted about it on our neighborhood Yahoo! group.

"That! THAT I can do!" I thought, as I looked at the computer screen.

I was thrilled. I felt incapable of doing other types of volunteer work, but I felt like I had finally found a community service that I could perform. So, my husband and I applied. And after months of doctor appointments, background checks, interviews, and letters of reference from close friends, we were accepted.

biological parents, decision making, social care

We left the adoption agency with an empty stroller — but it didn't stay that way for long!

Photo by Stacey Natal/ Total City Girl, used with permission.

The hope with the interim boarding care program is that biological parents have time to gain clarity about their decisions without pressure.

It also helps adoptive parents feel secure in their status as parents.

The children don't usually get the chance to be present when one of our babies goes home, so this was a special day. Roughly 30% of the babies I've cared for have returned to their biological parents after their stay with me, and the rest have been adopted. Many of the birth mothers I've known have pursued open adoptions, selecting and meeting their child's forever families.

People often ask me what the experience of interim parenting is like, but there's no rule: Each case is different.

Babies stay with us, on average, for a few weeks. But one baby stayed with us with five days, another for nine and a half weeks.

Whatever the scenario, my family and I are available to care for these babies until they go home ... wherever "home" may be.

medical insurance, dads, moms

This work can be emotionally challenging, too.

Photo by Stacey Natal/Total City Girl used with permission.

This work can be emotionally challenging, too. Some biological parents do not interact with us at all while they're making big decisions, and some end up being very involved. Some text regularly, requesting photos and updates on the baby while the baby is in our care. Sometimes they schedule weekly visits with the babies. One birth mom became such a constant in our life that my son asked if we could bake her cookies.

I am often blown away by the biological parents' gratitude.

Melody* was one of the most beautiful babies I'd ever cared for, and I met her parents a couple of times. When they came to take her home, it was as though she was the only one in the room. When they thanked me for taking care of her, my lip started to quiver.

I had also never met Jibraan's dad, either, when I placed him in his arms the day they went home together. "From the bottom of my heart ... I can't tell you what you've done for me," he said. I remember that he towered over me, the size of a linebacker, clenching his jaw to keep the tears from spilling down his cheeks.

family, adoption, emotional connections

Big smiles and on the phone.

Photo by Stacey Natal/Total City Girl, used with permission.

When I wave goodbye to the social workers at the agency after introducing each baby to their forever family, I always wonder how long it will be before I get to hold another baby.

I don't get attached to each baby, per se. But I get attached to having a baby, to taking care of a baby. I resent my empty arms, and I feel like I've lost my purpose. So each time I see the adoption agency's phone number pop up on caller ID, my heart skips a beat.

When the voice on the other end says, "Hi, Ann ... are you ready to take another baby?" my first thought is, "Baby! I'm getting a BABY!" That excitement lasts for at least 48 hours.

But even as the adrenaline calms down and the sleepless nights begin to take their toll, the experience of caring for each baby proves to be more than enough motivation for me to keep going.

The emotions that swell when my babies go home with any parent — their adoptive parents or their birth parents — are not just because of the emptiness I feel in my arms or even because of the happiness I have for my babies and their families.

The emotions I feel are because of the fullness in my heart and the gratitude I have for being a part of each of these babies' stories, even if it's just for a moment.


This article was written by Ann Lapin and originally appeared on 04.08.16

Family

Money-savvy mom swears by these 5 things for a budget-friendly summer

"It doesn't have to cost $100 every time you leave the house."

It is possible to have fun this summer while not over over budget.

Honestly, there isn’t a season that doesn’t invite us to overspend. Autumn demands funds for school supplies and Halloween costumes, then there’s buying Christmas gifts in winter, followed by an expensive spring break vacation, and finally…summer. A time for camping ($), trips to the amusement park ($) and concerts ($$). It’s easy to see how no one can avoid going over budget each year.

But mom and money mentor Elyse says that these “five things” can help families not overspend without missing out on any summer fun.

“If you're a mom, and you are already dreading summer because you know that you're just going to spend money over and over and over again…I got you,” Elyse begins in a video posted to her TikTok. “It doesn’t have to cost $100 every time you leave the house, you just have to plan ahead.”


Number one: packing lunches.


“We are packing a lunch, snacks, drinks everywhere we go,” Elyse says. “Get a cooler, find one at a thrift store, get that cooler and pack it every single day. We are taking the, ‘We have food at home’ to ‘We have food in the car.’ The major exception. of course, being: I will always have money in the budget for ice cream. We can get ice cream on the way home.”
@thesavvysagittarius It doesn’t have to cost $100 every time you leave the house, you just have to plan ahead #budgetingwithkids #summerfun #summerbucketlist #debtfreejourney #debtfreecommunity ♬ original sound - Money Mentor - Elyse

Appreciate that she allows for the one treat that really matters. As one person rightfully put it, “there’s always money for ice cream.”

Second: opting for parks

“I live in Nebraska, and we have a lot of state parks available within driving range of where I live, but I think it's like $34 to get a state park sticker for the entire year in Nebraska ... it gives you access to so many other resources and so many places to go, but also just regular parks in general. We're going to the park. It's 8 a.m. Parks are always open, at least most of them,” she says.

Third: Hosting over going out.

“We are inviting friends over for meals. We're not going out for dinner. It's expensive. We don't need it. We are exercising our hospitality muscle this summer. Invite them over for coffee or tea or a meal or snack.”

Four: not hopping on the latest fashion trend of the season.

Rather, Elyse and her family will wear last year’s summer clothes, or buy secondhand. We are done consuming just to consume. Maybe this means I'm getting old but I am not following the summer's trend just because last summer's trend was slightly different. I'm not spending money on new clothes if the ones from last year already fit,” she says.

Last but not least, money saving tip number five: “a hose and a sprinkler or splash pads are the way to go.”

“I see so much pressure on social media, especially for moms to buy the big bounce house or the big pool or all the things,” Elyse explains. “My kid's three and he played in a puddle for 45 minutes yesterday. Some of my best memories are with a hose and a sprinkler.”

Elyse’s advice certainly resonated with folks, many of whom offered their own summer saving hacks.

“Our go-to is uncrustables, take it out of freezer and good by lunch time 😌 the library is also a great place to go! Rain or shine. Ours has events, play areas, and storytime,” one person wrote.

“Here in California you can also get a state park pass at the library to use for free,” added another.

A third wrote, “Find a friends with EBT or WIC and take part of the museums for all program.”

“Buy nothing groups are amazing too,” another person suggested, referring to the community groups on Facebook where neighbors can offer or take all kinds of items for free.

Sure, the opportunities to spend money will be everywhere this summer, but just as Elyse mentioned, having fun while being frugal just takes a bit of planning. But it’s totally doable, and you can still enjoy the important things…like ice cream.