Anyone who has ever co-parented with an ex knows how hard it can be. But the ability to come together and celebrate your children's' special moments as a nontraditional family is worth the effort. Just ask Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman. The formerly married couple—who share daughters Olive and Frankie—recently reunited to celebrate little Frankie's school "graduation" ceremony. Will shared a photo from the event on his Instagram feed : In the photo, he and Drew are kissing their daughter on either cheek as he proudly displays Frankie's graduation certificate.
He went for a simple caption, writing "Graduate" below the photo. It probably meant the world for Frankie to have both parents there on her big day.
For her part, Drew has always been outspoken about her approach to parenting alongside her ex. Shortly after she and Will split in , the actress told Entertainment Tonight that the secret to co-parenting is making "constant plans. Experts agree, planning is key to making co-parenting work.
As Edward Kruk, an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, wrote for Psychology Today , the "key to successful co-parenting is to focus on the needs of the children, particularly their need to maintain routine relationships with each parent and to be shielded from ongoing parental conflict. There is no one 'best' co-parenting plan that families should adopt and follow, as much depends on the unique circumstances and specific needs of family members.
Drew's situation is unique because she's in the public eye, but on another level her new family dynamic is very relatable for many millennial mamas, because this is what modern parenting looks like for a lot of us. During a appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Drew summed it up: " It's interesting, I saw this article the other day written about me—and I never see articles written about me—and it was like, 'My Modern Family.
It sounds like this mama gets that parenting doesn't always go according to plan, and that sometimes all you can do is roll with the punches. And isn't that something we can all understand? The holidays are quickly on their way, and while there are tons of ways to celebrate, you should feel free to get a little creative with it and make your own traditions there's no law requiring you to dress everyone in matching red velvet jumpers to sit on Santa's lap. So instead of battling between getting the perfect picture and your baby's natural urge to wiggle, harness the power of those inevitable Hallmark moments—the first giggle, the budding personality, the two-toothed grin—to make your December super special.
Decorating the tree is a beloved tradition, and having a little one is all the more reason to get into the spirit of it.
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Get the baby—and the rest of the family—involved in the fun by letting everyone color or paint on an unbreakable, homemade ornament and hang them towards the bottom of the tree. And sure, your infant may not create any masterpieces at this age, but not only will the precious family heirlooms stay higher up read: away from tiny hands , you'll also be creating keepsakes to build on for years to come.
Connecting your children to the spirit of the season is an important part of teaching them what it's all about, but it's not always so easy to do through books and stories alone. Instead, offer them the chance to live it out! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or another significant holiday, playing pretend is the ideal way to teach and have fun along the way for everyone in the family.
Use a kid-friendly nativity book as a guide or make your own menorah as you explore the story of the oil that burned for 8 nights—whatever your religion, there's an important tale to tell. There is joy in receiving physical mail and holiday cards are a wonderful way to make your loved ones feel special.
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But don't stop there! Record a video greeting to send to your nearest and dearest to keep even the most far-away relatives feel like they're right there with you. Everyone will love seeing the baby's latest milestones in live-action, and it's a great way to spread the season's warmest greetings. Making and maintaining a baby book is a fabulous idea, but sometimes keeping it up-to-date gets lost in the shuffle of parenthood. Use the holiday season as a time to reconnect with all those beloved memories for your kiddo by starting an annual time capsule box: Each year, have all members of the family add one item of their choosing or your choosing, depending on age to the box and label it with a little note.
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Things can range from a favorite holiday-themed blanket or toy to something they no longer need but aren't ready to throw away. Nothing says "cozy" like a yummy-smelling kitchen filled with laughter. While your tot may still be too small to really help in the kitchen, it's never too early to kickstart their love of cooking. Pick a recipe you'll make every year and get them "involved" with a spoon and an empty mixing bowl. You'll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor together and it'll help encourage them to cook with you more year-round, too. We all know that as babies grow up—independence is a priority, no matter how ready for it we really are.
This year, give them the gift of being in charge. By allowing your little one to eat what they want, wear what they pick a sparkly tutu? No problem. An adorable Christmas cape? In a world where our phones are constantly blasting us alerts about troubling news it is good to remember that there are good news stories happening in our world, too. At Motherly, we like to keep track of these for you to give you a little boost when you need one, mama. It's no secret that splitting up is never easy or simple—and it all just gets more complicated when there are children in the mix.
Of course, it reaches a whole new level of complexity when you factor in new partners, too.
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But blending a family is possible and if you can do it well, it's a pretty beautiful thing. Just ask Madison Holley, a mom who is going viral after posting a truly heartwarming photo of her own blended family. The post, which was shared to Love What Matters' Facebook page , shows two men walking hand-in-hand with a young boy as one of the men carries a newborn in a car seat.
The photo itself is quite powerful, but once you know the story behind it, it takes on a whole new meaning.
The guy on the left is my ex, the 3-year-old holding his hand is my first child, Cade, we had together. Madison's outlook on why this balancing act works is super impressive. Every child needs a mother and father figure and my son Cade just happens to get some extra love.
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Be civil and co-parent. If you made the child together it's both your job to raise the child. Of course, every blended family's situation is different—and some will have a much harder time with co-parenting than others—but we love this particular dynamic so much. And we're not the only ones: The image and message are going viral, with parents everywhere praising this blended family's ability to embrace one another.
Madison isn't the only mom out there who has mastered co-parenting, but we are incredibly impressed by her outlook all the same. When Brenda Wetmore Giffen's adult daughter asked her if she could remake her wedding dress into a play tent for her daughter, the grandmother was not sure if it could be done. But Grandma came through and the stunning results have gone viral. Giffen posted her creation on Facebook six months ago, but the internet has been very excited about it this week, giving the story a second life, just like the wedding dress.
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As Giffen explains in her Facebook post, her daughter asked her if she could make a play tent, memory pillow, and maybe a garter and a tutu for the grandkids as an alternative to just storing the wedding dress. But once this grandmother got into the project she found herself loving the challenge and trying to figure out how many new items she could craft from one dress.
I made two garters so that each granddaughter will have her own. It's not very likely that I'll be there for their weddings, but I hope they will give Grammy Giffen a thought on that day. I still have enough fabric and tulle to make a tutu for Elena's baby sister who is due in August. Jim helped with the engineering. We designed and he built stabilizers for the top and bottom of the tent, so it doesn't collapse on the girls while they are playing. It's been challenging, a little scary, lots of fun, and probably the major creative project of my lifetime!
With all the attention this post has been getting Giffen added a note to her wedding dress story: She is now creating memory pillows and other keepsakes for other brides through her website. Think back to when you were a kid. Chances are, you struggled to find a doll that really made you feel like you were accurately represented.
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Maybe all the toys on the shelf had a different body type than yours, or maybe they were all of a certain skin tone, one that didn't resemble your own. Or maybe you had a challenge of some sort, one that wasn't represented by the dolls you were seeing.
Sure, we've come a long way since then: Toy manufacturers are finally realizing how important it is to represent diversity and inclusion in their products A California teacher understands this, and she recently stepped up to do something to make her students feel seen. Genesis Politron works with hearing-impaired children, and she realized that while many of her students wear hearing devices, there were no dolls on the market that represented this.
So Genesis did something incredible: She decided to create dolls that her students could see themselves in Genesis added cochlear implants and hearing aids to existing dolls so her children could see accurate representations of themselves in the toys. The dolls aren't just inclusive, they're also beautiful: Genesis used glitter and puff paint to increase the fun factor. Genesis tweeted about the dolls and, not surprisingly, her post has gone viral.