5 Foods You Shouldn’t Give To Your Baby Under 1 Year

Whether you have a kid, are thinking about having a kid, or have been forced to watch a kid, it’s kind of important that you know what babies can and can’t eat before they hit the one-year mark. Like, some things are obvious—don’t give a baby your wine, keep them away from large burgers, and make sure those tiny little hands don’t get a hold of too many clumps of dog hair. But there are several no-no foods that may not be as obvious. So here’s a short and sweet list of the foods to avoid feeding your baby until they’re at least a year old and/or their doctor has given the all clear.

Peanut Butter

So this one may seem obvious, but not for the reasons you think. Peanut butter is an obvious allergen, so you’d need to watch out for any potential reactions, but the big issue here is that peanut butter is a big-time choking hazard because of its consistency. Babies won’t naturally try to chew it, so most will try to swallow peanut butter whole—which, yikes. The best way to introduce peanut butter to help stave off allergies or identify them early is to mix it into purees or baby oatmeal. To do that, you don’t actually have to wait until your baby is a year old. Most pediatricians say 6-8 months is a good place to start.

Honey

Seems weird, right? Honey is an all-natural sweetener and is even cool for my dog to eat. What gives? The biggest issue is that honey isn’t pasteurized and can cause botulism. According to What To Expect, “Honey (or foods made with honey) is off-limits for the first year because it may contain the spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Although harmless to adults, these spores can cause botulism in babies under one. This serious but rarely fatal illness can cause constipation, weakened sucking, poor appetite, lethargy, and even potentially pneumonia and dehydration.”

Dairy Milk

Cow’s milk is totally chill for your 3-year-old to inhale or for me to spike with Kahlua, but babies under one year should steer clear of that particular white stuff. First, it doesn’t contain enough of the iron and nutrients babies need. What it does have, however, are nutrients (and sodium) that babies less than a year old can’t digest too well. Milk in things like cottage cheese, whole milk yogurt, and other items is totes fine, though.

Popcorn, Grapes, And Nuts

Choking hazards, ahoy. Although all of these seem like fun finger foods for babies, they’re hard and can easily lodge in a baby’s throat—even after being chopped up. Although it may seems like popcorn would just sort of dissolve in your mouth, it can actually become sticky, making it impossible for little ones to chew. Grapes end up being slippery, and can easily slide down throats. Purees and nut butters are fine, but skip these whole items until your baby is at least four years old.

Unpasteurized Foods

Sorry, but your baby cannot partake in your wine and cheese night if said cheese is unpasteurized. According to the NHS, “Babies and young children shouldn’t eat mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert, or ripened goats’ milk cheese and soft blue-veined cheese, such as Roquefort, as there’s a higher risk that these cheeses might carry a bacteria called listeria.” Fun fact, though: if you really want your baby to be fancy, he or she can have something like baked brie, as cooking kills listeria. Aside from cheese, make sure to also avoid things like unpasteurized fruit juices or raw milk.

Images: Giphy (3), Hessam Nabavi, Unsplash

What A Cosmetic Gynecologist Wants You To Know About Your Vag After Childbirth

It’s no secret that pregnancy causes changes to the body (and if it is a secret, glad you’re here, and get ready for some eye-opening truths). Many moms worry about whether or not their figure will #snapback to their pre-baby shape. Typically, OB-GYNs advise new moms to wait six weeks before any moderate exercise. But, what about the vagina? After that six-week-wait, will it, too, snap back to pre-baby vigor and beauty after giving birth?

Golden Girl Betty White once joked: “If you want to be real tough, you should grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” That’s particularly true of the V during a vaginal delivery, during which it accordions to give way to a bowling ball bouncing baby.

But even the tough-as-nails vagina has its breaking point. For instance, the 3- to 4-inch long organ can, on the outside, suffer vaginal tears during labor. And, unbeknownst to new moms, problems can arise weeks after delivery day. 

“It’s not even about the tear ,” says Dr. Amir Marashi, an OB-GYN, cosmetic gynecologist, and author of A Woman’s Right to Pleasure. “A lot of people get scared like, ‘Oh my god! I got, like, a first-degree tear.'”

“Of course, it’s worse when you get a third or fourth-degree tear,” but muscles that comprise the pelvic floor, he says, are an even bigger concern. Before specializing in cosmetic gynecology, Marashi says he delivered lots of babies and often saw how unkind childbirth could be on the vagina. Because of that, he would take extra time and care to stitch women up post-delivery. His colleagues dubbed him “Vagilangelo,” and “The Vagina Whisperer.” 

“The muscle around the vagina, the most important part, is sitting between the vagina and rectum, and another part is sitting between the vagina and bladder,” says Marashi. “So, in a normal vagina, before having kids, these muscles separate the rectum from the vagina and separate the bladder from the vagina. Now, imagine you’re in labor for two to three hours. At the end of the labor, your baby’s head is literally sitting inside the vagina, stretching all these muscles.”

Will It Snap Back?

“What happens when you stretch a rubber band and let go? It goes back to normal. But imagine for five hours, you’re holding this rubber band, stretched. When you let go, it never goes back to the normal shape,” says Marashi. “Now, as your rubber band gets older, you’ll see little cracks on it, too. The same thing happens to us and the vagina.” Actually, it’s kind of like Mick Jagger’s face. The moves are still there—just with a little extra skin flapping in the wind.

“As you get older, you lose collagen and the muscle that stretched and the microtears—even if you don’t get the tear—there are microtears inside this muscle.” The loss of tone and strength can be moderate and subtle for some women, says Marashi. In others, having one or multiple children can have a life-altering ripple effect.

How Will It Look?

Pre-baby, your lady parts may look like a cute little smooch. But afterwards, you might be looking more like an influencer who’s gone without their lip injections for too long. That’s normal, so don’t freak out. The exterior vagina can take on a different size and shape postpartum, too. “Patients tell me that the outside looks not as pleasing as it was before because it’s stretched out.” The vaginal opening can be wider, and the labia minora (or the tinier lips) can be elongated, while the labia majora, the fattier outer lips, can wrinkle. Marashi and other cosmetic OB-GYNs specialize in doing a face-lift of sorts down there, but more on that later. But in extreme cases, women can be diagnosed with cystocele, or the bladder’s prolapse into the vaginal canal, or rectocele, the bulging of the rectum into the vagina. Either prolapse can be so severe that the resulting bulge can hang outside of the vaginal opening. In that case, Marashi says he will perform a pelvic floor reconstruction to put the goods back in place.

How Could Your Sex Life Be Impacted?

Many of Marashi’s patients are mamas who complain their lady parts are looser postpartum, and that sex with their partners doesn’t bring them to orgasm. (While there can be many causes for lack of sex drive, if you’d rather do a crossword puzzle, or it’s been a while since you’ve done the deed with your partner, you might want to get that checked out.)

As the pelvic wall thins, the perineum—or the area between the vaginal opening and the anus—becomes shorter. The vagina, which naturally slopes downward, now flattens and becomes like throwing a hotdog down a hallway tunnel-like. “Now, the entrance of the vagina is lower,” says Marashi. In vagninal sex, an erect penis rubs against the nerve-ending rich top wall, home of the elusive G-spot.

But in a vagina that has lost its tone, getting it on can be a bore, no matter what type of sex you’re having. When that happens, “you don’t feel sex and internal orgasms as much as you used to feel it,” says Marashi. “ still tell me that the clitoris gets stimulated, but sometimes, after two or three kids, that they don’t feel anything. There’s not as much friction.”

To Fix?…

Marashi says he has three popular procedures mamas can choose from to get their mojo back and look like a blossoming Georgia O’Keeffe painting. His most popular request, he says, is a vaginoplasty, a veritable face-lift for the lady garden. The hourlong surgery, which carries a $7,000 price tag, is the most invasive of the three and involves deep muscular cutting and stitching. Patients can’t have sex for six weeks afterward while the surgery site heals. There’s also a $3,500 outpatient procedure he calls the Vagilangelo, which involves a few sutures and the injection of platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, directly into the vaginal tissue. There is also less invasive and nonsurgical laser resurfacing ($1,000 per session). For moms who lost volume in their labia majora, Marashi says he can inject a patient’s own fat—often while joining fellow plastic surgeons on a mommy makeover procedure—into the area to plump it back up. 

…Or Not To Fix

If a woman’s postpartum vagina looks and feels different, it doesn’t necessarily warrant a trip to an OB-GYN—unless, of course, the changes interfere with her quality of life. “Your vagina will look different, anatomically, no question about it, but it’s not wrong for the vagina to be looser,” says Marashi. A woman’s sex partner should also be supportive of the change, but if that comes with difficulty, there’s sex therapy, trying different positions, and sex toys to bring back the spice. And for those moms who want things tighter but don’t want to go under the knife, Marashi has a simple prescription: Kegels, and lots of them. “I actually want to start while pregnant and continue. I tell them 20 times, three to four sets. If you can hold a kegel for seven to 10 seconds, that’s really good,” says Marashi. “But I don’t really care how long they can hold it. With time, it’s going to get better.”

Images: Ava SolUnsplash

A Definitive Ranking Of The Most Iconic Moms Of ‘Real Housewives’

It’s no secret from my many articles on the subject that I’m a Bravoholic with an affinity for all things Real Housewives. And while I didn’t think my appreciation for these women could get any deeper, I’ve been especially thankful for them while battling bouts of boredom and anxiety in self-quarantine. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it’s only right that we pay tribute to the amazing women that not only gave life to our Housewives, but who have made a lasting impression in their own right while appearing onscreen.

10. Ms. Diane, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’

Ms. Diane is an angel. She ranks this high on the list because she’s one of the most normal and seemingly sane mothers this franchise has ever seen. Her calm demeanor and unwavering support of Porsha through everything from the divorce from Kordell to the infidelities of The Hot Dog King is truly heartwarming. Porsha is one of the few lucky ones.

9. Judy Stirling, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’

Lydia’s mom, Judy, made an immediate impression when she breezed her way into the OC from what seemed like another planet entirely. She sprinkled fairy dust on her grown daughter, smoked a ton of pot, and even managed to get into it with Vicki’s aggro son-in-law over having her feet on Vicki’s couch. In short, she was a lot more interesting memorable than Lydia.

8. Dr. Deb, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’

Dr. Deb is what you would get if you swapped out Judy’s weed for acid and proceeded to have a really bad trip at Burning Man. When she first appeared on the show, Dr. Deb intrigued viewers with her multicolored dreadlocks and general IDGAF attitude. She really got into the mix last season at “OC Fashion Week” (I refuse to believe that’s a thing) by fighting with another attendant and allegedly using a racial slur. Clearly used to chaos, it’s no wonder Braunwyn decided to have seven kids.

7. Ms. Dorothy, ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’

Ms. Dorothy made an impression from the moment we met her in season 3. Between her monthly stays at the house she bought for with Candiace and Chris and her attempts to control every aspect of their wedding, this therapist seems to have a blind spot when it comes to respecting boundaries with her daughter. Last season she took this to another level by slapping Candiace upside the head with a purse. It be ya own mother.

6. Lois Rinna, ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

 When we first met Lois, she charmed us with her happy-go-lucky attitude and positive energy. Little did we know that this ray of sunshine nearly died after surviving an attack by a literal serial killer. And not only did she survive that, she also managed to sit through dinner while Camille defended Brett Kavanaugh and served us some epic facial expressions like this in the process:

5. Marge Sr., ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’

As if Marge Jr. weren’t enough of a gift to the show when she was cast in season 8, we got the added bonus of Marge Sr. Dating well into her seventies and even admitting that she’s had sex in a cemetery, Marge Sr. is the Hungarian Samantha Jones. We have no choice but to stan.

4. Mama Elsa, ‘Real Housewives of Miami’

Almost exactly one year ago, the world lost a legend. Mama Elsa was the indisputable star of the otherwise lackluster Real Housewives of Miami. With her strong Cuban accent, flair for drama, and witchy sensibilities, she stole every scene and gave us so many hilarious moments. The world was a wonder while she was here.

3. Dale Mercer, ‘Real Housewives of New York’

Regardless of whether Tinsley decides to return to RHONY, her mother Dale would be a welcome addition to the show. She never misses an opportunity to shade her own daughter, whether it’s pointing out to Tinsley that she’s wearing shoes designed by Tinsley’s ex-husband’s new wife, or implying that her relationship with Scott is doomed. And, of course, we can never forget her indulging Tinsley’s crazy and crying with her over Tinsley’s frozen eggs “babies” while Tinsley tries on wedding dresses despite not actually being engaged.

2. Mama Dee, ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’

Speaking of women that take pleasure in shading the hell out of their spawn, no one does it like Mama Dee. Watching D’Andra squirm while asking her mom for more money to let her take over the business and Dee revel in the power dynamic is truly captivating television. Is this a healthy mother-daughter dynamic? No, but I really don’t give a dog’s rip.

1. Mama Joyce, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’

Love her or hate her, Mama Joyce is the G.O.A.T. of outrageous Real Housewives moms. She never misses an opportunity to harass her son-in-law, whether it’s butchering the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to make a threat, or recounting a childhood trauma about a lunchbox to allude to her distrust of him. The thirst doesn’t stop there. She tried using a shoe as a weapon against Carmon during Kandi’s wedding dress shopping trip, and put on an actual trench coat to dig up dirt on Phaedra, giving us this iconic moment:

She may be a monster hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to her daughter’s money, but she’s given us some incredible moments in the process.

Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the moms on this list make for great TV. Which Real Housewives mom is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Images: Bravo (2); Tenor (5); Trash Talk TV; 1drdeb / Instagram; Giphy (2)

13 Mother’s Day Gifts Under $100

When it comes to made up, unnecessary holidays, I will always be the first to say how stupid they are. Case in point: wtf is National Fruitcake Toss Day and why do we set January 3rd aside for it? As far as I’m concerned, January 3rd is a day of post-NYE rest. Mother’s Day, though, is not one of those holidays, and it is as legit as it is necessary. I applaud all mothers for all of the incredibly hard work that they do. I, for one, was a supreme brat from ages 12-23, so I am definitely going to spend May 10th bestowing upon my mother a thoughtful gift that says, “thank you for putting up with my bullsh*t for so long.”

Here’s the thing, though: my mom deserves like 25 Hermès scarves, the Tiffany diamond (you know, the one Lady Gaga wore to the Oscars) and a few other luxuries, but I just got laid off and can barely afford organic strawberries these days. Luckily, there are a few great Mother’s Day gift options for under $100 that say “You are a queen and you deserve the best, but, as you can see, I am poor rn.” Good enough, I guess.

Casetify Monogram Studio Case, $50

I’m sure some of you may think that no respectable woman would carry around anything that says “mom” on it, but this phone is not for regular moms; it’s for cool moms. Seriously, my mom is a classy broad with amazing style and I know for certain she’d f*cking love this leather case. It’s totally customizable, so if you’re not into pastels with navy accents, you can pick whatever color combo your mother would love most. Have fun spending the next four hours designing this bad boy!

Earl Grey Tea Tin, $8.95

Most mothers I know subsist on tea, and these super cute vintage-looking tins from Society Social make for a great gift. Each tea flavor comes in a different colored tin and contains 20 tea bags, so she’ll be set with her tea habit for a good while. Also, if you ask me, this is a literal steal.

Slip Pillowcase, $71

This silk pillowcase is a perfect example of something I’ve always wanted, but could never bring myself to actually buy. Luckily, I dropped enough super subtle hints to my roommate and she bought it for my birthday. Let me just say, it totally lived up to the hype. Here’s why your mom will also love it: it’s anti-aging. For starters, she won’t wake up with creases all over her face, but more importantly, the silk won’t absorb her serums, moisturizers and eye creams. It also protects her hair. Win-win!

Levain Bakery Cookie Assortment, from $27

If you’ve ever been to New York, you’ve been to Levain. They make the densest, richest cookies I’ve ever had, and I mean that in the best way. The sweet relief that comes with taking a bite of the classic chocolate chip walnut is what I imagine doing opioids must feel like. Seriously, they’re so f*cking good and can last for months in the freezer. I don’t know your mom, but I promise she will love them.

Local Eclectic Dainty Princess Birthstone Ring, $74

Local Eclectic is a female-founded and female-run online marketplace for emerging and independent jewelers to sell their gorgeous designs. I have gotten so much jewelry from this place that I’m embarrassed to admit how much of the money I don’t have has supported my jewelry addiction. Anyway, these birthstone rings are super delicate and can be layered, so getting a few for your mom based on the months you and your siblings were born is so cute. Or just get her one to remind her who her favorite is.

Serena & Lily Spa Robe, $79

This robe is currently on sale, so don’t wait to get it if you want to save serious $$. It’s made of Turkish cotton, which means it’s soft af. The inside is a super plush terry cloth and the exterior is a very on-trend waffle pattern. I am really tempted to get this for myself because I’m pretty sure that my current dark gray floor-length robe was inspired by the Grim Reaper’s from the Sims. Serena & Lily is a home brand beloved by many moms, so I’m sure any of them would appreciate this.

Jo Malone London Candle, $67

Let me just start by saying if you have principals and refuse to spend $67 on a candle, check out Voluspa for gorgeous candles at a less offensive price. Anyway, Jo Malone is known for her perfume and, as of late, her candles. I actually have this one on my nightstand and I get whiffs of it even when it’s not burning. The glass container has a really nice minimalist look and the candles all smell amazing, so you really can’t go wrong. The Wood Sage & Sea Salt scent is the most popular, and I love that not-so-subtle “bougie parfumée” flex on the bottom of the label.

Barr Hill Gin, $44

Guys, listen: for my first Mother’s Day, I would really appreciate a bottle of 90-proof liquor. In all seriousness, this is a great gift! Everyone loves a good cocktail—especially now that we will most likely still be staying at home on May 10th—and gin is a crowd-of-less-than-10-pleaser. Also, this bottle looks like something Julia Engel would have displayed on her bar cart because it’s so charming and whimsical-looking.

Moon & Jai Love Ritual Kit, $49

In the Pursuit is kind of like Local Eclectic, but for literally everything, not just jewelry. If your mom is into crystals, burning sage, and palo santo, she will lose her mind at this kit. It contains a rose quartz crystal, clear quartz point, sage wand, beautiful matches and a bunch of other sh*t that will definitely clear the bad energy from her house.

Escape By Gray Malin, $28.95

Gray Malin is a photographer whose pictures are reminiscent of Slim Aarons, but way more affordable. I got this book for myself at a book-signing and, after flipping through it, bought myself one of his photos. His work, mostly aerial photos of beautiful beaches around the world, is really beautiful and the book is a great way to see it all without having to drop thousands on a big-ass picture your mom has no wall space for.

UGG Fuzzette Slide Sandals, $90

Everyone loves slippers, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re a liar. UGG may not be as cool as it was in 2006, but their slippers are still unparalleled. If your mom is aching for a canary yellow slide that she can wear around the house, she’ll love these. They also come in black, though.

Kin Sora Multipurpose Towel, $68

If your mom loves yoga as much as she loves the environment, this towel is the perfect gift for her. I know what you’re thinking, “a towel?” but this is no ordinary towel. In fact, it’s made from recycled fabric and is non-skid, so your mom can use it as a yoga mat. I mean, who doesn’t love a good multi-purpose product, right?

PlantShed Adore You, $34

If your mom lives in the tri-state area, don’t even think about getting her flowers unless they’re from PlantShed. If Rufus Humphrey was a botanist instead of an art-junkie, he’d have opened PlantShed (it’s half charming flower shop and half coffee shop). They teach you how to care for your new plant so that your mom couldn’t kill it if she tried.

Images: Brigitte Tohm / Unsplash; Bloomingdale’s; Gray Malin; In The Pursuit Studio; Caskers; Jo Malone; Serena & Lily; gopjn.com; Levain; Slip; Society Social; Casetify; Kin; PlantShed

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8 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Having A Baby

Having a kid is weird. Suddenly, your world shifts from how many bottomless mimosas you can drink or how many hours you can scroll Instagram for, to when the last time you showered was, how many diapers are left, and if you’re up for putting on mascara today.

I never, ever thought I’d need a bunch of help or advice once I had a kid. I figured that if idiots could do it, so could I. That’s half true, and it took me a bit of time to lean in and accept help and advice. In an effort to impart a few things I’ve painfully learned these first two months of being a mom, here’s a list of things I wish I’d known before I brought home baby.

1. No Baby Sleeps “Through” The Night

You best go ahead and dispel any myths about a baby sleeping more than six hours at a time. Now go ahead and cut that six hours in half. Now cry if you need to. The reality is that for the first few weeks, your baby will need to eat every two to four hours, sleeping altogether for 14-17 hours per day, but not at one time, according to Sleep.org. That means you’ll be running on very little sleep. It also means that having a partner or someone to help and complain to/with is really important. The biggest thing to remember is that it’s temporary and yes, someday you will sleep for 10+ hours at a clip again. But that time probs isn’t until your kid is in, like, third grade. Lean in, mom.

2. Breastfeeding And Pumping Will Run Your Life

Should you decide to breastfeed and know little to nothing about it/made that choice based on the fact that it’s natural and free, buckle the f*ck up. As someone who went in with the mentality of “how hard could this be?”, prepare yourself for the mindf*ck that is breastfeeding and pumping. Your child may latch beautifully and you may be able to feed with little to no effort. But if you experience searing pain in your nips like I did (and yes, baby was latched correctly), you may only be able to let him or her feed directly from you as often as you can stand it, pumping the other times.

Every time I feed my son from the bottle, it takes about 30 minutes. Every time I pump, it takes about 20 minutes. So, unless I pump at the same time I feed him (which is possible but a little difficult), you’re looking at about an hour of this feeding routine. You may think, “well, I’ll just pump once or twice a day.” Wrong, bitch. Once your milk comes in, you’ll need to either feed or pump every two to four hours or risk a clogged duct or, much worse, mastitis. Clogged ducts feel like knots you’d get in your back, except they’re in your boobs and hurt like a motherf*cker. Mastitis is what happens when you don’t pump, get a clogged duct, and that sh*t gets infected. So, even if your mom or nanny or husband take the baby for the night to feed him from the bottle so you can sleep, you will STILL need to wake up on a schedule to drain the titties.

3. Formula Is OK; Breastmilk Is OK

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself about both formula and breastmilk. There is no shame—NO SHAME—in whichever you choose and, having talked to doctors and NICU personnel about both, you can rest assured that as long as your heart is in the right place, however you choose to feed your child is OK. Don’t feel pressured or shamed into one way or the other. I was a formula baby. I’ve had friends who couldn’t get a kid to latch. I’ve seen people exclusively pump. I’ve seen women go 50/50 formula and breastmilk. Talk to your doctor (lactation consultants are not doctors, by the way) and discuss all of the options.

4. You’ll Cry, A Lot

crying

Having a baby means your emotions are going to be a perfect storm. Picture it like this: It’d be like if you’re PMSing, your favorite jeans don’t fit, your mom won’t answer your texts, and the ASPCA commercial with the sad puppies just came on. Given, about 80% of new moms get “baby blues” which are basically just horrible mood swings, according to WebMD. Baby blues mean you’ll cry, plus you’ll feel exhausted, unable to eat or even comb your hair because of your stress, and just generally really overwhelmed. Those feelings usually subside by around the time baby is two weeks old.

If it goes on for longer, or you have more extreme feelings of despair including being unable to sleep, eat, or focus; being unable to bond with your baby; or feel incredibly alone; you may have postpartum depression. Regardless, know that your emotions running rampant is NORMAL and OK. The best thing you can do is talk to your mom, your friends, your partner, and your doctor.

5. You Will Want Help

I didn’t think I wanted anyone hovering around after I had my son. I wanted it to be just me and my husband, soaking up our baby’s awesomeness. By the time I was ready to head to the hospital, I was so, so glad that my mom had volunteered to stay with us for a few weeks after the baby arrived. Not only did she take care of some basic things like cooking and cleaning, she was also able to gently impart wisdom including, but not limited to: changing diapers 101, why is the baby crying 201, and why am I crying 301.

People will want to visit to help, bring food, and visit the baby. If you’re comfortable, let people come. I can honestly say that having family and friends bring food, wine, hold the baby so I could shower and scroll through Instagram alone for a few hours, and provide conversation that didn’t center around “why does his sh*t smell that way” gave me a much-needed breath of fresh air in the first few weeks of being a mom.

6. Your Body Will Feel Like A War Zone

everything hurts and i'm dying

Whether you go in for a C-section, push that baby out in record time, or sit in agonizing labor for 40 hours, when you come home from the hospital, your body will feel destroyed. Having had a C-section, I can confirm being really f*cking sore, my boobs hurting A LOT from the newness of breastfeeding and pumping, and having a hard time with stairs because of the surgery. The more you mentally prepare for the exhaustion and pain, the better you’ll be. Plus, if it isn’t as bad as you imagined, you’ll be in a better position than if you’re totally blindsided.

7. Your Pets Will Be Jealous

When we brought my son home, my dog was really excited about him. There was heavy sniffing, heavy licking, and a lot of anxious/excited whining. Fast forward a few weeks, and there’s a lot of sulking. Even though we do our best to incorporate him into baby playtime and take walks every day with both baby and doggo, it’s still hard for our fur baby—the only child for five years—to adjust to sharing. Keep that in mind when you bring your kid home, and keep an eye out for lashing out like growling or displays of dominance. There are tons of tips and tricks like bringing home blankets, cutting back a bit on pet time before the baby comes, and just general ways to prepare from places like Web MD. Know that your pet still loves you, he just may sh*t in your shoe out of spite now.

8. Sleep When The Baby Sleeps

nap

This has been the hardest one for me personally to get behind. Because, as we mentioned, your baby will not sleep more than 5 hours at a time until they’re probably at least five months old (you may have a freak 6 hour stretch in there, but it’s EXTREMELY rare), you need to learn to sleep when the baby is asleep. Every time the baby needs to get up or you need to pump, you’re going to lose about an hour. So, if baby is up at 2am, by the time you get your sh*t together, feed them, change them, and get them settled back to sleep, it’s likely going to be close to 3am. Then, you can start the timer on when they’ll be up again and, spoiler alert, it’s probably going to be around 6am.

That being said, if you’re lucky enough to have maternity leave, use it to sleep. Don’t make any grand plans (raises hand slowly) about rewatching Game of Thrones, reading all of the literary classics you ignored in high school, or getting really into fine wine. Sleep and survival are the name of the game for the first few months.

All this being said, there’s going to be a ton of information thrown at you the first few days after your little one arrives. Don’t worry about absorbing it all, doing everything right, or being afraid to make a mistake. Babies are pretty resilient, and so are you. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.

Images: The Honest Company / Unsplash; Giphy (4)

Celebrity Moms We Wish Would Adopt Us

In case you’ve been too busy making Royal Baby/Riverdale memes, I’m here to remind you that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12th. I hope you’ve all purchased flowers for your Mom, or have at least given your brother very specific instructions on what to do, which is how I roll. Fingers crossed you don’t f*ck it up this year, Phil.

And we aren’t the only ones celebrating Mother’s Day, because celebrities have to do it too. Sure, they’re buying their mom a Maserati instead of 2-for-1 Yankee Candles, but the sentiment is the same. Some celebs are even moms themselves, which of course got us thinking about which celebrities we would want to adopt us. Not that I need to be to be adopted because my mom is obviously the best (Hi Mom! Love you! I know you’re reading this!), but every once in a while when she mentions my “freakish upper body strength” a girl might dare to dream. So let’s take a look at all the celebrity moms we wish would take us in!

Chrissy Teigen

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o dear

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Don’t even fight me on this one, you all know you want to be adopted by Chrissy Teigen. In this age of viral moments she’s the most viral of them all. She’s so viral in fact, Comments By Celebs has weekly dedicated roundups to the best sh*t she says. She also trolls her husband, but not in a way that’s like “I clearly emotionally abuse you at home,” but in a way that’s like “I love you awesome nerd, let’s bang.” She also is getting her own cooking show, so you know you’re eatin’ good at home. Plus, she’s a gorgeous supermodel and if you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll even look like her. Where do I sign up?

Kris Jenner

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Mother’s Day bling: ✔@PortalfromFacebook #FeelThere #PortalPartner http://portalfb.me/igkj2

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I really, really, really hate this family. Yes, I know I write about them all the time, but a girl’s gotta buy a substantial amount of wine pay the bills, you know? And tbh it would be amazing to be a child of Kris Jenner. She was obviously the architect of this family’s rise to fame, and she climbed her way up from flight attendant to media mogul. If I must respect any of them, I begrudgingly choose her. So you know what? Adopt me, Kris. Help me make a billion dollars, I guess. FINE.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese is the A-list of the A-list. She is the Dom Perignon in a room full of Veuve Clicquot. She’s an actress, producer, and badass bitch, all while being one of the realest celebrity moms. Plus, as much as she appears to be the perfect southern belle, we all know she’s got a naughty side. You’re not gonna have a bad time with Reese, and every mom needs a drinking partner. I volunteer as tribute!

Not only is Reese a movie star, but now that she has her book club, you can count on her to turn any book you love into a movie. I’m still waiting on I’ll Give You the Sun, Reese, when you adopt me can we collab?

And finally, the woman is ageless, and has clearly found a way to stop time, a feat that not even Kris Jenner has managed to master even through her many deals with the devil.

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Time sure does fly when you are having fun!! #10YearChallenge

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Reese laughs in the face of time.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is the greatest of all time, and if she adopted you, Venus Williams would be your aunt. Perhaps you’ve heard of her as well? Aside from being able to serve the ball 120MPH and fighting for women’s rights, Serena is friends with THE Beyoncé and THE Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, so YOU would be able to live a life of luxury and extravagance. Count. Me. In.

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?? @olympiaohanian is such a good sport she clapped for every point — whether it was mama @serenawilliams or auntie @venuswilliams. Video by Bev Gribble

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Plus, you get to go to the biggest tennis matches in the world and sit in the best seats! As a mediocre high school tennis player, this is my dream life. Hi Olympia, I’m here to steal your life.

Gabrielle Union

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Try me if you want to, I ain't the one. Where's Shirley?!? Dont make us run up on ya #shadybaby ??????

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And finally, Gabrielle Union just became a mother and is already trolling her child *slow claps*. It makes sense though, because when you’ve got a baby with the best stink eye in the game, it would be foolish not to exploit capitalize on it. Plus, I already make the same faces as Kaavia all day every day at work, so Gabs would have plenty of material to create a #shadylady IG out of me.

And those are the celebrity moms I wish would adopt me! I’m not saying this is my official application, but if the government wanted to take it that way I wouldn’t be opposed. I hope you all have a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Images: Shutterstock; chrissyteigen, krisjenner, reesewitherspoon, alexisohanian, kaaviajames / Instagram

James Kennedy’s Mother Posted A Wild Statement About Her Son’s Behavior

While I’ve absolutely loved this season of Vanderpump Rules so far,I’ve loved the off-camera drama even more. AKA James Kennedy’s multiple meltdowns between aired episodes, as his life slowly unravels on screen. The latest in this series? An Instagram statement from James Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Georgiou. Before I tear this woman to shreds begin, I’d like to acknowledge her struggle with alcoholism, and put forth my sympathies for how it has affected both her life and the lives of her children. THAT BEING SAID: James Kennedy’s mother has had more than enough time to thoughtfully respond to his behavior, and the fact that this is what she comes up with is halfway between hysterically funny and rage blackout-inducing. Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Background

In case you haven’t been avidly watching, here’s a quick recap of James Kennedy this season. He rapped about Jax sleeping with Faith while Brittany was working at SUR, then got drunk and body-shamed Katie at Pride. Lisa promptly fired him from SUR for both his alcohol problem and his treatment of the women who work there. (If you’re on board with the logic of that sentence, congratulations. You’re already miles beyond Kennedy’s mother’s understanding.) In last week’s episode, Lisa Vanderpump met with James’ mother, Jacqueline. We learned that Jacqueline is nine months sober (very sincere congrats!), and struggling to justify her past failures as a mother (also congrats, important step).

On the not-so-great side, she also said James was entitled to his behavior because he was “provoked.” She also told Lisa she “can’t give up on James” because he considers Lisa a “mother figure.” To which Lisa responded, as gently as possible for such an obvious burn: “no, you are his mother figure.”

Next, James doubled down on all his crazy by talking sh*t about the recent deaths of Lala and Jax’s fathers. (A risky move! Do not recommend!) Lala, not to be outdone, screenshotted the VPR scene with James’ mom and posted an Instagram story, captioned like this. “Is this for real? Did this woman actually raise someone?” It’s unclear whether this was the final straw for Jacqueline, but we now have her response.

The Statement

I’m too lazy to re-type the whole thing You’ve waited long enough, so I’ll put the statement in full here for you to peruse.

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#letsbefair

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Done? Still breathing? Excellent. Many, many comments off the bat from me! In a baffling first move, she begins with the phrase “to whom it may concern.” I understand this is (to an extent) celebrity Notes app protocol, but it’s also a phrase that feels overly formal when used in a cover letter, let alone an Instagrammed picture of a note handwritten on a piece of looseleaf. Also, someone should inform Jacqueline that Notes app exists, because the handwritten aspect makes it that much more upsetting.

Next! It is shocking to me how little anyone even peripherally involved with VPR understands what “feminism” means. And they use the word all the god*mn time! In this instance, Jacqueline accuses Katie of “claim to be a feminist then play victim.” While “playing victim” is generally a bad move, I kind of fail to see what it has to do with “claiming” to be a feminist. Maybe Jacqueline is one of those feminists who believes women showing any kind of weakness detracts from the whole movement, but I think more likely she doesn’t care about feminism or anything really other than continuing her moment of fame. Which will very, very swiftly end if James is not reinstated at SUR.

On this particular incident, she also defends James by saying he “never used the word ‘fat’” (low bar there, Jackie), “nor did he speak to Katie first.” Ok but Jackie!!! Inappropriate comments do not have to come out of a void to be inappropriate. And the fact that you can’t condone, even a little bit, what he did say to Katie makes it impossible to take anything else you might say seriously. Sorry!

Also me:

On the Kristen/Hope situation, she has a similar take (TL;DR James is blameless, hire him back). Yes, Kristen has a serious problem when it comes to finding people’s past hookups and bringing them to their workplace, but Jacqueline manages to void her criticism on this point too. She refers to it as “harassment (single white female style),” at which point I became incapable of thinking about anything Kristen has done wrong and could only focus on how truly insane this woman is. Also, if all else fails I hope James releases a single titled “harassment (single white female style)”.

The note wraps up with a few more baffling moments, like the mention that “Ms. Doute repeatedly beat the shit out of my son on previous episodes.” (Was it repeatedly? Not that once is okay—just trying to gauge how mentally sound this letter writer is). There’s also “Mother figure…anyone with ½ a brain should know what I meant.” (Lisa did know what you meant! She just wasn’t down for you to offload your maternal responsibility!) She finishes off with a note to “all you judges and jurors,” who she warns “before you speak and give your opinion,” “unless you are living your best ‘Oprah Life’ then SYMFM.” I cannot find backup for this on the internet, strangely, but I can only assume that stands for “shut your mother f*cking mouth.” What “your best ‘Oprah Life’” means, I can’t begin to guess at.

Finally, Jacqueline signs the note like this: “Jacqueline Georgiou/Mother.” Because honestly, after reading through that, you may have been tempted to forget that she’s an adult woman, let alone a mother. I can’t f*cking wait to see James’ response to this, and I can only hope it’s half as savage as me tearing my mother apart in middle school for calling my teacher when I got in trouble. Until the next tweet storm, have a great weekend!

Images: Giphy (3); @jacquelinegeorgiou / Instagram

The Ultimate Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s a beautiful time of year. The sun is shining, we can drink outside comfortably, and Mother’s Day is coming up. Since moms only get one day a year of celebration when they really deserve about 365, we as friends, daughters, nieces, granddaughters, whatever, need to make sure we are providing them with the perfect gifts. Flowers are nice, but putting some real thought behind a gift for the woman who birthed you (or any woman who birthed anyone, God bless), is nicer. No offense, but it’s true. So here’s a list of brands that we love and fully approve of for our Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and you know you can trust us.

LaserAway

For the mom who’s prepping for her retirement to Florida

If she’s going to be living on a beach, she needs to look hot. LaserAway is her one-stop-shop for laser hair removal, Coolsculpting, Botox, and like, a million other things. If you’re unfamiliar with Coolsculpting, it’s a non-invasive procedure that uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells. In as little as three weeks, the results will appear and she’ll basically have abs. Jealous? Get a treatment for yourself, too. Because we all know that even though looking fit is fun, the gym fucking sucks. LaserAway has a ton of locations and customers love it so much because they provide treatments that are driven by science, so you know it’s legit. “This stuff really works!” No, but actually it does. Plus they have discount offers like, all the time.

Riley Home

For the mom who deserves to feel like she sleeps in a hotel bed every night

A saint in the streets and a MILF in the sheets. Sorry, that was uncalled for. I deeply apologize. Riley Home has the softest and most beautiful bedding and bath sets and we cannot get over how much we love it all. With their simple but elegant bedding, you can take her room from blah to chic easily. You’ve been hearing her talk about how she wants to redecorate her room for years, right? This is the first step that will get her going and then she can shut up about it forever. Some of our favorite products include the Sateen Sheet Set, Hooded Waffle Robe, and Spa Towel Set.

Drip MediSpa

For the mom who’s DRIPPIN

Okay, so you’ve definitely seen this on TV or at least heard about it. Betch goes out, betch makes bad choices, betch wakes up with a hangover so betch orders an IV drip to bring her back to life. Drip MediSpa is more than just a hangover cure, though. I mean that is the most amazing thing ever, but there are so many other drips on their menu. Yes, you order from a beautiful menu. For the expectant mom, they have a prenatal drip to help control all that nausea and exhaustion. And for the old AF mom (haha sorry, but it’s true) they have a “fountain of youth” drip. Sooo rejuvenating. Book her an IV drip and she will love you SO much! Unless she hates needles. In which case Drip has plenty of other things to offer, like skincare treatments.

Sonos

For the mom who never learned how to use the in-house speaker system anyway

This will probs be easier for her. Fun fact, we bump music at Betches HQ from Sonos speakers and the neighbors are jealous because they think we’re partying 24/7 (we’re not… not partying 24/7). Their newest speaker, the Sonos One, is everything you could ever need in a music playing device. It has a voice-enabled smart speaker, the ability to stream from more than 80 services, and is compatible with our girl Alexa. Basically, mom is about to throw a house party. But yes, you’ll have to set it up for her.

Archipelago Botanicals

For the mom who knew that charcoal was cool like, 2 years ago

Good for you, mom. Archipelago Botanicals has an ah-mazing collection of Charcoal Rose products, and they make it v easy for you by grouping them into cute gift sets. Buy your mom the Charcoal Rose candle so her powder room can smell like something other than her classic potpourri (get with the times, lady). Or she would looove the organic rose water, which is said to clean your pores and give you younger looking skin #vitality. We’re also obsessed with the Charcoal Rose Body Oil because our skin has been dry as fuck due to this horrendous weather (getting better now though, thank you for asking). Basically you can’t go wrong with anything from Archipelago so just like, have at it.

Massage Envy

For the mom that deserves the world, so you’ll send her to a spa

You really can’t go wrong here. There’s nothing that says “you are a perfect human full of wisdom and unique matronly powers and you deserve to be served heaven on a platter” quite like a massage. Good news, Massage Envy is running a special Mother’s Day promotion from now through Mother’s Day. You can purchase $125 in gift cards for her and receive a FREE 60-min facial. Give the facial to her…or yourself, we’ll leave that up to you. You can also get her a membership to Massage Envy, which gives her a reason to make an appointment every month…because again, she deserves it.

Seven Haircare

For the mom who’s best friends with everyone at her salon

Mom, you’re embarrassing me. But at least your hair looks fab. And since she accepts nothing but the best when it comes to haircare, you should definitely introduce her to Seven. Their products are created by a team of stylists who wanted the perfect blends for their salon, so you know their stuff works. Our favorites include their Gazar Diamond Serum, Satara Texture Cream, and Satara Relax Serum. That was really hard to narrow down to just three, though. They have pretty much anything you could ever need to keep your hair in check, especially now that humidity is going to be a thing. No more dull hair, no more fly-aways, no more frizz.

Algenist Skincare

For the mom who’s tried every anti-aging method and product in existence

Chill out, just use Algenist. This award-winning beauty brand has unlocked the secret powers of algae, one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world, to create anti-aging products with clean and safe formulas. Science! Its natural and clean ingredients make Algenist’s products  non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and they’re good for all skin types. So if your mom also happens to be a hippie betch…this is the stuff. Our favorites include their Complete Eye Renewal Balm, Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid (say that 5 times fast), and their Sublime Anti-Aging Blurring Moisturizer. And they have way more than just anti-aging stuff, they have legit everything to save your skin and you need to check it out.

Shop Betches

For the mom who enjoys the simple things in life (and a good laugh)

Obviously we need to talk about our Mother’s Day cards from Shop Betches. Sometimes we have like, nothing left in our bank account and can’t afford a present, but that just means we have to step up our card game. It’s perfect because the hilarity of the card will balance out the heartfelt sappy note you leave for the most perfect mom. And if you have more than like $6 in your bank, your mom will litttterally die at our “Ask Your Father” hat.

Three Olives Rosé Vodka

For the mom who parties harder than you

She’s gonna be the baddest bitch on the block when she finds out about this. In case you somehow haven’t heard, Three Olives launched their newest vodka this April, and it is rosé flavored. You read that correctly. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that every mom in America loves rosé. And now she has something to whip out at dinner parties that get a little rowdy. Or at book club. Either one works. Also it’s pink (duh) so it will just look really pretty as a gift from you.

Fenty Beauty

For the mom who wants to know what all the cool jams are

What’s the 411? Operator, patch me through to Fenty Beauty. That was so dweeby I’m sorry. Anyways…we all know that anything Rihanna touches turns to gold, and her beauty line is no exception. And for the trendy mom, we recommend going with Fenty all the way. Our faves include the Body Lava Body Luminizer to give mom that effortless glow, and the Universal Gloss Bomb which looks amazing on every betch.

Philosophy

For the mom who always has her shit together

Rude that you didn’t pass that trait down to me, but whatever. It’s no secret that we are ob-SESSED with Philosophy. Everything they make smells amazing, it all works great, and there are just so many options to choose from. All our homes are filled to capacity with Philosophy products because we can’t help ourselves. Our favorites for Mother’s Day include their Amazing Grace Candle, which makes your place smell like it’s filled with flowers from your non-existent boyfriend. Also loving their new Amazing Grace Ballet Rose fragrance. Their packaging is so pretty and light so it will look beauteous as a gift.