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What it’s like to be a mother of only boys

When I’m introduced to another mother of only boys, there are a few seconds of expectation. As if maybe we are going to have a secret handshake. Or maybe we are going to say, “Hey, are there black handprint marks all over your walls? Me too!”

Instead, we just nod our heads and exchange a little smile, knowing we are kindred spirits. Having boys leads to a set of personality traits, namely that you’re not fussy and that you roll with the (actual) punches. If you have a bunch of boys, you’ve probably seen a femur up close. You can get blood out of anything.

Mothers of boys are strangely laid back about property damage. In fact, property damage is to boy moms what frequent costume changes are to girl moms. A golf club through the drywall, a child through the drywall, and a basketball game ending triumphantly with glass showering down from the ceiling lights. That’s just what being a boy mom is. It’s knowing the number of the window repair company by heart, and not having to tell them your address when you call.

Boy moms buy eggs four dozen at a time. We’re why they package 32 English muffins together at Costco. An English muffin with peanut butter on it will sate our starving boys for up to 25 minutes, enough time to boil up some macaroni and cheese or order a pizza. We are slightly afraid of our growing and starving brood, because their collective hunger comes at us with such force and frequency. I’ve been known to throw down a plate of bacon and run out of the room like a lion trainer fleeing the cage.

We have time for all this food shopping and prep because we do not shop for clothes. We do not meander through the mall, browsing the new spring fashions. We buy socks like we buy eggs, dozens at a time. When we need to buy clothes for our children, our shopping list reads “everything, the next size up.” And that usually works out fine. We shop for ourselves, of course, though we don’t really need to. Not one person in my house knows what kind of jeans I should be wearing this season. For this, I am particularly grateful.

The other, unspoken thing that bonds us boy moms is what we don’t have: a daughter. Sometimes the fact that I don’t have a daughter surprises me so much that I check myself like I’m patting my pockets for my keys. She’s got to be around here somewhere, I have so much to tell her! All these hard-earned girl lessons just roll around my head, waiting for eager ears. She’d probably just roll her eyes anyway. Really, Mom? What do you know about boys?

Without a daughter, I wonder about the future of my stuff. Every year on Thanksgiving I try to get one of my sons excited about my mom’s gravy boat. Every year someone asks if it wouldn’t just be easier to serve the gravy out of the roasting pan on the stove. Easier? It would have been easier to just order a pizza, but that’s not the point. It is my greatest hope that someday they’ll sit down to dinner with their own families (just having repaired their own drywall), see that gravy boat, and get the point.

We boy moms won’t go prom dress shopping. We won’t pick the wedding venue. We won’t be in the delivery room. We won’t ever, ever sit on a toilet before thoroughly inspecting it first. But we will strive to raise kind, conscious, able young men. All of this is acknowledged when boy moms meet and exchange a little nod and a smile. The nod is for the food prep and the property damage. The smile is for all the rest: the sweetness of a little boy, and the way he grabs your heart with his dirty hands and never lets go.

The Death of a Parent Affects Even Grown Children Psychologically and Physically

of a parent may be one of the most universally . But just because it happens to almost everyone doesn’t make it any less painful or . Under most circumstances, death of a mother and father informs and changes their children’s lives forever. Not only does it alter their day to day, it alters them biologically and psychologically, and can make them sick.

“In the best-case scenario, the death of a parent is anticipated and there is time for families to prepare for the loss, say their goodbyes, and surround themselves with support,” psychiatrist Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi told Fatherly. “In cases where a death is unexpected, such as with an acute illness or traumatic accident, adult children may remain in the denial and anger phases of the loss for extended periods of time…[leading to] diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder or even PTSD, if trauma is involved.”

There’s no amount of psychological studies or brain imaging data that can capture how uniquely painful this distinct grief is. That said, there are a number of studies that demonstrate the significance of this loss. the posterior cingulate cortex, frontal cortex, and cerebellum brain regions in grief processing. These regions are involved in retrieving memories and dwelling on the past — but, in a cruel twist of neuroanatomy, they’re also involved in regulating sleep and appetite.

“This might provide some explanation for the different and unique responses to grief and loss,” Jumoke Omojola, a clinical social worker in Omaha, Nebraska, told Fatherly. “Physiological changes might include headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, tightness in the chest too much sleep, too little sleep, overeating, or lack of appetite.”

In the short term, neurology assures us that loss will trigger physical distress. In the long-term, grief puts the entire body at risk. have found links between unresolved grief and hypertension, cardiac events, immune disorders, and even cancer. It is unclear why grief would trigger such dire physical conditions, but one theory is that a perpetually activated sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) . These changes — less pre-programmed cell death, dampened immune responses — may be ideal when a bear is chasing you through the forest and you need all the healthy cells you can get. But this sort of cellular dysregulation is also how cancerous cells metastasize, unchecked.  

While the physical symptoms are relatively consistent, the psychological impacts are all but unpredictable. In the twelve months following the loss of a parent, the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders considers it healthy for adults who have lost their parents to experience a range of contradictory emotions, including sadness, anger, rage, anxiety, numbness, emptiness, guilt, remorse, and regret. It is normal to withdraw from friends and activities; it is normal to throw oneself into work.

As ever, context matters. Sudden, violent death puts survivors at higher risk of developing a grief disorder, and when an adult child has a fractured relationship with a parent, the death can be doubly painful — even if the bereaved shuts down and pretends not to feel the loss. “Coping is less stressful when adult children have time to anticipate parental death,” Omojola says. “Not been able to say goodbye contributes to feeling depressed and angry.” This may explain why that young adults are more affected by parental loss than middle-aged adults. Presumably, their parents died unexpectedly, or at least earlier than average.

Gender, of both the parent and child, can especially influence the contours of the grief response.

Studies suggest that , but men who lose their parents may be slower to move on. “Males tend to show emotions less and compartmentalize more,” Carla Marie Manly, , told Fatherly.

“These factors do affect the ability to accept and process grief.” that loss of a father is more associated with the loss of personal mastery — purpose, vision, belief, commitment, and knowing oneself. Losing a mother, on the other hand, elicits a more raw response. “Many people report feeling a greater sense of loss when a mother dies,” Manly says. “This can be attributed to the often close, nurturing nature of the mother-child relationship.”

At the same time, the differences between losing a father and a mother represent relatively weak trends. “Complicated bereavement can exist no matter which parent is lost,” Benders-Hadi says.

Grief becomes pathological, , when the bereaved are so overcome that they are unable to carry on with their lives. this occurs in about 1 percent of the healthy population, and about 10 percent of the population that had previously been diagnosed with a stress disorder. “A diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder is made within three months of the death if there is a ‘persistence of grief reactions’ exceeding what’s normal for the culture and the religion,” Omojola says. “In this situation, the grieving adult has severe challenges meeting social, occupational, and other expected, important life functions.” Even adults who are able to go to work and put on a brave face may be suffering a clinical condition if they remain preoccupied with the death, deny that their parent has died, or actively avoid reminders of their parents, indefinitely. This condition, known as Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder, is a trickier diagnosis to pin down (the DSM labeled it a “condition for further study”).

Elisabeth Goldberg works with grieving adults as a relationship therapist in New York City, and she has seen the toll that long-term grieving can take on a marriage. Specifically, Goldberg suggests a (somewhat Freudian) link between losing a parent and cheating on a spouse. “I see many affairs as manifestations of unresolved grief about losing a parent,” Goldberg says. “The adult child stays in a state of disbelief, and rejects reality in many ways in order to feed the delusion that the parent is still alive. The grieving child needs a new attachment figure, that’s the psyche trying to reconcile the denial and grief. So rather than say, ‘my mother died,’ the grieving child can say, ‘while mommy’s away, I will play with someone other than my  spouse.’”

In more concrete — and dire — terms, unresolved grief can spiral into anxiety and depression. This is especially true when the parent dies by suicide, according to Lyn Morris, a licensed therapist and VP at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “Adults who lose a parent to suicide often struggle with complex emotions such as guilt, anger, and feelings of abandonment and vulnerability,” she told Fatherly. Indeed confirmed that losing a parent to suicide makes children more likely to die by suicide themselves.

How to cope in a healthy way remains an active area of scientific inquiry. Ross Grossman, a licensed therapist who specializes in adult grief, has identified several “main distorted thoughts” that infect our minds when we face adversity. Two of the most prominent are “I should be perfect” and “they should have treated me better” — and they tug in opposite directions. “These distorted thoughts can easily arise in the wake of a loved one’s death,” Grossman says.

When a son or daughter reflects on how he or she should have treated a deceased parent, “I should be perfect” thoughts tend to rise to the surface. Grossman’s patients often feel that they should have done more and, “because they didn’t do any or all these things, they are low-down, dirty, awful, terrible human beings,” he says. “These kinds of thoughts, if left undisputed, usually result in a feeling of low self-worth, low self-esteem, shame, self-judgment, self-condemnation.”

On the opposite extreme, patients sometimes blame their deceased parents for not treating them properly, and never making amends. This is similarly unhealthy. “The usual result of this is deep resentment, anger, rage,” Grossman says. “They may have genuine, legitimate reasons to feel mistreated or abused. In these situations, it’s not always the death of the parent but the death of the possibility of reconciliation, of rapprochement and apology from the offending parent.”

“The possibility has died along with the person.”

In extreme cases, therapy may be the only way to get a grieving son or daughter back on his or her feet. But time, and an understanding spouse, can go a long way toward helping adults get through this unpleasant, yet ubiquitous, chapter in their lives. “Husbands can best support their wives by listening,” Manly says. “Men often feel helpless in the face of their wives’ emotions, and they want to fix the situation. A husband can do far more good by sitting with his wife, listening to her, holding her hand, taking her for walks, and — if she desires — visiting the burial site.”

The post The Death of a Parent Affects Even Grown Children Psychologically and Physically appeared first on Fatherly.

Diddy’s Ex-Girlfriend, Mother of His Kids, Kim Porter Found Dead at Home at 47

7:00 PM PT — Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Kim went to bed early last night, because she wasn’t feeling well and when family members went to wake her Thursday she was non-responsive. Paramedics pronounced Kim dead at her home.

As for the cause … we’re told she was battling an illness — either the flu or pneumonia — over the last few days and was being treated with Saline and vitamins. Authorities are also looking at a recent trip Kim took to Africa, to determine if she contracted a disease. 

No illegal drugs were found. 

The coroner will perform an autopsy and perform toxicology tests.   

5:02 PM PT — The coroner’s van just left Porter’s home.

, the model and actress who dated for 13 years, was found dead Thursday at her L.A. area home … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us they got a call to Porter’s Toluca Lake home around noon. Police are still on the scene right now.

According to emergency dispatch audio the call came in as a patient in cardiac arrest. 

A source connected to Kim tells us she’d been suffering flu-like symptoms, and possibly pneumonia, for several weeks, but it’s still unclear what exactly caused her death. Another source says Kim had contacted her doctor just yesterday complaining she wasn’t feeling any better.

Diddy and Kim’s relationship spanned more than a decade with several breakups and makeups. They started dating in 1994 and broke up, for the last time, in 2007.

They have 3 children together — twin girls Jessie James and D’Lila were born in 2006, and she had their son, Christian, in 1998. She also has a son, Quincy Brown, from her previous relationship with Al B. Sure!.

The whole family was last together, in public, supporting Quincy at last month’s premiere for his movie, “The Holiday Calendar.”

Kim worked as both a model and an actress, and she made appearances on Diddy’s show, “I Want to Work for Diddy.”

Diddy’s rep Cindi Berger tells us, “Sadly, I can confirm the passing of Kim Porter. I ask that you give the families privacy at this time.” 

Kim Porter

Diddy’s Ex Found Dead at 47

‘Super mom’ spotted on a Minnesota lake — with 56 ducklings in tow | MNN – Mother Nature Network

When wildlife photographer Brent Cizek bought a small plastic boat last winter, he was hoping to ply the lakes of northern Minnesota and capture the most intimate scenes of animals in their natural environment.

He had no idea how intimate he would get.

But it wasn’t until June that he truly tested the little boat on one of the state’s bigger bodies of water, Lake Bemidji.

“Well, it wasn’t the greatest idea as it was quite windy that day and the waves were tossing my boat around in any direction that it wanted to,” Cizek tells MNN.

“I decided to carry on, knowing that it wasn’t likely that I would see anything, much less be able to take a photograph with the choppy water.”

He managed to steer his boat along the shoreline. Then he spotted what seemed to be a gathering of birds. As Cizek edged nearer, he could make out a mother duck — a common merganser — and trailing her were ducklings. One… two… three…

“The closer that I got, the more my heart started racing as I had never witnessed something like this before,” Cizek recalls.

The brood had swum under a boat dock. When they emerged, Cizek counted more ducklings.

25… 26…

His boat was still getting tossed around on the choppy waters of Lake Bemidji, and the family kept disappearing under docks.

Cizek eventually decided to bring his boat back to the launch. Maybe he’d see that gathering of mergansers again.

And he did. On the very beach where he was heading.

“As I got closer, the group decided to start swimming back out into the lake, and ‘Mama Merganser’ got out front and all of the chick got in tow.”

33… 34…

“I knew that this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, so I immediately tried to fire off as many shots as I could, just hoping that one of the photos would turn out.”

55…

Mama Merganser was being followed by a staggering 56 ducklings. (However, it’s worth noting that this brood is very likely a mixed family, not a single brood. In fact, one Minnesota ornithologist humorously called it a “day-care thing,” with one bird taking the lead for many fledglings, no matter how they all came together.)

Meanwhile, a breathless Cizek finally raced home to see if he had any good pictures.

“I found one image that was in focus and that I just loved,” says. “I knew that it would do good on social media, so I posted the photo right away.”

It didn’t take long for that intimate portrait of Mama Merganser and her extraordinary group to take off from that Minnesota lake and shoot across the world.

Over the last month, Cizek has been getting calls worldwide from newspapers and even Jimmy Fallon. But most importantly for Cizek, the image — and the story behind it — was featured on the National Audubon Society’s website.

Cizek, an ardent wildlife lover, is a strong supporter of the organization’s mission to protect birds and their natural environments.

He’s hoping his “once-in-a-lifetime” image will inspire people to stand up for animals like Mama Merganser and her many ducklings. And make a donation to the Audubon Society.

As for Cizek, not even the rough waters of Lake Bemidji could keep him from going back to check on that feathered family.

On a more recent outing, the line of ducklings seemed even longer.

73… 74.. 75…

“I was able to then count 76 babies with her, so she had picked up more babies along the way,” he says. “It’s been remarkable. It’s going to be a sad day when they continue their migration.”

‘Super mom’ spotted on a Minnesota lake — with 56 ducklings in tow
A Minnesota wildlife photographer captures a powerful image of a Merganser raising dozens of babies.

Schools warn parents sick Momo ‘suicide game’ is now being spliced into YouTube videos | Daily Mail Online

Headteachers are warning parents that online ‘suicide game’ Momo is being spliced into YouTube videos of Peppa Pig and Fornite.

Schools across Britain say children are being targeted by creepy images and clips of the disturbing character on the video sharing website.

The Momo challenge – which has been linked to two children’s deaths – encourages youngsters to harm themselves and in some cases even take their own lives.

Today schools began issuing warnings on their websites and social media accounts saying they have been contacted by hundreds of concerned parents.

Schools across Britain say children are being targeted by creepy images and clips of the disturbing character (pictured) on the video sharing website

They said that the clips appear in the middle of seemingly innocent videos of children’s cartoon Peppa Pig, or computer game Fortnite.

Haslingden Primary School, Rossendale, near Blackburn said in statement: ‘We have become increasingly aware of highly inappropriate videos circulating online and are being viewed by children across the school. 

‘These video clips are appearing on many social media sites and YouTube (including Kids YouTube). 

‘One of the videos starts innocently, like the start of a Peppa Pig episode for example, but quickly turn into an altered version with violence and offensive language.

A number of schools have been warning parents to be vigilant in posts on their social media sites

‘Another video clip is going by the name of ‘MoMo’ which shows a warped white mask which is promoting children to do dangerous tasks without telling their parents.  

‘As you can imagine, this is highly distressing for the children to view. We encourage you to be vigilant when your child is using any device or watching any clips.’

Other warnings were issued by Newbridge Junior School in Portsmouth and Offley Endowed‏ Primary school, near Luton, Bedfordshire, which said this morning: ‘We are aware of Momo challenges that are appearing as pop ups on Youtube kids, Fortnite & Peppa Pig etc & will be talking to the children about it in Assembly. 

Parents have been told the creepy images and clips appear in the middle of YouTube videos of Peppa Pig (pictured) and Fortnite

‘Please be vigilant with your child using IT. We are asking children to tell a grown up & not click on Momo images.’

Northolt Community Special School in Hull, East Yorkshire said: ‘We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s programmes.

‘Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnight, Peppa pig to avoid detection by adults.

‘Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing.’

Craig Wardle, headteacher of Cleve House school in Bristol, sent a letter to parents warning them about the online craze.

Videos of computer game Forntite, hugely popular among children, are also being targeted by the Momo challenge

It said: ‘Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky tasks. It is rapidly spreading across the world.

‘The challenges issued in this game present a serious risk to the safety, welfare and well being of young people in our school and in the UK.’

Mr Wardle, 51, said each class has been spoken to by teachers about how to stay safe online.

Speaking today he said: ‘It is something that came out of the blue. The first time we came across it was when a concerned parents got in touch.

‘It was on the radar of some key stage two children so it’s fortunate a parent raised it to us.

The letter recieved by parents of pupils at Cleve House School in Bristol warning about the online suicide game Momo

‘We have discussed it with each class. We talked to them about what to be cautious about online. Things don’t always turn out to be what they appear as.

‘It is a danger and it would be irresponsible for us to disregard it.

‘There are enough dangers out there as it is and we have got to be aware of any new ones that come along.’ 

Momo features a creepy woman with dark hair, a devilish grin and protruding eyes, who entices children through a WhatsApp account and then sends them images and instruction on how to harm themselves and others.

Momo threatens that if the children don’t do what she says then she will ‘curse them’. 

This week a concerned mother from Manchester, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was ‘deeply alarmed’ when her seven-year-old son’s teacher told her he had been making threats to other pupils at school.

After discussing it with her son, she discovered he had been influenced by the Momo challenge and in a post to the Love Westhoughton Facebook group she revealed the horrendous things that Momo had told him to do.

She said: ‘When I collected him from school the teacher asked to talk to me.

What is the Momo ‘suicide game’ and where did it originate?

The Momo challenge was first reported in July last year, and was described as a new ‘Blue Whale’ style suicide game.

It started on WhatsApp, and challenged users to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number.

The user was then hounded with frightening images and violent messages.

Children are contacted on WhatsApp and other online platforms by the cartoon Momo, who is encouraging children to self-harm

No one knows exactly where Momo originated, or who is behind the disturbing trend, though it was linked to at least seven phone numbers beginning with codes from Japan and multiple countries across Latin America.

The Momo challenge then started popping up in videos that were posted to social media.

The Momo avatar was created by Japanese special effects company Link Factory and designed by Midori Hayashi who has no relation whatsoever to the game.

The scary design originally featured at Tokyo’s horror art Vanilla Gallery under the name Mother Bird.

Momo’s features include a painfully gaunt face, bulging eyes and an unnaturally thin and long smile. 

In September a 12-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy in Colombia are said to have killed themselves after playing the a suicide challenge game on WhatsApp.

The tragic deaths happened within the space of just 48 hours in the municipality of Barbosa, in the north west Colombian area of Santander.

Local media report that the body of the 16-year-old boy was found first and that it is believed he knew the 12-year-old girl.

He reportedly passed the game Momo game onto her before his death.

Within 48 hours, she too was found dead. It is reported she was found hanged.

The two youngsters who died had their phones seized by police, who say they found messages linked with the game. 

‘She said he had made three kids cry by telling them that ‘Momo was going to go into their room at night and kill them’.

‘When we got home I spoke to him about this and he told me that some kids at school had told him to look at the ‘Momo challenge’ which he did.’

She added: ‘When we watched a video the ‘Momo’ character told him to tell everyone to fear Momo or it will kill him in his sleep. So I have one very frightened little boy and some deep concerns about the kids in his school.

‘Parent controls are as tight as could be and this **** still slips through. So if you have a child it would be well worth it to open up a dialogue about idiots online and try to get ahead of this.’

Yesterday mother Lyn Dixon told how her eight year old son became frightened of the dark and was scared to be alone after Momo appeared on YouTube videos he was watching.

The mother, from Edinburgh, said: ‘He showed me an image of the face on my phone.

‘He said that she had told him to go into the kitchen drawer and take out a knife and put it into his neck.

‘We’ve told him it’s a load of rubbish and there are bad people out there who do bad things but it’s frightening, really frightening.’ 

Ms Dixon added: ‘It started with him not wanting to go upstairs on his own because it was dark up there.

‘He was terrified and wouldn’t sleep in his own bed and then we got to the bottom of it and we explained it wasn’t real.’ 

Police have also issued warnings about the challenge.  

Officers in Northern Ireland are now working with forces across the UK in order to stop the game.

Other forces including the Met Police in London have sent out information via borough team facebook pages from the National Online Safety campaign about Momo.

Detective Sergeant Elaine McCormill from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: ‘This extremely disturbing challenge conceals itself within other harmless-looking games or videos played by children and when downloaded, it asks the user to communicate with ‘Momo’ via popular messaging applications such as WhatsApp.

‘It is at this point that children are threatened that they will be cursed or their family will be hurt if they do not self-harm.’

Derbyshire police are also urging parents to visit an article on the website parentzone.org.uk.

The article says: ‘Many prominent YouTubers create videos of themselves trying to reach out to Momo which get many views through, for example, sharing on social media.

‘Make sure that they know that they should not be trying to contact strangers via social media platforms and instant messaging apps. It could be useful to show them how to enable privacy settings and disable location sharing so that they don’t fall victims to scams.’

National Safety Online provides courses and educational resources to support UK schools to educate the whole school community, including parents, in Online Safety.

They tweeted on Tuesday: ‘Today we’ve heard from hundreds of concerned schools and parents about the horrifying £Momo challenge which has reportedly been appearing in children’s YouTube videos, causing panic and upset amongst young people. We hope you find our guide useful.’

An information page can be downloaded from their website.

Advice includes, telling children Momo is not real, be present when your child is online, check device settings and parental controls and report and block anything untoward you see. 

YouTube today insisted that the content had not been found on YouTube Kids, and said said it permitted news stories and videos that are intended to raise awareness of and educate against the challenge. 

It also said it had not had any links flagged or shared with it that violated our guidelines by showing or promoting the Momo challenge.   

A spokesman for YouTube said: ‘Contrary to press reports, we have not received any links to videos showing or promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube. 

‘Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately.’