Entries in mothers (3)


Fighting with an Ex-Husband Harms Mother-Child Relationships

High conflict with an ex-husband spills over negatively onto women’s relationships with their children. In a recent survey of a random sample of 1,239 divorced mothers, conflict with an ex-husband was associated with increased feelings of parental stress -- the greater the conflict, the more mothers felt their children were challenging to deal with (acting out, tantrums, etc.). This stress reduced the quality of mother-child interactions. The researchers proposed that mediated communication between ex-spouses, such as with a lawyer or psychologist, could help alleviate some of this conflict and improve family relations.

Hakvoort, E. M., Bos, H. M. W., Van Balen, F., & Hermanns, J. M. A. (2012). Spillover between mothers’ postdivorce relationships: The mediating role of parenting stress. Personal Relationships, 19, 247-254.

image source: parentdish.co.uk


One Tough Mutha: Lactation Facilitates Moms’ Aggressive Behavior 

If there’s one thing I learned from the old Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, it’s that mothers don’t look too kindly on people messing around with their babies. Across many non-human species, lactating moms’ maternal aggression has been well-documented. The general thinking is that because most young mammals are particularly vulnerable during the developmental period that coincides with lactation, nursing moms are capable of uncharacteristic levels of aggression if that’s what it takes to protect their youngins’. Interestingly, there’s been very little research to determine whether human moms are more likely to go all “Wild Kingdom” when lactating. Until now.

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Fathers: Filling the Void to Help Create a Better You

What follows is a rough transcript of a conversation I had with a woman a few weeks ago while at my neighbor’s barbeque. (Background: She heard that I had two kids and my son had recently turned 5 months old). 

Her: So, what does your wife do?
Me: She’s a paralegal.
Her: Does she work full-time?
Me: Yes
Her: That must be really hard for her -- having to put her son in childcare all day. [note: she may not have emphasized the ‘her’, but I certainly heard it so]
Me: Yes, it is hard for us; we don’t like spending any more time away from our kids than we have to.

Admittedly, I may have stressed the plural pronouns in my response overly enthusiastically, but as someone who fancies himself an involved father, I couldn’t help but make it clear that childrearing or life decisions that affect our children are made by, and impact, both me and my wife.

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