The Imperfect Parent's archive of parenting articles and essays

The Bathing Suits
How we went to the beach after giving birth.
By Stacy Mintzer Herlihy
Even before giving birth neither I nor any of my closest friends had the sort of body that you would immediately think to display on a beach. The closest I personally came to "Bathing Suit Confidence" was the summer I was sixteen when I dared to buy and actually wear a black bikini with the smallest top I could find. That particular summer was only possible because it was preceded by "The Spring I Gave Up Chocolate".   At seventeen my friends agreed with me that a chocolate free life was not worth living. From then on our Beach Uniform consisted of a long tee shirt, a robe and shorts that we would not only... read more

The Driving Lesson
My heart's still beating fast.
By Susan Stephenson
Do you recall learning to drive? I can still remember the dented green... read more

Peace Now, Not War
Peacemaking starts at home.
By Kate Haas
Grey morning light seeps through the curtains. I’m half asleep, baby Nate is snoozing peacefully beside... read more

The Note
Where could he have gone?
By Michelle Kennedy
6 a.m. on Saturday morning is not my favorite time of day. O.K. -- 6 a.m. on any morning is not my... read more

The Mighty Mississippi
Ol' Man River's got nothing on me.
By Linda Downing Miller
A local paper recently published several... read more

More Parenting Features


The Imperfect Parent's archive of political and social issues articles and essays

A Call to Arms and Breasts
Are you a Lactivist?
By Stacey Greenberg
When I was in high school, I knew people who stood on the corner across from the mall holding signs that read, "Fur is dead." Friends in college joined local chapters of Amnesty International and attended war protests. I was interested in volunteerism and serving the community, but I never really considered myself an activist. I didn't feel really passionate about any one thing. I was more of a "go with the flow" type of person. I started working at a soup kitchen after buying a fake i.d. from the volunteer coordinator; I joined the Peace Corps after seeing "Dirty Dancing" in the theater five times and learning of Baby's plans; I decided to get a Masters Degree after a friend told me about an interesting program; and then an internship turned... read more

Cutting Away the Truth
A view on one of the very first parenting decisions -- circumcision.
By Peter Mackey
"Circumcision" is a frightening... read more

Parenting Outside the Razor Wire
What happens when parents are separated by a prison sentence?
By Sandra Ray
Single parents can face some difficult parenting decisions in part because they do not have someone... read more

The Yellow Bus of Salvation
Hail to the bus driver, bus driver.
By Kimberly Valzania
To all the school bus drivers out there... you have NO IDEA how much you mean to me. I... read more

Religious Intolerance
Just get over it.
By Shannon Kietzman
Religion, on a whole, is quite a sore subject for me. You see, my husband and I are atheists. But,... read more

More Politics/Social Issues Features


The Imperfect Parent's archive of humor articles and essays

Secret Agent Mom
You know the difference between you and me? I make this look good.
By Kristen Chase
There is a distinct chance that I may have stumbled upon something amazingly brilliant. Or it's just my postpartum paranoia flaring up. Let's just say I think I have uncovered a secret government operative called Project Secret Agent Mom, and before I have to go into hiding or I'm taken away in a seatless white van and a straight jacket, I want to make sure the public knows what is going on before something goes terribly wrong. It hit me today. They're training us to be spies. Think about it. Do you really think that anyone could torture us worse than anything we've already been through? What other person could endure labor, delivery, and early breastfeeding and still get up the next day and do... read more

Learning to Read Palms
I see a tall, dark principal in your future.
By Robin Svedi
Okay, I know this a timeworn tale that's been retold by generations of relocated northerners turned... read more

WTF?! Toy Roundup
Hershey's S'mores, Don't Wake Daddy, Bratz Twister, and In Your Face

Hershey's... read more

Morning Has Broken
A play-by-play of one mom's a.m. routine.
By Asha Dornfest
5:30 am: Alarm clock sounds Blindly search for, then press snooze button. 5:38 am: Alarm... read more

How To Be Friends With A Working Mother
A primer.
By Kelley Cunningham
I have a lot of friends who are wonderful mothers who freely admit that staying home would make them... read more

More Humor Features


The Imperfect Parent's archive of lifestyle articles and essays

This is not how it was supposed to be.
By Nancy Bleemer
He was here. We had been waiting for 42 weeks. His due date had come and gone and still we had waited. He did not want to come out, did not want to meet us. It was cozy in there, squashed inside of me. Finally, fourteen days after he was supposed to arrive, he had a forced eviction. The pitossin was plugged in, the earth moved and eight hours later, Daniel arrived. Loudly. Daniel screamed in the delivery room. He screamed in the recovery room. He screamed in the nursery as all the other babies slept. He screamed when he was brought to me and screamed until he settled, finally, with great gulps at my swollen breasts. The next day we took him home in a little blue sweater and a hat that wouldn’t stay on. He fell asleep on the way, a tiny creature... read more

Scientific Studies from the Male Point of View
What's behind door number two?
By Karen Laven
Men are warped in their own, unique way. That is not a newsflash. What never ceases... read more

Imperfect Single Mom
My first plunge into online dating -- as a single mom.
By Rachel Sarah
I recently took a plunge into online dating for my first time -- as a single mom. "I... read more

The IP Bookshelf
Nobody Gonna Turn Me 'Round: Stories and Songs of the Civil Rights Movement by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

... read more

The IP Bookshelf
There Was a Little Girl, She Had a Little Curl by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Elliot Kreloff

... read more

More Lifestyle Features

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"We all suffer from the preoccupation that there exists... in the loved one, perfection." -- Sidney Poitier