'First Time for Everything'

'First Time for Everything'

The Stir Café Mom: My daughter and I were interviewed for an AllState series about firsts, and I shared our experience buying our first home and my thoughts on letting go of the life I thought that I should have so that I could fall in love with the life that I do have.

8 Honest, Raw Photos of What Maternity Leave Really Looks Like

8 Honest, Raw Photos of What Maternity Leave Really Looks Like

ELLE Magazine: For the most part, they're bone-tired of the pervasive myth that new parenthood represents a restorative time with a delightful newborn. But it's more than merely annoying: This portrayal of new parenthood creates an escape hatch on doing anything to meaningfully support new parents in America.

Rebranding the Single Mom

Rebranding the Single Mom

One afternoon when I was doing research on gender and income inequality, I came across the name Cara Lemieux, digital media strategist for The Shriver Report–“a nonpartisan initiative that raises awareness, ignites conversations and inspires impact around the defining issues and fundamental changes facing modern women and their families.”

This is So Not What I Thought 35 Would Look Like

This is So Not What I Thought 35 Would Look Like

SheKnows: I am very close to turning 35. I can see it, just over there on the horizon, a little less than a month away. You know, that age when you go from seemingly fabulously fertile to barren, overnight. Biological clock aside, 35 is one of those milestone ages when you find yourself doing some sort of life assessment.

If you spent a year interviewing women about how they balanced, what would you learn?

If you spent a year interviewing women about how they balanced, what would you learn?

Cara Lemieux, managing editor of the ShriverReport, wishes someone would make dinner every night so that she can give her daughter a bath without stressing about dinner and the mess that needs to be cleaned up after.“When you are a single parent, all work is linear, so there is no dividing and conquering the management of the house,” discloses Lemieux.

It's time to re-brand the single mom

It's time to re-brand the single mom

SheKnows: Single moms are no more the picture that is painted of them in the media, than today's wives are a reflection of what was depicted of them in the 1950s. But changing that external image, in my opinion, starts by changing the internal dialogue.

Single Moms Aren't The Problem Today, Absent Father's Are

Single Moms Aren't The Problem Today, Absent Father's Are

Huffington Post: When I got pregnant, I knew very early on that my child was going to be raised in a single-mother household. As most of you may know, statistics show that children raised by single mothers (rich or poor, educated or not) typically have lower grades and are at higher risk of becoming pregnant at an early age, doing drugs and all of the other things we don't want our children doing.

A Single Parents' Guide to Disney

A Single Parents' Guide to Disney

ABC News: As a single parent to a toddler, there are times when I have found myself steering clear of certain activities for either emotional or logistical reasons, or both. And I must admit that a recent weekend trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., almost fell into that category, until I remembered that Disney World is one of the most child-friendly places on earth, and navigating it would not be much different than navigating my everyday life.

Where The Hell Are All the Great Books for Kids of Single Moms?

Where The Hell Are All the Great Books for Kids of Single Moms?

Lifetime Moms: I’m a single mom to a very inquisitive 3 ½ year old little girl, who has been asking questions about family dynamics since she was 18-months-old. If I told you that this didn’t bother me, I would be lying.

Does Being a Single Mom Mean I Can Never Lean In?

Does Being a Single Mom Mean I Can Never Lean In?

Lifetime Moms: If I was an alien landing on planet earth for the first time, I might be inclined to think that the only people who have the potential to have a great career and kids - are men and married women and single women without children.

New Dove Ad Shows Moms How We Break and Build Our Daughters’ Self-Esteem

New Dove Ad Shows Moms How We Break and Build Our Daughters’ Self-Esteem

Lifetime Moms: It’s hard to believe that Dove released their Campaign for Real Beauty ten years ago, breaking barriers by showcasing for the first time that I can recall, women whose bodies looked like...well...real women.

A Single Mom's Love Letter to Her Daughter

A Single Mom's Love Letter to Her Daughter

Lifetime Moms: Dear Ellie,You are probably too young to really grasp the fact that Valentine’s Day is upon us…but don’t fret, you have years of commercialized love ahead of you, and I am well aware of the fact that, when it comes to love – I am your one and only for right now. And I couldn’t be more honored.

Dear Single and Pregnant: A Letter to My Former Self

Dear Single and Pregnant: A Letter to My Former Self

Lifetime Moms: Just about this time two years ago I found out that a child was hanging out in my uterus – without an explicit invitation to do so. In a matter of minutes, I went from single and social, to single and pregnant. When I took the pregnancy test and saw that plus sign, the first thing I did was call my sister.

8 Things I'd Rather Be Doing...A Working Mom's Regret

8 Things I'd Rather Be Doing...A Working Mom's Regret

Lifetime Moms: The other day, I was about to head into a meeting and I got an email from the mother of a little girl that Ellie met at the local library. The subject read: VIDEO FOR MOMMY. I downloaded the clip and watched it as I was walking into the conference room and it was 45 seconds of Ellie, taking her hat off, and putting it on the head of her little friend.

Then and Now: How My Dating Profile Has Changed Since Baby

Then and Now: How My Dating Profile Has Changed Since Baby

Lifetime Moms: For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, I felt compelled to take a look at my old online dating profile, maybe it was all of the commercialized love that was in the air courtesy of our friend cupid. In any case, I’d updated it right before I got pregnant, and to say things have changed would be a great understatement.

Your Boobs Will Never Be the Same Again

Your Boobs Will Never Be the Same Again

Lifetime Moms: That’s it. I have to get something off my chest (no pun intended).I have a conspiracy theory and it has to do with breast-feeding. And nearly every mom I have spoken to agrees with me on some level or another – so I think its’ time to share.

Does Becoming a Mom Mean Constant Worrying?

Does Becoming a Mom Mean Constant Worrying?

Lifetime Moms: A dear friend of mine always has great advice for me, and one of his favorite doses is, “Babe, sometimes you just need to put the crazy on the shelf, even if it’s only for a little while. Just give the crazy a rest.”

I Don't Need a Husband, I Want a Wife

I Don't Need a Husband, I Want a Wife

Lifetime Moms: Yea...I know I am not supposed to say something like that. It's really not politically correct. And I know it implies a ton of stereotypes that women have tried to break away from since long before I was born. But I am going to let you in on a little secret. I hear women - modern day, successful women - say this all of the time.

Unlikely Places a Single Mom Can Find a Stand-in Dad

Unlikely Places a Single Mom Can Find a Stand-in Dad

Lifetime Moms: As a single mom of a 15-month-old, there are days I would do anything so that Ellie could have a regular father figure in her life, in her home, and in her heart. But as the Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Letting Go of the Dream and Building a New One

Lifetime Moms: I was chatting with a co-worker and friend while on our way out of the office and we were discussing the idea of resolutions and such.And I said, "Yea, I’d really like to meet a nice guy this year...”and I paused, and I got all choked up, and the mom in me just came spilling out. “…Not for me, because I am pretty happy being single, but I really want Ellie to have that perfect family."

The Last Time I Went on a Date I Got Pregnant

The Last Time I Went on a Date I Got Pregnant

Lifetime Moms: Yes. You read that headline correctly.A couple of years ago, I went out on a date with a guy that I met at a New Year’s Eve party. Over the course of a couple months, there were some nice outfits, a few intellectually stimulating conversations, two dinners, and a few cocktails. Now there is an adorably charming one-year-old little girl, and a 31-year-old VERY single, mildly entertaining, mom.

Is There Ever a Perfect Time to Have Another Child?

Lifetime Moms: As a single woman that is also a mom, I have developed two distinct groups of friends – one group is single and without children, and the other is married, with or without kids. But almost all of them have baby on the brain in some way, some of my female friends have even decided to freeze their eggs to buy a little more time and a bit of an insurance policy.

Watermelon Basil Salad

Watermelon Basil Salad

Lifetime Moms: Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am inclined to lighten the density of the food that I prepare. Actually when I take note of how snug my jeans are, perhaps I should have begun doing so months ago – but that is neither here nor there.

Lessons About Motherhood, Learned from Mom

Lessons About Motherhood, Learned from Mom

Lifetime Moms: Growing up, I lost count with how many times I heard my mom say, “Okay…just you wait…You’ll understand when you are a mother…”

A Baby in a Bar? Not Always a Bad Thing

A Baby in a Bar? Not Always a Bad Thing

Lifetime Moms: Before I had Ellie, I was VERY social. No, that is not code for anything. I was just always out and about. After work drinks? I was there. Birthday drinks at a bar? You got it. Sunday brunch with friends? Hell yes!

Happy Father's Day - A Salute to the Marathon of Single Motherhood

Happy Father's Day - A Salute to the Marathon of Single Motherhood

Lifetime Moms: I don’t have a penis. You may or may not have realized that. And because of my lack of a male member Father's Day brings on a ton of mixed emotions from this single mom of an 18-month-old.

Here's Why We Need to Start Asking Men 'How Do You Do it All?'

Here's Why We Need to Start Asking Men 'How Do You Do it All?'

The Shriver Report: As a single mom with a blog, and what some have referred to as a bold personality, I am used to being asked a lot of questions that border on brash. Everything from the older woman in the elevator looking at her watch… and then looking at my toddler…and then me, and saying, “My, my, my…isn’t coming home from preschool at 5:30 a mighty long day for such a little girl?” to the well-intentioned yet always insulting, “Why are you still single?!?”

Put Yourself on the List? I Can't Find the List!

Put Yourself on the List? I Can't Find the List!

Lifetime Moms: I have been fighting a nasty funk lately. No...I do not have a body odor problem. Thankfully. But I do have a case of the mommy blues. And these blues are compounded by the fact that I feel guilty even admitting this because I have the most amazingly beautiful and loving 18-month-old little girl, a good job and our health.

7 Things Learned Since Entering the Real World

7 Things Learned Since Entering the Real World

The Shriver Report: I recently wrapped up lecturing to my first college class, which:A) Sounds really funny to sayB) Is something I have always wanted to do, mainly because I was what you would call – reluctant to enter the “real” world. And since graduating in 2002…I’ve really never stopped trying to find my way back to college.

When Are We Old Enough to Stop Pretending?

When Are We Old Enough to Stop Pretending?

MariaShriver.com: I woke up this morning wondering: when are we old enough to stop pretending that we either like a certain thing, are a certain way, or that we don’t abhor doing unpleasant things, like…oh, I don’t know, wearing high heels? In my teens and 20s, I felt as if I had to be what everyone else thought I should be. But now that I am comfortably settled into my 30s, I am much less inclined to pretend to be someone I am not – although I still feel like being the true me is a work in progress.

Sh*t, My Toddler is Smarter Than I Am

Sh*t, My Toddler is Smarter Than I Am

Lifetime Moms: I know you are going to watch this video of my 19-month-old daughter and think, “Awwwww, she is so cute...Wow, she is pretty smart for her age.” And I think the same thing. And then I sigh and get a tight feeling in my chest, because this concerns me, greatly.

I Swear. So What?

I Swear. So What?

Lifetime Moms: I have a philosophy that everyone has a few faults that are very difficult to do away with, because they are basically part of the person’s DNA. Ya know, those little idiosyncrasies that are irritating to some people around you, but aren’t really that offensive.

Back Away From My Boobs

Back Away From My Boobs

Lifetime Moms: Seriously. Get away from them. They are mine. M-I-N-E. Perhaps I’ve shared them with my child, perhaps I have shared them with a partner of mine, but the operative word here is share, as in, they are mine and I decide who has access to them.

When She Hurts, I Almost Faint

When She Hurts, I Almost Faint

So, my 20-month-old REALLY likes to balance on the arm of the sofa. She sits her tiny butt on it, and sways from side-to-side while daring me to make her get down. Inevitably, I tell her to “stop”, she tells me “no”, and then I stand up, pick her up and put her back down on the proper part of the couch. That is until last week.

Never Let Them See My Jiggly Bits

Never Let Them See My Jiggly Bits

Lifetime Moms: You might be wondering why the hell I took a photo of myself in this state of undress, and in order to answer that question for you, I need to set the scene of my life. I am 32-years-old and single; I have a 21-month-old toddler, who was breech and 9 lbs. 6 oz. at delivery, which means that I had a c-section. Which means that my 6-pack is now a keg.

Who's Your First Boyfriend?

Who's Your First Boyfriend?

Lifetime Moms: I have frequently joked that if I was put in a bar with ten men, and 9 of them were amazing guys and one of them was an as*hole – I would immediately go up and order a drink right next to the as*hole.

In Motherhood, There is Strength In Numbers

In Motherhood, There is Strength In Numbers

Lifetime Moms: And by strength in numbers, I don’t mean twenty moms can take on more than one mom could. I am talking about the value of knowing that you are not alone in the completely absurd conversations and interactions that are a part of this lovely thing we call motherhood.

How I Avoided Getting Divorced...By Never Getting Married

How I Avoided Getting Divorced...By Never Getting Married

Lifetime Moms: Is it weird that the most played song in all of my iTunes is Peter, Paul and Mary’s, Wedding Song (There is Love)? Actually, I will answer that for you. Yes, it’s strange, because despite what the song’s title suggests, I have not been married. Or even close. At all.

7 Ways for Busy Moms to Find Time to Workout

7 Ways for Busy Moms to Find Time to Workout

Lifetime Moms: For the first time since my daughter was born (nearly 2 years ago) I have made up my mind to start working out again. The kick in the jiggly ass came from a few things, the first of which was a comment from a friend that I was whining to about the fact that I don’t/can’t run anymore because my daughter hates the jogging stroller and throws her shoes off when I run. His response was, “The don’t put shoes on her when you run.”

3 Mom Milestones Worth Celebrating

3 Mom Milestones Worth Celebrating

Lifetime Moms: The moment I got pregnant, I became obsessed with my child’s milestones. I LOVED the updates that told me when my unborn baby had fingernails, or was able to suck her thumb, or recognize my voice. And at the same time they would give me my own milestones complete with descriptions of what would hurt when, how big certain body parts would get, and how difficult standard daily tasks would become.

Organizing My Life Like My Career

Organizing My Life Like My Career

Lifetime Moms: I’m an EXTREMELY organized person…at work. I’ve worked as a TV producer for over a decade and on a number of occasions, co-workers have referenced my level of organization – which I credit for saving me more time and headaches than I can quantify. The interesting thing is, very few people in my personal life would ever count this as one of my strengths (especially my sister who constantly revels at how often I lose my keys or forget to buy what I need at the store).

I Finally Found True Love

I Finally Found True Love

Lifetime Moms: What is love? I know, I know…this question is perhaps a bit to ethereal…a question that I am convinced human beings have been pondering since the beginning of time, but please humor me.

Merry Christmas to Me, I'm Not Sending Out Christmas Cards

Merry Christmas to Me, I'm Not Sending Out Christmas Cards

That’s it. I surrender.I fully admit that I, Cara Lemieux, cannot possibly do it all this holiday season. I’m afraid that if I even try, I will lose sight of the joy this time of year is supposed to bring into my heart and my home. I can’t. I just can’t.

How Will Santa Find My House?

How Will Santa Find My House?

have vivid memories of celebrating Christmas as a little kid. I clearly remember that feeling I would have on Christmas morning…waking up a little too early, listening carefully to see if anyone else was awake, tip-toeing out of my room and checking to see if Santa came down the chimney…and when I realized that he actually did, I would run down the hall to wake my sisters, yell-whispering, “YOU GOTTA WAKE UP…SANTA CAME!!! COME ON!!! LET’S GET MOMMY AND DADDY.”

The First Day of School: Who is it Harder On?

The First Day of School: Who is it Harder On?

Lifetime Moms: As a parent, I learned early on that changes in routine and transitions to a new routine can create upheaval in a child’s world. And depending on the type of transition, changes can be equally as unnerving for Mom – regardless of how anticipated they are.

My Daughter Has Developed a Stutter and I'm Trying Not to Panic

Lifetime Moms: My 28-month-old daughter has always been extremely verbal, and quite smart—putting words together before 18 months and speaking in complex sentences by the time she reached the two-year mark. As she has grown, my parenting worries have gone from "I hope and pray she is developmentally on track" to "How the hell am I going to keep up with this kid?" That is, until a month or so ago, when, basically overnight, she went from a clear and articulate toddler to a stuttering two-year-old.

I Travel Therefor I'm a Bad Mom?

Lifetime Moms: I remember the first time I left my newborn at home so I could run to the grocery store. I felt like the umbilical cord was still attached and was being strained by each step I took toward the door. I'm not sure if that pull was emotional, instinctual or biological, but it was strong.

THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist

THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist

Q: Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions? A: My job is not the same as it was before I had children…which is sometimes really hard for me to accept. There are two main reasons that I left broadcast news and headed in the direction of digital media.

There's No Such Thing as Affordable Childcare in the U.S.

Lifetime Moms: There is a child care crisis going on in the United States right now. I recently read two thought-provoking pieces about the lack of affordable, quality child care in the United States and the huge impact it is having on tons of women. There was a point in history when feminists created and lobbied for the 1971 Child Development Act, a bill which would have established federally funded day cares with sliding-scale fees. The CDA passed the Senate 63 to 17, but President Nixon vetoed it, an act that was in line with his party.

Few Things Annoy Me More Than Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Few Things Annoy Me More Than Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Lifetime Moms: One of the constants in parenting that applies to every single person with kids, is that at some point, someone who has absolutely no business doing so – will give you a piece of unsolicited advice. This happens quite frequently in New York, and I chalk it up to the fact that parents in New York City are a very exposed bunch.

Major Life Change Alert! I Just Started Working from Home.

Major Life Change Alert! I Just Started Working from Home.

Lifetime Moms: I recently left my job as a producer at a major network news organization, where I was out of the house and in an office, control room, or in the field for at least 50 hours a week. I accepted a position as the managing editor and digital director for an amazing non-profit project that is tackling issues that are near and dear to my heart.

Would You Consider Single Motherhood? Numbers on the Rise

Lifetime Moms: A few months ago, a friend confided in me that she was beginning the adoption process – as a single woman. We chatted about the process, the paperwork and the costs, and she asked me question after question, trying to get as good a grasp as possible on what it would be like to be a single mother – even though her path to single motherhood would be very different from mine.

My 2-Year-Old Wants to Be Cool. Isn't it Too Soon for That?

My 2-Year-Old Wants to Be Cool. Isn't it Too Soon for That?

Lifetime Moms: I frequently have very entertaining conversations with my 2-year-old, but last week, one caused me to stop in my tracks. We were having the typical, “Get your shoes on…please stop messing around…let’s get going now…I need you to put your shoes on,” conversation and she actually did put her shoes on.

Top Five Things You Shouldn't Ask a Single Mom

Lifetime Moms: With the continued growth of single parent homes in this country, you might think that the slightly invasive and somewhat tactless question would start to wane…but unfortunately, that is not the case in my experience. I understand the curiosity – but, as a single mother myself, I’m going out on a limb here and saying these five questions are on almost any single moms do not ask list.

Can a Mom Really Be Friends With Non-Moms?

Can a Mom Really Be Friends With Non-Moms?

Lifetime Moms: I recently read a thought-provoking blog in The New York Times, which discussed different facets of femininity and fertility, and also asked the question, “Can moms stay friends with the child-free?”

The Pain of Wanting to Grow My Family When I Know I Can't Right Now

The Pain of Wanting to Grow My Family When I Know I Can't Right Now

Lifetime Moms: I was recently watching my 2-year-old daughter play at the playground, going up and down the slide, running through the sprinklers and riding her tricycle – alone.

Does Becoming a Single Mom Make You Incapable of Relaxing?

Does Becoming a Single Mom Make You Incapable of Relaxing?

Lifetime Moms: Lately, I’ve been saying out loud to anyone that would listen that, “I really want to take a vacation”. I haven’t taken an actual vacation since before my daughter, who is now 2 1/2 was born, making me a single mom.

6 Things a Single Mom Wants to Hear…And The 5 That Could Make Her Lose Her Sh*t

6 Things a Single Mom Wants to Hear…And The 5 That Could Make Her Lose Her Sh*t

Lifetime Moms: While there are some that I would like to hear over and over again, there are others that have me wanting to say, “Will you please just shut it?” Let’s start off with the positive ones:

Top 9 Misconceptions About Work-at-Home-Moms

Lifetime Moms: After more than a decade of working in the corporate world, I recently began working from home. And I’ve noticed that some people mistake me working from home as me NOT WORKING AT ALL.

Not Reading Parenting Books Has Made Me a Better Mom

Not Reading Parenting Books Has Made Me a Better Mom

Lifetime Moms: Some may say that as a single mom, I should read MORE parenting books – instead of the zero that I have read. But honestly, when I was pregnant, I felt left out of that party any time I read anything related to parenting – regardless of the approach.

"Are You a Lesbian? " "Nope...I'm a Single Mom."

"Are You a Lesbian? " "Nope...I'm a Single Mom."

Lifetime Moms: I was out to dinner recently with my toddler and a close friend of mine. We were at one of my favorite neighborhood nooks, where the tables are set close to each other and the entire restaurant is smaller than my parents’ living room.

10 Stereotypes of "Typical" Single Moms

10 Stereotypes of "Typical" Single Moms

Lifetime Moms: Ah...single motherhood...it’s a lot like married motherhood, but with the added component of stereotypes layered on top of our family dynamic (yes, I do consider my daughter and I to be a family). And after about 3 ½ years of heading up my non-traditional family - I have heard A LOT of things about single motherhood. A lot.

Single Parents Guide to Road Tripping

Single Parents Guide to Road Tripping

Lifetime Moms: Ahhhhh...The time-honored tradition of the summertime road trip. Think wind blowing through your hair, think radio blasting, think of that feeling of freedom as you hit the open road and the romantic anticipation of arriving at your destination, excited to stretch your legs, dip your toes in the ocean and take in the fresh air. Wonderful...isn’t it?

Is This Week Over Yet?

Actually…is this month over yet? As far as news goes, this month started off with the horrific and powerful letter a Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker.  And this week…well it has been one horrible, heartbreaking piece of news after the next. From the senseless murder of Christine Gimme, a singer on The Voice, to […]

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What I Wish I Had Known About Single Motherhood

It always feels so strange for me to give “advice” on anything…I can’t find my car keys most days of the week and I pretend that my jeans somehow shrunk in my closet when I put on weight…but I do have a little insight into what it’s like to be a single mom. So, in honor of the ½ decade I have spent solo parenting, here are my tiny tidbits of, let’s call them guidance and encouragement, for everyone who is about to make the leap…

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This Too Shall Pass…

This too shall pass.

It’s something I’ve repeated to myself time and time again over the course of my 35 years. When running the 12th mile of the New York City Half Marathon in 85 degree heat and my heels felt like there were knives sticking in them, I repeated over and over, “This too shall pass…this too shall pass…this too shall pass…”

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Friends Are the Security Blanket of Adulthood

A while back I wrote a piece about how family is a firm foundation as well as a soft place to land, and how this all hit me when I watched Ellie play soccer for the first time because every time she kicked the ball in the net, the first thing she would do is look around to find my face. Well this past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend with my two college best friends and former housemates.

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Fire Truck Grocery Carts, Calliou and Other Universally Despised Items

I love my daughter more than I have words to explain. Like I seriously watch her sleep at night and can feel myself falling more in love with her in that actual moment. But for the love of god, there are a handful of things that she gravitates toward that make me INSANE. In fact, I realized that I have formed a (perhaps slightly crazy) list of banned items that I have running through my head at pretty much all times. And I have to believe that I am not alone in my disdain.

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After Death the Love Really Does Remain

I need a big glass of wine for this piece. I mean..I still can’t even believe I am writing it.
Okay…here goes…
I want to tell you about my best friend from high school, Remy. During some of my most formative years, Remy was partner in crime, my sounding board, my secret keeper, my instigator, my friend. Remy was my person. She was part of my village before I even knew I needed to build a village.

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