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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formed the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history just two years ago, and has helped make gender equality a dinner table topic for many Canadian families, including his own—and mine.


That’s because I’m raising my son with feminist values and I’m happy to hear the leader of my country is doing the same especially because it hasn’t always been that way.

You see, I grew up in a Canada where discrimination and toxic masculinity were everywhere. Where teachers told us hockey was for boys, and where those boys were permitted to harass us girls because such actions were just “boys being boys.”

So, from the moment I found out I was pregnant I planned to raise a little feminist. Unlike the name my husband and I picked for our child, that didn’t change when the ultrasound revealed we were expecting a boy.

But, as Trudeau admits in a new essay for Marie Claire, his revelation about the importance of raising feminist boys and girls was a bit slower coming.

Writing about a moment when he was teaching his 8-year-old daughter, Ella Grace, about gender equality, Trudeau says it was his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who pointed out that is also a necessary lesson for their sons, 9-year old Xavier and 3-year-old Hadrien.

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“I was talking about teaching Ella that she can be anything she wants to be,” Trudeau wrote. “Sophie said, ‘That’s great, but how are you raising your sons to be strong advocates for women and girls, too?’”

It’s a question all parents of boys should ask themselves, because—as Trudeau notes in his essay—women and girls still face violence, discrimination and have fewer opportunities than men, both in Canada and around the world.

Society is changing, but we still have work to do for our girls. That work involves our boys.

“Gender equality is not only an issue for women and girls,” Trudeau continued. “All of us benefit when women and girls have the same opportunities as men and boys—and it’s on all of us to make that a reality.”

According to my prime minister, our sons have the power and responsibility to change Canada’s culture of sexism. And I agree. As much as we need to boost our daughters’ self-esteem, we need to boost our sons’ awareness of the value of others, including women.

My boy won’t be that boy who believes the march toward gender equality doesn’t affect him. I hope he’ll be the kind of man who understands, to paraphrase Prime Minister Trudeau, that when we recognize that everyone is equal, everyone is more free.

Trudeau’s feminism isn’t perfect or inclusive—and neither is Canada—but baby steps are better than nothing and I’m happy he’s taking them at work and at home. “To raise our kids feminist is to honor their future, because they have the responsibility—and the power—to shape it for the better,” Trudeau wrote.

It probably shouldn't have taken a comment from his wife to make the PM realize his boys need feminism as much as his girl, but I’m glad he knows they do.

His sons and mine will be better men because of it.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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As mamas, we naturally become the magic-makers for our families. We sing the songs that make the waits seem shorter, dispense the kisses that help boo-boos hurt less, carry the seemingly bottomless bags of treasures, and find ways to turn even the most hum-drum days into something memorable.

Sometimes it's on a family vacation or when exploring a new locale, but often it's in our own backyards or living rooms. Here are 12 ways to create magical moments with kids no matter where your adventures take you.


1. Keep it simple

Mary Poppins may be practically perfect in every way, but―trust us―your most magical memories don't require perfection. Spend the morning building blanket forts or break out the cookie cutters to serve their sandwich in a fun shape and you'll quickly learn that, for kids, the most magical moments are often the simplest.

2. Get on their level

Sometimes creating a memorable moment can be as easy as getting down on the floor and playing with your children. So don't be afraid to get on your hands and knees, to swing from the monkey bars, or turn watching your favorite movie into an ultimate snuggle sesh.

3. Reimagine the ordinary

As Mary says, "the cover is not the book." Teach your child to see the world beyond initial impressions by encouraging them to imagine a whole new world as you play―a world where the laundry basket can be a pirate ship or a pile of blankets can be a castle.

4. Get a little messy

Stomp in muddy puddles. Break out the finger paint. Bake a cake and don't worry about frosting drips on the counter. The messes will wait, mama. For now, let your children―and yourself―live in these moments that will all too soon become favorite memories.

5. Throw out the plan

The best-laid plans...are rarely the most exciting. And often the most magical moments happen by accident. So let go of the plan, embrace the unexpected, and remember that your child doesn't care if the day goes according to the schedule.

6. Take it outside

There's never a wrong time of year to make magic outside. Take a stroll through a spring rainstorm, catch the first winter snowflakes on your tongue, or camp out under a meteor shower this summer. Mother Nature is a natural at creating experiences you'll both remember forever.

7. Share your childhood memories

Chances are if you found it magical as a child, then your kids will too. Introduce your favorite books and movies (pro tip: Plan a double feature with an original like Mary Poppins followed with the sequel, Mary Poppins Returns!) or book a trip to your favorite family vacation spot from the past. You could even try to recreate photos from your old childhood with your kids so you can hang on to the memory forever.

8. Just add music

Even when you're doing something as humdrum as prepping dinner or tidying up the living room, a little music has a way of upping the fun factor. Tell Alexa to cue up your favorite station for a spontaneous family dance party or use your child's favorite movie soundtrack for a quick game of "Clean and Freeze" to pick up toys at the end of the day.

9. Say "yes"

Sometimes it can feel like you're constantly telling your child "no." While it's not possible to grant every request (sorry, kiddo, still can't let you drive the car!), plan a "yes" day for a little extra magic. That means every (reasonable) request gets an affirmative response for 24 hours. Trust us―they'll never forget it.

10. Let them take the lead

A day planned by your kid―can you imagine that? Instead of trying to plan what you think will lead to the best memories, put your kid in the driver's seat by letting them make the itinerary. If you have more than one child, break up the planning so one gets to pick the activity while the other chooses your lunch menu. You just might end up with a day you never expected.

11. Ask more questions

Odds are, your child might not remember every activity you plan―but they will remember the moments you made them feel special. By focusing the conversation on your little one―their likes, dislikes, goals, or even just craziest dreams―you teach them that their perspective matters and that you are their biggest fan.

12. Turn a bad day around

Not every magical moment will start from something good. But the days where things don't go to plan can often turn out to be the greatest memories, especially when you find a way to turn even a negative experience into a positive memory. So don't get discouraged if you wake up to rain clouds on your beach day or drop the eggs on the floor before breakfast―take a cue from Mary Poppins and find a way to turn the whole day a little "turtle."

Mary Poppins Returns available now on Digital & out on Blue-ray March 19! Let the magic begin in your house with a night where everything is possible—even the impossible ✨

We know it's important for children to know how to swim—not only so they can have fun in the water but also so they can protect themselves—but when should children start swimming lessons?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children as young as one year old can benefit from swimming lessons, so your baby's first birthday is a great time to start.

In a new policy statement on the prevention of drowning the AAP recommends swimming lessons for babies who've at least seen their first birthday cake, (but notes that because kids all develop at different rates, not all children are ready to learn to swim at the same age. If they're not ready at 1-year-old, getting them in before they turn four is great, too).

"A parent's decision about starting swim lessons or water-survival skills training at an early age must be individualized on the basis of the child's frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity, physical and cognitive limitations, and health concerns related to swimming pools," the AAP notes.

While infant self-rescue swimming lessons are popular with parents, the AAP states that "there is no evidence to suggest that infant swimming programs for those younger than 1 year are beneficial" when it comes to reducing drowning risks, but parent-and-baby water programs can be a fun way to get everyone used to being in pool together, and prepare parents and babies for later swimming lessons which can reduce drowning risks.

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The AAP wants parents to be aware that swimming lessons at any age can't "drown proof" a child and stresses the importance of constant adult supervision around water (we should always be within arms reach), pool barriers and CPR training for parents.

That's because "the primary drowning risk for toddlers age 1-4 is unanticipated, unsupervised access to water," according to the AAP. The same curiosity that makes 1-year-olds good candidates for soaking up the potentially life-saving benefits of swimming lessons is also a risk factor for drowning, as curious toddlers and preschoolers can easily slip away and head for the water when adults least expect them to.

In addition to swimming lessons, the AAP wants parents to take the following steps to reduce the risk of childhood drowning:

  1. If you have a pool, install a "4 foot, 4-sided, isolation fence that separates the pool from the house and the rest of the yard with a self-closing, self- latching gate". Also keep "a telephone and rescue equipment approved by the US Coast Guard (eg, life buoys, life jackets, and a reach tool, such as a shepherd's crook)" by the pool.
  2. When visiting a home or business with a pool or hot tub, parents "should carefully assess the premises to ensure basic barriers are in place, such as sliding door locks and pool fences with closed gates in good working order and ensure that supervision will be consistent."
  3. Learn CPR.
  4. During a pool party, parents and adults should take turns tapping in as the "designated watcher" and fully focus on the kids playing in or around a pool.
  5. If swimming at a beach or lake, choose a location with lifeguards and designated areas for swimming.
  6. Teach kids to stay away from bodies of water in all seasons, even winter when they are covered in ice.

Water safety is important for all families, but swimming lessons can be expensive. According to the AAP, "many towns have scholarship programs that help cover the cost of swim lessons held at public pools." Check with your local pool to see if that could help your family, and let your family and friends know that if they want to get your child a special gift for their first birthday, swimming lessons are an amazing present.

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It's an accessory most parents don't think about when they imagine all the gear their baby will grow into, but cranial orthotics or therapy helmets are a common piece of gear prescribed to help correct a baby's skull shape.

The helmets are used to treat positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. It's super common, one 2013 study estimated 46% of babies have a degree of positional plagiocephaly.

Sometimes pediatricians recommend a baby wear a custom cranial orthotic helmet to correct the flat spot, and Chrissy Teigen's son Miles is one of those babies. He's been wearing a helmet since December, but his mama just announced he's finally able to go helmet-free.

"Happy helmet-free day!" she announced in an Instagram video.

"Such a trooper for 3 months of helmet. happy graduation, Miles!!" she Teigen wrote in the caption.

Several factors can contribute to a baby's head having flat areas, the Mayo Clinic notes. Areas can be flattened during birth, or the head can change shape because of pressure on the back of the head when baby is sleeping on their back. Some babies have a preference for turning to one side, which can also contribute to it.

Sometimes doctors recommend physical or occupational therapy for babies with positional plagiocephaly in addition to or even instead of the helmets.

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In a blog post for Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Jonathan Burnett explains that the helmets have to be "adjusted regularly, sometimes weekly, to keep up with their growth and changing head shape. Because insurance doesn't always cover a helmet, it can be expensive to purchase and adjust a helmet regularly."


Born back in May, Miles was the right age for a helmet when he got his in late 2018, as they're recommended before babies are a year old but not after, according to Norton Children's Hospital.

"A helmet before 6 months of age works great, between 6 and 9 months works well and really should not be considered after about 11 to 12 months," said Dr. Ian Mutchnick, neurosurgeon with Norton Children's Hospital and Norton Neuroscience Institute. "In general, a helmet is worn for two to four months."

Other recommendations:

  • Tummy time: Doctors recommend tummy time for babies with positional plagiocephaly to help strengthen neck muscles.
  • Cuddle time: According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, upright cuddle time is good for these babies, just make sure "there is no undue pressure placed on the flat side of the head".
  • Switch things up: Move the crib to a different position in the room so baby has a different view and a reason to move their head in a different way.

According to the experts, positional plagiocephaly often resolves itself, and some studies have shown even kids who don't get the helmets have good outcomes.

That's why the helmets can be a controversial subject for some, and Teigen has seen some backlash from internet commenters critical of her decision to get Miles a helmet.

 A conversation for the child's parents and pediatrician

Whether or not a child needs with positional plagiocephaly needs physio therapy, a helmet, or both is a conversation for the child's parents and pediatrician. In some cases a doctor may recommend a helmet, in others they may not.

In Miles' case, it's clear that Chrissy and John were following their doctor's orders.

Congrats to little Miles on his helmet "graduation"! 🎉

[A version of this post was originally published December 3, 2018. It has been updated.]

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Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner have a lot in common. They are both actors, they're both moms of three, and they're both having a laugh clapping back at magazine headlines suggesting they're pregnant.

Witherspoon shared the cover of the latest issue of OK! on her Instagram recently, tagging Jen Garner in the caption and asking "Can we raise our imaginary babies together?"

"We are going to be the cutest imaginary family," Garner replied. "I'll just go ahead and move in now."

As much as we are all for an alternative reality where Witherspoon and Garner are BFFs who move in together to raise their children, it's pretty clear that isn't happening in the real world.

What is happening is speculation about women's bodies, which isn't cool. In this case, a magazine linked Jen Garner's supposed fondness for sweaters to a secret pregnancy and not, you know, sweater weather.

But women in the public eye have to put up with pregnancy rumors nearly constantly. Just recently, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was said by tabloids to be three months pregnant, a rumor she totally shut down by drinking Guinness on St. Patrick's Day.

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And of course, no woman in history has been pregnant as often as the tabloids have made Jennifer Aniston out to be, something she's written at length about, noting that the speculation is hurtful to her on a personal level, and is damaging on a societal level. "If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues," she wrote for Huffington Post in 2016. "The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing."

"We use celebrity 'news' to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one's physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical 'imperfection'?" Aniston wondered in her essay.

Like Aniston, Garner and Witherspoon are frequent subjects of false stories that say more about our society than they do about the women they claim to be reporting on.

It's good to see these two powerful women clapping back at companies that make money peddling pretend pregnancy narratives. As much as we love a *real* pregnancy announcement, we're bored to death of bump speculation. Women—those making the headlines and those consuming them—deserve better.

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