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Once upon a time, there was a girl named Amy. She was talented at her work. She performed above average on all her projects and frequently pleased her supervisors. She got raises for her good work regularly, at a little above the rate of inflation. She was definitely “winning the game.”

But when the time came for Amy to take one step for herself and perform those same skills in pursuit of her own interests, she blanched. “What will they think?” she said to herself and went down a rabbit hole of mental gymnastics trying to figure out how she…

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We need to talk about “that thing” because it was an important part of his life — especially for the rest of us.

I would like to take a moment to talk about Kobe Bryant, from the perspective of someone who isn’t a sports fan, and didn’t know him very well, for the icon he was. I didn’t know him for much more than “basketball player” and the name that appeared in major news headlines about 15 years ago.

Gail King received death threats for addressing this complicated matter during an interview with a fellow female sports star. Reporters lost their jobs for mentioning it during the immediate aftermath of his tragic and untimely passing. The rest of us non-sports-fan outsiders stood back…

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Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

It’s not crazy, it’s the perfect time to start making memories with the new family

Taking an extended trip with a new baby may seem like a crazy idea, but the truth is it’s the perfect time for you both to explore the world. After a few weeks of burrowing up at home, you will have healed and had time to establish some family rhythms.

Once you get clearance from the pediatrician, the road will be paved for an epic trip — the stuff of family legend. Just make a great packing list and plan to take it real easy. Here are seven hacks to ensure success.

1. Make a thorough list

Babies come with…

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Photo by Tara Raye on Unsplash

No, it’s not a magical unicorn; there are actually tools now to help with this.

You are preparing for the arrival of a new baby. You’ve heard stories — likely horror stories — of how hard it is to get the baby to sleep during the night. People are literally terrified of having babies. Babies have traumatized countless sleepless and bloodshot-eyed parents.

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is a special cradle called the Snoo Smart Sleeper. Hopefully you’ve already heard of it. If not, take note.

The Snoo is a rocking, shushing, swaddling bassinet. Yes it sounds wild, and yes it is expensive. I know — there…

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The Morrison House, Alexandria, VA. by Jennifer Salerno

One of the oldest towns in America is a great stop for your family road trip.

Our first clues to the sense of time and place Alexandria has to offer were the charming colonial homes we encountered off the exit from I-95.

This was the first stop on a road trip with our newborn daughter, Alexandra, who was barely six weeks old, and our Pomeranian, Foxy.

It was not lost on us that Alexandra’s first stop on her first trip would be Alexandria. We didn’t plan it that way, that’s just the way it happened.

As it is, Alexandria was never really quite on my list. …

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Pain and growth are all intertwined.

The alarm clock rang at 4:30 am on my birthday. A black car pulled up to my apartment a half-hour later and I hopped in. My colleague handed me a press release. Headline: PR Girl Turns 26, dateline: September 11, 2001.

Our client had a segment at the local news station in New Jersey that morning. We left Astoria, picked up our spokesperson and sped out to Trenton for a 7:30 call time. The producer met us at the door and escorted us down a long corridor to the studio.

“We’re gonna get you miked up, but there might be…

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How to Plan Your Trip

One of the best parts about taking a road trip with your newborn is that it doesn’t take much planning to get out on the road.

And that’s because you’ll only spend about four to six hours on the road at a time. This allows you to stop just about whenever and wherever you want.

Yes, you need an idea of where you’re going. Most people ultimately head toward family. After all, you have that beautiful new human to show off.

And you should know exactly what you are bringing and have a good idea of how to get your…

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Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

Why now is the perfect time.

There are so many things to do when planning for the arrival of a new baby. Between shopping for all the stuff, popping new vitamins, visits to the doctor, and extreme moisturizing regimes, it’s like pregnancy is one long list of bizarre tasks.

Don’t even get me started on hypnobirthing and perineal massage.

And then baby arrives and all that prepping melts into bliss. The days and weeks pass as one delightful cocoon of discovery with your new family.

But there comes a time when you need to stretch. What better way than to hit the road with your newborn…

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Photo by Victoria Dihua Xue on Unsplash

There is nothing like the freedom and newness of parental leave.

We are driving away from Ocean Avenue — Julian, Foxy, Alex and me. It’s our first day on a road trip with the baby. Alex is just six weeks old. She came into life like a flash of light for this 43- and 47-year-old couple.

The Scion is packed to the gills. Alex is behind me in her car seat, preventing me from reclining or scooting back. Julian is driving. Behind him is a tower of baby equipment — a bassinet, breastfeeding pillow, foldable infant tub, supplies for pumping breast milk.

Foxy is somewhere in the back, beneath Alex’s feet…

Yesterday was Mother’s Day so mom and I planted seeds for a vegetable garden. It was what she wanted to do. We had the seeds, but not the pots or the soil, or the know-how. We got some supplies and bumbled about until there were three giant pots filled with the promise of produce and the air hung with the aroma of wet dirt.

The idea of becoming a mom floated in the back of my mind all day. It was a sweet high — considering all the magic of seeds — the green leaves and rainbow of fruit that…

Jen Salerno

I write, edit, research, and teach for a living. My body is in Miami, but my heart is in the far reaches of the world.

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