&Follow SJoin OnSugar
Are there questions about child bearing that you don't dare ask your own mother? Direct them to Mommy Dearest — she'll be dishing out advice on all the hot mama topics from stretch marks to bringing sexy back and feeding baby to family feuds. Consider this your new home for no holds barred discussions about all the chaos that comes with raising kids.

Mommy Dearest: Do I Have to Play With Friend's Nanny?

Posted By Moms on Mar 30, 2011 at 6:35AM

Mommy Dearest –

I'm a SAHM, but plenty of my daughter's friends' have two working parents, which means that they are cared for by nannies and babysitters. Now that my daughter is in preschool, she is asking to play with specific friends, rather than the ones I set her up with, and that often means that it is the nanny and me hanging out while the girls play. While the nannies are certainly nice enough, I find us both to be uncomfortable with the situation. Should I just not schedule play dates with these kids, or is there another solution you might suggest to avoid the awkwardness of the situation.

– Playdate Problem Mommy

Keep reading to see Mommy Dearest's response.

Mommy Dearest: Do I Need to Tip All of the Counselors

Posted By babysugar on Aug 13, 2010 at 6:00AM

Mommy Dearest –

Camp season is drawing to a close this week and the topic of discussion at the bus stop this morning turned to tipping the counselors. It is my son's first year at camp and I hadn't realized that the counselors needed to be tipped. All of the parents agreed to a set amount per child (the camp, apparently, doesn't have any guidelines about this) but my son was closer with some counselors more than others. Would it be OK for me to just tip the ones he liked? Otherwise, we are looking at another $200 on top of what I paid for camp!

– Testing the Tipping Rules

To see Mommy Dearest's response, read more

Tagged with: Mommy Dearest, Camp

Mommy Dearest: I Don't Like My Child's Best Friend

Posted By babysugar on Aug 9, 2010 at 6:00AM

Mommy Dearest –

I know it is terrible to say, but I don't like my daughter's best friend. She is pushy and manipulative and seems to bring out the worst in my child. When the girls are together, all I get is sass from my child and if they have been playing together I can see a change in my daughter's entire attitude. I would stop scheduling play dates with her but I a) know it would devastate my child and, b) would be hard to enforce because they are in the same class. Do you have any advice for me?

– Baffled by Best Friend

To see Mommy Dearest's response, read more

Tagged with: Mommy Dearest, friends

Mommy Dearest: Daughter Refuses to Wash Her Hair

Posted By babysugar on Jul 15, 2010 at 9:00AM

Mommy Dearest –

I'm a full believer in allowing children to express themselves. I don't argue when my daughter wants to wear crazy things to school. I allow her to paint her nails in hideous colors. And I've even been known to help her add some wild purple streaks to her hair. But we've come to clashes over self-expression versus hygiene.

After running around at camp all day, she resists bathing and when I can get her in there, she outright (and physically) refuses to let me wash her hair. She says she likes the way her dirty hair looks and doesn't mind the smell. I've tried explaining the health reasons for washing and she insists that this is her "new look". While I'm happy for her to look however she likes, the smell is getting really bad, and I'm afraid that she will be mocked at camp. Do you have any advice?

– Shear Madness Mama

To see Mommy Dearest's response, read more

Mommy Dearest: Fast Food Playdate Dilemma

Posted By babysugar on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:00AM

Mommy Dearest –

Yesterday, while toiling away at work, I received a phone call from my son's nanny. It seems the friend he was playing with had been promised a lunch at McDonald's and had invited my kindergartner along. I try to avoid fast food restaurants at all costs, so our nanny called to ask if it was OK to go for lunch with the friend. In the background I could already hear my son discussing the cartoon characters he saw on the restaurant's windows and rather than subject his caretaker to a meltdown, I acquiesced.

I am not some food-crazed mom (I give my children plenty of chicken fingers at home, albeit not fried), but I really don't like my children eating all of that fried food and thinking that food comes with toys. Would it be inappropriate for me to ask his playmate's mom to not promise such "treats" on days our kids play together?

– McDonaldless Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more

Mommy Dearest: Do I Need to Feed the Nanny?

Posted By babysugar on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:51PM

Mommy Dearest,

I am about to head back to work and just hired a nanny to care for my baby. We've worked out a contract that outlines everything from her pay and vacation days to her day-to-day responsibilities. My friends just told me that I need to provide her with lunch every day even though it is not outlined in her contract, and not something we discussed. I'm not provided with lunch at my place of work so I don't see why I should have to provide it to her. Is this normal?

– Lunching Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more

Mommy Dearest: Babysitter Wants to Bring Her Boyfriend

Posted By babysugar on May 26, 2010 at 12:30PM

Mommy Dearest -

My Saturday evening babysitter has been with us for a few years now, watching my kids once or twice a month while my husband and I get a break from our home life. She is a local college student and is great with my two kids. Last weekend, for the first time, she asked if she could bring her boyfriend when she came to sit for us. He was visiting from out-of-town, but she had previously agreed to work for us, and she didn't want to cancel. While I appreciate her thinking of us, I said no because I was afraid that she would not be able to pay adequate attention to the kids and her boyfriend. My husband says I was wrong – that we trust her with our kids, we should trust her judgment too. Who's right here?

– Prudish Mama

To read Mommy Dearest's response, read more

Posted By nilatti on Apr 4, 2010 at 2:26PM

I'm preparing to give birth to my first child. Not only will it be my first, but it will also be the first grandchild on both sides. My mother assumes that she is invited to attend the birth. I have no intention of having her there. We have a good relationship, but we are not very close. She always wants to be the center of attention, and she is incredibly high-maintenance. She nearly ruined my wedding with her insistence that everything go the way *she* thought it should, and now she's working on ruining my brother's the same way. I can't imagine relaxing enough to give birth with her in the room. I'd feel like she was judging me--thinking that she didn't make that much noise, suggesting another position when I was happy right where I was. Not to mention, she and my husband don't get along particularly well, especially in stressful situations.

To compound the whole thing, my parents are divorced, and my dad feels slighted any time I involve my mom in something, but not him. My parents and in-laws are concerned about who will be the "alpha grandparents" (yes, they've all used that term). I have zero intention of letting my in-laws see my lady bits EVER. I don't think my dad has had that intimate a view of me since I was in diapers. And I can't even begin to imagine laboring with all six of them (counting my step-parents) in the same building, let alone the same room.

I can cut this whole disaster off at the pass by making sure my mom doesn't show up. However, she's the sort who will insist to herself that I didn't really mean it, that every woman wants her mom there beside her, and she'd bully her way past my midwife. I'm half inclined to just not call anyone to tell them that my labor is starting, and just let them know when the baby has finally arrived (possibly waiting several hours until I think I can handle the onslaught of doting grandmas). All of my parents would be irritated about that, though. They would want to know what was going on, and no one but my mom would show up uninvited.

How can I stop this train wreck before it starts? I'm more nervous about this than about the actual pain of pushing another human being out of my body.

Mommy Dearest: What Should Kids Call Their Parents?

Posted By babysugar on Mar 30, 2010 at 3:00PM

Mommy Dearest —

For reasons I still cannot explain, my children started calling my husband and I by our first names. At school, they are told to call their teachers by their proper names. I think they just picked up the way we speak to each other at home. While we thought it was funny at first, the more it happens in public, the more we realize that we need to rein them in and go back to traditional titles. The problem is that our kids simply refuse to do so. Do you have any suggestions?

— Jennifer aka Mom

To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more

Tagged with: Mommy Dearest, names, discipline

Mommy Dearest: Restaurant Dining With Kids

Posted By babysugar on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:00PM

Mommy Dearest –

I had a rather embarrassing incident happen last week and it still has me reeling. After feeding my baby at a local restaurant, I stood up to start burping her right at my table. Before I knew what was happening, my daughter had spit up all over the table behind us. To make matters worse, much of it had landed on a patron's suede jacket. I immediately apologized profusely and offered to pay the cleaning bill for the jacket, but the fellow diner could not be calmed down. She kept muttering that this is why kids should be kept out of restaurants (mind you it was a very family-friendly establishment). I kept apologizing, but there was nothing I could say to calm her down. Other than paying the cleaning bill, what else could I have done?

– Embarrassed Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest, read more

Tagged with: Mommy Dearest, restaurants