Maintaining friendships without losing yourself in Mommyland

I started to feel a bit irritated that most of them didn't seem to understand the limitations of late pregnancy. And then I took a step back and realized that a few short years ago, I was the one who didn't understand. I remembered that what I should focus on was the fact that they wanted to include me enough that, in the end, they had me pick the activity so I'd have fun and be comfortable, too.


What gifts can we send our pregnant friend for herself, not the baby?

My best friend is pregnant. Lately the preggo hormones have been making her very depressed and I was thinking about making up a care package for her — one that's all about her and not so much focused on baby stuff. I know there are a lot of products that pregnant women can't use or even come in contact with, so I was wondering if any of you could suggest some things that would be safe and useful for a mama to be.


The shy person's guide to large parties

Large parties are rife with what I call "fringe friends" — strangers, distant family, or people you don't know intimately. You might get invited to (or asked to organize) a wedding, reunion, baby shower, barbecue, work function, or camping trip. If you're shy, this can be a source of anxiety instead of fun. Large parties prove difficult for those who are shy, and are a true challenge for the introverted host.

Here's what has worked for me when hosting and socially navigating large parties.