Carrie Fisher Dies, and Within 24 Hours, Her Mom Passes Too

One death in the family is so hard, but two is unimaginable. This week, our hearts go out to the family of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. The two actresses have lived their lives in the spotlight – Carrie as Princess Leia in Star Wars, and Debbie as Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain. When Carrie passed away earlier this week, her mother was devastated. Debbie suffered from a fatal stroke about 24 hours later, and some believe she died of a broken heart.

Netflix Helps Parents Get Kids to Bed Early on New Year’s Eve

Netflix is offering a series of New Year’s Eve countdown videos that will help get kids to sleep early. The process is simple: Parents can show their kids one of the on-demand countdown videos at any point in the night, which tricks them into thinking they made it to midnight. (HuffPo)

Incredible Birth Photos from 2016

If you have a soft spot for newborn babies, this photo series will melt your heart.

In some ways, the moments photographers capture are so small ― a woman roaring through a contraction or the first time a mother locks eyes with her new baby. But in other ways, they are monumental.

A few seconds or minutes pass and suddenly, families are forever changed. (HuffPo)

Big Changes to Parental Leave Policies at Major Companies in 2016

Good news for working parents. In 2016, many major companies have been amending policies to allow parent, or expectant parent employees more leniency. It seems that companies are attempting to give parents more opportunities to be available to their families. Here's a few big companies that have made parent-friendly changes in the past year:
-American Express expands its paid parental leave policy for mothers and fathers from 6 weeks to 20 weeks at full pay, plus another six to eight weeks for women who give birth and require medical leave. (CNN)
-At IKEA, workers were previously offered 5 days of paid leave. Now, workers will get six weeks of leave at full pay, followed by six weeks at half pay. New parents will also be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid time off. (CNN)
-Etsy, however, has the most unique parental leave offer. The handmade goods company will offer both male and female employees 26 weeks of paid parental leave during the first two years of a child's life. That's well above the 12 paid weeks offered currently to primary caregivers and the 5 weeks offered to secondary caregivers. It will be available to anyone who becomes a parent through birth, adoption or surrogacy, regardless of their gender, where they live or family circumstance.  (CNN)

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