The year 2013 provided much for moms to think about. A future king was born. A new pope was elected. Children suffered at the hands of guns, chemical weapons and natural disasters. Race divided us--again. A bombing united us--again. Here, the top stories of 2013, according to moms.
1. The release of Lean In by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. It revived the "how do you do it all" debate and seemed to polarize moms more than it united them.
2. The Cleveland kidnapping of three young women and a little girl who was born into captivity made every parent fearful that their kid could be easily susceptible to such madness, too.
3. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's maternal game changers. On the one hand she banned employees from working from home, an allowance that makes life much more flexible for working parents. On the other she extended the company's maternity policy to 16 weeks for women and eight for men, and added a cash bonus for baby gear and supplies--one of the most generous in the country.
4. The Boston bombing, not just because so many lives were lost and changed forever but also because the perpetrators seemed like regular city kids.
5. The Oklahoma tornadoes scared moms who live in areas where natural disasters are common into discuss safety guidelines with their children--one more time.
6. After years of decline, church attendance is up, and many credit newly elected Pope Francis, whose plans for a more inclusive, less judgmental church inspired many families to return to Sunday mass.
7. The Supreme Court's decision to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional cleared the way for same-sex marriages and federal protections including Social Security, health insurance and more. The decision left some families validated and others outraged.
8. Kim Kardashian's pregnancy. Uncomfortable, overweight and visibly stressed, it was the most relatable we'd ever seen her.
9. The royal baby watch. When the Duchess emerged with baby George and a still-visible tummy underneath a homey dress, the cheers from moms still carrying baby weight was deafening.
10. The Zimmerman verdict, especially if you were a Black mom trying to explain the decision to your son. Try finding the right words for that conversation.
12. Paula Deen's racist comments made a lot of moms think about the off-handed remarks that kids can absorb--and the past mistakes they might one day discover.
13. The Syrian civil war, especially the chemical weapons attacks in suburban areas and the graphic images of massacred children.
14. BatKid. When the Make A Wish Foundation brought thousands of volunteers together to make a 5-year-old leukemia patient's Gotham City dream come true, moms were reminded that it takes a village to raise a kid.
15. Miley Cyrus's eyebrow-raising performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Conservative moms of teens who once loved Hannah Montana wanted reimbursement for every licensing product they ever bought. Hippie moms praised her willingness to express herself even if it went against the norm. The rest just wanted to look away.
16. Even if some moms would have stuck by their husbands after a series of extramarital mishaps the way Huma Abedin did during Anthony Weiner's race for New York mayor, it was hard to watch the public humiliation play out again and again.
17. Obamacare. Whether you're stoked because your kid finally has health insurance or bummed because your family lost its long-time provider, the Affordable Care Act greatly affected families.