I’ve written before about why my dad is awesome, but looking back at my childhood, he definitely wasn’t the only father figure in my life. Being the imaginative weirdo that I was, most of my alternate dads were completely and totally fictional, but that didn’t make them any less integral to my emotional development. It was actually pretty hard to pare down this list, but here are 7 fictional characters — from a Jedi Master to a clumsy handyman — who were my imaginary dads, and taught me a lot about life in their own unique ways… Keep reading »
Choosing a baby name may be one of the hardest things a parent has to do. I’d say it’s harder than potty training — which has become my nemesis right now. Giving your kid a name, whatever name it is, is the one single word your kid is going to hear for the rest of their life. It’s a BIG deal. It also says a whole lot about you as a parent. It even reveals your political leanings.
Conservatives tend to choose a certain kind of name, and liberals prefer names with a certain kind of sound. Before I reveal, let’s take guesses. Let’s think about the kid names Leo and Kevin. If you had to choose who belongs to the liberal parent and who belongs to the conservative parent, what would you guess? Read more on The Stir…
In June 1961, after applying to Harvard’s graduate program in city planning, Phyllis Richman received a letter from Harvard asking her exactly how she planned on having a career and a family.
You see, Phyllis’s admission seemed like a waste of time to the admissions office. William A. Doeble, a professor in the department to which she had applied, wanted to make sure that she really wanted to put all of the time and money into an education that they felt she may never use when she was already so busy being a wife.
In his letter to Richman, Doeble wrote:
“[F]or your benefit, and to aid us in coming to a final decision, could you kindly write us a page or two at your earliest convenience indicating specifically how you might plan to combine a professional life in city planning with your responsibilities to your husband and a possible future family?” Keep reading »
I was so sure I was having a boy. I’d even given my baby a boy name, and I talked to my belly and told him he was a great son. A strong, noble, excellent son. People said, “A mother knows…” and nodded along with me.
Not this mother. Apparently, this mother doesn’t know shit.
“Can you tell if he’s a boy or a girl?” I asked the sonographer at the 20 week ultrasound, just to be sure.
She bit her lip and tried not to smile. “Oh yes. I can tell.”
He was a girl. She had always been a girl. I burst into overwhelmed tears. And then something shameful happened. Instead of being fully happy, the way every new mother is supposed to, I was worried. I was worried that she would look like me. Keep reading »
Because that seems to be the point.
This isn’t a real pregnant 70-year-old, though. She’s a British TV host, Kate Garraway, who is 46 and warning young women through the First Response Early Result Pregnancy campaign to MAKE BABIES NOW. Like, right now. Garraway got involved in the campaign because she had her two children at ages 38 and 42 and now is unable to have more. So to scare women about the terrors of old mommies, Garraway got done up in prosthetics to look like a 70-year-old who is heavily pregnant.
Except … no. Keep reading »
I’m not going to sugar coat it: Sometimes, this whole parenting gig can be pretty damn hard. Yes, parenting is rewarding and wonderful and absolutely special. But it can also be completely terrifying and difficult and frustrating. And, despite all the parenting books that line the shelves of bookstores, there’s truly no one manual to tell you exactly how to successfully raise your children without going completely batty.
It also doesn’t help that parents — new ones especially — are surrounded by images, advertisements, articles, books, television shows, “experts,” movies, news media, and more that basically dictate to them what it (supposedly) takes to be a good parent. It can be doubly overwhelming in a society that pushes Tiger Moms at you while also promoting the benefits of French Parenting in the same breath that both encourages and disparages Attachment Parenting. It’s enough to drive anyone to drink. (Or smoke).
So it doesn’t surprise me one bit when parents turn to the Internet to find some answers or relief. Even if that relief is in the form of mild complaining or slightly neurotic questioning of everything that’s being thrown at you. But of course, as with everything on the Internet, everyone has an opinion. Enter Jezebel’s Tracy Moore, who earlier this week tore apart a private online Facebook group for L.A. parents. Moore listed a handful of topics that various mothers posted about and then proceeded to mock and snark on each one. Keep reading »
When I was pregnant, my clothing had one main requirement: comfort. I was mostly concerned with what would help support my growing belly on my slight frame, especially toward the end of my pregnancy when I developed symphysis pubic dysfunction (a fancy way of saying that my pelvic joint was unstable and caused me near constant pain whenever I moved). I was fortunate that during the latter half of my pregnancy I was focused on finishing my graduate thesis, thus fashion didn’t factor much into my days spent behind a computer screen or between library book shelves. In fact, my daily uniform of yoga pants, long t-shirts, a puffy vest, and comfy sneakers didn’t seem to phase me or the number of folks I came in contact with.
In retrospect, I consider myself very lucky. Keep reading »
“My style of parenting is very similar to that of my parents, minus the concept of ownership. I think that, specifically in African American households, the idea coming out of slavery, there’s a concept of your children being property and that was a major part that Jada and I released with our kids. We respect our children the way we would respect any other person. Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms. We tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it.’ So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use your car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use.”
– I never would have thought the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and I would agree on much, but it turns out that Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith actually have some cool ideas about parenting. I’ve always loved their POV on Willow’s hair that it belongs to Willow and they wants their daughter to understand she controls her own body. Will echoed sentiments like these, too, saying that they don’t believe in treating their kids like “property” they own. I happen to agree! [US Weekly] [Photo: Getty]
“I love a good piece of dolphin meat on my plate, but every time I feel bad for eating an endangered animal,” 32-year-old artist, Ai Hasegawa, told Vice. “We’re soon going to be facing a global food shortage crisis. But I still want to give life, I don’t want 30 years of painful menstruation to have all been in vain. And I want to eat good meat.”
What 30-something woman hasn’t been faced with such dilemmas concerning food and reproduction? While most of us chose to avoid dolphin meat/baby making, hoping the problem would rectify itself, Ai Hasegawa got busy looking for options that were “less costly than raising a human” with “fewer responsibilities.” To reconcile both her desire to give life and her need to eat good meat, she came up with an unconventional solution: the idea of women birthing endangered species and eating them.
Hasegawa’s project, “I wanna deliver a Shark…,” tackles “the problem of human reproduction in an age of over-population and environmental crisis” with a literal attempt to birth a shark. And why a shark? Because, her initial research suggests that sharks are the most compatible with the human body and “they’re endangered, their life-span is almost as long as that of a human, and most importantly, they’re delicious.” Keep reading »