Why Do So Many People Wish I Was Pregnant with a Boy?

In an atomized and impersonal city, nothing motivates strangers to approach and talk to you quite like a pregnant belly. What’s more interesting is what people then say. Here in cosmopolitan DC, I fully expected to get an (unsolicited) earful about this child being one too many. For while it’s not the case at our … Continue reading

When Women Are Ready to Opt Back In

Like a romantic-comedy that closes with a wedding and skips the ensuing marriage, media coverage of women who “opt out” of the workforce often ends with that decision. But who are these women, what fuels that decision, and what happens after it’s made? In 2014, the Pew Research Center reported: “About one-in-10 mothers with a Master’s … Continue reading

Universal Child Care? This Work-at-Home Mom Says, No Thanks!

This week, The New York Times’ editorial staff ran yet another piece in support of Hillary Clinton’s child care proposal. Only, in the latest iteration, Brittany Bronson, an English instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, complains that Clinton’s proposal to expand child care and cap costs at 10 percent of household income doesn’t go far enough. … Continue reading

If Parental Leave Matters, So Do Parents

Parenting is a puzzle. It’s one that every parent pieces together differently, and there’s often no one right answer. However, there are certain premises elemental to any parenting discussion; if all sides can’t accept them, we can’t have an honest debate about parenting, or the public policies that affect it. I thought of this while … Continue reading

Mothers Can Be More Productive at Work

Ambitious women, rejoice. If you can master time management, you may not have to choose between a powerhouse career and a happy family life. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently published a study disproving the conventional wisdom that mothers must be less professionally productive, by examining the publication frequency of 10,000 academic economists. In fact, … Continue reading

Does Your Professional Conference Welcome Mothers?

You’ve decided to off-ramp while raising young children, but you don’t want your professional muscles or networks to atrophy. So, what do you do? The best solution this independent writer has found is attending conferences. Many organizations talk a good game about work-life balance, but professional reality often clashes with parenthood. There is little understanding or … Continue reading

Katy Perry’s Cleavage, Forever on Sesame Street

Katy, please cover up. I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea for Katy Perry to wear such a skimpy dress on Sesame Street, but they must not have preschoolers. This summer, my two-year-old discovered Elmo, and all she wanted to do during our rainy August afternoons on Cape Cod was watch … Continue reading

The Mothers of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey closed its third season with the estate’s heir, Matthew Crawley, assuring his wife, Mary, that she’ll be a good mother to their new son because she’s a good woman. His comment rings all the more poignant because this fairy-tale couple is about to face disaster: Matthew is tragically killed in a car accident … Continue reading

Learning to Share My Food

Learning to Share All My Food With My Daughter I understood Joey Tribbiani. When I was single, I wouldn’t have liked a date who took my french fries either. I’ve always been particular about my food. But my understanding of food–its meaning and purpose–has also evolved somewhat over time. At every stage in my life, … Continue reading

Breastfeeding is my Relaxation

Once I Wean My Daughter, How Will I Relax? I’m going to miss nursing. People keep asking me when I plan to wean, and I tell them what I’ve said since Lila was born. My plan was to nurse for a year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one year of breastfeeding, so that seemed … Continue reading