Me, Jessica Simpson, and The Postpartum Road to Recovery

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I followed Jessica Simpson’s recent pregnancy with interest: we’re the same age, we both carried baby girls, and we were due about a month apart. I watched her show “Fashion Star” (admittedly, for me, an interesting concept but an inferior program to “Project Runway”) and wondered what it was like for her to work throughout her pregnancy. My own pregnancy felt taxing an … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Are You Dad Enough?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Like just about everyone else in the blogosphere, I noticed the May 21, 2012, cover of TIME Magazine featuring Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her toddler. The cover features a stylish, attractive woman doing something socially unconventional in this country, and doing it in what even the photographer admits is not a typical pose. Next to the pair is the headline “A … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Child-Free by Choice

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Élisabeth Badinter’s European bestseller The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women has found no shortage of critics on this side of the Atlantic. Most of the controversial press comes from Badinter’s claim that breastfeeding is oppressive, a position made more polemical because the author’s public relations firm represents major formula brands … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Got Preschoolers? There’s an App for that.

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.According to the research group The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, more than 80% of the apps sold in Apple’s “Education” category are intended for children. More than half—58%—of those target toddlers are preschoolers. At over a dollar per app, these statistics indicate a considerable and growing market, raising questions about the quality and purpose of “4 … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Pregnancy, Ambivalence, and Faith

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I am in the final weeks of my pregnancy, and I’m looking forward to the birth of my second daughter with relief and anxiety. As I count the days and try to predict when she will arrive, I recognize that I’m impatient for an unpredictable, life-altering event that may actually be harder than my pregnancy. But that seems unlikely.I recognize how much I have to be than … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Mind, Body, and Breast—Public Discourses on Breastfeeding

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Last week, the highest court of Massachusetts ruled that breastfeeding mothers are entitled to special accommodations during state medical licensing exams, which typically last 9 hours and grant 45 minutes of break time. This decision was prompted by Harvard medical student Sophie Currier, who petitioned for extra time to express her milk and was initially denied … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, and Going Beyond the "Mommy Wars"

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Last week, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen invoked outrage left and right with the statement that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life.” Rosen eventually apologized for this remark (largely viewed as an attack on stay-at-home-mothers) and attempted to clarify her position that Romney, because of her wealth, cannot relate to the economic concerns of many wom … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Pregnant Joggers, Black Kids in Hoodies, and the Strangers Among Us

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.When I was about four months pregnant with my first daughter, I went running in the neighborhood where I work. It’s a mostly residential area, accustomed to pedestrian traffic from both the homeowners and the university students. To a stranger, I probably didn’t “look” pregnant at that point, but I was thrilled to be out moving in the fresh air without needing to vomit … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Thank You for Being a Friend

Some primary schools in the U.K. recently espoused a “no best friends policy,” a move that mirrors practices described in a 2010 article of The New York Times: “A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding.” Both plans illustrate anxiety with the exclusivity that comes with best friendships and seek to discourage those tight bonds to avoid bullying, cliques, and the pain that can accompany friendship “breakups.” While I agree that educators should encourage children to work with different people and to pra … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Into the Woods

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I love night running in the wintertime. I love the way my neighborhood changes in the early twilight, lit up by Christmas lights. I love taking off on a path in the woods, where the snow amplifies the moonlight and the muffled sounds transport me to Narnia. I fell in love with running long before I fell in love with my husband, long before I fell in love even with God. … [Read more...]


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