The Kiddy Pool: Having It All…Or Not

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. By many standards, my husband would appear to “have it all”, a phrase thrust into the media mainstream by Anne-Marie Slaughter’s controversial article in The Atlantic this week. My husband works as an English professor in a tenure-line position: his work is intellectually fulfilling and he enjoys his colleagues as well as his students. His summers are devoted … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Karen Klein, Jerry Sandusky, and Redemption

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. New York bus monitor Karen Klein made national headlines last week when the video of middle-school boys bullying her went viral. I have abstained from watching the video itself, because the coverage of the incident depicts the vulgar and graphic cruelty sufficiently enough that I don’t think I can stomach witnessing it firsthand. Since the video became fodder for … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Facebook for the Whole Family?

This week, Facebook proposed allowing children under thirteen (the site’s current age requirement) to sign up; the kids’ accounts would be linked to and monitored by parents’ accounts, at least insofar as parents take on that supervisory role. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act limits the information that websites can legally collect from children under thirteen, but connecting to parental accounts bypasses those restrictions and, let’s be honest, offers Facebook a new … [Read more...]

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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [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 … [Read more...]


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