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“My sweet friend, sitting across my dining room table with her hands wrapped around a cup of coffee, tears up as she shares her parenting stress. She has two children, and the weight of motherhood is wearing her down today. I see it in her eyes — that dull ache of everything just being “too much” this week, of feeling like she is failing on every front. I have been there repeatedly — and sometimes feel as if I live perpetually in that state of mind. I reach out to offer empathy and watch her snap back.
“I’m sorry,” she says, “I don’t even know why I am complaining. I have only two kids, and I don’t work. You have four, and work, and twins . . . and I don’t know why I am complaining.” The empathy I felt for my friend falters for a second, and I feel shame. Have I led her to feel this way? That her struggle isn’t struggle enough for me to commiserate?
On the surface, I get it. Our four little loves are an anomaly in today’s world, where the average American family has 1.9 kids. Our oldest is 7, followed closely by twins 24 months later, and our baby, the little surprise exclamation point to our family’s love story, is not yet 1. We are a moving ball of chaos, and when people ask me, “How do you do it all?” I laugh maniacally because I am not sure what “it all” is that I am supposedly doing.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."