Edition Number 12
Hi Everyone,

On April Fool’s Day I envisioned myself alone on a secluded beach in a galaxy far, far away from the minutiae of everyday parenting; the endless scheduling and rescheduling; the monotony of Magnatiles and mandatory play dates; the fights about eating anything green. I envisioned silence, a land without Baby Shark, a world where I am not visited at night by a four-foot ghost carrying all of his blankies. And then, I went ahead and booked a trip to a secluded beach.

With my son!

Oh, how the daily parenting ironies continue to surprise if not always delight me. In truth, I have little love for being a short order cook, personal assistant, shopper, schlepper or kiddie travel agent. Honestly, there’s so much of the parenting routine that I don’t like at all but right when I can't stand it anymore is often when a lovely window of surprise and discovery opens. Karuna says or does something that makes my heart burst, or makes me truly LOL, and then I am reminded that creating, or channeling Karuna, was and is the ultimate privilege, adventure and gift.

And when his whining kicks in again, inevitably, and another “just one more!” begins about whatever it is he wants one more of, the Universe invites me to muster a little more love, a little more patience. I often don’t have the gift of patience so instead I like to listen to podcasts and read articles that help me keep perspective.

In this edition, I'm sharing a poignant podcast called, "Daughters; Careers + Parent-Care," something that certainly requires patience in spades. It took me out of my head space of childcare (although it certainly had overlapping sentiments) and I was reminded that all around us, every day, there is someone else struggling too - more or less. Comparing the “amount” is futile since then I miss the opportunity to find the lightness and humor in this whole adventure; my chance to yet again be fascinated instead of frustrated. I've also included an article on the merits of sibling room sharing; graphs to decode the gender pay gap; Easter basket ideas that skip the sugar; ideas for what to serve at that next baby shower; serums on the cheap; a case to consider therapy - or at least, a therapy podcast; and an overview of the Postpartum Depression "pill."

I continue to create these newsletters in order to stay fascinated and stave off frustration. I continue to build this community with the intention to inform and inspire the collective experience. In that spirit, I invite any of you to email me should you like to contribute. Do you have a personal essay to write? An idea to cover? A service to share? This inquiring mind wants to know.

With love,
The focus of this Broadly Experience episode is “Working Daughters and Parent-Care” but the tough subject applies equally to sons and anyone else who is caring for a sick family member. Aging is inevitable, disease likely and at some point we might have to parent our parents. While the following adage is philosophically true, “caring for those who’ve cared for us is one of the highest honors,” it is also highly incompatible with modern, North American life. What if you don’t like your parents at all? Then this is an even more potent divide and painful conundrum.

How do you manage a career, kids and an ailing parent, or two, at once? Unlike a maternity leave where there is excitement and typically a celebratory shower, not to mention familiar words of encouragement as you “go back” to work, such built-in norms of support don’t exist for the “invisible elders” and the adult children left to provide for them largely on their own. This is a greater systemic tragedy in the U.S. as workplace and culture just aren't designed to manage and care for our community as a whole, from the beginning of life to the end. My heart goes out to anyone caring for a failing parent; I trust the poignant POVs shared in this episode might resonate and offer hope.
I actually loved sharing a room with my little brother until it was time to make the big girl move to my own room when I was about 6. I think I recall, oddly enough, even being a little sad. Why was it time to make the move? Because newly created space became available after a remodel; had it not I imagine we could’ve shared a room for a few more years and I would have been just fine.

Whether by design or necessity sharing a room with siblings can be challenging, especially come bedtime. In this New York Times piece the director of the Pediatric Center at Yale offers best practices to ensure the whole family sleeps well and stays on schedule. He also shares insight into why it’s a positive to share a room with a sibling, at least in the early years when having extra fun and comforting company matter more than extra privacy and closet space.
April 2 was Equal Pay Day, a date not by happenstance but because it’s the actual date, according to pay-equity.org, that denotes " how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year." Yikes. And this is for white women only. Women of color have to wait until November!

The gender pay gap remains hotly contested because it’s multi-faceted, complex and hard to pin to one reason. While those reasons are often contested many are statistically verified and the phenomenon is real. The gap exists.

Is it because women begin to “lean out” or leave the workforce before and after having children? Because they’re less likely than men to self-promote and climb corporate ladders? Because they often self-select in female-centered industries and thus perpetuate an embedded cycle of lower pay?

I found this Forbes article quite interesting as it breaks down the pay gap debate in five, data-rich graphs as well as offers concrete suggestions for employers to think about in order to mind the gap.
I’m not gonna lie; I love a gilded chocolate bunny. But if this Easter you want to take the sweet out of the treats then consider something from this Real Simple ro und-up including glitter bunny headbands; wind up bunnies; books on bunnies; slime eggs; egg-shaped crayons; and something in the cotton candy family called a “Bag of Bunny Farts?” OK, so maybe not that one, or, depending on your child maybe it’s all about that one.
Whoever copyedited this Pop Sugar article got really excited with the alliteration (Beautiful Bites! Delicious Dips!) but there are several delicious and beautiful ideas included should you be hosting a shower for a mama-to-be. While some items lean way too labor intensive for me — baking cake pops for days? Not gonna happen other suggestions like single “shots” of milk and cookies, caprese skewers and pretty Kombucha mocktails could be a breeze to make.
I’ve used SkinCeutical Phloretin CF on and off for years; it seems to be a default go-to for many derms in the city. So the title of this Who What Wear post re: cheaper serums definitely caught my eye. While I am totally serum crazy and won’t abandon the pricey habit yet, it won’t hurt to try a few of these cheapies with nearly identical ingredients, and add them to the serum shelf. Let me know if you do too!
Maybe electric hues don't come to mind when thinking about adding a little pop of color to your wardrobe but highlighter seems to be the shade du jour.

I’ll let someone else try that trend on for now.

Is it time to go to therapy? Go back? Maybe you’re like me and come from a long and neurotic line of colorful Chinese and Jewish folk and have always been in therapy. Either way, if you’re not sure if it’s for you, check out “The Motherhood Sessions,” a new podcast series that lets you lie on the coach virtually, fly-on-the-wall style, and listen to someone else’s postpartum session.

Hosted by affable reproductive psychiatrist, Dr. Alexandra Sacks (who I had the pleasure of getting to know at my kick-off event) the forthcoming series promises some powerful real talk for mamas trying to make this whole thing work. And while it's no substitute for the real thing, it might be a kind-of therapy for moms and dads who don’t have time, money or energy-slash-courage to go and find one. Listen to the trailer here and get ready to listen, or talk — hopefully not just to yourself!
Zulresso, aka the “Postpartum Depression Pill,” is expensive. Like it's 34 thousand dollars expensive before the cost of a mandatory three night hospital stay and the expense of having someone else take care of your newborn baby. Also, it’s not a pill; it’s a 60 hour infusion typically followed by a regiment of additional antidepressants. And while it won’t work for everyone, it’s estimated it will help just 30% of patients suffering from PPD who actually can access the drug, it is a critical start toward recognizing the need for comprehensive PPD treatment. It’s estimated nearly 500,000 women in the U.S. suffer from PPD. Hopefully, this is a harbinger of other, more affordable treatments to come to market in order to help them.