Tori Spelling Reacts To Critics After Posting Fake Pregnancy Announcement

Tori Spelling spoke out after her April Fools’ Day prank about being pregnant again sparked a backlash

Add another one to the list of April Fool’s Day jokes that might have missed the mark. Former Beverly Hills, 90210 actor faked a baby bump in an Instagram pic she uploaded Thursday, along with the caption “No. 6.” While several supporters cheered for Spelling and her family in the comment section, others were baffled about the timing of her April 1st announcement and were offended that she would joke about being pregnant again.

Fans advised Spelling that April Fools’ Day jokes about pregnancy can be hurtful and insensitive to those who have a lost a child or are living with infertility.

“Better not be a joke. Joking about pregnancy on April Fools is beyond-tacky,” one fan posted.

Instagram comment section
photo: Instagram

“I really hope you aren’t using a pregnancy as an April fools joke considering there are so many women out there who wish they could have just one child. You have been blessed with 5, please have compassion and empathy. This is nothing to joke about!” wrote another Instagram user.

photo: Instagram

“I really hope this isn’t an April Fools joke, this would cruel to all of the mommas who have lost babies or are having a difficult time getting pregnant,” another wrote in the comment section.

Spelling posted a response on Friday, saying that her fake pregnancy announcement was intended to taunt the media for speculating about her expecting “yet another” baby.

“Every week, magazine and press outlets ask if I am pregnant. To set the record straight, I am not,” she wrote in a message on Instagram. “The fact is, after my fifth baby, my body didn’t bounce back like it had before. That’s when the constant questions of ‘yet another’ pregnancy first began. Unless you’re in the public eye, it is hard to understand what it feels like to be body shamed so publicly. I feel like I have to constantly defend my body when instead, I should be honoring it for the miracle of life it game me five times.”

Spelling also confessed to fans that she’s experienced a miscarriage before, and explained she would never purposely hurt someone who’s suffered pregnancy loss or been unable to conceive.

“I know that pregnancy is an extreme blessing. And I would never intentionally poke fun at losing a child or not being able to carry one. I myself have miscarried,” she wrote in her statement. “My post was simply to turn the tables for once on the press. They constantly create wild and often hurtful stories about me, my body, and my family.”

“For those of you that are hurt, I hear you. I love you. I welcome your stories and I will try my best to be there to support you. Please accept this as a virtual hug to my entire community,” she added.

The reviews of her apology were mixed, but at the end of the day, most of her fans seemed to appreciate the gesture, flooding her post with heart emojis and understanding comments.

The post Tori Spelling Reacts To Critics After Posting Fake Pregnancy Announcement appeared first on Scary Mommy.

From The Confessional: Breastfeeding Can Be Hard AF, And Your Judgment Is Not OK

Throughout my first pregnancy, I knew a few things for sure—I was going to be a super fun mom who popped my baby into the carrier and still lived a fun life—hitting up coffee shops and festivals with my husband, hit the gym frequently, and I’d breastfeed with no issue. I had motherhood in the bag.

Hahaha. None of that came true. Literally not one thing went the way I thought it would go. We stopped going anywhere, because, frankly, it was too stressful for me. I didn’t go back to the gym for years. And breastfeeding was brutal. It hurt, he wouldn’t latch, and I cried about it every day for the first six weeks.

Looking back, I don’t regret that I kept trying, as my baby and I did eventually figure it out and I went on to breastfeed my other two kids after him quite easily. However, that experience taught me to have empathy for other moms—those who breastfeed and those who don’t. That experience landed me firmly in the “fed is best” camp, as I don’t believe any mother should feel she has to breastfeed, nor does she owe anyone an explanation for how she feeds her child.

Because the truth is, although breastfeeding did turn out to be a positive experience for me in the end, (my favorite part being that it was free), that’s not the case for so many women. It can be painful, exhausting, affect our mental health, and it changes our bodies permanently.

Breastfeeding is no fucking joke and all mothers—regardless of how they feed their children—need to be supported, not judged.

Confessional #25757052

“Breastfeeding is causing me so much pain , milk bleb , mastitis, shooting pains. I'm so over it.”

Confessional #25801594

“Breastfeeding my 3rd child & it hurts so badly I often scream and cry in pain. Never had problems with the other 2 & this is distressing. One latch had me concerned that my nipple had been torn off. This is torture.”

Confessional #21323358

“Breastfeeding hurts like the frickin’ dickens. I wanted to go for one year, but after three and a half months I just want my boobs to be LEFT ALONE!”

Confessional #18625133

“I am constantly battling clogged ducts while remaining pump dependent for breastfeeding. Yes I have tried everything and I am exhausted and constantly in pain. This is total b@llshit.”

The most frustrating thing I heard when I was trying like hell to figure out breastfeeding was “If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong.” Ummmm… no, Cathy. It hurts because a tiny piranha child is gnawing on me every all day and night. Can we just admit that breastfeeding can be painful, even if you’re doing it “right”?

Confessional #25753591

“B4 kids had nice firm boobies. After 2 kids & breastfeeding for 30 months between them, I can literally put my hands under my boobs and they melt into my hands like a puddle. I'm 27.”

Confessional #25747789

“I wear C cup silicone inserts in my bra because after birthing and breastfeeding 3 kids, my tits are nonexistent. Everything I wear looks ridiculous without boobs. Its embarrassing and makes me feel like less of a woman.”

Confessional #25775024

“Breastfeeding has been making me not as wet, even when I’m turned on. I’m just too embarrassed to tell H I want to try using lube.”

Confessional #24300360

“I daydream of a mastectomy because not having breasts seems better than the mess I was left with after breastfeeding my third.”

It also changes our body, permanently. Our boobs never return to original form, and our vaginas are dry as a desert. But honestly, we’re so freaking tired that half the time we don’t even care.

Confessional #25752909

“I want to stop breastfeeding my 9 month old son but I feel guilty about it. He's my 2nd and last baby. I'll never breastfeed again when he's done. His sister got a full year, part of me feels like he should too.”

Confessional #25748968

“Gave up breastfeeding a week into DD being born. I’m going to snap at anyone else who questions this, my mental health matters too!”

Confessional #25773971

“Breastfeeding was a huge contributor to my ppd and anxiety. I stopped and baby and I are so much happier, so to the next person that judges me for feeding my baby a bottle, I don't apologize if I snap at you.”

Confessional #21581920

“If I could go back in time I wouldn’t have obsessed so much about breastfeeding my almost-impossible to-nurse colicky baby bc of societal pressure. We both would’ve been happier those first few months, and it was really nobody’s business anyway.”

It’s no secret that breastfeeding—especially if it’s a struggle due to low supply, or c-section recovery, or having a NICU baby, or having a baby who can’t latch, or a million other reasons—affects mom’s mental health. And her health has to be prioritized, even if that means quitting breastfeeding. Moms should be supported if and when they start, throughout their breastfeeding journey, and when they quit. And they shouldn’t feel guilty when that time comes.

Confessional #25319093

“I hate the baby shit. I stopped @ 2 kids cause if I had to go through the 1st 18mo more than 2x u would have to light me on fire cause it would be hell. Constant needs, whining, sleep deprived, constant needing held, breastfeeding, no breaks. HATE IT ALL.”

Confessional #25756937

“I am mentally and physically exhausted from tandem feeding my 3 yr old & 1 yr old (over Breastfeeding the 3 yr old). Ive seen my dog when shes over it too, she growls, snaps & is mean to her puppies. Used to judge her but now i understand!”

Confessional #21334003

“Breastfeeding is draining the life out of me. My 10 week old screams bloody murder when we even bring the bottle near him. I’m so tired, and touched out. Also have a 2.5 yo. Need a break.”

Confessional #25758713

“I am so tired of cleaning, cooking, breastfeeding ( a toddler & baby), changing diapers, working, while being a SAHM, & DD complain i dont give her enough attention, DH complains not enough sex. I dont even have fucking time for me!! Feel like a failure”

Because the truth is, moms are tired. So fucking tired. All moms, not just those who breastfeed. But letting your babies use your body for nourishment brings a mother to another level of exhaustion—mentally and physically—and she needs rest.

Confessional #25343502

“Breastfeeding misinformation makes me ragey. You can have a glass of wine every day! You can eat whatever you want! Support should be stronger and much more accessible!!”

Confessional #25335588

“Trying to figure out breastfeeding and pumping (for when I go back to work) is more confusing than any college course I ever took. There should be more consistency among the resources that are available.”

Confessional #1543729

“I want to go to a LLL meeting or breastfeeding support group to get help, but I'm afraid I'll be judged harshly for having to supplement. So I don't go.”

Breastfeeding moms need support—start to finish. They need resources, education, and to never be shamed if they supplement or quit altogether.

Breastfeeding knocked me on my ass when I was a new mom. It was one of the hardest experiences of my life to date. Thankfully, I had a supportive partner and never felt shamed when supplementing with formula to ensure my baby’s belly was full.

My message to all moms is to take care of yourself. If breastfeeding is your chosen journey, seek help and support and resources and feed that baby whenever and wherever you choose. If breastfeeding is not your path, whether that’s your choice or not, you’re still a good mother if you love your baby and ensure they’re fed.

Because nearly 13 years into this gig, there are two tenets of motherhood I believe in more than anything else:

1) Fed is best. And 2) Mom’s health matters.

The post From The Confessional: Breastfeeding Can Be Hard AF, And Your Judgment Is Not OK appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Mom Boycotts Doing Dishes Until Her Family Gets Their Sh*t Together

Mom goes viral on Twitter after seeing how long her family will go without cleaning the house

If moms stopped picking up around the house, how long will it take for the rest of the family to get their shit together and start cleaning up? According to @MissPotkin’s Twitter thread, the answer is three whole days, or whenever the household runs out of cups.

It all started when a mom on Twitter (@MissPotkin) shared a photo of her messy kitchen. With dishes piling up in and on the sink, her family was clearly oblivious to the mess, so she decided she would stop cleaning until someone else in her household took notice and actually cleaned up the damn house. The saga began on March 15 and her family didn’t get their sh*t together until **checks notes** March 18!

“Two days ago, I decided to stop doing the dishes,” the mom wrote on March 17th, 2021. “I make all the dinners and I am tired of having to do all the cleaning too. SINCE THEN this pile has appeared and at some point they are going to run out of spoons and cups and plates. Who will blink first? Not me.”

“Day 3 — they’ve used the last of the big bowls and they’ve run out of spoons. No one is saying anything about the big pile but I can hear their brains ticking. No, family, I will not be loading the dishwasher today,” she continued. “…There is a pan on the cooker with a single sausage in it. It’s been there for two days. I can’t look at it…”

The mom stopped doing laundry and picking up piles (oh those damn piles) around the house too, wondering if anyone would notice the growing clutter.

Oh, and she stopped doing the mental gymnastics that is anticipating buying new toilet paper before the current stash runs out, because if it weren’t for moms running to the grocery store, would toilet paper EVER get refilled by anyone else in the home? It would not.

Then, on March 18, 2021 — the unthinkable happened. After three days of dishes sitting out, it finally happened — her partner loaded the dishwasher!

But then, he didn’t turn it on!

However, little by little, other parts of the home began to improve. “BUT LOOK! Toilet roll has appeared! The downstairs loo is back in action!” Potkin shared. “And every other loo! The toilet paper stacking is extremely Costco. There’s A LOT. Everywhere. SO MUCH LOO ROLL.”

Finally, by the end of the day, her partner ran the dishwasher.

When asked why he didn’t do it earlier, he said “I ran out of time.” I’ll take “Things Men Do” for 500, Alex!

At the end of the day, Miss Potkin summed up her little Twitter experiment in the best way.

“Love is patient but love is also fucking tired because she works 14 hour days,” she wrote. “I know we are ALL tired but I am most tired. Me. I AM ALL THE TIRED.”

Well said.

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Want To Help Your Kids Become Better Readers? Turn On The Subtitles

The next time someone makes you feel guilty for letting your little watch TV, show ‘em this

Mamas have it hard. There’s c-section shaming, formula shaming, snack food shaming, and yes, TV shaming. While all mom-shaming is ridiculous and needs to stop, its great to have an honest-to-goodness real-life study you can fall back on.

Turns out, in order to feel less guilty about our kiddos watching TV, we can #turnonthesubtitles. A new organization called…well… Turn On The Subtitles, is here to help your kiddos learn and make you feel less guilty about screen time. The group maintains switching on the subtitles while kids are watching tv can double the odds of a child becoming good at reading, the initiative claims.

Same Language Subtitling (SLS) is the concept of subtitling (or captioning) audio-visual material in the ‘same’ language as the outgoing audio. As the video plays, viewers connect the dialogue word for word, so what you hear is what’s written on the screen in perfect synchronicity.

It’s one of those head-slapping ‘why didn’t I think of it’ moments. Of course, turning on the subtitles will help kiddos. Giving kids something to read that they will find interesting is key to growing life-long reading habits. A comprehensive international review shows in “an academic study of 2,350 children, 34% became good readers with schooling alone. But when exposed to 30 minutes a week of subtitled film songs, that proportion more than doubled to 70%.”

Stephen Fry has been tapped to talk about the project.

The organization says the biggest push for subtitles on television has been in India, but the positive impact of using subtitles as a way to boost literacy has also been confirmed ‘in several English and non-English speaking countries’. Turn On The Subtitles says that as a whole, these studies demonstrate that exposure to captions which match the sound directly can contribute to reading advancement and learning language.

The idea has been gaining interest.

The new program stresses the key to the literacy gains is in showing content that is compelling to the viewer. Turn On The Subtitle’s website quotes MIT’s John Gabrieli, a researcher who works in the field of cognitive neurosciences. Gabrieli explains how emotion and reason “propel learning very powerfully.” SLS of audio-visual material that is appealing to kids pushes a constant flow of associations in the brain that has already figured out the correlation of language and letter-sound correspondence.

“As someone working in Deaf Education, I absolutely love this plea from the wonderful @stephenfry about the benefit and importance of using subtitles,” a Twitter user posted. “#TurnOnTheSubtitles”

Worried that your kiddo won’t watch new shows with subtitles? That’s ok. The concept works even better with things your little one has seen over and over again. The research shows that in the case of often watched media, subtitles add an extra advantage of predictable text. Your kiddo knows what’s coming, and the text on the screen bolsters that knowledge.

The organization has asked parents and teachers to spread the word by sharing the message with others. Their hope is that by turning on the subtitles, television time can naturally become reading time too.

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The Real Reason I Take So Many Selfies

One of my favorite pastimes lately is scrolling through the thousands of pictures on my phone. I love how a photo reel of time exists so easily at my fingertips, and I can get lost for hours in the history of my life.

It’s amazing how at any given moment I can look at my kids at 3 months or 3 years old, or even travel back in time to the early years of my marriage. And if I feel the need to see an ocean sunrise, I can easily find several images from the many beach trips I have taken with my family.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

However, there is one thing that I absolutely hate about my pictures. If a stranger or even a friend were to scroll through my phone, I would be incredibly embarrassed and would feel compelled to explain. Because it would be hard for them to avoid noticing that my phone is absolutely jam-packed with selfies.

It all started when my daughter was born. We would be up late at night, and I simply wanted pictures of the both of us during this time. So instead of waking my husband, I would snap a selfie or two. There was never any direct purpose for them like a frame or a social media post – I just wanted a way to note that tiresome but special time together.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

As the months ticked by and those late nights came to an end, I stopped taking as many selfies, but still my phone filled with pictures. Yet for every 100 photos, there were maybe two or three of me – and it honestly made me sad.

Now I need to note that my husband is an absolutely phenomenal dad and an equal sharer of everything we do, he simply lacks the genetic make-up that pushes a person to take pictures. He takes them whenever I ask, but (unlike me) it’s not his instinct to constantly snap photos.

Having a camera in my pocket is something I consider a gift. I’m sure my mom would have killed for one when I was a kid. So you can call my selfie taking what you want, but the truth is that I simply want to be cataloged alongside my kids in this digital form.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

In the beginning of my growing habit of taking selfies, I mostly took them when my husband wasn’t around. So like when I would watch TV with the kids snuggled on the couch, or when we would dance in the kitchen, or even when my kids were starting to love the swings. I simply wanted to be a part of the memories, so I would insert myself in with a picture.

It soon expanded to almost every outing. If we went on a hike, I would take a picture of them splashing through the creek and then one of me sitting on a rock. Or on important outings like while picking our Christmas tree, I would get a few shots of my husband and kids cutting the tree down, and then one of me standing amongst the evergreens.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer
Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

Now I do get that a picture doesn’t have to exist to prove that I was there. And I also know that my kids will appreciate me no matter if I am in front of or behind the camera — the point is that I was with them.

Yet for me, these selfies mean something more. They are an imprint of me in everything my family does. They are a collection of images representing some of the most important and most mundane moments of our lives. I want my family to have an image of me during these times, and if a selfie is a way to easily get that, then so be it.

So as much as I hate them, I will continue to take them. And maybe one day, I can look back and be glad they exist. I can find joy in their importance, and instead of just remembering my happiness, I can see it…in the form of a brightly smiling selfie.

Courtesy of Stacy Seltzer

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My Tween Is Outgrowing Playing With Her Little Brother, And It’s Breaking My Heart

It’s a sight that’s become too familiar in the last few months: my nine-year-old son sitting outside my daughter’s—his sister’s—room playing a game on his iPad. When I ask him what he’s doing, the answer is the same. He’s waiting. He’s waiting for his sister to finish FaceTiming with her friends because then she promised she’d play with him.

I offer to let him come hang out with me while I get some work done, rather than sit alone on the floor, but he shrugs. He’s fine there…waiting to play with his sister who is almost 11.

I knew this day would come, that one day she’d be too old to build LEGO worlds with her little brother and create extravagant scenarios with superheroes and Barbies. I knew one day her friends and the privacy of her room would have a draw that the tiny playroom full of colorful toys would not. And I knew my son would be left behind, still in the world of Legos and superhero figurines for a few more years while she slid into adolescence.

But I didn’t know how much it would break my heart to see him lose his playmate, or how desperate I’d feel to hold onto those moments during which she did choose to play.

My children are close—in age and emotional connection. Often, they have been each other’s stable presence in an ever-changing world. They’ve been through trauma together that most kids will never know—first their father’s cancer diagnosis, then his death, and now their mother’s rocky attempt to solo parent during a pandemic.

But now she’s drifting into a world that he’s not allowed into, and I can tell he’s lost without her, not sure how to play on his own, maybe not even sure he wants to play on his own.

So he negotiates. He tells her that if he leaves her alone for ten minutes, she’ll come play with him after. If he watches the show she wants to watch, then next time they’ll return to that game of pretend they started weeks ago. I see him, even, striving to enjoy the things she’s gravitating toward—the video games and shows that her friends are playing—in an effort to hold onto that time with her.

He’ll never admit it, of course. If you ask him, his big sister is annoying, and he doesn’t care what she’s doing. And, to be clear, their sibling relationship isn’t all sparkle, glitter, and quiet play time. They fight. A lot. Sometimes it feels like they fight all day long. He drives her bonkers and she knows exactly how to push all his buttons. But despite that, unfailingly, he’s sitting outside her door, waiting for her, negotiating for more of her time.

Sometimes, he’ll even come to me and recruit my help in getting her out of her room. And though I know it’s completely age-appropriate for her to want to text her friends and play online games with them, I can’t help but support his case. I rationalize it, by telling myself pretend play is still good for her brain development and that too much screen time isn’t. But ultimately, like him, I want to hold onto time with her. I’m not ready to give up hearing them giggling and planning and creating wild games from their imagination. I want to savor every little bit of “little kid” that she has left in her for a little longer—for as long as I can.

She doesn’t complain much. She’ll usually agree to play with her little brother—humoring him because she has a kind heart and humoring me because she knows when he’s busy with her, I can tackle some of the things on my endless single mom to-do list. Which means even though she’s still playing with him, she’s doing so less as a little kid, and more as a mother’s helper.

And something in that—that she’s playing with him to help me—speaks to a maturity that’s so much more obvious than simply wanting to hide away in her room to text and FaceTime with friends. We can coax her out of her room with negotiations and requests to “go play” because too much screen time isn’t good, but the truth is, she’s growing up even when she agrees to play. And my son and I have to let her, even though we’ll miss the “little kid” version of her. Because, also, the truth is, the “big kid” version of her is pretty amazing too.

As far as sibling relationships go, I know with a mother’s intuition that there’s will be the kind of relationship that lasts a lifetime. But right now it’s shifting and there’s nothing I can do but watch him wait outside his sister’s door for the moment she opens it up to him and he gets his playmate back, even for just a few hours. And also, engage in my own waiting, for the day when they’re both hidden away behind closed doors, building worlds and lives that don’t need me as much, and it’ll be a different kind of heart break, a different kind of new normal that’s inevitable, but no less full of missing days long gone.

It’s the natural order of things. And while I’ll always miss the “little kid” versions of them, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The post My Tween Is Outgrowing Playing With Her Little Brother, And It’s Breaking My Heart appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The Mental Load Of A Working Mom During The Holidays––Too F*cking Much

One day this week, I snuck away from my work-at-home desk to attempt to hit Trader Joe’s and Target during usually less busy hours, headphones stuffed into my ears listening to a conference call. I work from home full time and now that everyone is home all the time, it has become acceptable to expect me to be on calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day while my kids are at daycare for 8-9 hours a day. Extremely germophobic and terrified of crowds, I went mid-day to try to procure a Christmas ham, some teacher holiday chocolates for gifts, Christmas morning breakfast items, and the only yogurt my son will eat.

I parked, and once my call ended, I masked up and headed to the waiting area outside TJ’s, coming face to face with a line that stretched to the far end of the strip mall. The sheer volume of potentially infectious humans sent me scurrying like a startled cat back to my SUV (mom car).

Determined to accomplish something before my next call at 2:30 p.m., I headed to Target to pick up an online diaper order through their Drive Up service. After being cut off by a crazy lady in a black sedan with tinted windows, I snagged a Drive Up parking space, only to realize after waiting for five minutes that at least ten other cars were circling like vultures searching for their orders.

Twenty minutes later, already dialed into my next call with my headphones tangled in my mask and after yelling to the attendant “There! Those are my diapers!” I had my case of diapers … but I was reaching the brink.

On my way home, as I listened to an impassioned debate about contract requirements and heard frustration in my boss’ voice, I stopped at the strip mall down the street to mail a mountain of Christmas cards. Because — like a masochist — I still bother to have professional photos taken and make nice cards for 75 people, about 10 of which actually return the favor, even during a freaking pandemic. Mask on again over headphones, I headed to the mailbox and attempted to open it, but it was jammed. Full. Panting into my mask, unmailed cards clutched in my fist, I stalked back to my car, climbed in, and threw the cards on the floor.

In that moment, the last fuck I had to give was lost.

urbazon/Getty

Once again, I had failed at something, which has become my natural state during COVID. I’m either failing at work because I’m distracted by a Kindergarten Zoom call in the kitchen when daycare is closed due to a COVID scare (while on a conference call of course), or I’m failing at parenting because I’ve parked my kids at daycare all day during a pandemic to allow me to focus on my demanding job. Not to mention the debacle that is my Kinder-age son’s education and homework assignments.

Emails from corporate human resources stating “You need to take time for yourself – try meditation!” or “You should incorporate self-care during these difficult times,” appear in my inbox regularly. They are well-meaning but empty and infuriating. Meeting after meeting ping on my Outlook calendar, and I watch in distress as my one precious free hour each day disappears, that hour when I could have spun holiday magic or gone for a mythical sparkly walk in the sunshine.

One moment, let me add meditation to my to-do list:

-Collate six weeks of Zoom worksheets in chronological order along with STEM homework assignments and drawings for school projects

-Write kids’ Santa lists, tape them to the fireplace, and order all gifts online

-Figure out what my husband’s family wants for Christmas and order it

-Decide whether to send kids back to daycare after COVID scare or endanger elderly parents

-Purchase eight Starbucks cards, eight small gift bags, eight boxes of chocolates for daycare teacher gifts

-Try not to cry in front of computer screen this week

-Purchase gift for the children’s shelter sponsored by day care

-Purchase gift for the senior living center sponsored by elementary class

-MEDITATE/SELF CARE

-Send $20 via Venmo for Kindergarten teacher’s gift

-Find and print holiday recipes

-Order new leggings for Peloton riding

So that’s it – I’m calling bullshit.

We’ve all read the articles and tweets. Women are tasked with more and more today: demanding full time jobs, perfect organic play-based interactive calm parenting, skinny bodies honed during daily 5 am Peloton rides before work starts, kin-keeping and holiday magic-making, meal planning and food prepping – the mental (over)load – and now we’ve thrown a gigantic public health crisis into the already overcrowded mix. And what we are expected to do with a smile, while remaining unemotional at work and not yelling at our kids or spouse, and still trying to climb the corporate ladder and get promoted, is bullshit.

It’s impossible. Women are leaving the workforce in droves, and with good reason. The system is not set up to make us successful. Something has to give. We can’t do it all, be it all, provide it all, manifest it all, to everyone all the time. That idea is a fantasy and it is bullshit.

And I’m done.

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Gabrielle Union Says Zaya Felt ‘Outed’ Online Before Coming Out As Trans

“[Her] peace is nonnegotiable,” Gabrielle Union says of 13-year-old Zaya

There’s something beautiful in the ferociousness of a mama lion protecting her cubs, and it’s no different when Gabrielle Union talks about stepdaughter Zaya’s coming out experiences. In February of 2020 Union introduced her Instagram fans to Zaya, making headlines when the now-13-year-old came out as transgender.

Union discussed her stepdaughter’s struggles during the first episode of Facebook Watch’s Peace of Mind With Taraji. The actress shared with hosts Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jade Jenkins how husband Dwyane Wade’s daughter struggled with the online chatter about her identity and appearance when she appeared on her parents’ social media accounts. “Zaya’s peace is non-negotiable,” says Union. “As Zaya gathered more language, she was able to tell us about her identity. She was able to tell us about her sexuality. She was able to tell us ‘I’m trans.’ And she says, ‘I’ve come out a few times. I came out to my teacher in third grade, and then when you guys posted that picture of me in Chicago at my birthday party.'”

The photo of a family celebrating their daughter’s birthday set off a buzz of speculation. “And it’s just Zaya standing next to her cake,” Union says of the social media pic. “And that picture was dissected on certain Black blogs, and the comments were the guessing as to who Zaya was and why. … She said, ‘It felt like I was outed, and I was just standing next to my cake.’

Union — who shares daughter Kaavia Jame, 2, with Wade and is also stepmom to Zaya plus his two sons Xavier Zechariah, 7, and Zaire, 18 — stresses that she and her husband are still learning. “We only know what we know,” she says, “and we have to be open to embrace that we don’t know s—.”

The Bring It On actress noted that Zaya has started cheerleading — Union joked that her stepdaughter ‘better bring it!'”

On Peace of Mind, Henson co-hosts alongside Jenkins, and together the two discuss mental health issues — with a focus on those in the Black community. The show will feature a mixture of experts, celebrities, and viewers. Each episode will highlight a different mental health topic.

Viewers and celebrity guests will appear on the show on Mondays, and Henson and Jenkins will sit down with healthcare professionals and experts on Wednesdays to explore the previous show. The idea is to have deeper conversations that offer viewers strategies to achieve better mental health.

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Mindy Kaling Gets Real About Pandemic Parenting: ‘I’ve Given Myself a Lot of Slack’

Mindy Kaling talks new baby, how she juggles her Netflix show, and why she can’t wait to read B.J. Novak’s book to her kids.

While holed up in our homes with nothing to do, and dizzyingly empty hours to fill, some took to perfecting the dark art of the elusive sourdough. Others learned to knit, or honed their artisanal craft mixology skills. Mindy Kaling, always an overachiever, went one further. She secretly had a baby, son Spencer, giving birth during the summer as a single mom, and six weeks after his birth, shot the cover of Vogue India.

Kaling, in person, is exactly as you’d imagine: Candid, funny, and endearingly sincere. She’s penned bestsellers, and runs multiple TV shows while raising an infant and a toddler. Clearly, she’s got it relatively together, and yet, here she is, in the midst of an afternoon Zoom interview, faced with epic failure. She’s sitting against a “stupid white backdrop” while speaking to a writer sitting in front of a resplendent Christmas tree. This is particularly humiliating for the producer who pioneered the “Wreath Witherspoon,” a Christmas wreath adorned with pictures Reese Witherspoon, on her show The Mindy Project in 2014 and watched it blow up into a social media sensation. 

“Now that I see you with your tree, I’m like, dammit, I need to get my tree,” says Kaling. 

It’s so great to see you again. How’s motherhood the second time around? 

Motherhood is great. No one told me that when you have a second kid, it’s not like adding like a 100 percent more kid. It’s like adding five kids. It’s just cause I’m doing it by myself, I think I’m noticing it a little bit more. I’m doing both together, but it’s been great. He’s still so little that he doesn’t have a lot of personality traits yet, but it’s so it’s been fun. Pandemic gets really monotonous. So having a kid right in the middle of it, to spice it up a little, that was fun.

Katherine is 2. How is she dealing with having a sibling? 

She was excited about him at the beginning. She was so game for him. And then slowly as he’s gotten bigger and he is taking up more space and emotional energy, she’s like, ‘No.’ She has this one scam that she runs. If I’m holding him or feeding him, she’ll very sweetly say, ‘Can I hold him?’ And I’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, of course.’ And so she’ll hold him and then she’ll put him down and be like, ‘Let’s go play.’ So he’s just wriggling on the sofa and she thinks that we can just leave him alone and he’ll be fine. So that’s her new scam. She’s very crafty.

And you had him in secret. Which is pretty incredible. Did you prep hard for his arrival or just go with the flow?

The first time I read everything and then once I had a kid, I couldn’t remember anything. I had no retention. So for the second one, I was like, eh, it’ll be fine. This is such a privilege, obviously, that I have, and not everybody has — I just feel like I have my OB who is going to tell me what to do. And I just show up at the hospital.

I did that thing where I over-packed (the first time), I brought like two giant suitcases with me. It pissed me off when I had to pack up at the hospital and had to leave. So now this time I was such a light traveler. I had a JanSport backpack. I didn’t do a lot of prep this time around.

I know you have a partnership with Walgreens, which seems particularly timely given that we’re living through a pandemic. 

I consider partnerships with lots of different places, but this one is uniquely suited for me and my needs because I’m a hypochondriac. So I have every cough and cold medicine. I need diapers. I need toys for my older kid. So for me to just be able to like order it, then go 30 minutes later and a nice teenager in a mask brings it out for me is the absolute best. I have made friends with my Walgreens person. Her name is Cheryl.

I don’t know if you’ve heard this or felt this, but with my first kid, I was such a hypochondriac. Everything had to be so perfectly pristine for her. And then this one…because of the pandemic, I will say we have such a small pod and my dad is in his 70s and my stepmom’s in her 70s. So when I’m not in the house, when it’s just not my own germs, it’s two masks, gloves, that kind of thing.

And you also found time to release a new book, Nothing Like I Imagined. What inspired it? 

When I had my own show, it was great because I felt like I can get to express — even if they’re not my opinions — I get to talk about the topics of the world and I actually get to be on camera saying all of them. I’m so happy with where we ended the show. I’ve just had these years now where I’m writing stuff for young people. I have my show, Never Have I Ever, I have my other show The Sex Lives of College Girls that is coming on next year. And I just felt like there wasn’t a real avenue or outlet for me to talk about the things that I’m interested in, observations about what it’s like to be a single mom or to try to date at 40. So I just needed to write these essays. This past book was only like seven essays. It wasn’t a full book.

Speaking of books, my all-time favorite one to read to my kid was B.J. Novak’s The Book with no Pictures.

That’s a great one. He’s my daughter’s godfather. And he’s like, ‘When is she going to get old enough that she can read it?’  I think she’s a little bit too little for it now.

You wrote a book. You’re working with Walgreens. You’re running two shows. You have two kids under two. How are you still sane and not curled up in a ball in a closet somewhere?

I have someone who takes care of my kid, I have an assistant who helps me through my day. So I really just have great people that are helping me do everything. Also, not having to travel anywhere. At the beginning, I tried to look all cute for my Zooms. And now, I look like trash — I don’t care at this point. At the beginning, I tried to bring it. And now I know if they’ve seen me in the same Kurt Cobain T-shirt four days in a row and that’s fine. I’ve given myself a lot of slack over the pandemic. I’ve just decided I’m not going to beat myself up about stuff.

I know your son is way too little to be aware of what’s going on, but how do you give your daughter a sense of normalcy right now?

She does her school on Zoom. The number of people that she sees has been dwindling — as our extended friends have people who have COVID in their lives. The truth is, there is no way I’ve been able to establish anything normal for her. And my hope is just that she is a kid with a good sense of humor and who seems really resilient. And this is just an unstable time.

My kid was supposed to start her toddler preschool thing. And so she was not able to. So the only thing I can do is be like, ‘Mom is always going to be there to read stories with you, push you on our swing in our backyard.’ And hope that she doesn’t get tired of just me, but it’ll be interesting after the pandemic to see what the effect it has had on children. I’m hoping that it doesn’t make her more scared to do things. 

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I Finally Understand Why My Mom Was Always The Last One Out Of The House

I used to wonder why my mom was always the last one out of the house.

I thought for a while it was because she took the longest to get ready.

I figured she sometimes waited until the last minute.

I had the suspicion she didn’t want to go out in public without her hair done or lip liner on, even though I couldn’t imagine why a mom would care so much, really.

I only recently figured out the answer, having become a mom myself.

Because while the rest of us waited outside, all bundled up in the scarves and jackets and hats she had pulled from storage, or smothered in sunscreen she had smeared on our faces while we clutched the flip-flops and swimsuits she had doled out, and rolled our eyes about how long she was taking—

Mom was filling thermoses with hot chocolate,

I Finally Understand Why My Mom Was Always The Last One Out Of The House
Courtesy of Emily Solberg

and packing picnic lunches,

and making sure the bathroom light was off,

and refilling the dog’s water bowl,

and grabbing a spare change of clothes for us just in case,

and searching through the junk drawer for a coupon,

and taking a hot minute to use the bathroom by herself for a change,

and yes, maybe dabbing on a bit of lipstick.

And whenever she did finally appear, pulling on her jacket as she locked the front door, she was always met with an exasperated,

“Come OOOONNN, Mom!”

To which she would respond by shooting daggers from her eyes.

For the longest time, I didn’t get it. She had started at the same time we did!

Then I became a mom.

And it finally dawned on me that my mom wasn’t the last one out because she was lazy or disorganized or slow or overly concerned about her appearance . . .

It was because she took care of absolutely everyone and everything else before she took care of herself.

And that’s just what moms do.

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