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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

Parenting

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Your Other Dad says you and your kids define patriotism differently.

Photo: Josh Willink for Pexels

You are not alone in seeing a generational shift away from embracing the American flag. Gen Z has the lowest rates of self-identified patriotism among all demographics, a title once held by their predecessors, Millennials. These statistics raise questions. What do symbols…


During a pandemic, it takes a celebrity village to raise a child

Photo: Westend61/Getty

My 9-year-old daughter is having a hard time. It’s the kind of hard time most kids have at her age, made worse by the pandemic. Sometimes people call her quirky. This makes her nervous. She wants to be normal. When I tell her there’s no such thing as “normal” she scoffs. She just wants to unobtrusively line up with the girlhood formulated by Disney tween sitcoms and the common consent of an apathetic society. When she’s at school, she bends her mind and spirit in half, frustrated that each corner of herself doesn’t meet the others. She’s pretending to no…


Column

It turns out schoolwork is the pandemic parenting hack you never expected

Photo: Kira Hofmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like being a pandemic parent in the winter. Gone are the outdoor playdates and park time; being stuck in the apartment these past few cold months has taken on a whole new level of isolation. Yet one thing has made the dreary pandemic winter more bearable: doing math homework with my 10-year-old daughter.

Hear me out.

When it comes to parenting during Covid-19, there’s no shortage of woes to choose from. …


Column

As women are being forced out of the workforce, Andrew Yang needs to give credit where it’s due: to his wife

Andrew Yang addresses the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention. Photo: DNCC via Getty Images

Andrew Yang appears to be just a tad out of touch. The former presidential candidate and current New York City mayoral hopeful really stepped in it on Monday when he expressed incredulity about parenting while stuck in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment and then trying to do work yourself?” Yang said to the New York Times, Actually yes, Andrew, a lot of us can imagine it! We might even have been living it for the past year.

Yang, who has spent the better part of…


Stay-at-home moms can’t hold this pyramid up much longer

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

It took me a full decade to realize I was part of a multilevel marketing scheme. I should have seen the signs: the business model was unclear, my participation was so costly I fell into debt, and when I needed help meeting quotas, I was forced to rely on family members and recruit other women. It didn’t feel like multilevel marketing (MLM) at first; I never had to sit in an arena and listen to Rachel Hollis tell me to clean my face. I wasn’t selling “butter-soft leggings” or shilling Amway — I was a part of Motherhood in America.


Column

Not just during the pandemic, but forever

Photo: Mariana Alija/Getty Images

One of the great ironies of being a mother in the United States is that while you’re told you have the “most important job in the world,” you are given zero money, little support, and none of the protections or respect that one would expect to accompany a role society says is indispensable. Mothers are supposedly invaluable, but our payment only comes in platitudes.

As we stretch into the ninth month of the pandemic, things are still looking grim: Over 1,000 people are dying of Covid every day, unemployment is at record rates, and women are leaving the workforce in…


Column

Everything I’ve been taught about video games as a parent is a lie

Two young children play the open world game Minecraft on their iPads.
Two young children play the open world game Minecraft on their iPads.
Photo: Georg Wendt/picture alliance/Getty Images

As a parent, I’m going to say something I never thought I would: Thank fucking god for video games. I cannot imagine the last few months without them.

Covid hit New York just a few days before my then-9 year old’s two-week Spring break. There was no school — remote or otherwise, a trip to visit her grandparents in California was canceled, and we were on city-wide lockdown. So in the midst of buying masks, canned food, and hand soap, I got my daughter a Nintendo Switch.

She had never played video games before, but she’s an only child who…


The Way We Work Now

‘There’s so much intensity. It’s kind of depressing.’

Photo illustration. Source: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

John Havenstrite is a school board member at the Eanes School District in Austin, Texas. He spoke with Omar L. Gallaga earlier this month about preparing for an unprecedented school year, dealing with vitriol from parents, and coordinating reopening plans for a district that covers six elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and an adult transition center.

We didn’t know what exactly to expect in June when the schools closed for the year. We knew we weren’t…


It’s been 10 years since my daughter was born. That was the best and worst day of my life.

Photo: IvanJekic/Getty Images

My daughter, Layla, turns 10 years old tomorrow — it’s a bittersweet day for me. Her birthday marks the moment when the person most precious to me came into the world, but it’s also the anniversary of the worst and scariest day of my life, a time I still have nightmares about, even a decade later.

At first, my pregnancy was uneventful — some vomiting and strange food cravings, but nothing out of the ordinary. Then, around 28 weeks in, I noticed that my feet were so swollen that I couldn’t get them out of my shoes. A few days…


A six-year-old girl declaring her hatred of pink has basically internalized sexism

Photo: MoMo Productions/Getty Images

“I don’t like princesses,” my daughter’s seven-year-old friend proclaimed proudly. “Or pink.”

“Me either,” chimed in another little girl, one of six we were having over for my younger daughter’s seventh birthday, along with one boy. We were in search of a movie to watch, which, they announced, shouldn’t be about a princess. “I hate Frozen,” one said, and the others quickly concurred.

Not long before this, my daughter and her friends were whole-hog into what psychologists call “PFD,” or pink frilly dresses. “We have noticed that a large proportion of girls pass through a stage when they virtually refuse…

GEN

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