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General Blog

  • Published: November 26, 2020

It was a hard year that just kept getting harder. There were maternity wards that transformed into ghost towns overnight, as visitor restrictions tightened and grandparents-to-be canceled flights. Schools closed, then reopened, only to close again, sending parents scrambling for child care, wrangling remote learners and struggling to do their own jobs. Millions of families lost income and many lost loved ones. For parents in particular, this year has meant recalibrating time and again. Yet, there was also joy — cobbled-together peaceful moments — amid a steady thrum of chaos, which isn’t letting up. We asked mothers and fathers across the country what parenting has been…Read More

  • Published: November 26, 2020

Lhamo, a Tibetan farmer in southwestern China, lived her life mostly outdoors and shared it online, posting videos of herself cooking, singing and picking herbs in the mountains around her village. By this fall, she had about 200,000 followers, many of whom praised her as cheerful and hardworking. Over 400 of them were watching one evening in mid-September as Ms. Lhamo, 30, streamed a video live from her kitchen on Douyin, the Chinese version of the TikTok app. Suddenly, a man stormed in and Ms. Lhamo screamed. Then the screen went dark. When Ms. Lhamo’s sister Dolma arrived at the…Read More

  • Published: November 26, 2020

Like many married and working couples first confronting the pandemic, Bianca Flokstra and Victor Udoewa tried to go on with their lives as normal. Flokstra continued to work full time while taking care of their kids, ages 4 and 2. She also handled most of the housework, with her husband helping from time to time. It didn't work. "Those first couple of months were really hard," Flokstra says. "There was ... a lot of fighting. A lot of tears." The pandemic has upended many aspects of domestic life, and that has brought new attention to one of the most enduring…Read More

  • Published: November 26, 2020

My ex and I aren’t friends — amicable might be pushing it — but in the four years since we split, we have navigated new homes, new partners and our 6-year-old son entering the public school system with minimal drama. When the pandemic hit and schools shut down, I almost felt guilty about my ability to ship my kid off to his father’s for five-day stretches while married friends lost sleep and fought with their husbands about whose turn it was to supervise virtual geometry. Then, in late August, I got word that my son’s school district would be opening…Read More

  • Published: November 26, 2020

Nellie Riether, a single mom from Ringwood, N.J., faces a stark choice: raid her retirement savings or uproot her kids from home and move in with her sister. "To be honest, it's mortifying and embarrassing at 46 years old to say I'm going to have to move in with my sister," she says. "Emotionally, it's a bit of a failure." Riether has been out of work since April, when she was furloughed from her job in office building design. She can't pay the rent much longer, and she's worried about her kids, who are 13 and 15. The state jobless…Read More

  • Published: November 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — In an argument marked by sharp exchanges on the sweep of its 2015 decision establishing a right to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court on Wednesday considered whether Philadelphia may bar a Catholic agency that refuses to work with same-sex couples from screening potential foster parents. The argument, heard by telephone, came about a month after Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., appeared to urge the court to reconsider the 2015 decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, saying it stigmatized people of faith who objected to same-sex marriage. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who dissented from the 2015 decision, asked…Read More

  • Published: November 12, 2020

Divorce gets a bad rap most of the time. It’s a huge loss; it’s a painful life crisis, sometimes traumatic, and often expensive. Yet as a friend said to me, “What I see now is that it would have been equally devastating had we stayed together.” Many who have been divorced will attest to the good things about divorce. Here are 9 good things: 1. It’s liberating. You don’t have to stay stuck in a relationship where your needs aren’t being met. You can get out of abusive relationships and free yourself from daily stress and anxiety. As one man told me, “You only have one shot at this…Read More

  • Published: November 12, 2020

On a recent morning, my family was assembled in our customary positions at the kitchen table: my husband, Tom, and I hunched over our computers, while our daughter, wearing headphones, did math problems for remote learning. Looking up to ask Tom a question, my view was blocked by a Jenga-like tower of clutter he had amassed. I took a deep breath, and explained, in my best impersonation of calm, that in this surreal new world in which children share our co-working space, it’s important to keep that space relatively clutter-free. When I was done, he didn’t respond. But just as…Read More

  • Published: November 12, 2020

Preparing for marriage comes with many fun and exciting experiences, but drafting a prenuptial agreement sounds anything but. A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a pre-marriage contract outlining how assets would be handled in the event of divorce. For many, the mention of “prenup” evokes a sense of discomfort and other negative sentiments. But it doesn’t have to be this way. “Much of the stigma surrounding prenuptial agreements has to do with the thought that, by signing a prenuptial agreement, the soon-to-be married couple is ‘planning for divorce,’” said Amanda Cubit, a family law attorney with Sodoma Law Union in North Carolina. “It doesn’t strike many…Read More

  • Published: November 12, 2020

Google the word “narcissist” and you will find articles such as “Levels of Narcissism-Grandiose Self-Flection,” “Narcissistic Personality Disorder-Help Guide,” “11 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist” and “How to Deal with a Narcissist.” Add the word “custody” to the search and the videos “How to get a Narcissist to Reveal Themselves,” “Preparing for your day in court with a narcissistic spouse” and Tina Swithin’s “One Mom’s Battle” (OMB) appear. A search for “Children and a Narcissist Parent” offers Psychology Today’s, “Narcissistic Parents’ Psychological Effect on Their Children” and from Forbes, “How Being Raised By a Narcissist Damages Your Life …” What…Read More

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